AUSTRALIA, Sydney, 20 December 2002 - A syndicate of five NSW Councils have signed a ten year contract worth in excess of A$100M over the contract term with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Australia. The IT and services solution will support local government business operations and enable improved business relationships with council customers. The five councils, Hornsby, Lake Macquarie, Parramatta, Randwick, and Wyong, selected Cap Gemini Ernst & Young after an intensive and comprehensive competitive procurement process.
The project will commence early in the first quarter of 2003 with the first of three phases of capability scheduled to go live in early 2004. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young will also manage the operation of the solution on behalf of the councils for the term of the contract.
The new solution, named ĎCouncils Onlineí, will replace the councilsí current IT systems and provide automation of many of the councilís existing manual business processes. Councils Online will also enable Internet access for constituents/rate payers to facilitate their interactions with other subscribing organisations by allowing them to do such things as pay their bills on-line, submit applications, reserve library books and register inquiries.
Chairman for the Councils Online Syndicate, Terry Barnes, comments, "The Syndicate believes that this new technology system has the potential to revolutionise local government by providing significant improvements in the councilís day to day operations and increasing the level and quality of customer service. We are looking forward to working closely with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and its partners on this innovative and
Mr Barnes said the solution utilises sophisticated, latest generation, web enabled, application software as a core technology. For end users, this will enable a single log-on and portal entry point, seamless movement between different applications, and the use of the Internet for transactions.
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Vice President for Public Sector, Carney Soderberg, states that this project is the largest and most exciting full service partnership to be arranged in the Southern Hemisphere this year.
"Cap Gemini Ernst & Young is delighted to be selected as the lead business partner of the NSW Councils Syndicate in this important e-citizen initiative. The completion of this project will enable the councils within the Syndicate to transform the manner in which their constituents interact with selected local government agencies and improve the overall value of the services to the citizens. Service transformation projects that take advantage of the councilís inherent close proximity to their respective constituents enhance the councilís role by providing a new value added channel for electronic citizen services. This benefits both the citizen and governments at all levels," he said.
Mr. Soderberg also addressed the affordability of the deal: "Of equal importance, from a cost perspective, each council member stands to benefit significantly from the sharing of IT investment and operating costs amongst other members making the cost of using leading edge technology more affordable than would occur under a non-sharing arrangement."
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young is the prime contractor, systems integrator, and operations manager for Councils Online, leading a team of global and Australian-based SME providers of hardware, software and services companies to provide the total solution. These partners include Hewlett-Packard, GEAC, Advanced Data Integration, Red Rock, Mat-Man Systems, InfoVision Technology, RMS, Intaz and Kronos.