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The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has clearly discerned that there is strong congruence between Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the Maritime Industry. From the very inception of its formulation, SLPA has regarded ICT as the major underpinning for organizational growth and has been one of the pioneer Sri Lankan organizations in implementing ICT initiatives for organizational processes. With a view to assisting the realization of its objectives, the following ICT initiatives were undertaken by the IS Division during the year 2009.
1. Container Terminal Management System (CTMS) – JCT/UCT
The Contract agreements were signed in 2008, between Access International (Pvt) Ltd, the local counterpart for Zebra Enterprise Solutions, headquartered in Oakland USA and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for implementing a Container Terminal Management System (CTMS) for JCT and the UCT. As a result, SLPA replaced its age-old Terminal Operating System at JCT and UCT with Navis™ SPARCS ver. 3.10 and Navis™ EXPRESS ver. 2.9 in May, 2009.
Covering both JCT and the UCT, to offer synergetic benefits to SLPA’s clientele, this multi-million-rupee-worth system signifies a major landmark in SLPA’s development endeavors to keep up with the global trend and to rise as a “Superior service e-Port”. While moving ahead with its corporate strategy to capture the container volume growth in the region, the SLPA also anticipates by this initiative to convert its internal operational capabilities to criteria that may lead to competitive advantage and market success. This investment that the SLPA is making in information and communications technology will mean better service for its valued customers, greater efficiency in the yard and increased productivity.
The SLPA can now boast of the latest online and real-time CTMS in the world which includes a DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System)-based PDS (Position Detection System) solution (to be implemented in March, 2010) for container tracking, an active Tag network for container movement with Gate control, a terminal-wide handheld and vehicular-mounted wireless network and a state-of-the-art web-based Terminal Operating System based on the Port Community concept which has now been the desideratum in the most modern ports worldwide.
2 Biometric Time Attendance and Physical Access Control System (TAPACS)
After the successful completion of the pilot project where ten (10) T&A machines were installed at nine locations in the port for testing, the management of SLPA gave the green light for the system to be implemented on a port-wide basis. Consequently, the actual project kicked off in mid March 2008. During the year 2009 Twelve thousand (12,000) smart-card technology-based ID badges were printed by the new system using the existing printers and distributed among employees. The application software especially developed for SLPA requirements was installed at administrative units where T&A machines were installed and the report feature has become very useful to the users who handle the attendance subject. The data will be used by other applications in areas such as Security, Payroll and Human Resource Management. Building of infrastructure facilities at port entry gates was commenced in order to install T&A machines to track employee movement at odd hours.
The following were the major activities performed by the IS Division in connection with this project.
3. Payroll System
The New Payroll system developed in-house with many new facilities and controls was implemented in Colombo Port & Galle port a few years ago. Accurate and timely transfer of monthly EPF/ ETF information through electronic media was a major feature offered by new system.
The system was further extended to serve the port of Trincomalee and a Parallel run for same was conducted in December 2008 with encouraging results. The actual system run for the port of Trincomalee commenced with the payroll run in January, 2009. The Payee tax adjustment for financial year based on salary remuneration, which was introduced in 2009 for Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee ports, will be handled from early 2010.
4. Oracle Financials
IS Division prepared specifications for a Financial Solution to cater for the immediate requirements of the Finance Division and tenders were called from suppliers. On the recommendation of the TEC, SLPA purchased Oracle Financials with ten (10) user licenses and the implementation of the modules, General Ledger and Cash Management were over in the previous year.
On successful implementation of the two modules on 1st January 2009 SLPA decided to introduce Oracle payable, Oracle Receivables and Oracle Asset modules to meet accounting management demands of the organization. Oracle's Financial Management solution is an integrated solution for finance operations and enables businesses to manage financial risk, drive sustainable growth, and is an industry-proven product that provides organizations with solutions to a wide range of long- and short-term accounting system issues regardless of the size of the business,
5. Medical System
Under the Employee Medical Scheme, SLPA offers free medical services to all employees and some limited medical benefits to their immediate family members. These services encompass general medical treatments including dental care, laboratory services, counseling, drugs and injection, ambulance facilities, ward facilities and outside treatments for illnesses that require specialized medical attention. SLPA provides a medical insurance cover for its employees up to Rs. 100,000 annually for admission and surgical procedures and up to Rs. 7,500 for outpatient services. Further a payment of up to Rs. 500,000 is made during special circumstances.
On instructions given by the SLPA management, the IS Division staff commenced developing a system for medical center activities in early 2008 with the following objectives.
· To improve the quality of service offered by the Medical Division by streamlining its functions and activities.
· To facilitate recording of relevant information.
· To minimize costs
· To provide timely information for doctors and the management
· To facilitate proper stocking of drugs
· To facilitate report requirements of doctors and support staff such as patient history.
The system is expected to be delivered in two phases with the features enumerated below.
· Patient Registration
· On-screen Prescribing
· Dispensary activities
· Claims handling
· Patients’ History management
· Drug stock and supply management
· Dispensary stock management
· Lab testing data management
· MIS and Trend analysis
The functionality listed under Phase 1 was implemented in the year 2009.
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