NZ local government seeks ISP for Web boost

Local Government Online is looking for an ISP (Internet service provider) to boost the Web presence of councils around New Zealand.

Bob Vine, executive director of IT consultancy Interlog New Zealand, has been contracted to manage local governments' online resource library and to "Web" the councils. He has put out a request for proposal to six ISPs, asking for Web hosting services, business development possibilities such as rate-paying and dog registration online, and a "data pack" for those councils which are not yet online.

Of the 86 councils in New Zealand, says Vine, only 34 have Web sites and only 14 could be said to be "comprehensive (in that they operate) as tools for democratic participation, service delivery, local economic development and provide links to national and global information".

Dunedin City is one such "wired" council. Its new Web site, launched in June, allows ratepayers to access all information the council holds on them, to check the rates for any property in the city and to request building inspections.

The data pack included in the RFP (request for proposal) will include information and advice for those councils which haven't yet started, or which are part-way there.

The more councils online, says Vine, the larger and more viable the library will be. An ISP will be chosen at the end of August.

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