Local authority intranets can make a “major contribution” to transforming public service delivery, a new report argues.
The Socitm Insight report says local authorities have neglected intranet development, compared with public websites, but the drive to improve services is putting more emphasis on the need for staff to have easy access to information to support their work.
But without user engagement, “the intranet will ultimately fail”, the report warns. It argues that key applications – such as human resources management, geographical information systems, council committee information, management briefings and bulletin boards – can boost the use of intranets by council staff.
The report, which cites good practice examples and draws on the experience of 34 councils, shows how a good intranet can establish an online community that cuts across different service areas and locations. The intranet can also act as a consultation channel and potentially help bring about a change in the organisation’s culture, it says.
In the report’s foreword, Chorley borough council deputy chief executive Paul Morris says: “Transforming our council through investing in our intranet is one of the best decisions I have been involved in. The improvements delivered have outperformed our expectations on all fronts.”