The eighth annual eGovernment Awards, held in Dublin today in association with Eircom, saw the Local Government Management Agency’s website for the Non Principal Private Residence Online Payments Service taking the award for Overall Ireland eGovernment Award.
Celebrating online Government initiatives that contributed to "joined up thinking", innovation and economic growth, the National Concert Hall, Trinity College Dublin and Bord Gais were amongst the winners in the various categories.
“There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the need for value for money from the State sector and for the need for greater ‘joined up thinking’ in the running of the country,” said Maeve Kneafsey, managing director of Elucidate, co-host of Ireland’s eGovernment Awards.
“However, there has been a silent revolution going on at quite a rapid rate within the State sector in moving so much of their activities online.”
Kneafsey looked to the recent collaboration between the Property Registration Authority (PRA), the Law Society of Ireland, the Irish Banking Federation, the Revenue Commissioners and the Companies Registration Office that saw the processing of applications by property registration online jump by 800pc: “that’s from just 35 to 350 cases a day”.
Mayo County Council a model for online planning submissions
“Another category winner, Mayo County Council, has been a model in cutting costs and time in the processing of planning submissions via online planning applications. The time taken to submit a planning application in Mayo has dropped from two hours to just a few minutes,” said Kneafsey.
Mayo County Council won the Local Ireland eGovernment Award for Mayo County Council Online Services while Ireland’s People’s Choice eGovernment Award went to the National Concert Hall and Accessible Ireland’s eGovernment Award went to Trinity College Dublin for making the web accessible to disabled users.
IFORIS iNet scoops prize for online forestry mapping
Other winners included: Central Ireland’s eGovernment Award to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food for IFORIS iNet – Forestry Online Mapping & Planting Applications, Cross Agency Ireland’s eGovernment Award for local government management agency, which went to the Non Principal Private Residence Online Payments Service and Education Ireland’s eGovernment Award went to Irish Deaf Kids – Supporting Inclusive Education.
The Irish Language Ireland’s eGovernment Award went to An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) for COGG Website Redesign, and Marketing Ireland’s eGovernment Award went to Bord Gáis Energy for The Big Switch campaign.
GeoSmart gets best in project management
The project management eGovernment award went to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for an internal application called GeoSmart while State Body Ireland’s eGovernment Award was awarded to The Property Registration Authority (PRA) for the electronic discharge of mortgages (eDischarges).
“Today’s winners are all very fine examples of what is happening in online government – what I call the ‘silent revolution,’ ” said Kneafsey.
“It’s obvious in these straitened times that the more government can drive activity online the more efficiency and savings will be made resulting in happier citizens. I can’t think of any reason why eGovernment is not made one of the Government’s biggest policies to bring back economic growth.”
By Marie Boran
Photo: The website of the Non Principal Private Residence Online Payments Service