Evidence call set to inform transformation plan

Local government organisations are aiming to draw up a new plan for delivering local online services by gathering evidence on councils’ online transactions and identifying new ways of jointly procuring ICT services.

In an announcement on UKAuthority, a website partly funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Local Digital Alliance group said it has written to English council chief executives calling for evidence.

It said that it hoped to establish a baseline of information on the channels used for key transactions to help identify opportunities for accelerating digital transformation in councils.

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Peter Fleming, chair of the Local Government Authority’s Improvement Board, said: “Greater digital collaboration enables the whole of the public sector to join up more effectively around residents in a way that will help our communities.

“Councils are well placed to work with residents in shaping and designing digital solutions appropriate to local circumstances, so it is vital that they both play a major role in the discussion and delivery of future digital services.”

The work is taking place as part of a response to the Treasury’s call for proposals from the sector for extending Government’s digital ambitions to local services in time to inform future budget allocations, made during the 2015 Budget.

Along with DCLG and the LGA, the Local Digital Alliance working group includes representatives from Solace, CIPFA, Socitm, the Local CIO Council and other local government sector organisations.

The statement said that some examples of local government innovation are some way ahead of the wider public sector and public sector.

The aim of the work is to spread these examples and “make these projects the norm”, the statement said.

Workshops with sector representatives have identified the need to:

  • Establish comparable baseline information on the channels used  for key transactions;
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how digital can be used to support the delivery of complex service interventions;
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration within the sector and with central government on the provision and procurement of services (with a focus on underpinning platforms);
  • Develop capability and leadership across the sector to drive this work in a consistent and sustained way.

Graeme McDonald, director at Solace, said: “There are real opportunities for local government to benefit from further innovation in digital technology, but it’s so important we get it right and that the choices made my central government are well informed by the needs of local decision-makers.”

Colin Marrs

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