FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE – DECEMBER 5, 2017
The Committee adopted a resolution to concur in the recommendation contained in the report after amending Recommendation #1 to read:
1. That the City Manager or designate be delegated authority to negotiate, finalize and approve of the City entering into new agreements or amending the existing agreement with Eloquent Systems Inc. for its Hosted Virtual Archive Software as a Service (SAAS) for a five year term.
Councillors: Bob Hawkins (Chairperson), Sharron Bryce, John Findura, Jason Mancinelli and Barbara Young were present during consideration of this report by the Finance and Administration Committee.
The Finance and Administration Committee, at its meeting held on December 5, 2017 considered the following report from the Administration:
1. That the City Manager or designate be delegated authority to negotiate, finalize and approve of the City entering into new agreements or amending the existing agreement with Eloquent Systems Inc. for its Hosted Virtual Archive Software as a Service (SAAS) for an indefinite term.
2. That the City Clerk be authorized to execute the necessary agreements after review and approval by the City Solicitor.
In order to ensure the continued service of the City of Regina Virtual Archives, the Administration recommends that Council delegate the authority to the City Manager to enter into new agreements or amend the existing agreement with the same vendor for an indefinite term. The agreements will automatically renew for successive periods unless either party gives the other party notice of its intent not to renew, or unless terminated earlier under the terms of the agreement.
The intent is for the City to continue to use this software indefinitely. The City’s historical records are being digitized and uploaded to Eloquent on an ongoing basis. A change of vendor would require considerable financial and staff resources to design a new website, as well as to migrate and upload descriptions and contents of thousands of electronic records to a new software.
An RFP was issued in 2012, four (4) vendor responses were received. Eloquent Systems Inc. was selected as the preferred vendor based on cost, service and functionality. Eloquent Systems Inc. continues to provide excellent service, including reliable technical and customer support, and a dependable software application.
The current contract with Eloquent Systems Inc. was a Software as a Service Agreement authorized by the City Clerk in 2012, for five years. The contract is currently valued at approximately $11,500 annually.
Archival records are digitized and published to the Eloquent site for public viewing on the City of Regina Virtual Archives. The archives collection includes over six million historical records, 25,000 of which are photographs. The digitization project ensures content is published to Eloquent on an ongoing basis. In addition to digitized images, a timeline showing the history of Old Mosaic Stadium was developed in 2016. A timeline for the 150 Stories Project is currently under development.
The City of Regina Archives and the Information Services department will continue to monitor Eloquent Systems Inc.’s services as well as other products available. In the future, should other possible solutions of equal or better dependability be identified, another RFP will be issued.
The annual costs for hosting the system including application maintenance, support services and data warehousing are expected to remain unchanged for 2018 at $11,408.25 with a projection for up to an eight (8) percent increase over the next five (5) years.
The City of Regina Archives is currently working on a timeline project, the 150 Stories Project that was funded in part by grants from the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists and the Government of Canada. The project must be completed by April 2018 in order to satisfy the grant requirements. Pursuing a new RFP, with potential software migration, would result in missing this deadline and would require refunding the grant money to the granting agencies.
Funding has been included in the 2018 budget for continuation of this service.
The more records available online on the virtual archive, the fewer staff resources are required to assist customers in person. Online access also reduces the cost of retrieving historical records from offsite storage and limits the handling of often fragile paper historical records.
Continuing to use the same vendor on an ongoing basis fulfills the targeted outcomes of the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 for Community (Deliver Reliable Service), Financial (Improve our Use of Resources), and Internal Process (Improve Internal and External Communication). The targeted outcomes are #1: Residents trust us by being informed and Engaged, #3: We balance Community Need with affordability across all services, and #4: Residents value services and believe they receive value for what they pay.
This software ensures archival documents are available for public viewing online at the user’s convenience.
The records are readily accessible online, providing ease of access to archival content for people with mobility limitations and visual or hard of hearing residents.
A copy of this report will be provided to Eloquent Systems Inc. and the Administration will be notified that Eloquent continues to be the service provider.
The recommendations contained in this report require City Council approval.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
Kristina Gentile, Secretary