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LocalGovDigital plans service standard for councils



Draft version drawn up with support from GDS to be released in next few days

A set of digital service standards for local government is on the cards as LocalGovDigital prepares to make them available after a work programme supported by the Government Digital Service (GDS).

The digital practitioners network for local government is aiming to release the standards, which follow the lead of the Digital by Default Service Standard for central government, in the next few days.

Its vice chair, Phil Rumens, said it hopes to have the draft available by the end of the week.

“We will then invite comment from anyone working for or elected to a local council for the following three weeks,” he said. “At the end of March we will publish the first version of the standard.”

He said that local government officers have led the work through LocalGovDigital, but there has been support from GDS. The two organisations took part in an event in early February which involved workshop sessions on how the central government standard might be adapted for local government.

Once the draft is available an initial group of councils will use it in producing and procuring digital services, and provide feedback for the final version.

Guidance role

There is no immediate prospect of anything in the new standard becoming mandatory; it will be available simply for guidance.

The GDS Digital Service Standard was designed to ensure that any transactional service that appears on GOV.UK meets the relevant criteria. If it does not pass an assessment it cannot appear on the portal.

While GDS is currently focused on supporting the progress of digital services in central government, its support for the LocalGovDigital initiative suggests that it is looking further afield. Earlier this year Rumens called for an extension of the GDS remit to work more with local government.


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