Rebranded network body proposes new government "virtual front office"

Written by Colin Marrs on 11 May 2015 in News

The industry representative group for the Public Services Network is rebranding itself in order to campaign on wider issues relating to information services in the public sector.

PSNGB will rebrand as Innopsis from today, and will focus on improving standards of information sharing and work with the Crown Commercial Service to help the network supplier market thrive.

Phil Gibson, chairman and policy director at Innopsis (pictured), said the move was partly in response to the fact that all local authorities are now compliant with the PSN standards.

“A chef can’t manage a kitchen without gas and water. We now have those in the form of the PSN, but now we need to get to the next stage.

“We have got to embrace mobile and the internet and the links into PSN from a much wider range of stakeholders – not just health but the third sector and voluntary sector.”

For example, he said that housing associations are currently locked out from using PSN to access benefits data using PSN.

Gibson also said that he has been in discussions with senor politicians about a new “virtual front office” for government.

The proposal would create a pool of civil servants which would work from home to help the public navigate government services.

He said: “When you have a complex tax issue, it is not necessarily appropriate for the person dealing that to travel into a big contact centre every day. It is not appropriate for all Defra staff dealing with farm payments to be working out of a huge office on the banks of the Thames.”

He said that the initiative could be paid for by releasing central London property currently occupied by staff.

The idea would break down geographical silos within the public sector, and would allow staff to work on more flexible contracts and part time, he said.

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