WEB development firm Internet Business Corporation has been awarded a three-year, million-dollar contract to provide online services to the WA Local Government Association.Although official contracts are yet to be signed, it is believed IBC beat four other companies to win the tender for the Linking Councils and Communities program, which has been financed to the tune of $1.25 million by the Federal Government’s Networking the Nation fund. In total, Networking the Nation has given WALGA nearly $6 million.These funds will be used to set up and run the program in its first year, but after then it is likely to become self-funding, with WALGA sharing its profits with IBC out of the money raised by providing online services.IBC will work with IBM and data centre operator YourASP to provide the tools and infrastructure for the delivery of online services to about 100 regional councils across the State.There are three main components to the work: a public website system; an extranet system for councils to share information with each other; and intranets for each council to use internally.Work began on the project at IBC last week.WALGA launched the Linking Councils and Communities program in February this year. In March, councils within the Avon region became the first group of councils in WA to agree to participate in the Linking Councils and Communities program.The program will allow councils to provide some services online to ratepayers, and will allow ratepayers and other residents to make rate payments and submit other documents over the Internet.WALGA chief executive Ricky Burgess said although the process of examining tenders had been slow, the association had a great deal of confidence in IBC’s ability to deliver on tender requirements.She said the program would save councils money by allowing them to consult with each about purchasing requirements and buy in bulk.No Perth councils are participating in Linking Councils and Communities because they already operate their own websites.
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