Portal use saves $10,000

A new online submission portal has saved the Dunedin City Council $10,000 on its first outing.

Council communications and marketing manager Graham McKerracher said a councillor submissions portal was being developed for use with

next year's long-term plan. But an unexpected deluge of more than 4000 submissions on the council's draft local alcohol policy (Lap) meant it was called into action earlier.

Submissions were loaded on to the portal, allowing councillors, who logged in individually, to read them online.

They could also see the order of speakers at hearings and have those submissions to hand quickly, as well as make notes in the portal beside each submission, marking questions or discussion points for their deliberations.

The system was a success so far, Mr McKerracher said.

He calculated that after costs, processing the draft Lap submissions electronically saved the council about $10,000.

The savings came from not printing 153,000 sheets of paper - each councillor on the policy committee would have required 18 folders full of printing and each submitter would have had to be sent an acknowledgement letter - and postage.

Submitters were instead emailed acknowledgments and other communication.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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