A web-based State of the Environment reporting system developed by the Australian Government’s Antarctic Division (AAD) has won a prestigious Technology Productivity Award.

The computer system known as System for Indicator Management and Reporting (SIMR) took out a Government Technology Productivity Silver Award in Sydney last night.

The Awards recognise areas of government that have improved productivity and provided better service through the use of technology.

The AAD’s new system has replaced a cumbersome paper-based procedure for reporting environmental parameters for the Australian Antarctic Territory. A large book for State of the Environment reporting has been replaced by a computer system that gives the current status of environmental indicators and of the environment as a whole, and is available to everyone via a public web site.

Not only has it made huge savings in time and resources, it has vastly improved service delivery to national and international clients, it is always up to date, can report 365 days a year and requires minimal resources to maintain.

SIMR project leader and AAD Data Centre Manager Lee Belbin said that the system had been developed to automate environmental information so it could be quickly located, updated and displayed efficiently.

“It enables us to more readily discover relationships between environmental indicators, more quickly interpret data, highlight unusual patterns and pick up any changes,” he said.

“It also allows the data’s custodians — experts in their specific fields responsible for managing those data — to do so more effectively.

“We have found this to be an all-round benefit. The public now has direct access to the environmental status of one of the most pristine regions of the world and the AAD has installed more efficient procedures,” Mr Belbin said.