All local authorities refer to databases to check they are using accurate and correctly formatted addresses. Many internal departments at Lewisham Council (such as Customer Services, Environmental Health, Revenues & Benefits and Electoral Registration) had been referring to databases to check address details - for example, when logging a case or incident. “However, departments were using their own individual databases,” says Gary Simms, Property Systems Information Manager, “which caused problems when we wanted to share data between departments. Many addresses were incomplete, duplicated or expressed in different formats across the various databases.” These issues led to confusion and lack of clarity, which was frustrating enough in-house, but which became particularly problematic when liaising with external agencies, such as the emergency services.
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