City of Surrey and Diligent Board Member Services Create Paperless City Council
SURREY, B.C. – DECEMBER 12, 2011 — The City of Surrey has partnered with Diligent Board Member Services, the world’s leading provider of online board portals, to create a paperless City council agenda.
As part of Surrey’s Sustainability Charter, the Diligent Boardbooks® platform has replaced the traditional 2,000-page paper-based council packets with an easy-to-use and secure board portal, enabling council members to review their council materials on Apple iPads during the biweekly meetings. The change will allow the City to reduce the environmental impact of using paper packets and improve their efficiency.
“We decided to move to a paperless City council agenda in order to reduce the amount of paper we were using and to free up staff resources because they will no longer have to photocopy and process tens of thousands of documents each month,” said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
A top priority for the City was to reduce the administrative time associated with compilation, printing and delivery of the packets, and create supply and labor savings. Therefore, adopting the Diligent Boardbooks platform was a move that fit from a social responsibility and an efficiency perspective. Prior to partnering with Diligent, the city was preparing 2,000-page council packets for each of the nine council members on a biweekly basis, which resulted in approximately 936,000 pages of council documents produced per year.
“Diligent is proud to partner with the City of Surrey and provide the City with a secure, user-friendly solution that helps them reach their sustainability goals,” said Alex Sodi, president and CEO of Diligent Board Member Services. “We are confident our partnership with Surrey will demonstrate that public administrators and City councils can drive cost-effective innovation that acts in the best interests of their citizens.”
While the digital transition for the City is an ongoing process of familiarizing council members with the technology and integrating the Boardbooks platform into the council packet compilation process, the initial reception from the council members has been overwhelmingly supportive, according to City Clerk Jane Sullivan.
“We have received extremely positive feedback from our council members on the change from paper-based council packets to the board portal, and our senior management team has expressed how pleased they are with the Boardbooks for the iPad application,” said Sullivan. “Diligent’s easy to-use and intuitive software was the only option we found that was able to meet our criteria to save taxpayers’ money and improve the response time of our city council.”
The City began the digital transition on October 3, 2011 and has targeted December 12, 2011 for all council members to be fully integrated and paperless.