Let's Get Digital: why we need a local Government Digital Service

Published on: 23/07/2015
Last update: 24/07/2015

Local government needs a new digital organisation to help support public sector reform and deliver multi-billion pound cuts and efficiencies: a true digital centre of excellence for the sector, argues Camden chief information officer John Jackson.

The public sector faces extraordinary funding challenges right now and for the foreseeable future. Challenges that cannot be adequately addressed through salami slicing budgets or incremental change.

But that's not where we are. Local government is already alive with innovation and doing extraordinary things on shrinking budgets. No more so than in the space of digital strategy where councils across the country are leading the way to develop citizen friendly online systems, improve productivity, create new city wide digital infrastructures and incubate innovation in areas as challenging as adult social care and health. Supporting these developments are an increasingly vibrant groups of SMEs and civic activists that are passionate about disrupting the status quo.

Indeed, if we take the best of what local government does today then we are already ahead of central government in building the next generation of digital platforms and pushing the frontiers of the possible.



This article appeared in "Government Computing". The first part of this text is republished here, with the kind permission of the author, John Jackson CIO & digital strategy lead focused on innovation, efficiency and enabling transformation, London Borough of Camden, United Kingdom.

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