Do you want your Local Authority (LA) to increase their revenue to better serve the public? Do you want your LA to have access to accurate and up to date information that is mapped? If you answered yes to these questions you have come to the right place! The Spatial Technology for Revenue and Asset Management System, or STRAM for short, is a simple and easy to use online system that tracks assets and monitors LA revenue sources.
Why has this tool been developed?
Currently, LAs lack accurate and updated data that is located in one place. There are instances where LAs do not know which assets they own (ex. Where roads have not been gazetted). This lack of information leads to ineffective decision-making and duplication of investment. Further, there are millions in uncollected arrears and property tax. In some extreme cases, in the absence of proper monitoring and evaluation, buildings are built without building approval or Certificate of Conformity (C of C).
With all of the gaps in information, LAs are unable to generate enough revenue to address issues that affect the public such as infrastructure investment. For example, if there are only 10 advertisement boards recorded in an LA’s Advertisement Board Register, but there are clearly more than 100 boards in the community, the LA is missing out on 90 potential revenue sources.
What type of information can you input into STRAM?
It’s important to note that STRAM is not just a web database; it also provides analytical reporting with maps! The type of information that can be collected and mapped includes:
- Road Data (including structure, maintenance, urgent needs)
- Service Centres (including hospital, parks and schools)
- Property and Tax Details (including owner details, collection of taxes, LA-owned properties)
- Advertisement Boards (including size, location, price)
- LA Projects (for tracking purposes)
Reports and maps that can be generated include:
- Properties with arrears revenue more than Rs. 10,000
- LA assets with and without deeds
- Commercial properties without trade license
- Advertisement boards with expiry period
- Details of urgent needs
How does STRAM work?
STRAM is a computerized program coupled with the power of mobile technology and is made up of 3 parts:
- An online component used in the office for survey management and report generation;
- A mobile component used in the field to collect and update data; and
- A server that hosts the data and connects the two together.
When the online component is updated, the mobile application is updated and vice versa.
Why is STRAM relevant to for Local Authorities?
STRAM assists in enhancing the efficiency of LAs in service delivery and tax collection to increase their own revenue. STRAM allows for improved decision-making and prioritization using generated reports; creates an avenue for following-up on routine maintenance work; digitized record keeping and the creation of an inventory of key infrastructure. STRAM also allows an LA to systemize the urban area, where the LA may release building approvals based on infrastructure and servicing capacity.
The use of STRAM also promotes accountability between citizens and the LA, as well as between the LA and other governing bodies such as the Road Development Authority (RDA) and Urban Development Authority (UDA). Through countless conversations with our partner LAs, there are issues regarding road ownership and duplication of investment due to the multiple intervening agencies.
Further, in the context of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act), there is an urgent need for LAs to maintain an up to date and accurate database of information.
If you are interested in implementing STRAM, we here at the Asia Foundation look forward to partnering with you. Please check this site for more information and updates to come!