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Local government digital platform discussions begin

Experts are set to meet to discuss the possibility of a single digital platform for local government, similar to the GOV.UK website used by Whitehall.

The idea was originally suggested by Richard Copley, head of ICT at Rotherham Council – but last week, think tank Policy Exchange published its Technology Manifesto that supports the idea.

Over the next two weeks, two events will be held that will see experts in digital local government discuss the possibility of building such a platform.

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will be holding the first event later this week in partnership with the Government Digital Service (GDS).

“This Local Digital Campaign Event will identify the assets that have been created by GDS which could be re-used by local authorities,” claimed DCLG.

Socitm, the representative body for people in public sector IT, will be showcasing work in progress at the event, along with GDS.

Open APIs, code and platform assets will also be displayed, alongside discussions on how they may be used locally, as well as highlighting content local authorities can reuse or link to.

The question “Should there be a local GDS?” will also be debated at this event.

“Hackathon” challenges “Digital Do-ers” to find solution

The second event, a “Hackathon” organised by council digital network LocalGov Digital and innovation charity Nesta, is taking place next week on 20th June.

It will see programmers asked to come up with technical solutions for a single online digital platform for local government websites.

The event website asks for “digital do-ers” to come forward to “help solve problems faced by people who use public services.”