Local CIOs get a stronger voice
The new-look Local public Service CIO Council, supported by Socitm - the Society of IT Management has met for the first time. The group was formed from a merger of the previous Local CIO Council and the former Socitm Futures Group.
The Local CIO Council is unique in the UK in the breadth and reach of its representation, as well as in its role of promoting the importance of technology in modernising government and the public sector more generally. The primary purpose is to drive "IT-enabled public service reform", underpinned by Socitm's Planting the Flag strategy. This strategy is itself aligned to the Government IT Strategy, including taking forward the Government's ambitions for Digital by Default public services.
Helen Olsen, managing editor of the UKAuthority news channels, said: "The merger of Socitm Futures into the Local CIO Council is an inspired move. With representation from some of the UK's leading ICT professionals in local government, police, fire, health, the LGA and DCLG, the strengthened council can truly be said to represent all those with the vision of harnessing technology to deliver better, more integrated and more cost-effective front line public services."
Planting the Flag envisages and advocates a future where the design, delivery and management of public services are fundamentally changed to take advantage of new ways of working and new technologies. This will mean positioning the professional role of IT at the heart of change and using technology to underpin shared services, efficiency, innovation and service improvement.
Best practice is being openly shared to help all public services to learn from and adopt new ideas in their own organisation. Jos Creese, chair of the Local CIO Council and a past president of Socitm, said: "The Local CIO Council has an important part to play in the reshaping of public services. Every aspect of government policy and every local public service change programme is typically enabled by and dependent on IT. Council members and the IT professionals they represent, bring a combination of change management, programme management, business process and technology skills which are the main ingredients to modernisation, innovation and efficiency in public services. Our challenge is to promote a broader role for IT and the use of technology as an agent of change, not just as a support service or a business overhead."
Several members of the group are also members of the National Government CIO Council, supporting the development and delivery of national IT strategy and policy and challenging where needed from a local perspective.
The Local CIO Council meets quarterly in London and all agendas, reports, papers and member details are on the web and openly shared.
Andy Nelson, the government CIO has supported the role and work programme of the council, and has added: "I am personally keen that the National Government CIO Council and the Local CIO Council continue to work closely together. By working together we can ensure consistency in approach in the implementation of the Government IT Strategy, whilst reflecting the specific needs of local public services."
See UKA video report here