Authority in Somerset looks to create a platform to improve services, create efficiencies, and enable data-sharing
Burnham-on-Sea is one of biggest towns under Sedgemoor council’s jurisdiction Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images
Sedgemoor District Council has set aside £2m to invest in the foundations needed to enable it to deliver a wide-ranging digital transformation initiative over the coming years.
The Somerset authority, which delivers services to about 120,000 citizens across towns such as Burnham-on-Sea (pictured above) and Bridgwater, initially established a ‘digital-first’ policy for citizen transactions in 2015. It is now ready to press ahead with “a programme of digital transformation”.
According to the council, this will involve the creation of a central “digital platform” that will bring together a range of capabilities that will be incorporated into the platform via an application programming interface or other means of integration.
Sedgemoor has envisioned a number of outcomes that the platform should enable it to deliver, including “self-service access to online services via popular devices”, as well a means of arranging further contact via phone or face-to-face contact. The platform should also facilitate a high level of automation, “reducing the need for human intervention where possible”, as well as enabling different service teams and departments to easily share data with each other, and with external public-sector partners.
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The council also wishes its digital platform to “provide a suite of tools for managers to design and build innovative services”. Additionally, it should allow for a revamp of Sedgemoor’s back-office systems, while helping “identify common activities and tasks that can be defined within the platform and re-used across services”.
The overarching goal of the programme is to improve the quality of services and help create efficiencies for the council by allowing it to make better-informed decisions about where and how to dedicate resources. The council will also use the digital-transformation agenda increase collaboration with other public-service bodies.
To enable the council to make good on all these ambitions, it requires a new customer relationship management platform and has issued a contract notice looking a company to supply one. For the winning bidder, the deal will be worth approximately £2m over the course of a contract scheduled to commence on 18 July and last for a little over five years.
Potential providers have until 21 February to submit their bids.