Local authorities waste two million man hours a year in ‘re-keying data’, research claims


Local authorities are wasting two million man hours per year by re-keying data they receive either through online services or CRM, according to research by NDL.

The National Digital Report surveyed 250 authorities across England, Scotland and Wales to determine how technology is being used to support the digital transition of local authorities.

The report found that whilst authorities want to meet the challenges of austerity by extending their online capabilities and channel shift, but that the actual delivery is slow with severe inefficiencies.

It identified the re-keying of data as one of the key issues of efficiencies as it is claimed to be creating financial waste across online delivery and contact centres. Respondents to the survey felt they are only around a third of the way to full digital delivery and therefore the levels of waste are set to expand.

Additionally the report found:

  • The number of services available online is far lower than those supported in the contact centre via CRM systems.
  • 50 per cent of authorities are re-keying more than half the data they receive via e-forms, creating a current financial waste across the country of around £14 million.
  • CRM installations are declining and giving way to e-forms, but authorities are continuing to increase the number of services running through them. Around 44% of councils are still re-keying more than half the data put into the CRM, while 11% are re-keying all data.
  • Shared services are achieving efficiency savings and the number of partnerships are likely to grow, but these are being undermined by a lack of integration across disparate legacy systems.

Declan Grogan, managing director of NDL, commented: “There are some authorities which have embraced innovative digital service creation and delivery and have made real savings, underpinned by the appropriate technology to eliminate manual processes.

However, the vast majority of organisations have only implemented in sparsely selected areas and most are papering over the cracks by using manual labour to present allegedly end-to-end services.”

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