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MHCLG digital team plans IT upgrade



Support for proptech sector and local government also rise to top of departmental priorities

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) digital team is planning a “serious upgrade” of the department’s office IT, along with support for property technology companies and local government as part of their priorities for the coming months.

The plans have been made public by the MHCLG chief digital officer Paul Maltby (pictured) in a blogpost pointing to the current ambitions.

While providing little detail of the nature of the IT changes, he says the existing system has attracted internal complaints and restrained efforts to modernise working practices.

“In practice this means not relying on attachments and tracked changes in documents rather than collaborating in them, or carrying bundles of papers rather than having the information we need at our fingertips,” Maltby says.

“Our new internal digital teams also mean we have the skills and processes necessary to help the department improve its business applications and other technology choices.”

Other ambitions reflect the department’s priorities in providing support for organisations dealing with local issues. One of these is to diversify the housing market by supporting digital and data ‘proptech’ entrepreneurs.

Maltby said it will be a priority to increase the collection of data from across the public sector to support their efforts – alongside efforts to modernise the planning system.

“For local government,” he adds, “we will be working alongside our colleagues who are striving to make the change from a sector weighed down by frustrating, poor quality technology systems towards new digital services driven by citizen and user needs – comprised of more modular, flexible technology components.”

Early steps include a roadshow through June and July.

He also says the MHCLG digital team will take on an “outward looking” way of working, with an emphasis on quick iteration.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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