Headlines: November 8th, 2004

Slough Borough Council will this week become the first local authority to go live with a full electronic service joining all its departments together for property searches. The ‘managed service’ will benefit both professionals involved in conveyancing and homebuyers in Slough by providing a fast and efficient service.The modernisation enables the council to connect to the National Land Information Service hub at a level that allows Slough to respond to search requests electronically. The NLIS Local Authority Modernisation Programme is a managed service, provided by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates who are managing similar modernisation programmes in Liverpool, Telford and Wrekin, South Norfolk, Canterbury and Sandwell.

Slough has not had to pay an upfront fee for using the system but once it goes live later this week the Borough will pay a monthly flat fee for using the managed service. It is expected that the modernisation will give residents immediate benefits, because it will improve other services as well as property searches.

Slough’s Chief Executive, Cheryl Coppell said the work was part of a nationwide project aiming to provide the first step towards full electronic conveyancing. “We are proud that Slough Borough Council is leading the field in providing a modern, up-to-date local land charge service that will meet our customers’ demands for a faster, more efficient service,” she said.

The council says the NLIS LAMP system has given it the means and opportunity to implement a modern e-government solution, transforming the way information is managed within the authority and helped it to meet e-government targets.The project has cut across service areas to link back-office systems, and provide the future for e-government initiatives such as knowledge management. The large-scale project represents a first for Slough as a truly crosscutting initiative, which has converted huge volumes of paper to fully electronic formats, as well as integrating with existing systems across departments.

John Thornton, Director of e-Government at the Improvement and Development Agency said NLIS was one of the best examples of e-government and joined-up government in action.