Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:50

Yarra Ranges Council Speeds-Up Procurement's Contract Signing

By Mike Eyal

Challenge: Streamline Council's Procurement Signature Process Solution: Digital Signature PKI online solution from Secured Signing Ltd. Results: Rapid procurement reports and contracts signing process, significant cost and time savings for Council and external parties, better control and visibility, increased customer service.

When Yarra Ranges Council decided to improve procurement efficiency, they reviewed and implemented digital signature PKI electronic system from Secured Signing.

'Timeframes for signature of Evaluation Reports and Contracts have reduced from 1-2 weeks into a matter of an afternoon,' says Sophie Beers, Procurement Officer, Yarra Ranges Council.

Instead of producing multiple hardcopies of the Conflict of Interest Declarations, Evaluation Reports, Contracts, and various letters of correspondence with suppliers, Secured Signing implemented an easy to use, secure electronic solution that eliminated the paper trail and allows the quick online signing of hundreds of pages by numerous parties with no additional software to purchase or download.

'Cost and time saving is literally immeasurable, and has paved the way for us to move wholly into paperless office.' Ms. Beers said.

Yarra Ranges is Victoria's largest area of any metropolitan Council. There are more than 55 suburbs, townships, small communities and rural areas. Every year the Council processed significant number of procurement documents that often requires multiple signatures from staff within and external parties.

'The move to electronic format was first discussed at the Local Government Sustainability Working Group by Graham Miller at Yarra City Council, and we all recognised the potential environmental benefits of reducing printing volumes,' Ms. Beers explained. 'Compliance with Australia VIC Electronic Transactions Act 2000, low associated expenses, local presence and customers, a successful trial period, and realisation of additional advantages, has all contributed to the Council's decision to adopt Secured Signing's digital signature service.'

This shift changed the way Yarra Ranges Council conducts its procurement processes and has proved to be very successful. For example, the move enables electronic circulation of Conflict of Interest Declaration to Evaluation Panel members prior to the initial evaluation meeting. Each member is now able to review the tender documents in a timely manner, reducing costs and time associated with chasing up hard copies from each member across various Council offices.

'While the electronic signing practice enhances the workflow of documents, it provides a higher level of security than the hard copy execution,' explains Mike Eyal, CEO of Secured Signing. 'Our user-based PKI digital signature technology supplies each user with a unique signing key (Digital ID) that is accessible only to that user. The signed document is then sealed, and any changes made invalidate the signatures. In addition, the system automatically and instantly produces a report tracking the movement of the document as it is signed by each individual.'

Overall, the digital signature system initiated significant time and cost savings for both Council and external parties in staff hours and printing and postal costs. While enhancing a green paperless environment, the solution also provided better control and visibility of the procurement phases requiring signature, and offered invaluable higher level of customer service to suppliers and rate payers.

Secured Signing provides a fast, responsive and professional support team to assist in every facet of the implement and deliverance of the services.

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