Leeds and Thousand Islands Township Council has awarded the proposed Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) to ThinkDox Inc., for a total value of $16,577.
The board made the decision at a special board meeting on Monday, held virtually.
Officials hope the move will save staff a lot of time, mitigate the risk of township records being misplaced or lost, and improve the accuracy and accountability of providing information internally. and externally.
“They apply to everything in Microsoft Office, which is great for us,” said clerk Megan Shannon. “In terms of soft copies (electronic copies) and hard copies, we’re looking to transfer both so they can help us both ways.”
Com. Gordon Ohlke asked if the new system will integrate with the municipality’s current security system.
“The solution we’re proposing is a software-as-a-service solution, so it will be (resident) in the cloud,” said township chief administrative officer Stephen Donachey. “I believe the cloud (provider) is Amazon. They have world-class security; they have hundreds of security professionals. We would benefit from their level of security as well as the level of security from the provider Laserfiche, (who) far exceeds what we can do as our own small organization, as far as security is concerned.
ThinkDox Inc. is expected to begin immediately with this project.
“I think they will provide us with a series of timelines and deadlines that we have to meet,” Shannon said, “which we will all have to participate in. Essentially, we will go through government review of everything we have here in the canton, then proceed to staff training and beyond.”
Shannon added that it would be a combination of ThinkDox Inc. helping township staff transfer records, as well as township staff scanning paper documents.
It’s expected that there will be additional costs for things like data, however, there’s no way to gauge how much it will cost at this point, given a variety of different variables, like the volume of documents.
Com. Brock Gorrell asked how the new system would be paid for.
“It looks like we’re getting our toes wet here in the water and they’re going to come, and then this thing is going to flesh out,” Gorrell said, “and the real costs will start to show up.
“We all understand the importance of records management, but at this time I have no idea what kind of money is involved and I find it hard to believe someone hasn’t had this conversation, because ($16,577) is just the beginning.
Donachey said staff are reviewing the extent of the township’s records and which records should be given more attention. He added that the process must be done in a thoughtful way.
“As part of this program with this supplier, they will be able to provide us with the consultation or the expertise in this area to basically guide us in what our next step will be after this,” Donachey added.
The township’s current records management system has not been maintained properly, is not used properly and is difficult to use, he continued.
“It’s not a one-time process, it’s an ongoing thing. I believe the ongoing licensing costs are around $4,000 a year, so in the grand scheme of things that’s not a lot of money, and with that we get all the security updates , new tools.
Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke said all staff will benefit from EDRMS.
“The software has become much more powerful, and they talk about metadata, it’s being able to choose the words, and it’s almost like a Google search, they can find anything anywhere in our digital documentation and that will make us much more nimble when people are looking for data, when we are looking for data to reference whether it’s regulations, building permits, records on machines we’ve purchased, what we have paid for them, maintenance work that has been carried out. »
Shannon said the EDRMS is not only used for case transfer, but also to provide staff with different ways to engage with the public, whether through online forums, survey developments or public consultations.
(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works for the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)