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Local government procurement breaking the last shackles of paper

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A largely electronic procurement process at Yarra Ranges was forced back to paper at key stages by the need for signatures. Printing documents and moving them around in the organisation, then back and forward to suppliers created costs, introduced delays and wasted the time of already busy staff.

"The efficiency gains and document security benefits of electronically signed documents is immense" says Jason Farrugia, Manager Strategic Procurement at Yarra Ranges Shire Council.

Yarra Ranges turned to digital signature service provider Secured Signing to deliver secure online signing of electronic documents to achieve a completely paperless procurement process. Documents ranging from conflict of interest declarations, evaluation reports and contract documents are digitally signed, usually within hours, and saved to Council’s electronic record keeping system without the need for scanning, photocopying or mailing.

The digital signatures applied to documents with the Secured Signing service represent the highest form of authenticity, reliability and security currently available. Secured Signing is a hosted service offering immediate startup, no capital investment or establishment costs and pricing based on the number of documents you need to sign each month. An online presence also makes it simple to securely include suppliers and other external parties in the signing workflow.

"Secured Signing has saved Yarra Ranges a lot of administration time and significantly reduced printing consumable, envelope and postage costs and has also allowed us to be a greener organisation by reducing our paper consumption." noted Mr Farrugia.

The success at Yarra Ranges has not gone unnoticed, with Manningham City Council also looking to realise the benefits of digital signatures. Tim Lawson, Manager of Procurement Contracts at Manningham City Council is leading the introduction of digital signatures in the procurement process. "For Manningham, the primary driver has been about simplicity and making it quicker and simpler for people to sign, but it is nice to know we are also introducing a clearer audit trail into our signing process with Secured Signing giving us the same security that underpins all online commerce and banking" said Mr Lawson.

With a number of other local governments in the process of evaluating or trialling Secured Signing, it’s likely that paper contracts in local government will soon go the way of the telegraph.

About Yarra Ranges Council

The Yarra Ranges Shire is located on metropolitan Melbourne’s eastern fringe. It was formed in 1994 following the amalgamation of the former Shires of Healesville, Lilydale, Sherbrooke and Upper Yarra.
Home to a population of around 145,000, the Shire covers an area of approximately 2,500 square kilometres. The Shire stretches from the densely populated outer suburbs up into the surrounding foothills, agricultural valleys and forested areas of the Great Dividing Ranges. It is one of Victoria’s largest, most varied and scenic municipalities.

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About Manningham City Council

Manningham is located 12 km from Melbourne at the gateway to the Yarra Valley, bringing a unique combination of both cosmopolitan city and country lifestyles together over a total land area of 114 square kilometres.
Manningham is made up of a diverse community, with many of its residents born overseas from places including China, Italy and Greece, which brings a wealth of languages, music, food and cultural traditions to the area.

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About Secured Signing

Secured Signing provides a comprehensive and secure SaaS digital signatures service that delivers a full range of filling-in and signing capabilities combining advanced PKI technology, verifying capacity from anywhere at any time, and an easy to use, simple to deploy, compliant solution.
Secured Signing bases its activities on the extensive knowledge and experience of its team of experts in the development of data security products to provide services to a wide range of industries worldwide.

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