| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
4.1 DETAILED PROJECTS, THEIR OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS OF SUCCESS
A local authority is the sphere of government closest to the people and since thay work at grass root level are more aware of the difficulties of inhabitants especially those from needy families.. The Council plans for and provides amongst others several services and facilities to inhabitants of the two districts. The Council aware of the challenges facing it and with the available human and financial resources took the decision to innovate to give improved services in the most efficient and effective manner to its inhabitants by using ICT.
The Council did not have an action plan as such but carried out the implementation directly from the strategy roadmap statement as follows:
S.N DESCRIPTION DATE
1 Council decision for use of fund to implement the project 21 March 2012
2 Request for Ministerial approval for withdrawal of fund made to the Ministry of Local Government 04 April 2012
3 Ministerial Approval obtained for use of Rs 1.5 M 11 April 2012
4 Preparation of bidding document and presentations May – June 2012
5 Bids floated 26 October 2012
6 Bids evaluated by Bid Evaluation Committee 21.11.2012
7 Contract awarded 22 November 2012
8 GPS installed on a pilot basis in Council’s Lorries February 2013
9 Introducing new softwares to cater for information management of services March to October 2013
10 Development of user manual October to November 2013
The GPS was installed in all lorries in 2013 and the following reports were made available after splitting of Councils.
a) Fuel Graph per lorry for Monitoring
b) Weekly consumption rate per lorry- efficient use of resources
c) Vehicle maintenance tracking such as Repairs, servicing and Administrative formalities
d) Route optimization - Number of trips per team per day and week
e) Percentage completion of work programme- ensure equal access to services provided- Counter verification possible on a computer screen
• The GIS technology touches all departments and uncovers inefficiencies as such
Every job / project is mapped with their scope, time and cost for better overall management which enables strategic decisions;
• Information which was previously manually collected are now being captured by the GPS and GIS technologically. Reports are generated by the system facilitating management to develop short, medium and long term strategies whilst targeting its strategic objectives and improving processes for better service to all.
• E-council was introduced to have paperless Council. Local politicians who know the vulnerability of their specific areas are in a better position to take decisions as they now have access to various types of reports and real view of the situation whilst approving any project, permit or improvement of facilities.
4.2 RESULTS OBTAINED AND THEIR JUSTIFICATION
• Decrease in fuel consumption- reduced cost
• Fleet Management Information and output delivery- ensure services provided to all areas of the districts
• Improved Quality Standard for scavenging services to maintain and improve quality of life of inhabitants. Cost waste collected per ton is the lowest for The District Councils of Moka and Flacq in Mauritius.
• No unnecessary delays in approval of permits and better determination quality for applications for Building and Land Use Permits.
• Reduce the use of paper.
• Economical and efficient archiving and reporting of information.
• Enhanced street lighting maintenance service for security of inhabitants especially in vulnerable areas situated in the remote areas of the district.
• Historical data on projects executive available for judicious allocation of funds to projects in villages.
4.3 RISK ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION
The only risk associated with the implementation of the system was that it had already started in The Moka Flacq District Council and after splitting the whole process had to be started anew.
4.4 COST AND OTHER DETAILED RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS
The total cost excluding the yearly maintenance cost is Rs 2.0 M including the hardware and software.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Any Project whether small or large needs stakeholders participation to build awareness, set realistic expectations, raise support, minimize resistance and ensure successful implementation and user adoption.
At The Moka Flacq District Council, getting people to embrace the change was done through information sessions, motivation and the involvement of all cadres be it technical, administrative or Inspectorate. As Management was aware of the realities and the problems being faced due to lack of manpower, the engagement of the available staff for the successful implementation of the reengineering process was of utmost importance.
The design of the software was made by a private company and installed at the Council. Both the manual and the computerized systems were used in parallel. All changes were made from feedback obtained from the users departments. The Head of the Public Health Department and all Health Inspectors, the IT Officer, the Office Management Assistants, The Head Planning Department, The Head Public Infrastructure Department, the Chief Inspector of Works, works Inspectors were all involved in the implementation.
There was the full commitment and participation of all those concerned and this made the implementation phase successful and also helped to improve the software to best adapt to the realities of the District Council. The implementation phase was marked by changes made through the feedback loop representing comments from end users and the public. There were also on the job training on the use of the software installed. A user manual has also been developed to that effect.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Once the decision of using GIS and GPS to improve the management of service delivery, the Council used about Rs 1.5 M from its own fund to finance the project. A sum has also been provided in the Program Based Budget for the maintenance of the system.
Apart from the financial resources, the implementation of the plan requires that each person in the organization knows what are his/her duties are under the new plan. Heads of Departments were given the goals and responsibilities first, then they broke down their duties into responsibilities for each individual who reported to them.
All the employees of the different departments have worked with the system and provided feedback on pertinent issues not addressed by the system but which required specific attention. Necessary actions were taken to do the necessary improvements in the system by the company.
Part of successful plan implementation also involved making sure that the lines of communication are open between departments bottom up and top bottom so that they could coordinate their responsibilities and foster team spirit.
The hardware already put in place for the e governance project was used and only a few more performing personal computers were purchased for the Council. Provision was also made for the purchase of note pads for all Councillors and Heads of Section and Departments.
The public inputs were mainly from the complaint desk we have a system to counter verify that all complaints are attended. The human element cannot be reduced completely, site visits are also carried by inspectors and special attention is given to the vulnerable areas to ensure that what is seen on the GPS system reflects the reality.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The rapidly changing world and the increased expectations of inhabitants for services are challenges for local Government institutions like the District Council.
Five concrete outputs that have contributed to success of the initiative are:-
7.1 DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
Applying and using GIS tools allowed us to integrate geographic information with intelligence to consider applications for Building and Land Use Permits, store, retrieve and map. The very severe archiving problem has also been taken care of.
The Council is now in a better position to take informed decisions not only based on the recommendations of the relevant technicians but also based on the context of development and surrounding features and developments.
7.2 STREET LIGHTING SERVICE MONITORING
The Councils are also using GIS System to manage their street lighting network. This system allows instant verification from the complaint desk of the last interaction made on a particular column just by knowing the column’s reference.
All communications are now done electronically thus facilitating storage and easy retrieval as compared to hard copies.
7.4 SCAVENGING SERVICE
The GPS has revolutionized the way council plans and provides scavenging service to its inhabitants and economic operators. GPS installed on all lorries have now made the following possible:-
1. Not visited report and location of lorries in real time to allow management to ensure equitable provision of services to all regions including the remote areas of the districts;
2. Location Alerts and Historical Route Information;
3. Fuel consumption and Loss of fuel and tampering with the vehicle fuel tank tracking;
4. Effective and efficient use of Council’s lorries- to reduce cost and better allocation of resources
6. Output reports to compute Key Performance Indicators.
7.5 PROJECT MANAGEMENT ON TERRITORIES
The GIS Job/Project Management tools have been developed by our IT Officers. They have tailored same to suit our processes and procedures. Projects are layered geographically according to their category types, therefore, all project details are easily and readily available for management decision taking. All this stuff is linked with the GIS system for territory management purpose. The Council is better able to monitor projects and have equitable distribution of funds for projects be it construction of roads, drains or the provision of sports facilities to foster a sports culture among our inhabitants.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring and evaluation are invaluable internal management tools. The Councils have put systems in place to assess how well they are doing against targets and indicators, and whether the resources are being useful in changing the situation and the problem identified.
The GIS/GPS systems have been in place and monitored concurrently. Data which is collected is analysed to improve on the system and bring changes to further allow the progress of the Project. In fact, management ensures that daily reports are viewed and ensured that they reflect the reality and from which the planning ahead for the completion of any outstanding works is done. Any departure from the actual is again looked into by the Company through requests made to them. In fact the reports had become a very important in the monitoring exercises conducted to fine tune the softwares introduced.
The GIS and GPS system has touched all the departments and has uncovered inefficiencies which was inherent in the system due to its bureaucratic nature.
Since processes have been streamlined, re-engineered and localized in an information system, real time reports are available to counteract our deficiencies in the most effective and efficient manner whilst improving accountability. The use of ICT (GPS and GIS systems) and the participation of all employees of this Council are what has made the difference. Over the past 18 months, we have incrementally built more responsive, efficient, effective and dedicated service with simplified systems and processes and emphasis on accountability, responsibility and assimilation of technology. Response from inhabitants and local politicians has also helped in the feedback loop to know our performance as set by the objectives of the Council
To properly evaluate the workability of the system, reports were generated as described in paragraph 7.4. These reports now generated from the system form part of the daily routine and have now replaced the files, books, and excel reports. These generated reports are used for the purpose of internal Audit, financial monitoring and salary computations thus ensuring that the new systems are well integrated in the organisation’s flow.
The next phase now is the further improvement of the existing ICT system put in place and linking performance to pay under the Performance Management System (PMS). In 2014 PMS will be introduced and computerized at both Councils.
Equal distribution of the resources of the Council for a clean, green and safe environments is one of our basic concern and this is constantly monitored and improved upon from feedback obtained from the 38 village councils.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The implementation of any project represents a potential for both opportunities and disappointments for an organization. Since the re-engineering can change the way the Council works, it can also be a painful and expensive experience.
The main obstacles encountered were as follows:-
• When the system was already in place and implementation was started the Council was split into two district Councils which thus put temporarily a halt to the implementation.
• Lack of staff;
• Staff engaged in operation had to be motivated to parallel run both the manual system and the electronic information system.
• Problem with the supplier which initially could not understand the local Government machinery however with dialogue and discussion the system was tailored as per the requirement of the Council;
• The system had to be constantly reviewed at the initial stage and improved from feedback obtained form end users;
• Some employees were not agreeable to the change especially the drivers and refuse collectors as they felt that they were being constantly monitored; and it had an impact on their overtime.
• Frequent change in posting of already trained staff;
• Adaptation time was required for staff coming from other local authorities or institutions and had to be motivated trained and informed of the benefits of the system.