Creating common standards for councils: reflections and lessons learned

30 Mar 2016, 3:22 pm

The Local Waste Service Standards project has launched a video which summarises the benefits of creating common data and technical data standards across local government that could improve services and save millions.

The project, from Local Digital, was made up of a group of five local government pioneers, the Department for Communities and Local Government and waste suppliers. They collaborated informally over 10 months to test whether common data standards could improve public sector service delivery by reducing customer contact and preventing councils from designing disparate systems that do not ‘talk’ to one another.

The standards – the underlying rules that allow software to communicate – are aimed at creating a new way of working whereby digital systems talk to each other, councils switch between providers more easily and there is less manual intervention and call handling.

The project, which culminates this week, found that councils could save hundreds of millions of pounds over 14 years (the average length of two procurement cycles) by using the standards. If every council adopted the standards, they could each save £120,000-£220,000 a year.

This short video discusses the process of collaboration and co-design that has taken place and the ultimate benefits and savings, as well as some reflections from the key participants including suppliers and participants Luton Borough Council, Guildford Borough Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Bristol City Council.

Get more information on the project, and access a set of re-usable resources and a business case, all publicly available for re-use by councils.