LocalGov Drupal has begun to operate as a not-for-profit body under the name of the Open Digital Cooperative.
This follows the ending of its funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and a need to find a new sustainable model for the programme. It will now run on a membership model with councils and suppliers paying a subscription.
It will maintain the LocalGov Drupal name for its product, reflecting its roots in the effort to build on the Drupal open source platform for digital services.
Open Digital Cooperative has also set out a vision for all public sector digital services to be accessible, evidence based and open source, along with a mission to improve the experience of citizens using public sector websites. It has stated the aim of fostering digital transformation through collaboration on open source products and projects, involving the development of a shared pool of code, research and expertise.
Rules and voting rights
The articles of association for the new body will be based on the Co-operatives UK model rules, arranged to allow councils and suppliers to be members with voting rights while not requiring the organisation to become a regulated company.
A steering group has been set up to work through some of the issues involved in running the new company. Product manager Will Callaghan, Finn Lewis and Maria Young have been named as directors and there will be elections this year for a representative board.
Until now LocalGov Drupal has been supported by Local Digital Fund with one local authority, most recently Cumbria County Council, taking the lead in the programme.
It currently claims to have 33 councils using the platform.