Abstracts: March 29th, 2010

The Society of IT Management report ‘Better Connected’ concludes that the majority of council websites are not yet good enough to support the major shift to self-service required to mitigate the impact of budget cuts on service levels and satisfaction.

The Society’s survey found that websites have not made significant progress since 2009. The judgement is based on comparison of standards across nine essential criteria where improvements are balanced by deterioration or evidence of little or no change.

The survey revealed that eleven sites, 3 per cent, achieved four stars, this compares with eight achieving the very similar ‘excellent’ rating last year. 24% are rated 3 star, 46 % 2 star and 27% 1 star.

Shifting enquiries to the much cheaper, 24/7 available, web channel will only work if people seeking council services online can achieve what they want, and quickly. But results of this year’s survey show little evidence that councils have invested in their sites over the last 12 months to make the necessary improvements. Overall, there has been little improvement and there is an increasing gap between the best and worst performing websites.

Usage of council sites is rising by about 21 %.

Better connected is available from SOCTIM at £415. www.socitm.net