The Dutch municipality of Ede is implementing 'Zaaksysteem', an open source system for adaptive case management (ACM). The tool helps the staffers of this mid-sized city with their iterative decision-making processes. The open source tool was selected after an initial examination of eight competing products followed by a detailed comparison of three.
The selection process involved representatives from the city's customer contact centre, its civil affairs department, municipal law enforcement, the city's document management team, the department for work and income and the IT department.
Ede recently concluded a successful pilot with the open source ACM system. In a press release published by the city on 5 July, Seba Tomatala, project leader, says: "Testers were really pleased with Zaaksysteem's functionalities and rated it user-friendly. Afterwards, several departments approached the team, hoping to become first on the list for implementation."
The installation will begin in September. Ede says that because the Zaaksysteem ACM is open source software, the city administration prefers to cooperate with other municipalities that are using it as well. In the statement, Tomatala says: "Our municipality has good experience with pooling around open source, like on the use of content management system Typo3."
Digital, not automated
Zaaksysteem is built and maintained by the Amsterdam-based IT service provider Mintlab. Co-founder Michiel Ootjers: "Our tool is not about automating the work of a public administration, it is about making their work digital. It places almost no constraints, and that allows them to organise their work in a digital environment, to work together and to keep tabs on the process of decision-making."
The first municipality to switch and help Mintlab build its Zaaksysteem ACM is Bussum, says Ootjers. "Both cities are very open source-minded."
Almost all municipalities in the Netherlands use different tools for different municipal departments, Ootjers says. "Zaaksysteem offers much of these functions, and allows municipalities to replace many tools by one."
Zaaksysteem is available as open source since 26 April. It is published using the European Union's open source licence, the EUPL. The first version, for the municipality of Bussum, dates from 2009.
Ootjers: "We're getting ready to release a version that should make internationalisation easier."