How Aurukun Shire Council is collaborating with external contractors to deliver infrastructure more efficiently for remote communities

Aurukun Shire Council collaborates with a range of external contractors to improve construction deliveries in the remote Aurukun community.

“Aurukun Shire Council manages the maintenance and installation of community infrastructure as a way to enhance the lives of local residents,” Aurukun Shire Council Technical Services Officer Anne Boundy says.

Welcome to Aurukun mural“Our construction deliveries, such as community housing, water and sewerage reticulation and treatment, waste collection and landfill operations, road maintenance and construction, development of appropriate subdivisions, marine access, airport maintenance and operations and cemetery maintenance, are made possible by working with a variety of external contractors.

“Each of these projects are recorded in SurePact.”

By integrating SurePact into its business Aurukun Shire Council has been able to modernise its processes.

“Before SurePact, we were operating out of multiple and very large spreadsheets, emails and files on a group drive, it was very difficult to keep track of things and because everything is going through local government, we have to have all the relevant compliance required specific to the work being performed and appropriate forms in place before we can even start the work,” Anne says.

“There are a whole lot of processes involved in each one of these deliveries and with SurePact we are able to keep all of these processes recorded in one place. We can set up all tasks for various people and show what steps need to be done.”

Streamlining deliveries for remote communities

Transforming these processes streamlines the way Aurukun Shire Council and its external contractors deliver projects.

“We use SurePact across the entire project delivery from the construction and maintenance work all the way through to accounts payable. The SurePact solution and suite of modules combines four to five different people’s jobs and keeps track of all the progress steps so it can flow on from one to the other. It works really, really well,” she says.

“Our external contractors can see every step of the process and have access to all the documentation including Form1’s and certificates and everything else that has to be produced. It is so helpful having everyone involved and able to go in and retrieve what they need themselves.”

Aurukun Shire Council has seen significant benefits from using the SurePact solution for these deliveries, including accessibility, transparency, communication and variation management.

“SurePact makes everything easily accessible and transparent meaning you are not relying on one person to coordinate everything and pass information on. We all have to communicate together and be on the same page, which we can do with SurePact because everything is there in the one place and everyone has access to it,” Anne says.

“Communication is another advantage we see from SurePact. Previously our subcontractors were directly contacting the building supervisor telling him something but then that was not always relayed through to me so that I could update our records. When everything is communicated through SurePact, for example if a project has an extension of time due to things like wet weather, that is put in the SurePact system and everybody can see it. It has opened up communication between the three primary business units involved in the project delivery – external contractors, the Council and finance.

“This is where variation management comes into play. The problem we had in the past was if workers out on a job have a variation and they pull down a wall identifying a problem behind it, the communication and approval would probably bypass us and we would not know about it. Now what we do with SurePact is the subcontractor loads the variation straight into SurePact and because of the assigned tasks ability, they can then assign it to me so I am aware of it and can complete our side of things within hours, not weeks.

“SurePact has cut down the confusion about where and when variations have been done. Prior to using SurePact we could get to the end of the job and receive an invoice from the subcontractor for variations we knew nothing about, which was a huge issue due to our procurement policy.”

Anne also recognises the time savings and transparency that SurePact allows for.

“We have seen a reduction in delays in completing deliveries due to variations from weeks down to one to two days. SurePact allows for variations to be passed through various systems and approval processes seamlessly,” she says.

“The transparency given to our auditors through SurePact is also a great help. Prior to SurePact it was the case of going through emails, paperwork and files and having to physically get everything out at audit time to go through and make sense of it. We have our auditors as members of SurePact so they can easily go in and look at absolutely everything that is on there. “The way that SurePact is set up means you can follow the steps, by looking at the contract, looking at the variations and then at the close out report that gives you an overview of the transactions that happened in that one job.”

Using SurePact for collaboration benefits

Collaboration partners include Envisage Building, which works with Aurukun Shire Council on both minor and major renovations to residential housing and in some cases commercial buildings within the community.

The Envisage Building team is reaping the benefits of using SurePact in their work with Aurukun Shire Council including digitising processes, file management, communication, transparency, time saving and variation management.

“SurePact has helped us to digitise our filing system for each individual project and helps us to sustain clear interactive communication with each other,” Envisage Building Heather Crawford says.

“Using SurePact has provided us with transparency, time savings, variation management and communication improvements. In particular the filing system has also saved me a lot of time. For example, the documentation of variations and being able to clearly see which variation has been approved and its associated costs throughout the lifespan of the project has created complete transparency between myself, the Council and my site foreman and reduced the time it takes to get variation approval.

“With SurePact I can see the clear tasks that I must complete for each project, step-by-step, which has helped me learn the process in which I need to submit documentation to streamline project completion and handover. And the notifications keep me updated on what documentation I need to complete for us to meet our deadlines and to keep projects on track. It also helps me see if a document has been approved and if not I know not to start organising for work to proceed.

“It is also the first time I have received feedback from Aurukun Shire Council, which helps us improve our overall service to the Council.”