33,000 property files being digitised will reduce Council’s carbon footprint

On a quest to do their bit for the environment, as well as make things easier for the community, Invercargill City Council has begun the mammoth task of digitising all of the city’s property files.
There are 33,000 files that are currently residing in the basement of the Civic Administration Building, and need to be scanned. Some of these are more than 100 years old.

By digitising the files, it not only creates a permanent record that can be more easily accessed by staff when requested by the public, but it also reduces the need for paper files to be created, which in turn reduces Council’s carbon footprint.

In September 2022, Council has tasked local business automation software and IT service exedee for the delicate process, meaning the many boxes holding the files will not have to be sent away, reducing carbon emissions that will have been used to fly them elsewhere.

The team is working as fast as they can to get everything scanned and digitised, and it is expected to take another 18 months to be completed.
Group Manager Customer and Environment Trudie Hurst said the digitisation would not only support Council activities but also improve the quality of services provided to the community.

“It can take our staff quite some time to access files that people need for all sorts of reasons, and completing the project within a faster timeframe to maximise the benefits is the logical way forward.”
Every month, Council receives more than 300 requests for files, which can take staff a long time to gather because of the current system in place. The digitisation process would hopefully shorten the time it takes to get a LIM report, Hurst said.

“Every home in Invercargill has a public property record that can be requested, and these files tell the stories of the families and businesses that have shaped Invercargill.
“By employing exedee as the digitisation project team, we can ensure Council teams and customers who want to access information are being supported while the files are being prepared, scanned and made available online.”