Speaking at the recent Objective Collaborate conference, Pascoe Rechichi from The Department of Planning, Lands & Heritage Western Australia, shared some valuable insights on how the Department has focused on improving the experience of their customers by modernising systems and services, transitioning away from paper files and ultimately establishing itself as an information agency.

The Department is responsible for providing information about the history of Western Australian land; of which approximately 92 percent is Crown Land. To achieve the goal of transforming information practices in relation to Crown Land, a Digital Program was established with the ambitious goals of digitising over 200,000 information artefacts dating back to 1833 and automating correspondence relating to 5,000 annual Crown Land actions.

Through digital imagery, the Department set about preserving those documents into digital files.

Successes to date include the digitisation of almost 28,000 Crown Land files equating to over four million images. The Department utilised a third-party organisation to digitise physical files, then leveraged Objective ECM to securely manage the information and optimise relevant content driven business processes through automation. The project is still underway and continues to gain momentum.

Project outcomes and business benefits have been widespread. The Department now turns around Crown Land enquiries quicker than ever before, reducing the average time from ‘request to outcome' by three months. All incoming correspondence is now digitised delivering greater quality and transparency. Improved governance, control and stewardship of information has been ensured and core business information has provided the foundation for continued business service development (Lands only).

Tangible benefits for the Department include a 50 percent reduction in hard copy file requests, minimal hard copy file movements and reduced resources on file relocation personnel. This has enabled them to redeploy staff to other areas of the business such as other customer service and digital transformation tasks.

In recognition of the success of the Digitisation Project – Crown Land, the Department of Planning, Lands & Heritage was awarded the Information Governance Award as part of the Objective Innovation Awards program 2017. Congratulations to all involved in this fantastic project!

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