Use of ICT to improve Service Delivery
The District of Moka and Flacq

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
1.1 INTRODUCTION The District Councils of Moka and Flacq are newly set up Local Authorities. Moka covers an area of 230.5 km² whereas Flacq covers an area of 297.9 km² and their populations are estimated to 81,720 and 141,310 as at 1st July 2012 respectively. This application is being submitted jointly as brother Councils given that the whole reengineering process started with the then Moka Flacq District Council and all measures taken have been implemented in parallel in both Councils separately after the splitting in December 2012. The District Councils being Local Authorities are subject to external influences such as increase in private and public development giving rise to increased expectations of the public for services. Providing more public services with less public spending is an ongoing challenge for all Local Authorities in Mauritius. 1.2 PURPOSE OF THE DISTRICT COUNCIL Section 49 of the Local Government Act 2011 defines the purposes of the Council which amongst others encompasses the improvement of the overall quality of life of people by providing a clean and safe environment. 1.3 MAJOR ISSUES AND PROBLEMS BEFORE THE INITIATIVE The administration and decision making processes were characterised by the following: • Since the Council covers about 28% of the total surface area of Mauritius there are some deprived regions of the districts where services may not have been provided as required and monitoring by inspection with the available resources was difficult. • Data on services were recorded manually and no control was made on the recording and thus the retrieval of information, which was time consuming, was little used for management decisions but rather for salary computations only; • Heavy bureaucracy and departmental duplication was common giving rise to customer dissatisfaction; • Fleet management, which is a major financial component of the Council proved difficult to be controlled and monitored both vehicles and fuel use in the most efficient, effective and accountable manner; • Lack of staff to collect and process data into useful information; • Scavenging service is both a labour and vehicle intensive activity weighing heavily on the budget of the Councils thus requiring constant monitoring. The monitoring is highly labour intensive and was not carried out within the standards and quality. • There were risks associated with the claims and calculation of overtime for employees such as fraud and corruption. • Whilst considering applications for Building and Land Use Permits (BLP), decisions made by the Council solely depended upon the recommendations of Heads of departments given the cumbersomeness to present all files to the Council for collective decision making. There was also a major problem for the archiving of files for applications received for BLP at the Planning Department. Council processes more than 1500 application files in a year making archiving a real challenge over the years; • Local Authorities manage a territory therefore management of services such as scavenging, street lighting, road works and projects should be on territory based. Monitoring projects on paper files limit contextual decisions which ought to be made based on statistical and real ground situations especially as regards applications from vulnerable groups and deprived areas. 510 words

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
2.1 INTRODUCTION With the implementation of the e-governance project in 2009, under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands, only the basic functionalities of the Local Authorities were computerized. The council has moved one level higher by creating Decision Support Systems for efficient management of services and to improve access to the basic facilities provided by the Council to all inhabitants with special attention to vulnerable areas. 2.2 THE INITIATIVE As Local Authorities are organizations that provide services on territories, all forms of services have a relationship with a territory and outputs and inputs also share a similar relationship. It was then found that Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Geographical Information System (GIS) Technology would lead the transformation process of changing our Management Information System which is file based into a geographical based information system. With the implementation of the GIS/GPS/PROJECT MANAGEMENT software the Council was in better position to manage efficiently and effectively whilst ensuring that facilities are provided in all regions and especially in vulnerable areas. Since all projects were mapped on the GIS system, the Council was able to ensure that funds were distributed equitably. As Vulnerable groups rarely make representation the Council set up mechanisms to monitor that services are provided in all areas by printing reports from the GPS everyday which enabled better decision making process and to take measures to counteract deficiencies if they occur. As regards street lighting facilities, now since all poles are also mapped using the GIS it is ensured that vulnerable areas are provided with enough street facilities and comparison was also facilitated. No stone was left unturned as regards the equitable distribution of funds for projects or basic facilities falling under the mandate of the Council. With the computerized system all reports are real and could be counter checked both by management and the Council as compared to the manual system which besides being archaic could not help in the strategic decision process. The strategic objective of the Council is to provide better service to all citizens with less resources and the use of ICT has helped Council to improve on existing competencies whilst ensuring equitable distribution of financial and manual resources. 2.3 DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY INCLUDING MAIN OBJECTIVE AND TARGET AUDIENCES The strategic objectives of the Councils are to use ICT to provide better and improved services for less both human and financial whilst ensuring a clean and safe environment to the 223,030 inhabitants and 15,000 economic operators. Special attention was given to several deprived areas of the Districts. Equal access to basic facilities to all. 2.4 THE STRATEGY ROADMAP STATEMENT The strategy comprised of the identification of risks areas within the administrative area of the Council and also in the Management of the affairs of the Council. A re-engineering process was carried out using ICT to ensure smooth and practical implementation by using the feedback loop. 2.5 OBJECTIVES: • Focus all information required to determine development applications by using GIS technology. • To have total geographical and time control on vehicles’ movement to ensure that services are provided equitably in all as a measure to control fuel consumption, kilometres run and proper vehicles maintenance management. • To have all Councils’ assets such as roads, drains, sports infrastructure, lighting and building mapped on the GIS software so as to link project managed software with it to gain a geographical statistical dimension. • Especial attention was given for the provision of basic facilities in vulnerable areas prone to flooding as same could now be mapped as a layer on the map of the districts especially with the extreme weather conditions such as flash floods; • To have a paperless Council Meeting Management in line with Government policy of clean and green Mauritius. 622 words

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Our Councils moved one step ahead of the e-governance project by innovating and taking initiatives which other local authorities have not taken by using GIS and GPS technology, as Decision Support Systems, to improve the decision making process. The District Council of Moka and Flacq are the first Councils that have extensively used ICT and systems such as GPS and GIS at Local Authorities level for the carrying out of their statutory duties. The councils have also taken bold decisions to switch from an old system to manage the council’s affairs through a modern one and did not spare any means to move into this direction. The risk assessment approach to identify the required areas has been unique in the sense that both the efficiency and the accountability dimensions were taken on board by the very fact that the services were being computerised. Moreover, GPS and GIS technology have re-oriented management from a file and registry mode to a territory management one. Territory management of services and projects provide new avenues in resource allocations and fund distributions in ensuring equity among villages with special attention to vulnerable groups 188 words

C. Execution and Implementation

 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. 623 words

 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. 247 words
 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. (278 words)

 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. 7.3 E-COUNCIL 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. 376 words

 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. 8.1 MONITORING 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. 8.2 EVALUATION 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. (422 words)

 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. (207 words)

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
KEY BENEFIT FROM THE INITIATIVE 10.1 MANAGEMENT The District Councils of Moka and Flacq are the first Councils that have extensively used ICT and systems such as GPS and GIS at Local Authorities level for the carrying out of its statutory duties. The reengineering has enabled the District Councils to benefit from the following: • Total control on all vehicles movement and kilometres run having a high impact on fuel consumption. • Sound Fleet Management in terms of vehicles repairs and maintenance. • More responsible Drivers as every Driver has an electronic identification key. • For the first time, a real “not visited” report is available in real time for better control on scavenging service delivery. At 11.00 a.m. everyday, management know exactly where service has not been provided in real time and any overtime or second shift decision is taken, with precision as the scope of work is accurately known. • Computation of overtime of Field Workers is accurate to the minute. • The whole of the scavenging service is monitored and coordinated by only one Health Inspector • In a similar manner a visited report for street lighting service is available in real time using GIS technology with column coordinates. • Projects are layered geographically according to category type, therefore, all project details are easily and readily available for management decision taking. Electronic archive viewable project management with territory dimension. The Council’s Project Management Software covers all aspects of project management. • Total control on Development Planning Application Processes. Our Councils are ready to meet deadlines imposed by Government in processing and delivering Building and Land Use Permits. In fact, we are ready to meet the deadlines shorter than 14 days as prescribed by the law without compromising on quality. The decision making processes have been simplified by allowing geographical information to be visually and readily available on GIS Maps which are equipped with Outline Scheme features. All documents are viewed concurrently thus allowing prompt decision making at administrative and Council’s level. 10.2 COUNCIL • E-Council had enhanced the role of the Councillors, given that now all councillors are obliged to have an e-mail address and have to download all their Council’s documents before coming to Council. This effort embellished the way Council Meeting run in an IT age and has reduced papers for Council Meetings to nearly zero. 10.3 CUSTOMERS The use of ICT has enabled us uncover most of our inefficiencies by providing output data on the actual services. Data which were previously not available for day-to-day management use but partly available in reports oriented towards salary computation only being used at the end of the month. Now all our services are electronically monitored, archived and reported. All the information available is now being used as a basis for management at Section, Departmental and Top Management level. Performance Management is no more an unachievable or unrealistic target. Performance Management System at our Councils will be measured in 2014 in real and actual terms and will be computerized. All these improved management system have been done to ensure productivity gains while delivering services to the public as described below. Special attention to the provision of services to the vulnerable group is ensured. The real impacts are: • Decrease in fuel consumption and better fleet Management Information to reduce cost and improve facilities provided to inhabitants- better service for less resources • 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 thus ensuring a high standard business facilitation which promotes development in the Country and especially in vulnerable areas- streamlining procedures • Business facilitation for Small and Medium Enterprises- permit issued within 3 working days. • 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. • Historical data on projects executive available for judicious allocation of funds to projects in all villages. • Speedy processing of claims for local contractors • Overhaul of government service delivery- as verification can be carried out in real time at the finger tip • Total staff commitment- change in culture- more productivity and accountability for all employees including manual workers (707 words)

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The District Councils being Local Authorities are subject to external influences such as increase in private and public development. Our Councils being alert to the opportunities and challenges brought about have positioned themselves to increase their capabilities with existing and available resources. ICT has penetrated all processes allowing the possibility to develop participation and Decision Support Systems for Short, Medium and Long Term Management purposes. The Councils have been cleverly using ICT as major tool together with the engagement, experience and dedication of our staff to improve the level of service provided to inhabitants. This system is alive at both the District Council of Flacq and Moka. A user manual has been developed to ensure continuity due to job mobility. The Council has entered into a maintenance agreement with the Company which is duty bound to support and provide other services as per the contract document. The System used can be replicated in other local authorities. The glaring example is that this system was started in the then Moka Flacq District Council and after splitting the System remained at The District Council of Moka and it was then replicated at The District Council of Flacq. A presentation of the whole system being implemented at the District Council was made for the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands and the administration of the same Ministry of Mauritius in October 2013. As the services provided are similar in all the Local Authorities of Mauritius, the same system could be used in all Councils to reengineer their administration and streamline procedures whilst ensuring the participation of all staff whilst improving the decision making process for both management and the Council. The cost of implementation is also reasonably affordable as compared to the benefit derived from it. (294 words)

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Once an organization engages itself in a re-engineering programme, it is bound to use ICT as a means to go about it. The more ICT is used to improve the organisation’s processes, the more in depth one has to go in order to achieve the completeness of the system. The introduction of ICT by the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands in 2009 has indeed triggered the need to go further into that realm. In fact, once we went into the process with the Planning Department, we saw the potentialities of the system and decided to introduce same in parallel in all the services. Our services are territory based and bear this dimension all along. Also decision taking and Management monitoring are basically a territory issue. Therefore, we did not have the difficulty to replicate the GIS System in the scavenging monitoring, street lighting monitoring and Project Management monitoring. The challenge was the relentless effort to motivate the staff through meetings in order to make them own the system. The changes brought surely presented threats to a two decade status quo, but management constantly reassured that it would be for the betterment of the Management of Council’s affairs which was now run on a Programmed and Performance Basis. The concept of Performance Based Management was not new to employees but they have never seen its concrete implementation. In fact, the Pay Research Bureau 2012 and Error and Omission Report 2013 have set up a structure to introduce Performance Management System in the Public Sector. At the Councils of Moka and Flacq, we are ready to introduce and make the forthcoming Performance Management Systems work. No initiative can be implemented without the participation of all stakeholders. Bottom up and top bottom communication, determination and participation have been a predominating factor for the successful implementation of the system all along. Customer satisfaction is our main objectives and the continual improvement of service delivery depends largely on the feedback obtained from inhabitants, local Village Councillors and employees of the Council. In fact the motto of this Council is the relentless improvement of service to inhabitants with specific and special attention to vulnerable areas where people are the less aware of their rights as inhabitants of the District and rarely make representations unless we move to them. (384 words)

Contact Information

Institution Name:   The District of Moka and Flacq
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Ghovadarajah Naidoo Ramanjooloo
Title:   Supervising Officer/Ag Chief Executive  
Telephone/ Fax:   (230)4355531/(230)4355685
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Moka/Flacq District Council, Royal Road, Quartier Militaire
Postal Code:  
City:   Moka

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