The Newcastle Municipality established an ICT unit in May 2010 and from then on, technology has played a tremendous role in the transformation of the municipality. Due to the need to align business with technology strategies, the IT unit was transformed to a directorate in the Office of the Municipal Manager.
In a true quest for organizational transformation, the 2012-2013 financial year began with a milestone implementation of the Paperless Council Meetings project. This project saw the Newcastle Municipality saving an average amount of R 5 588 316 on agenda printing and delivery costs. The Paperless Council Meetings was awarded the Most Innovative Infrastructure award at COGTA’s KZN Municipal Excellence Awards.
The Newcastle Municipality has undertaken a strategic direction to be the leader in the delivery of technology solutions that support business operations. The IT Strategic Plan that will guide the technology development up until the year 2016 was developed with this aim in mind and is guided by six strategic goals:
• IT Infrastructure: Maintaining and rationalizing IT services;
• Business Transformation: Transforming customer services and access to services;
• Information Management and Security: Continuing to improve internal and external security and information management standards;
• Cost effectiveness: Achieving value for money, maximizing income, transforming procurement and driving business transformation;
• IT governance: Effective management of IT resources;
• Partners and Suppliers: Effective use of IT partners and suppliers in providing services.
The Newcastle Municipality’s IT vision is:
To be a catalyst for change and a world class leader in delivering technology solutions and services that directly contribute to mission accomplishment; and an essential partner in business transformation, resulting in excellent customer service, strong partnerships, secure and reliable infrastructures, and cost efficient performance.
The Newcastle Municipality’s IT mission is as follows:
We provide the information and communication technology leadership and governance that enables the programs and operations of the Newcastle Municipality to deliver their respective missions in an efficient, effective, and secure manner through the use of IT solutions and services.
The IT mission spans a wide range of areas and includes enhancing business capabilities in the municipality by providing:
• A secure IT environment;
• Effective IT leadership;
• A capable and adequate IT workforce; and
• An excellent customer service.
ICT Guiding Principles
The following guiding principles direct decision-making at different levels of the organization. These principles form the common values embraced and demonstrated globally, and provide a broad guidance for IT planning and architecture decisions into the future:
• Support the Newcastle Municipality’s mission statement by delivering information management solutions in a professional, effective, and prompt manner;
• Use the Enterprise Architecture to make informed business decisions;
• Ensure that all Department-specific IT goals and investments are customer-focused, result-oriented, and cost-effective;
• Promote sharing and implementing best practices, collaborating on projects and goals, and ensuring interoperability across the municipality;
• Provide a high-quality, innovative and secure IT infrastructure that proactively assures confidentiality, integrity and accessibility and protects the municipality’s data and information systems; and
• Attract, develop, and retain a competent, creative, and highly motivated workforce.
• Providing an infrastructure, which is robust, secure, flexible and based upon industry standards;
• Undertake detailed management of infrastructure capacity, including future needs, and monitor the availability of corporate systems in line with business needs and agreed service levels;
• Specifically make available specialist ICT human resources to provide and proactively manage key service delivery functions for all desktop, server, network and telephony environments;
• Provide Service Level Management, based upon IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which provides a framework of best practice guidance for IT service management, and aims to minimize the impact of ICT incidents and problems on the delivery of services to Council, municipal officials and Newcastle residents;
• Have ownership of the technical phases of all ICT projects delivery;
• Provide appropriate technical advice and ensure that agreed standards are complied with;
• Undertake the technical management and support of corporate applications including email, payroll, HR and financial systems;
• Provide a Disaster Recovery Plan according to the business requirements.
The services offered by the ICT unit to over 26 Municipal sites are as follows:
• ICT Governance
• ICT Asset Management
• ICT Service Management
• Network Infrastructure Design, Implementation, Maintenance and Management
• ICT Information Management and Security
• Systems Development, Maintenance and Implementation
• IT Change Management
• ICT Project Management
Miss N Vinkhumbo
Office of the Municipal Manager
Office: 034 328 7653/7608