Care Act Poses “New Digital Challenges” To Local Government

Oct 02, 2014

The recently introduced Care Act is “creating new digital challenges” for local councils and authorities across the UK.

This is according to Steve Halliday, Solihull Council CIO and former Socitm president, who makes these comments in a recent blog post.

“Across the country councils are scurrying about to find digital solutions. They are re-inventing and duplicating effort,” he writes.

A few weeks ago, Halliday chimed in on the Local Government Digital Service (LGDS) debate, arguing in favour of such a service.

It’s an issue he returns to again in his most recent posting, urging readers to imagine if LGDS were here now.

“It would be commissioning solutions that could be deployed with minimum fuss and little cost to all authorities who chose to be part of it,” he claims.

“We have probably missed the opportunity to create LGDS in time for the Care Act. But there will be another big thing. Let’s get ready for that,” he adds.

LGDS “More Than A Good Idea”

Halliday also claims that in this time of “austerity” LGDS is “not just a good idea, it’s a responsibility.”

“Every local authority has done something well with digital. No authority has done everything well,” he claims.

“If we put all the good bits together, we will deliver a substantially better digital experience to our users at a substantially reduced cost,” the CIO adds.

No LocalGov.UK

However, Halliday also raised his concerns against a local government platform similar to Whitehall’s GOV.UK, an idea suggested in June.

“There’s a reason why a single website for local government wouldn’t work,” he claims, adding that it must be understood local authorities are single legal entities, governed by locally elected councillors, address local issues and make local decisions.

“They are also procure business solutions by looking at their local needs first and assessing the market against their requirements. It’s hard to mandate a local authority to do anything,” Halliday writes.

“An LGDS needs to create a value proposition that local authorities would want. The disruptive potential rests in the value proposition,” he adds.


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