CODC records team best in NZ

The Central Otago District Council information and records management team with their national...
The Central Otago District Council information and records management team with their national award, from left, team leader Jane Smith, advisor Rosa Cleary, digitisation assistants Rachael Thorogood and Michelle Ryan, chief information officer Nathan McLeod, digitisation assistants Lawrence Jiang and, in front, Bronwen Townsend. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A team from the Central Otago District Council (CODC) has been named the best in the country.

CODC chief information officer Nathan McLeod said the council team had won the Information Management team of the year at the ALGIM (Association of Local Government Information Management) conference.

 "I’m pretty proud of this team. They’re 56% of the way through cleaning up, digitising and protecting our rateable property files, while making this public information more accessible to our community."

The team has also recently moved regulatory documents into the central storage system, while carrying out all the tasks related to day-to-day information, records management, privacy and local government official information act requests, as well as providing advice, support and training within the council.

The 56% digitised rateable property files equated to 8073 of the 15,000 properties from across the district. Of those, 1037 were already digital, as the CODC now only received building and resource documents digitally.

An example of the hand written notes in property files which are being digitised by the CODC...
An example of the hand written notes in property files which are being digitised by the CODC information and records management team.
Some property files took half an hour to scan, others a week or more.

"Scanning is only a small part of the whole digitisation process. The preparation beforehand and the quality assurance afterwards is what takes the time and what will set us up for success," Mr McLeod said.

Some of the old documents had beautiful penmanship and hand drawn plans dating back to the early 1900s and more recently, funny photos and notes.

"A lot of old fading or damaged documents that we can enhance when we scan are actually better than the originals. Every day is different and it is definitely not a boring job. The information captured will be seen well into the future. As we like to say, the documents of today are the archives of tomorrow."

Eliminating paper files would help future-proof CODC against disasters that might damage or destroy them such as earthquake or fire, he said. 

The information management team supported a range of people from other CODC staff to builders, property owners and real estate agents.

"There was also a schoolboy last year that one of our digitisation assistants helped with information on bridges in the area. He went on to build a model, too, based on that information," Mr McLeod said.

 

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