Liverpool City Council is to extend its document management system to social workers in an effort to cut costs by streamlining administration and freeing up buildings used to store paper records.
Social workers and the council’s legal and procurement officers will begin using the document management system on 1 September. If a three-month evaluation shows that it has cut costs and improved efficiency, the system will be rolled out to all 450 social workers.
The council plans to increase the number of people using the electronic document management system from software supplier Comino, until every council officer handling paperwork – about 3,000 people – is using the application.
The system is being deployed through the council’s joint venture with BT, called Liverpool Direct. David McElhinney, chief executive of Liverpool Direct and board director of the council, said, “This has been 18 months in the planning.”
Liverpool Direct has already cut costs by deploying the system across the council’s revenue and benefits department.
By ridding the department of paper records, the council was able to sell its former records facility for £4.5m, and the £700,000 a year cost of running the facility has been saved.
In addition, the time taken to process benefits queries has fallen from 136 days to 14 days over the past three years, and the council aims to get it down to seven days this year.