Westminster deal set to reduce paper reliance

Westminster City Council has signed a deal with ICT services company Ricoh aimed at reducing its reliance on paper documents.

The firm will help the London council streamline its print and document management processes by converting more traditional paper documents to a digital format, according to an announcement.

Documents covered by the agreement include large planning documents and licensing applications.

Anthony Oliver, chief procurement officer at the council, said: “We are committed to ensuring we provide services in the most efficient and environmentally-friendly manner; reducing our reliance on paper and investing in digital to provide services.

“In today’s connected world, increasingly our users demand the ability to access information and services online and this partnership will in the future support us to meet these demands – while streamlining our processes internally.”

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Westminster’s planning department is the busiest in the UK, and is currently undertaking a redesign of business systems, ICT and operational processes to introduce paperless working practices for the planning application process.

Elsewhere, the council is looking to enable residents to access and pay for services using digital channels rather than by paper forms.

In addition, it wants to streamline its internal print and document management processes to improve internal efficiency.

As part of the plans, Westminster City Council will utilise Ricoh’s archiving, scanning and indexing expertise, to store archived documents digitally, with the aim of searching and retrieving documentation quickly.

Alasdair McCormick, national sales director at Ricoh, said the deal would help Westminster deliver better services at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

Colin Marrs

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