'Localegov' the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's (ODPM) National Strategy for Local e-Government was published on 27 November 2002 following consultation with stakeholders. Backed by GBP 90 million of capital investment up to 2005/06, it sets out a vision, implementation framework and model for local e-government designed to transform the quality of services and the organisations that deliver them. A bottom-up approach to delivery of the programme was adopted from the outset in order to build the capacity of councils to help themselves. To date, this has transformed the e-enablement of council services, from 26% in March 2002 to 79% by March 2005, whilst 98% of councils expect to achieve the 100% target by 2005. The programme has also overseen the successful delivery of 22 National Projects, run by councils for councils and based on a 'build once share many times' philosophy. The outputs from the National Projects offer councils in England (and beyond) proven, cost effective, standard products, services and implementation roadmaps with which to build effective e-services tailored to their citizens and each council's own unique needs. In over 100 councils in England, citizens can already go online to submit planning applications, check their council tax balance and calculate their benefits entitlement, whilst councils themselves expect to deliver GBP 0.8 billion in efficiency gains by 2007/08 directly as a result of e-Government investment. Such progress has been made possible through a strong and effective partnership between local and central government to bring about the improvements we are aiming at by the end of 2005.
Main results, benefits and impacts
- The average council is now 79% e-enabled compared to 59% a year ago and less than 30% at the commencement of the local e-government programme in 2001/02. 98% of councils report that they will achieve the 100% target by 2005.
- Councils report that GBP 76 million efficiency gains in 2004/05 have been identified as a direct result of local e-government investment, rising to GBP 82 million in 2007/08. Total efficiency gains of GBP 0.75 billion are forecast from 2001/02 to 2007/08.
- The programme of 22 National Projects has attracted considerable buy in from Local Authorities. 47% of authorities have indicated that the National Projects are critical to their achieving the e-government targets and a total of over 250 different products have been developed by this programme.
- In April 2004, we published our priority outcomes for local e-government derived from the shared priorities for local government. IEG4 returns show that more than three quarters of all 'required' and 'good' priority outcomes are now being actively implemented.
- In liaison with the IDeA, we have implemented a support and capacity programme to help councils that are struggling with e-government implementation, or requiring specialised advice and guidance, thereby minimising the delivery risks of the local e-government programme. The Implementation Support Unit has provided onsite support to 45 councils, whilst the Strategic Support Unit has directly engaged over 100 councils through workshops and other activities.
- We have supported councils in developing their e-government strategies and joint service delivery through local and regional partnerships, as this promotes better and cost-effective services.
- We are helping councils to develop web-based transactional services and deliver integrated information about local and central government services for the citizen - by providing online access to all government services through the Directgov portal.
- An e-innovations Fund has been established to encourage practical examples of new and innovative approaches. This has encouraged councils to contribute a most valuable commodity to the arena of e-government - fresh and innovative ideas.
- Through the work of National Projects such as FAME and CRM, we have provided practical advice for councils to help them resolve data sharing issues within the existing statutory framework.
- We are supporting the development of a National Spatial Address Infrastructure (NSAI) - a single national database designed to support a range of services provided by central and local government.
- We are supporting a package of electronic tools, standards and guidance for councils under the brand of 'Government Connect'.
- A team was set up in November 2003 to prepare and launch the initial of Home and Community Franchise content on the national Directgov portal. We have now embarked on a technical work stream that links the Directgov portal to all councils in England.
Return on investment
Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available
867 different products from the programme of 22 National Projects are available free of charge for registered users to download online at http://catalogue.localegovnp.org.uk/
. The National Projects offer councils proven, cost effective, standard products, services and implementation roadmaps with which to build and deliver excellent services tailored to their citizens and each council's own unique needs. The 22 National Projects are as follows:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Digital TV (DigiTV)
- e-Citizen (Take-up & Marketing)
- e-Procurement (NePP)
- e-Trading Standards National (e-TSN)
- Enterprise Workflow
- Environment and Community Online Residents' e-Services (ENCORE)
- Framework for Information Sharing in a Multi-Agency Environment (FAME)
- Knowledge Management
- Local Authority Websites (LAWs)
- Local e-Democracy
- Local e-Government Standards Body (e-Standards)
- Online Schools Admissions/Pan London School Admissions
- Planning and Regulatory Services Online (PARSOL)
- Project Nomad (Mobile Technology)
- Reducing Youth Offending Generic National Solution (RYOGENS)
- Valuebill (Council Tax/Business Rate Valuation)
- Working with Business
A published set of 73 priority outcomes help councils to improve the delivery of services to citizens and business, enhance business process efficiency and embed e-government within the mainstream of organisational culture. They are grouped into ten priority service areas and four cross-cutting themes designed to help councils to realise the transformation of working practices through the application of technology. The fourteen outcomes areas are as follows:
. Community Information
. Democratic Renewal
. Local Environment
. Libraries, Sports & Leisure
. Support for vulnerable people
. Supporting new ways of working
. Accessibility of services
. High take-up of web-based transactional services
. Making it easy for citizens to do business with the Council.
Details of over 450 outcomes from the Localegov partnership programme including shared contact centres, community web portals and regional smartcard initiatives will shortly be available via an online catalogue.
The Localegov programme provides a model for successful partnership between local and central government to improve public services. It has served to deliver more accessible, better quality and more cost effective council services as an essential element of the Government's wider framework for modernising local government services.
In conclusion, the various elements making up Localegov have conspired to unify the programme and create buy-in from councils. This is a model for creating the right environment that reflects both a complex and sophisticated programme, whilst containing key elements that have provided impact and met specific policy objectives.