Our response to the Operational Efficiency Programme

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So, my challenge over this week was to prepare a ‘local response’ to the Operational Efficiency Programme: final report.

One of the immediate observations about the report is that it focuses hard on infrastructure improvements and efficiency, but fails to make the connection with other priority government agendas, namely climate change and social inclusion.

The draft response would be taken to Socitm Futures and the Socitm National Advisory Council and would be designed to set out Socitm’s policy position and to provide a framework for follow-up support and guidance for our members.

With the last point in mind, I had a telecon with MG/CH and Roland to consider how we could build on Socitm Insight’s benchmarking service to support members seeking to derive greater efficiencies as a consequence of investment in ICT and better information management.

On Tuesday, I met with William Barker where he guided me through current CLG work on the ‘Public Sector Reform Programme’ and how, in this context, he saw Socitm’s evolving role in policy development.

The Socitm Membership Group met on Wednesday to review progress on its professional development plans. One of the early ‘wins’ sought is to establish a mentoring scheme open to members. Later CLG-funded Digital Inclusion Team.

They are preparing a series of interactive workshops designed to train local government front-line service staff in the practical opportunities for using ICT in an inclusive way. Socitm will assist them in providing feedback on the design and relevance of the workshops and in identifying potential local authorities to participate.

The Team has asked for a practicing head of IT/customer service to help in this task, so please contact me if this is you.

My final task for the week was to begin the process of drafting a Socitm strategy for policy development and support. In part a response to KPMG’s review of the Society, the Socitm Board of Directors is in the process of reviewing and approving a high level strategy for Socitm as a whole, underpinned by strategies for communications, policy, etc.

The week closed on a bright note as I received a mailing from friend and colleague Professor Klaus Frey in Brazil. It contained copies of a book that was the outcome of a British Council symposium on e-governance. I had led a delegation, including Socitm members to that event. Now, the resultant book, including chapters from each of us as delegates, has been published, albeit in Portuguese!

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