Minister urges councils to take onboard standards developed by LocalGovDigital
The Cabinet Office has got behind the cause of local government adopting a Digital Service Standard with an expression of support for the work done by practitioners' group LocalGovDigital.
Minister Matt Hancock (pictured) has pointed to the group's creation of a draft version of the standard, saying it reflects the work done by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in creating a standard that has been used across central government.
“Digital services are transforming the way we deliver services and interact with citizens,” Hancock said. “Local government is often at the forefront of these interactions, so it is important that councils continue to embrace digital.
“The GDS will continue to work together with councils to create better local services for people across the UK.”
The Cabinet Office said that the service standard would provide a level to which all councils could sign up. This is likely to be for guidance only as LocalGovDigital has previously indicated that there is no immediate prospect of it becoming mandatory.
The standard, which is out for consultation until the end of the month, has been modelled on the central government standard and includes points advocating the use of agile methodologies, open source tools, open standards and common government platforms. It also includes a preference for using existing registers when possible.
GDS has contributed to the work by hosting a workshop last month in which representatives from 31 councils took part; but there has been no mention of funding to support the initiative. One of the more contentious points in last November's Government Spending Review was that local government received no money to support digital transformation initiatives.
Picture from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0