SharePoint rollout will save Dublin City Council €20,000 a month

7 May 2009

A major SharePoint rollout at Dublin City Council is envisaged to potentially save taxpayers €20,000 a month by eliminating paper from committee meetings.

Developed by Kainos, the Microsoft SharePoint collaboration system will go live in June, and could save the city between €15,000 to €20,000 a month.

“These figures are a conservative estimate, and relate solely to the money we’ll be saving on printing and distributing documents in advance of meetings,” noted Oliver Douglas, senior staff officer, Councillors IT Support at Dublin City Council.

The new City Council Meeting Site solution will enable meeting agendas and supporting documentation to be circulated and shared electronically over a secure intranet before and during meetings.

As well as dispensing with the need for paper documents, this dramatically shortens the process involved in preparing and circulating content.

Douglas noted that the implementation time had been impressively short, with Phase 1 of the project (addressing City Council meetings) deployed within 3-4 months of initial discussions.

Phase 2, addressing Dublin’s numerous sub-committee meetings and transforming the meeting experience for some 200 users, is now also approaching completion, and paperless meetings are now being trialled. Kainos’s collaborative approach to developing the solution has been crucial to this rapid delivery.

“Kainos went through the entire meeting process with us, to understand where we could achieve the greatest gains, and from this developed a prototype,” said Douglas.

“It was important to us to deal with a supplier that understands the special requirements of public-sector organisations. For example, councillors are not full-time employees, so require any technology solutions to be very easy to use,” he explained.

Dublin City Council holds numerous meetings each month, from the main council meeting involving some 52 councillors, down to multiple sub-committees that take place across Dublin’s five sub-areas.

Each meeting had previously cost between €2,500 and €3,000 in printing and courier costs, as agendas and supporting materials were produced and sent out, Oliver said. From June, these costs will have been completely eliminated, adding up to a monthly saving of at least €15,000-€20,000.

By John Kennedy