Increasingly councils are relying on technology to help streamline their RMA administrative processes so that people can more easily access relevant information and services at a time and location that suits.

To help encourage increased take up of e-RMA this note provides guidance on a range of matters councils should take into account before providing RMA related information and services electronically, including:

  • ways an e-RMA system can be delivered
  • ways councils can gauge their current provision of e-RMA information and services
  • ideas on how councils can move towards achieving the electronic administration of the RMA
  • key issues that RMA managers should consider to successfully adopt new technology.

The guidance note is not intended to be a technical 'how to' manual but to outline the organisational and structural features of an e-RMA system.

What is e-RMA?

In this guidance note e-RMA refers to an internet-enabled system of administering the RMA and includes:

  • the range of applications of information and communications technology to support RMA planning
  • the organisational and structural change required to support an e-RMA system.

The key features of e-RMA are:

  • RMA information and services can be accessed online - providing access to RMA information and services is a primary feature of e-RMA. The range of information and services set out in this note form a starting point for developing an e-RMA system.
  • a 'joined up ' approach - an e-RMA system should be compatible with other information and services provided on a Council's website. RMA information and services should also be usable and accessible by all potential users, and adhere to government standards and best practice.
  • appropriate use of technology - technology should support RMA administration and enhance the performance of RMA practice. It should not require users to have unusual, costly and/or unsupported software. Text and map-based information should be presented in an appropriate format.
  • fully integrated information technology 'back office' systems- developing an e-RMA system provides an opportunity to integrate the 'front' and 'back' office practices of councils and to create an integrated and coherent electronic process for RMA practice and procedures. The term ‘back office’ comes from the building layout of early companies where the front office would contain the customer-facing staff and the back office would be those involved in administration. In a virtual world, the front office is the Council’s website, while the back office is the internal computing system.

Directions and Priorities for Government Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The Directions and Priorities for Government ICT is a medium-term strategy for how central government will more collectively lead the use, development and purchasing of government ICT over three years. In October 2010 the Directions and Priorities for Government ICT replaced the e-government strategy 2006.

The strategy has five directions for ICT management and investment. There are a further fifteen priorities which sit under these directions. The five directions are:

  • Provide clear leadership and direction;
  • Support open and transparent government;
  • Improve integrated service delivery;
  • Strengthen cross-government business capability; and
  • Improve operational ICT management

The Directions and Priorities for Government ICT are complemented by the Government ICT Roadmap and a broader work programme. The Government ICT Roadmap provides a mechanism for identifying opportunities for shared capability and enables agencies to align their ICT planning so that scale can be leveraged for wider system benefits. 

Further information is available on Directions and Priorities for Government ICT. Other useful websites include: