Archives for April 4th, 2006

MODERN PUBLIC SERVICES: FLEXIBLE WORKING

Book News, PublicNet: 4 April, 2006

This report from the Society of IT Management says that the practice of flexible working, which includes working at convenient times (flexi-time), ‘hot-desking’, peripatetic working, and working from home, is growing fast in local authorities. The report estimates that at least 26,000 council employees are already formally established as home-based workers, and that this number is growing rapidly.The drivers for this change, says the report, are many. They include the potential to provide better services by taking them to customers’ homes using mobile technologies, to make savings through disposal of redundant office space, and to improve the quality of employees’ working lives by enabling flexible working that helps them to accommodate other roles as parents or carers. In congested areas flexible working also helps to avoid peak times for traveling to work.

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COUNCIL MANAGERS SUPPORT SHARED SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 April, 2006

Two-thirds of council managers support the Government’s shared services agenda according to a survey by Public Sector Forums, a leading independent network for eGovernment practitioners, representing UK local authorities and their central government counterparts.The survey also found that around a fifth of councils are implementing a shared service. This includes 20% with call centres , 21% with IT/systems support, 22% with pay roll and 15% with HR and finance/accounting functions. The report has been welcomed by those pushing for the development of a shared services agenda across government.

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COUNCILS RESPOND TO TRANFORMATIONAL GOVERNMENT CHALLENGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 April, 2006

An agenda for radical change in the way local government delivers services has been published by a group made up from chief executives and other senior council officers. The members of the group represent local government on central bodies steering the public services modernization agenda such as the Chief Information Officer Council and the Service Transformation Board. The agenda for change is set out in a discussion paper ‘Transformational Local Government’. The paper picks up the themes in ‘Transformational Government’, the Cabinet Office blue print for taking public services beyond eGovernment which was published in November 2005. The aim of the paper is to trigger a conversation across local government about what “transformed local government”, supported by modern ICT, should look like.The discussion paper recognises that technology alone does not transform government, but government cannot transform to meet modern citizens’ expectations without it. The authors believe that local government is at a “tipping point”, where many strands of policy and practice are converging to give both the opportunity and need to change fundamentally. The paper sets out a vision of what might be achieved and a framework for action, highlighting in particular the role that modern information and communications technology can play. It is claimed that the paper is a starting point and will be followed by a process of discussion and engagement across local government and with other key stakeholders.

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