Posted on 18-02-2015
During the international LOLA-Congress in New Zealand november last, the Australian Victoria region was elected to become a co-opted member of the Linked Organisation of Local Authorities (LOLA). The presence of the Municipal Association of Victoria Technology (MAVT), formerly LGICT-Local Government Information and Communications Technology Group, gave an interesting presentation on how the Australian Local Government takes on the digitalization of the services and with which partners they cooperate and realize their plans.
The co-option was confirmed in January 2015 by the board of MAV Technology whereby their membership within the npo LOLA is a fact. Lola-President Eddy Van der Stock welcomes the new membership with open arms-"it is amazing to see how little the automation within local authorities 'down under' and the way organisations deal with these, differs from the situation with us in Flanders, and this both in terms of structure as well as in terms of topics that shape the daily discussions. We hope to be able to even enlarge the network. ICT is a global matter, we learn a lot from each other every day, this enables us to even better serve our citizens".
MAV Technology - formerly the Local Government Information communication technology (LGICT) Group - is an independent local government funded group of IT specialists within the local authorities who, like V-ICT-OR, work together to improve automation within the municipalities. MAV Technology works smoothly along with their regional and federal representatives of the Government, to maximize the opportunities and the success of ICT projects and to implement them within all "policy areas" of the local authorities.
The group consists of IT managers and chief information officers from 75 Victorian councils. These are mainly the people who are directly responsible for the implementation of technological solutions within the local government sector. The Nillumbik Shire Council's current President is Trish Spiteri, and the current vice President is Michael Smyth of City of Greater Bendigo and their CEO is Lisa Benetto. They were elected in October 2014 after nomination by the members of the MAV Technology Executive Committee.
The MAV Technology congress is organized every year in August. It is a two-day event that gathers hundreds of local authorities, their "senior executives", IT-coordinators and suppliers. Participants share their ICT challenges, knowledge, products and experience. During the Congress of 2014 in Yarra Ranges public Wi-Fi, open data, large ICT projects and their role to improving the services for the Victorian municipalities were top of the agenda. MAV Technology organizes also forums and workshops throughout the year in the regional and metropolitan locations. They provide through a private Yammer-network a platform to diffuse information and ideas on effective ICT delivery in local government. By sharing information, knowledge and experiences, the MAV Technology members are able to set up better, more cost effective and innovative IT services for their councils and local communities.