The business case for attribute exchange – Working out loud – Issue 1

29 Mar 2015, 6:04 pm

After many discovery events with different central government departments, it became clear that there was scope to drastically improve local services for citizens and save money in the process by improved data sharing and data verification between local and central government. We just needed to develop the business case.

So, the Local Digital Programme has started a business case research project, and in this first post, we’ll share our methodology. Ultimately, we hope to develop this project into a rich business case database for data sharing initiatives that we’ll share with all trusted organisations to analyse and innovate upon.


Project objectives

  1. Get a general view of local government services areas where data-sharing and, in particular, attribute exchange may be beneficial
  2. Understand the high level data exchange requirements of local authorities
  3. Uncover of the cost of delivering services under current regimes to help establish the business case cost-benefits for developing attribute exchange tools
  4. Find areas where there is most wastage in eligibility testing
  5. Identify which local services could be offered as seamless online journeys


The method

1: Visit as many local authorities as possible and work with their analysts, transformation managers and services managers to establish how their services work and where different kinds of data-sharing could help.

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Sample business case research template part 1

We’ve sent researches to 6 local authorities to date, and hope to continue these visits to other authorities throughout April. Contact the project delivery manager, Joanne, if your council could contribute.


2. Understand how local authorities currently establish eligibility for services: Together, we analyse which of the council’s services require identity assurance and eligibly checking. We unpick and document how each authority’s services currently establish eligibility and verify identity, and to understand why they currently do things as they do.

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Sample business case research template part 2


We then break each service down into its component transactions to understand which elements might be cut out or improved using attribute exchange.

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 Sample business case research template part 3

This job was made a whole lot easier thanks to an early analysis that Ian Litton from Warwickshire County Council did of the LGA List of local government services and their central touchpoints.


3. Understand the cost of establishing identity and eligibility as we currently do it:

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Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 18.33.26Sample business case research template part 4

This part, thus far, has proved the hardest to clarify upon our first visit to each council, as most councils don’t have the data to hand. In our follow-up contact and going forward to visit future councils, we’ll be looking at developing this section of the research. We’re also asking:

  1. How many applications are for each service are processed each year?
  2. How much time, approximately, is spent processing each application from start to finish?
  3. How many checks are done per year by different departments on the same citizen (to verify the same kind of information)?
  4. How many times has each authority sent a debt collector or an inspector to the wrong address?


4. Mapping the interdependencies

As many local government services are passported, we’re also mapping the interdependencies to analyse how effectively local authorities are availing of this hierarchy.


 5. Identify how identity and eligibility could be checked more effectively in the future

Having understood the information needs of local authorities, where they are currently spending more time and effort, we are investigating where this time and effort could be reduced by more effective uses of passported services and attribute exchange.

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Sample business case research template part 5


Get involved

We’ll publish our first findings in May. In the mean time, if you have ideas or information to contribute, please contact the project delivery manager, Joanne.

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