Case Study - Timaru District Council

Timaru District Council IT Policy System Implementation

About Timaru
Timaru (Maori: Te Tihi-o-Maru) is a major port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand, located 157 kilometres southwest of Christchurch. Since its establishment as a port in the 1850’s the city has provided a good cargo handling option for South Island’s import and export requirements.

Today the port specialises in handling difficult bulk cargo and bulk liquids for the region and is New Zealand’s second biggest fishing port.

The Timaru District has a population of over 46,000 based in the city of Timaru and in the surrounding prosperous agricultural hinterland. The people of Timaru enjoy residing in a perfect location being surrounded by beaches, rivers and mountains.

The user population at Timaru District Council (TDC) is around 250. Most staff use a Thin Client device on their desk and access servers via an RDP connection to terminal servers with a few connecting via local desktops or laptops.
The core applications are delivered from servers running a Hyper-V environment based in the main office data centre. The IT Department supports 2 service centres and 13 remote sites. The service centres communicate via 10mb network connections and most of the other sites are connected either via TDC’s own 10GB “dark fibre” network or point to point wireless infrastructure.

TDC had a set of policies that hadn’t been updated in 15 years, were not complete, and what was in place looked outdated. After reviewing the situation, IT Manager, Justin Bagust, felt that the current paper-based policies were not accessible and the age of the policies meant that the terminology in use was not current. As an example, there were references to Dial-up Internet connectivity and no content regarding smartphones, tablet devices or BYOD policies.

Justin comments, “I decided that we needed a solution that was clean and easy to use for both management and staff and something that took everything into consideration to stay current. Staff may have been able to view the old policies on our EDRM however they would need to know where to look. Also there were some user forms (Acceptable Use Policies) floating around but they were very old, didn’t read well and were not being used”.

Kaon Security were engaged to assist Timaru District Council. Their methodology included the following steps:

  • Completion of a questionnaire
  • Preparation of first draft
  • Onsite review conducted over two days
  • Final version delivered
  • Implementation guidelines provided
  • Maintenance to allow further changes overtime

The two day onsite review covered all aspects of the council’s business requirements. Working with key stakeholders made the process easy to understand and isolated responsibilities – from end users to technical and general staff to management.

“The onsite review was helpful in showing us where we had missed a few processes, or hadn’t really fleshed them out fully and so were not capturing all the needed information. For example, getting the user to sign the end user acceptance form and the fact that the new form was more complete” – says Justin.

“We liked how easy it was to implement, with it accessible via our intranet, staff and management are able to get to what they need quickly, also it came with easy to understand explanations for each section which has help some of our less technical users understand the policies better”.

“Also included was a raft of pre-made forms that were relevant to each sections in question – staff acceptance forms, equipment borrowing forms etc.”

The current focus at TDC, since investing in the system, has been on getting end users to understand their responsibilities in terms of data security and storage to ensure they are capturing all the information so thereafter it is protected inside the TDC network and it is all properly backed up.

The IT Dept. are in the process of rebuilding the TDC intranet and the policies will have a more prominent placement on the new site. In the interim they have set up competitions for end users to find certain information policies in exchange for chocolate fish.

“I would highly recommend this solution to anyone thinking that they should modernize their policies or are interested in making them readily available and easy to use for staff.” - Justin Bagust, IT Manager

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