Headlines: August 28th, 2001

Local authorities looking to embrace e-government are urged to take on board a ‘compelling list of learning points’ from a private sector company which has fully embraced the new business model of the Internet economy.This is the central message of ‘Local e-government: Learning From the Best’, from the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM).

The report says local government is facing an unprecedented challenge in meeting rising customer expectations through the use of technology as well as the radical changes central government expects with its e-government and Best Value policies.

It says councils could learn much about how to meet such challenges from the experience of a company like Cisco Systems. Cisco has been chosen as ‘best in class’ from a number of internet enabled companies, and is cited as an organisation which has built a successful business by exploiting internet technology and, equally important, empowering its employees.

The SOCITM report points out that under Best Value, local authorities are expected to compare the way they work with the best of private sector.

The ten areas of learning highlighted are: customer service, processes, empowering employees, investing in Information, extensive use of the intranet, embrace e-learning for employees, management of ICT infrastructure as a major asset, and review the whole way in which ICT is managed and organised from the top.

An executive summary of the report can be obtained (free of charge) from the SOCITM office on 01604 674800 or www.socitm.gov.uk.