Video highlights: is there a need for a specialist digital service for local government?
A recent Local Digital Campaign event debated the concept of a specialist digital service for local government with a select audience of chief executives, members, heads of IT, digital specialists, customer services and other council service heads.
The speaker panel, comprising central and local government representatives and a consultant, spoke For and Against the motion: "The best way to deliver consistent, efficient user-friendly services for the citizen is to establish a specialist digital service for local government and create a common technology platform for local government websites."
At the end of the day, the majority of attendees agreed that there would be great value to the sector in some form of specialised digital resource that could deliver economies of scale to the sector and accelerate take up / benefits realisation. There was merit too in agreeing and sharing digital and technology standards across the sector; along with encouraging re-use of common digital resources and platforms in order to deliver better, simpler services for the citizen and lower cost service delivery.
However, there was marked disagreement on the 'who', the 'what', and the 'how' – especially when it came to funding such an organisation and giving it a mandate of some kind across local services.
Voting at the end of this fascinating - and close fought - debate came out: AGAINST: 52% / FOR: 43% / On the Fence: 5%
Watch the speakers' arguments in the video or listen to the full podcast of the debate, including questions from the floor, you will find below: