Digital standard for local transactional services set for launch

A new draft digital standard for transactional services in local government is likely to be released for discussion later this week, PublicTechnology has learnt.

The new standard has emerged from an event held earlier this month at the offices of the Government Digital Service, where more than 30 councils discussed how the national standard could be adapted for councils.

Organiser LocalGov Digital hopes that the new standard, which will join the existing standard covering content, will be finalised as soon as March.

Phil Rumens, vice chair of LocalGov Digital, told PublicTechnology: “Local government digital services are of varying quality, ease of use and value for money as are the skills in councils needed to create and deliver them.

“There is currently no common approach to rectify this.”

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He said that the local government standard was likely to be similar to the one adopted by central government but some points are not applicable to councils.

“For example there is no minister to test with,” he said.

“Other changes might see additions to that promote the re-use of common data and registers, something not in the central government Standard.”

Rumens said that councils could include the standard in their ICT policy or digital strategy and councils working to the standard could then peer review each other’s services or work together on the procurement or creation of services.

He said: “The main benefit will be for users of council services, however there also many for councils. 

“For example, services designed around digital should produce a cost saving, as well an increase in the shift to digital due to consistently high quality services. 

“Groups of councils working to the same standard also speak with a louder voice than they would individually, enabling greater opportunity for collaboration and collective bargaining with suppliers.”

Rumens said that more than 50 authorities have already expressed an interest in the standard, but it will be down to each local authority to decide when and if it is adopted.

Councils wanting to get involved can email or tweet @localgovdigital.

Colin Marrs

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