HeLics' main purpose is supporting Hasselt and Leuven in realising an efficient and user friendly IT policy. HeLics maintains an advisory position while providing solutions openly and constructively, taking into account the evolutions in IT, legislation concerning government assignments, and the budgets provided.
The coöperation between the two cities serves to create a synergy that offers an added value for everyone involved.
HeLics initially contacted Nascom to build an online platform where users could file urban planning requests. Afterwards, the platform was extended to also support environmental requests and certificate requests for taxi drivers.
Hasselt and Leuven provide urban planning information to notaries, owners (both public and private), or real estate agencies when purchasing/selling real estate/property. Said info is fetched from their GIS-system and parsed into a PDF document. The requested document is then delivered to the requester via email and they are then billed for the cost of the request.
The two cities handle more than 6000 invoices combined. This process takes an immense amount of administrative work, and the new application looks to take care of this via a new online front office. Our application will help the two cities save time, lower paper usage, and reduce the amount of manual work necessary to process a request.
A good project never goes without a challenge. The HeLics project was no exception to this rule.
We were asked to provide an integration with the Ingenico Payment Services platform, and to provide a means for end-users to pay via wire transfer. For this second requirement our application generates a structured reference (OGM) that the user has to include when completing a payment. Afterwards, when we receive the CODA files, we can match the payment to the correct request based on this reference.
A second challenge was the automated linking of users within the application. A user (A) can link another user (B) to themselves, after which user (B) receives a confirmation email. If approved, all users that are linked to user (B) are then automatically linked to user (A) and vice versa. The purpose of this construction is the linking of users within a company without introducing a group structure. Users that are linked to each other can also view the requests made by their linked users.
The end result
In the end we delivered a user friendly platform that allows users to efficiently file requests with their city of choice. The platform went live for Hasselt in 2016, but development is still ongoing as we speak to introduce new functionality to both Hasselt and Leuven.
Our most recent changes included the addition of a new request type "Environmental request" which, by and large, is similar to the urban planning request. And the addition of another request type "Certificate taxi driver". This last request was coupled to a QR-system that allows a driver to print a QR-code which in turn can be scanned by law enforcement personnel during check-ups. This allows them to quickly spot whether or not the driver is allowed to drive their taxi.