LocalGov digital chair tells the truth about GDS

The chair of LocalGov Digital, a network for digital practitioners in local government, has offered his thoughts on the creation of a Local Government Digital Service (LGDS).

Carl Haggerty believes that for every argument in support of such a service, there is a strong “against” counter argument and it is time for people to stop debating and start proving their arguments.

The LGDS was first proposed earlier this month by Socitm, the representative body for people in public sector IT, in response to a report that called for a local government version of Whitehall’s GOV.UK platform.

The organisation argued that a LOCALGOV.UK was an “ill conceived” idea, but believes an LGDS would really bring about digital change in local authorities.

What will LGDS actually look like?

According to Haggerty, who is also communications manager at Devon County Council, his first step was to begin considering what an LGDS might actually look like.

He believes the Service would likely include a content platform, transactional platform, capacity and skills development, quality standards, assisted access, open and linked data, democracy and transparency and sustainability.

“What I think would be help is to work out how we would begin achieving these things and then do it,” Haggerty writes in a blog post.

“Other people have more informed views of [a content platform and transaction platform], but in my view, it is less about a shared single platform and more about improving the quality of provision all round,” he adds.

For Haggerty, the solution is a single approach and unified model that actually works and delivers while, while creating local flexibility.

“I don’t claim that this is the right answer or even a good one, but I want do something and this is what I feel I can contribute to the most as this point in time,” he says.

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