Local Digital Coalition Steering Group meeting minutes | October 2016

23 Dec 2016

Actions and minutes

  • iStand board enthusiastic about coalition endorsement for their standards. Some practical things taking place off the back of this:
    • Standard describing local public services. Have defined what the standard ought to do and are currently running a survey to gather feedback from local authorities.
    • Gathering information on common capabilities that local authorities should have access to.
    • Building relationships with TechUK, with the goal of influencing the supplier market to adopt standards in new and existing products.
    • Pickup of Manchester devolution programme as an area where standards will be key to successful completion.
  • Confirmed that LGA doesn't have a pool of funding that LDC could apply for. There is a £50,000 grant to arrange up to 5 projects around the local government sector, with the idea that one particularly advanced authority could repeat their expertise with others in the locality.
    • This comes with requirements and Memoranda of Understanding that the money granted is spent in specific ways.

CC2i - co-funding for the public sector

  • Jane Hancer of CC2i came along to talk about the new co-funding platform for public sector that they are trying to raise awareness of.
  • Lots of digital innovation coming out of Kirklees council e.g. the Better Off project. Kirklees found the money to fund a digital benefits system which was rolled out 6 months after project start, and is now a fully end to end solution where 100% of claimants go through digitally. Has now been taken up in Stockport, Enfield, Leicester and a couple of other authorities.
  • Want to take this to next level. Crowdfunding is proven in the private sector. CC2i is only for public sector to co-fund digital work and technologies. They have spoken to many authorities, inc. NESTA, GLA etc. Positive response all round.
  • The platform is open to pitches from SMEs looking for interest from local authorities, and for LAs to commission systems and find development partners for new technology. The goal is to share the cost of development and de-risk investment.
  • Questions from the Coalition members:
    • How is CC2i being funded? At the moment there is no funding source, this is about talking, awareness raising and gauging interest. The intention is that there will be a commercial model, and they are currently gathering ideas for how the model should work.
    • How does this fit with procurement regulations? Those conversations are taking place and this work is ongoing. GLA have offered their support and guidance, and many pitches fall below the level at which procurement criteria kick in.
      • Suggestion that in some circumstances a Teckal exemption might be possible to help with procurement issues.
  • Broad agreement from Coalition members that this kind of co-funding platform does address a demand and could be a useful tool as long as project funded this way are carefully managed.
    • Warning about 'too many chefs', where there are several funders there are several sets of requirements to coordinate.
    • Would be most effective if lined up with the standards and capabilities work being done at iStand to prevent too much parallel, disconnected development across the platform.
  • Action: Share details of interested Coalition contacts with Jane
  • Action: Include message in the next mailing list newsletter.

Health and social care - Sustainability and Transformation Plans and Digital Roadmaps

  • Recent conversations with London CIO Council around Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and Digital Roadmap models. The Local Digital Roadmap describes technology activities and the capabilities required.
  • Further background on drivers for this:
    • Place based working and integration have challenging situations where traditionally a small percentage of the population drives a disproportionate amount of the cost. Multi-Agency information flows around these individuals is a common problem.
      • Anecdotal example: One individual has created his own plan and carried it around himself because he has given up on the sector exchanging information.
    • Greater Manchester have recently launched GM connect programme looking at cross-organisational information flows, with health and care a leading area of focus.
    • Question to the group is whether the Coalition should be doing something in this space and, if so, what should that be?
      • Tools like LocalGov Digital's Pipeline might be useful for sharing work that is going on in this space nationally (e.g. integration of local services)
      • The Coalition could possibly champion some headline initiatives like the Local Health and Care Information Gateway, which has been adopted in some areas but doesn't seem to be promoted.
      • Opening up datasets might be something the coalition could lead on (e.g. the National pupil database). Problems will be IG related rather than technical, and the effort involved in getting agreement might put off individual councils working alone.
  • Leeds have done work on Integrated Digital Record (IDR) for care (as presented at the last Coalition meeting). Lots of learning and templates for Integrated Care Delivery that they are more than happy to share. Most important is a common data architecture for which Leeds have used OpenEHR, developed by the Royal College of Surgeons. The LGA are funding a piece of work to look into social care practise and data using an OpenEHR back end. How do we more easily share that this work has been done?
  • SOCITM have been working to secure funding for engagement programme to share this more widely, but spreading word is only part of the solution. Also needs funding made available to adopt and adapt existing systems to work with new architecture.
  • Agreement IDR is a good piece of work and has been covered off, but there are other elements that the Coalition could focus on that fall outside the IDR remit, e.g. news about Child protection system information being out of date, Health and Social Care Act requirements, Digital Nation etc. How do we use the Coalition's reach to present this collectively, as a point of engagement?
  • General agreement that this should be a Coalition workstream, with cautionary note that this is kept consciously separate from the existing IDR workstream.
    • Leeds are leading on a piece of work to improve information transfer to Health and Social Care Systems, by allowing interrogation of TDS for real-time matches of clients and NHS numbers, which can be pulled into and stored in social care systems. This will give an alternative to commercial offerings and will be made available for other organisations to use once the pilot is finished.
  • First steps are to hold a separate call on this subject to do some mapping and see how much is covered by projects already ongoing. Also discuss how to raise the profile of this work among CIOs, executive teams etc.
  • Action: Leeds to facilitate a workshop early in the new year for anyone who wants to learn more about the national Ripple ‘open’ integrated Digital Care Record initiative.
  • Action: Arrange separate Coalition call about scoping the wider implications of the Health and Social Care work.

Workstream updates


  • GDS updated that 19 local councils are now working on the Verify programme with 20 looking at parking permits
  • Several activity planning sessions have been held on specific topics (legal, service design etc.)
    • Aiming to have discovery showcase in place for February
  • Question around financial cost of Verify to local authorities? No simple answer to this at the moment. The Local CIO Council has put together a sub-group to challenge GDS with options for business models that could be put in place to underpin Verify in local government.
    • GDS confirmed that Verify will be free to use for the duration of the beta pilot

Blue Badge (Attribute exchange)

  • Working towards private beta for blue badge work. Working with GDS on onboarding, and have passed through stage gate 3 of 6. Have been through set-up and planning stage, and should shortly have access to the integration environment.
  • Focus in particular on two common components that any organisation will need to use Attribute exchange effectively:
    • Federation broker - this manages communication between applications. Approach to development could use CC2i type group funding, or could go through something like LoGov Unboxed.
    • Data matching - key to the whole verification process. Working with supplier called Infocare who have a product called 'clearcore'. Used for Fraud detection at the moment, but building a plugin for verify and hoping this could be made available to other authorities.
  • Warwickshire are the first authority GDS have tried to onboard with Verify and lots of lessons to take away. Big workstream to satisfy that Warwickshire have a secure infrastructure, though able to reuse a lot of work done for PSN. Hopefully this learning can be used to smooth the process for other local authorities.
  • Question about persisting consent. Work is ongoing between NHS and DWP with UMA about persisting consent, and that end vision is for a dashboard that allows a user to manage which organisations have their consent to access which bits of their data. With APIs in place, this would allow automatic checking to see if consent is still in place over a period of years.

Integrated Digital Record (IDR)

  • Leeds would like a list of interested parties to commit to a half day (longer if possible) workshop on what's happening with the marketplace, what's being delivered, what learning we can get etc. with the goal of taking something forward collaboratively at the end of it.
  • The development of the Leeds record was a learning process, so very organic with mistakes made and decisions specific to Leeds situation. Would not copy and paste implementation in another organisation, the point of Ripple is that it is about the approach to developing a record, not the specific product.

Local Waste Service Standard

  • Original project needed £250000, which is not currently available and unlikely to be found in the current climate. Proposal being taken to project board in January to get some use out of existing assets. Will be working with 5 other authorities and a supplier to get a deliverable product.


  • Emailed update from John Hewson at the DVLA. The API work is being pushed forward and they are currently in the build stage, but at the moment they are not in a position to publish end dates. Keep checking back.


  • Action at last coalition meeting to pull together and propose a governance model to help run the coalition going forward. How to handle communication, collaboration, requests for membership etc.
  • Coalition was contacted by a PhD student conducting a research study on Business and IT alignment in digital service redesign, with a particular focus on UK public services. OS agreed to be interviewed and in the course of conversation discovered that governance of groups like the coalition was one of her areas of study. Agreed that she and her supervisor would put together a proposed governance model and see if it met requirements.
  • Request for confirmation on sustainability of the Coalition before getting too in-depth on governance.
    • Carried-over funding is still largely intact, aside from website hosting charges and mailing list credits there is very little day to day spend. Secretariat time is not charged to the coalition.
  • Group consensus that the model provided is too formal and too complex and does not fit the spirit of the Coalition. OS will go back and discuss how this could be improved, with a focus on something simpler and more organic.
  • Some reflections on "Coalition Membership", and how the group sees the Coalition going forward:
    • Would like the coalition to be a coming together of disciplines, each with a role and a constituency that they represent. Core members need to either speak for a swathe of the sector or be a lead authority for a workstream. Other organisations can affiliate, but outside of the direct governance/steering groups.
    • There should be a commitment from those who are part of the coalition that each will work on the agreed workstreams and, when they are ready to roll out, will adopt them in their own home organisations. Project governance level for coalitions workstreams should be flexible and decided on a project by project basis.
    • From the LGA perspective there is a huge amount of activity going on in each of the areas the group has been talking about today. The LGA has been trying to find a forum where people can come together in a friendly and informal way to explain and describe what they are doing. Has always failed in the past, but the Coalition is bringing the right players together (private sector, GDS, LGA, SOCITM etc.) and LGA ae seeing the benefits already. Coalition role is making connections, giving blessing, taking responsibility etc.
    • Have found it useful being able to point to the Coalition when talking to suppliers. Gives credence and authority to the work going on e.g. talking at a company's investment board about Blue Badge work, and the fact that it is a key Coalition project has been very helpful.
    • Can be very useful when getting front line staff views represented, as you can point to the fact something is reported back to the Coalition and get in on more senior meetings that you might not otherwise be a part of.
    • Want to be doers, all still wary of becoming a 'talking shop'. Will be hosting Liam Maxwell soon and one of the topics will be role of central government in local digital transformation. He sees the coalition as a group that they can work with, and that can represent the interests of local government.