One of the primary responsibilities of local governments is to oversee planning and assets that are fundamental to a region’s functioning and development. Constituents are reliant upon local government to do the best job possible in maintaining public infrastructure assets and expanding growth in ways beneficial for the greater community. However, the operation of these governmental functions can be complicated and time consuming.

Asset management, planning and development, and maintenance of public works and other constituent services, require extensive record keeping and information administration. These responsibilities are often divided across a number of different departments, and a significant range of documents and information (e.g., records, plans, permits) must be stored, retrieved, edited or updated for these purposes. For example, new building construction requires getting the land, submitting multiple plan sets and obtaining permitting that would take a developer to multiple departments and require the production, submittal, revision and re-submittal of plans — a potentially lengthy process that must be completed before a shovel ever touches the ground.

Information must also be stored for use by various departments in the development, inspection or maintenance of an asset over time. Take the new building construction example: Records are needed should the building be renovated, sold or have its use changed. Alternatively, public works departments provide oversight for public assets across broad areas, like all of the fire hydrants in a city. The plotting of the location for each hydrant, as well as the data maintained on their upkeep, can involve multiple data systems, a work order system, paper files and GIS maps.

These important processes involve extensive record keeping and maintenance, with a need for sizable information repositories to be available for numerous users over long periods of time. Historically, this has been done with hard copy documentation, demanding time, cost and effort to maintain.

Read this Issue Brief on “Using ECM to Connect Government Planning, Mapping and Asset Management”.

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