Parish Lapis System - Guernsey
Client: States of Guernsey Government
The States of Guernsey Government completely changed the basis of government property taxation within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
The introduction of this new way of taxing property was termed TRP (Tax on Real Property) and is based on the actual size / composition of a property and its grounds and as such is 100% measurement based. Each property is categorised, measured and given a value in units. These units are then assigned a multiplier which is then used to calculate the bill.
The introduction of TRP had a knock on effect on the Parishes (Guernsey’s local government) as the basis for their own local rates was now completely different leaving the old rating system effectively dead. To support the Parishes with this change the States of Guernsey Treasury and Resources Department agreed to provide a central system to replace the various ad-hoc systems that the Parishes were using to manage the production and collection of rate demands.
Deliver an easy to use, robust, fully auditable centrally hosted / managed system to support all Parishes with the production and collection of TRP based rate demands. The solution implemented should deliver the following features:
- Fully integrate with the Cadastre LAPIS database to lookup TRP values in real-time
- Integrate with the digital mapping
- Allow the Parishes to plan “Rate Take” by category and provide “what-if” features and function
- Produce / reproduce rate & refuse bills on demand
- Produce late payment reminders / demands as required
- Apply penalties and fines to an account
- Process payments (payment in full, part payments etc.)
- Provide a suit of management reports to enable the Parish to report on day to day activity, chase debtors, plan for the future etc.
- Provide the Parishes with comfort regarding Security ensure that their data is only available to them
- Stand up to detailed 3rd party audit and scrutiny
Antelle IT (trading as Digimap Isle of Man) first visited with a representative set of Parishes and performed detailed requirements gathering exercise. Once completed these diverse sets of requirements were then analysed and areas of commonality identified and distilled down into a feature set that would support all of the Parishes within one solution.
The solution implemented is based around a centrally hosted browser based system with direct integration into the other line of business applications (LAPIS database and digital mapping) that together form the system. All of the Parishes were provided with ADSL connections and secured VPN access into the States of Guernsey infrastructure for direct access to the site.
A primary concern of each of the Parishes was that they would retain their autonomy from the various States Government departments and that their data was only available to their authenticated users. To resolve custom role based security schemas were implemented with no logins issued to the States at all.
As many of the Parishes’ employees work on a part-time basis and have limited computer skills ease of use was also a potential issue. The system when designed had ease of use as a primary goal. The interface is uncluttered and task based with Wizards used for more complex tasks such as setting or planning the annual rates. Extensive use of AJAX ensures that the interface is responsive and the user is kept informed of what’s going on at all times.
The financial elements of the system were designed from the outset with the knowledge that each Parish is required by law to have fully audited accounts, and as the system will be providing almost 100% of the Parishes revenue, it will be audited at least eleven times a year. Each rate demand is assigned an account with payments credited against the balance. Fines, discounts etc are similarly applied to account as required.
The actual rate demands that are issued are standardised across all Parishes with each Parishes details (logo, opening time, address, principal officers, etc.) all being merged in as required. The demands themselves are produced using Crystal Reports and printed to PDF which provides the Parish with the option of printing the demands themselves or outsourcing the printing and posting to a 3rd party.
Reporting and management information is all provided on demand with a standard reporting pack delivered to cover the day to day, weekly, monthly, annual and ad-hoc reporting requirements.
The system went live in January 2009, with all Parishes having produced their rate demands by June. Over 32,000 demands have been created in the first year totally some £4.5 million worth Rate and Refuse bills across all eleven Parishes.
- AJAX Enabled
- Crystal Reports
- Custom Controls and Libraries
- Microsoft .Net Framework
- Microsoft ASP.Net
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Visual Basic .Net
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Server Side PDF Generation
- Web Service
- Database Design
- Management Reporting
- Requirements Analysis and System Design
- Website Design and Implementation