Local government bodies developing plan for more digital services

3 Jul 15

CIPFA and a host of other local government bodies are working with Whitehall on proposals to make local services in England more digitally enabled.

The Local Digital Alliance includes the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the Society of Council IT managers.

It has been working to identify good practice and highlight further opportunities for digital working following a request in George Osborne’s March Budget for joint proposals from the sector in time to inform future budget allocations.

Discussions and workshops to date have revealed a need to generate better baseline comparators, develop a deeper understanding of how digital can be used to support complex service interventions and strengthen leadership and capability in the field.

Cathy Francis, deputy director of digital and corporate communications at DCLG, said: “Local government has a long track record in successfully harnessing digital technologies to drive innovation and deliver better, more efficient services; but this good practice is not yet uniform across the sector.”

Francis, who is speaking at next week’s CIPFA CFO summit, added: “By working together now we can ensure that the next generation of digital services targets those areas that will deliver the greatest benefits to citizens and ensures that every pound spent delivers maximum value.”

CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman said: “This new drive for a second generation of digital solutions will help local service providers meet the needs of their communities more effectively, offer greater flexibility and crucially, in this period of fiscal consolidation, reduce cost.”

Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA’s improvement board said councils were well placed to work with residents on the design and delivery of digital services that were appropriate to local needs and circumstances.

“It is vital that they both play a major role in the discussion and delivery of future digital services,” he added.

In order to capture some comparable baseline information required, council chief executives are being asked to complete a survey by 9 June.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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