North East Councils

Shared ICT Procurement

CT Management Group’s Alliance partner CSS Services Pty Ltd (CSS) was appointed by three North East Councils to undertake a shared ICT Procurement project.

A history of shared services

Alpine Shire, Indigo Shire and Towong Shire have a history of specific shared service delivery.

For example, Alpine and Towong jointly implemented Xero Financials to replace their traditional financial systems in 2017.

Towong and Indigo established a rating shared service in 2017.

Towong and Indigo have worked towards joint shared services for regulatory functions in 2017/18.

Additionally, all three councils have identified a need to work closely on a range of activities in an ongoing manner.

In 2018, two specific projects were initiated. Towong and Indigo undertook a project to review the current property and rating systems – during execution of the review, it was identified that a need to review other regulatory functions needed to be included because the same existing system serviced these functions for both councils.

Separately, Alpine sought proposals from organisations to undertake a business systems strategy with a view to transition the organisation away from the incumbent systems, whilst providing as significant boost to the delivery of electronic services to the community.

In both cases, CSS was appointed by the councils to undertake these projects.

Appointment for the project

The Towong/Indigo project was commissioned in June 2018, focusing on reviewing the incumbent system for property, rates, regulatory and related functions. The approach that was used involved a gap analysis of the current system against modern business requirements, including review of options to address the existing gaps.

The review identified the need for replacement of the current systems with modern systems able to meet the increasing demands on council for servicing its customers in these areas.

The business systems review at Alpine, commissioned in November 2018, identified a similar need to replace existing systems supporting similar functions and identified a program of request for quotations to address the shortcomings.

During the planning following these reviews, a joint approach for all three councils to seek system replacement/s was agreed, and RFQs documents were jointly prepared for modern systems to meet customer, regulatory and property/rating functions.


Key outcomes to date – incorporating consultation with all business functions to determine best practice requirements include:

  1. Development of two separate RFQs to explore market capability to address specific functions for customer service/s and regulatory functions.
  2. Because of the spend levels, RFTs were issued for possible systems replacement for property, rating, cash receipting and some regulatory functions. Options were also included for customer and regulatory functions in this RFT.

Tenders and RFQ processes have led to the identification of possible software solution/s to meet all requirements, including options for financial and other corporate functions.

CSS has worked with councils to develop requirements, undertaken evaluation, score and management procurement processes and identify likely suppliers.

At the time of writing, negotiations are proceeding for a single project across all three councils to implement a single system, whilst supporting shared service initiatives which are planned to expand across each of the three councils.

Director CSS, Phil Bourke continues to actively work with the three councils stated,

“Whilst approaching the projects differently, the three councils have arrived at a point where it is feasible to see a single project to implement a modern system in a consistent manner for the three councils.

This is a game-changer for the councils.”

“It provides a platform for extensive expansion of shared services across all three councils, whilst providing an opportunity for significant cost savings through a single project approach to the delivery of systems. Furthermore, the three councils working together has attracted a completely different level of interest from suppliers interested in working with the three councils.” Phil added.