City council decision-making

Decision-making automation solution

for the city councils in one of Europe`s largest cities was developed in partnership between Redwerk and Green Valley BV

Green Valley BVGreen Valley BVDelft, Netherlands

Green Valley BV is one of the top e-government solutions providers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Their specialized, government standard-compliant CMS is used by hundreds of cities and counties, non-profit organizations and companies, as well as in the foreign missions of the kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Project-based

Fixed project quotes were provided to Green Valley BV by Redwerk for this software development assignment.

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E-Government

We have over 10 years of experience in e-government solutions and standards that we applied in the decision-making automation solution project for Green Valley BV.

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Challenge

This large European city was depending on Green Valley to develop an automated decision-making solution for use by its city councils. Though most of the project was developed in-house by Green Valley, they needed a development partner who was already familiar with their technology to assist with module development in order to meet their client`s tight deadlines for project milestones and final implementation.

Solution

Redwerk`s development team took on this challenge and ultimately delivered several modules that were successfully integrated into the bigger project. These modules included:

  • Attendance – Government clerks require a simple user interface (UI) to maintain a roster of councilors present at sessions when decisions are made. Because such meetings can be a coming and going of councillors, an attendance, or presence, module is necessary. The UI shows photos of people who are supposed to participate. The clerk marks them present or absent by clicking the images as the attendees enter and leave the meeting room. At the end of a session, a log is stored in the database along with the session agenda listing all the resolutions discussed.
  • Voting – Group decisions involve voting. To support the decision-making process digitally, there was a need for a voting module. Councillors can vote on multiple aspects of a resolution, the whole resolution, one or more resolution articles or an amendment. They can vote multiple times. Also, there are different types of voting: individual, by political fraction, by lottery and also quick voting. Voting can also be either secret or public. In addition to the possibility of adding votes during the meeting, there is also a potential need to add or modify the votes after the meeting. In the meeting rooms of some councils, there is already a dedicated voting system installed. These voting systems are decoupled from any existing network. The module has to support data exchange with these devices too (mostly XML).
  • Workflow composer – This module defines a workflow for a resolution or a local authority decision.
  • PDF/A publication – Publication is an expected part of decision making. Several types of publications need to be supported: individual items, groups of resolutions, press releases, agendas, etc. Since there are multiple cities involved, the layout has to be customizable for various headers and footers with coats of arms, mottos and contact information. There are also different layouts for various types of documents: resolutions, agendas, meeting minutes, press briefings, etc. It is also possible to provide attachments, which must be included with resulting documents. These attachments can be PDF (PDF/A) files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and images. Apart from development of the module itself, Redwerk implemented custom layouts for cities using XSLT stylesheets.
  • iReport Green Valley CMS plugin – The project required an in-depth reporting tool. It is a vital part of the system because it allows filtering by all resolutions between two dates, grouped by targets, resolutions that have been sent back to the author and grouped by author. Redwerk built a plugin for the Jasper reports standard visual tool, iReport, which uses the CMS API to gain access to its contents. In a visual way, the plugin presented CMS-stored information to give users the ability to specify request fields , drag and drop conditions and more. Redwerk also implemented an SQL-like SELECT syntax to query data from the document-based CMS.

Redwerk development team`s previous experience with Green Valley`s CMS product and customizing it to the local authorities needs helped them deliver a mature and solid solution meeting the government`s high standards.

Technologically, the data was held partially in the Green Valley CMS, in an SQL database and an LDAP directory listing all government clerks. Redwerk developed new object types for the Green Valley CMS representing session logs, persons and other required entities. The web UI was built with browser cross-compatibility in mind to function in multiple versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

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10

developers worked on this project

3

QA engineers on the team

6

months long engagement

100%

deadlines met

Results

All modules were completed and delivered on time. Green Valley successfully delivered the project`s milestones and finally, the project in its entirety. Currently, the system is being used, along with the modules created by Redwerk, facilitating the decision-making process in city, police and other councils.

Before knowing Redwerk, offshore was synonym to problems for me. But they changed my ideas about that. Their team is very service-oriented, punctual and to the point. Redwerk is always doing their best to meet our 'impossible' deadlines.
Bart Waterlot greenvalley

Bart Waterlot, Product & Project Manager at Greenvalley Belgium

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