Digital innovation should be central to transformation programmes, paper states

Senior local leaders should make digital innovation central to their transformation programmes, say four key local government representative bodies.

In a statement, Socitm, Solace, the LGA, and the Local CIO Council have jointly called for local leaders to champion digital innovation in their own authorities, as a vital step in building shared services and delivering placed-based policy.

The statement said: “Given the way that most people now use digital technology in their everyday lives, it is perhaps no surprise that they also expect to be able to interact with their council in the same way. Many councils across the UK have now taken steps to respond to this by making their websites more accessible and shifting key transactions online.

“From reporting incidents such as missed bins or fly-tipping, to managing Council Tax payments and other charges, or bidding for a new council property, many key transactions now take place online. The benefits of these shifts are multiple: not only do they save the council staff time and money, they also provide easily derived pools of data about the type and volume of issues about which residents are concerned that, when addressed, will lead to a more responsive council. Importantly, they also provide smoother user experiences and measures of user satisfaction tend to confirm this. ”

The paper also puts forward a number of council case studies, including:

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham developed an integrated, secure, online customer self-service portal, with a single sign-on for five high-usage services: council tax, benefits, resident and business permits, visitor permits and environmental reporting. An additional eight council services, and mobile and interactive voice recognition access, were included in the second phase. The portal has achieved £1.15m net savings per annum, with 70% of parking permit renewals completed online and 70% of all households registered.

The paper can be read in full here.

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