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Video transcript: Greater Wellington Regional Council: Real-time information for public transport

Transcript for a video about findings from our performance audit of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s real-time information system.

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Title: Greater Wellington Regional Council: Real-time information for public transport

James Swindells, Senior Performance Auditor:

Well we did a performance audit about the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s real-time information system. Now people that use public transport will be familiar with the real-time system. They can see it every day in terms of information boards near bus stops and at the train station, and they can also access the real-time information through the internet on their smartphone, their laptop or computer at home. So they don’t have to stand at the station or at the bus stop not knowing that information, and that lets you use your time more efficiently.

So this is one of three performance audits where we looked at how entities were using the information from their information systems, how they were using that information to support their strategic goals, how they were reusing or making available the information for others to reuse, and for those who have difficulty using the internet, how they were making that information more accessible.

So what we found was that Greater Wellington Regional Council are using their information to support their long-term strategic goals. We also found that they were making their information available for others to reuse, and that they’ve got plans to make it much more widely available for reuse, and that even though the website and the smartphone application doesn’t meet current government standards around accessibility, that they nevertheless have a really powerful and potent website and application that many customers use and appreciate. We gave them feedback on how they can improve their website and their app, and we’ve recommended that they start with improvements to the website because it’s so popular, to make it more accessible.

The Council could be more consistent in the way that they make information available for reuse. Once you start producing information, you really can’t get off that treadmill because your customers, your users, their expectations are shaped by what they can get and receive from other services. So it’s a matter for entities of being able to meet today’s information needs while keeping an eye down the road at what’s coming. And the example from this audit is that when the project started back in 2007, smartphones were virtually unheard of in New Zealand – a few people had them – but by 2014, when the project was fully implemented, the smartphone had become pretty much ubiquitous. That’s the sort of challenge and dilemma that public sector and private sector entities for that matter have in terms of meeting today’s needs and anticipating tomorrow’s.     

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