THE successful project to transform Moray Council into a paperless organisation and help reduce annual costs by £3million has been recognised with a national award.
Led by the council’s Designing Better Services team (DBS), the project has dramatically cut the use and storage of paper files and documents. This has made many processes more efficient, slashed the amount of storage space required and enabled rapid searching of files.
On Thursday the team were awarded the industry’s top prize for designing the best digital document management system at the Public Sector Paperless Awards, beating entries from Lewisham Council and East Kent NHS.
Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Graham Leadbitter, said: “A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes with ICT staff in the Council working closely with individuals and departments and helping the Council drastically reduce its paper usage.
“Moving to paperless working helps reduce cost, make systems more efficient and is far better for the environment by not only reducing paper but also by reducing the use of storage systems and the space required for that storage.
“This is a prestigious award within the public sector and the many staff who have contributed to this project, whether in the implementation of it or as users of the new systems, should be proud of their achievement.”
The system allows staff to electronically create, file and store the documents created every day as part of their jobs. Having one shared electronic document is so much more efficient and frees up time as well as storage space.
Software by Microsoft SharePoint was chosen because it connects to other Microsoft Office applications used by the council such as Word and Excel, and can be developed to meet the needs of the different services across the council.
One of the key benefits is the management of documents after they are no longer in use and then become records. Securely managing records, ensuring they can be easily accessed and are kept for the correct length of time is automated in SharePoint so no manual tracking, shredding or deleting required.
Transforming the council works and moving to a paperless environment was a major element of the DBS programme, which has saved £3million a year in operating costs. Attendance for two of the SharePoint team at the prize-giving event in Manchester was sponsored by the event sponsors.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.