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Murrumbidgee Council Modernises its Procurement Processes – Case Study

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Murrumbidgee Council Modernises its Procurement Processes – Case Study

Murrumbidgee Council, a small and remote council comprising three townships, recently undertook a transformative project to modernise its procurement processes. With the support of the LGP Procurement Capability Grant Fund and a determination to improve its business processes, council successfully implemented the Online Requisitions functionality in its Enterprise Management System (Civica Authority). This initiative aimed to address inefficiencies, strengthen internal controls, and tackle the challenges of a distributed workforce.

Context

Before the implementation, Murrumbidgee Council lacked a formal requisition process, instead relying largely on outdated paper-based workflows and manual control activities. This approach limited data accessibility, hindered reporting capabilities, and posed risks to procurement accountability and budget control.

Implementation Journey

The implementation process commenced with a comprehensive review and update of the Procurement Manual, ensuring all stakeholders were aligned on council’s procurement objectives. Finance and procurement staff, the executive team, and Council’s Audit Risk & Improvement Committee were all involved in this review.

The implementation process involved close collaboration between council staff and external contractors: council predominantly worked with Pacesetter Services Pty Ltd, who led the configuration of the Online Requisitions module. Big Technology assisted us to establish an integration between Authority and Content Manager, with additional support ably provided as needed by council’s managed service provider, Veritech Corporation Pty Ltd. The project was truly a team effort, with assistance from Civica themselves also required to iron out the last of the integration issues.

As part of the roll-out, council also extended EMS access to a wider group of employees.

With the system was implemented, council staff ran training for end-users, taking the opportunity to provide broader training around council’s newly-revised procurement procedures and policies as well as technical training in the operation of the system.

Overcoming Challenges

Being a small council without an internal IT function, Murrumbidgee Council relied on the expertise of consultants and the financial support provided by the LGP grant to successfully implement the Online Requisitions system.

The largest challenge faced by council was the need to integrate multiple systems as part of the process, which necessitated a collaborative approach by our consultants and coordination from within the organisation to manage the moving parts.

Realising Benefits

The implementation of Online Requisitions has yielded numerous significant benefits for Murrumbidgee Council, including:

  • Procurement data is more accessible and transparent across multiple locations, with quotes now stored and accessed electronically.
  • Duties are better separated
  • Delegation limits are automatically enforced
  • Fraud control and prevention measures are strengthened, and
  • Staff have increased their capability as a result of working alongside knowledgeable consultants who aimed to empower us with relevant knowledge and skills.
Future Outlook

Following the successful implementation of Online Requisitions, Murrumbidgee Council is well-positioned to continue pushing forward, advancing its procurement and associated capabilities.

Using skills and knowledge gained as a result of the project, staff are already working on implementing processes to ensure that creditor invoices are digitalised and stored electronically in the same council systems so that the same benefits can be realised for invoices.

The council plans to further reinforce its digital transformation by undertaking activities such as streamlining goods receipting, automating invoice approvals based on acceptable variance thresholds, and transitioning invoice approvals to an electronic process. These initiatives will contribute to the council’s ongoing efforts to enhance efficiency, accountability, and control within its procurement function.

Conclusion

Murrumbidgee Council’s procurement transformation journey, supported by the LGP Procurement Capability Grant Fund, exemplifies the power of digitalisation in overcoming the challenges faced by small and remote local government organisations. By embracing online requisitions and system integration, council has established a solid foundation for continuous improvement and excellence in its procurement processes.

The LGP Procurement Capability Grant Fund played a vital role in enabling Murrumbidgee Council to undertake this transformative project. The funding provided the necessary financial support to engage external expertise, configure the software, and train staff, ultimately leading to the successful implementation of online requisitions.

Article provided by Murrumbidgee Council.

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