Public sector IT group Socitm has announced a consultation on its report that aims to establish the best ways of improving local public services through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
The Routemap document (PDF) aims to offer local councils guidance on the ways they could follow the government's ICT approach at a local level in order to reform the delivery of numerous services such as health, transport, education and housing.
The document was created after the Cabinet Office asked Socitm's Local Chief Information Officer Council to look at the implementation of the government's overall ICT strategy from a local authority perspective.
The group is now asking for stakeholders from the public, private and civil society sectors to respond online to the consultation in order to provide feedback on how this can best be achieved.
The document outlines a number of technologies that local councils could use to achieve these changes, including cloud computing to drive down the cost of delivering key applications and services.
"Cloud offers potential for not only facilitating reduced cost shared services in the local public services arena, but rationalisation of the number of different systems used across the sector," it said.
"Generally, cloud services should offer an opportunity for local authorities and other local public service organisations to reduce costs of ICT infrastructure and applications."
Socitm also suggested that the use of SMEs should be more fully considered when commissioning firms for new IT projects.
"This should lower the costs of procurement and open up the market to new entrants and SMEs to offer innovative ways of addressing local public service outcomes enabled by ICT," the report said,
However, Socitm added that the Routemap document is not intended as a set agenda that councils must follow, but to provide a broad range of options by which ICT could enable changes to service delivery over a five-year period.
The consultation opened on 8 March and can be accessed online until 4 April, when the Routemap report will be prepared for its final launch at Socitm's spring conference on 11 May.
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