Authorities’ website data gets online home

Detailed information about the performance and usability of council websites is to be made available in new, online form.

Socitm, the representative body for public sector ICT staff is to present results from its “Better Connected” surveys available on a new website.

The move also means that in future, surveys on different service areas online will be staggered, rather than bundled into a single annual report.

A statement by Socitm said: “ has been developed to make access to the research results more visible and easier to access and so to better engage service managers and councils’ top teams with their performance online.”

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Individual service areas will now be given star rankings – rather than the previous pass/fail, aimed at helping better inform conversations about improvements.

The new portal is being launched at the Socitm 2015 annual conference in Leicester later today.

Each UK local authority will have its own results page on the site, with employees of organisations subscribing to the Socitm Insight service able to login and view the detail.

For the first time, non-subscribing councils will also be able to view headline results, and all visitors can see a range of collated information covering all councils.

Reports will also be available to the public on service areas including planning, social care, highways, libraries and leisure, plus reports and results for accessibility, usability, access from mobiles, and digital engagement and management.

Outcomes of usability surveys, together with the service area rankings, will count towards an overall site ranking for each council announced at the end of the survey cycle in April.

A report on applying for an older person’s buss pass online will be published on the site in the next few days.

Socitm president Nadira Hussain said: “Better Connected will help push forward the digital agenda. It is raising the game, raising awareness, getting people more bought into the future need to do this as a universal effort in a cohesive way.”

The Socitm 2015 annual conference is being organised by Dods, the parent company that owns

Colin Marrs

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