Policy & Resources

Scrutiny Committee

Task & Finish Review 2011/12

Final Report

E-Government Review

Members of the Task & Finish Group 2011/12

 

Cllr. Mair Stephens (Chair)

St. Ishmael

Independent

 

Cllr. Sue Allen

Whitland

Independent

 

Cllr. Fiona Hughes

Llanybydder

Plaid Cymru

 

Cllr. Anthony Jones

Llandybie

Labour

 

Cllr. Dyfrig Thomas

Bigyn

Plaid Cymru

Table of Contents

SECTION

PAGE

 

CHAIR’S FOREWORD

4

1.0

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

5

2.0

BACKGROUND

6

3.0

OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

6

4.0

APPROACH

7

5.0

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

8

5.1

Vision and Strategy

8

5.2

Using the Council Website

9

5.3

Telephone

14

5.4

Social Media

17

5.5

Digital Inclusion

17

5.6

Broadcasting of Council Meetings

19

6.0

APPENDICES

24

7.0

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

37

Chair’s Foreword

I am pleased to present the final report of the Task & Finish Group which has been investigating the Council’s approach to E-Government.

During the initial stages of the review, it became evident that the subject area was too broad to be completed within the required time-scales, and consequently the Group decided to narrow the scope of the review to focus on the customer interface aspects of the e-government agenda – by looking at ways in which the customer can currently contact or do business with the Council and how these could be delivered in a more cost effective and efficient way, taking into account the preferences of all customers.

Encouraging customers to switch to on-line methods of contacting the Council or accessing services, particularly through the use of self-service, transactional activity does represent a significant challenge, given that currently on-line methods only accounts for 3% of total customer contacts.

A significant shift to self-service/transactional options will require a change of behaviour on behalf of the customer which can only occur if they have faith and trust in the systems that they use; improvements to the content and structure of the Council’s website will be key to this approach. During the course of the review, the Council launched its new recycling microsite and it will be interesting to monitor the impact that these improvements have on the future take-up of web services. Text messaging is also an exciting development that has a potential to keep people informed more easily.

In order to maximise the savings to be achieved as a result of a channel shift to on-line methods, there will also be a need to make improvements to the ‘back-office’ efficiency of the most frequently used transactions by fully automating many of the e-forms that are currently in existence. The Task & Finish Group has suggested that a pilot focussing on the bulky waste collection request service could provide an indication of the type of efficiencies that could be achieved if this was implemented across other transactional areas in the medium to long term.

During the early stages of the review, the Task & Finish Group was asked by the Executive Board to include ‘the broadcasting of Council meetings’ within the scope of its review. Although this proved to be quite an interesting topic to investigate, the amount of time spent on this part of the review has meant that the Task & Finish Group has had to adopt a relatively light touch approach in other areas. I hope therefore that a more detailed investigation can be undertaken within the work programme of the next Scrutiny Committee. Also some parts of the original scope of the review (e.g. internal IT systems and back-office functions) have not been considered at all, and this is an area that the new Scrutiny Committee may want to take forward during the new administration.

I would like to thank all those who gave evidence to the Group, especially officers from the Communications Team, Customer Contact Centre and IT Services. Finally, I would like to thank officers from the Scrutiny & Consultancy Team for their advice and support also to the members of the Task & Finish Group for their commitment, and constructive contribution to the review.

Cllr. L. Mair Stephens

Chair of the Task & Finish Group

1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.2 Key Findings

1.3 Recommendations

2.0 BACKGROUND

3.0 OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

3.1 The scope of the review was originally to be focussed in two key areas:

3.1.1 External focus

3.1.2 Internal focus

4.0 APPROACH

5.0 KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Vision and Strategy

5.1.2 Becoming More Efficient

5.2 Using the Council Website

5.2.2 Top 10 Tasks approach

5.2.3 Staffing resource

5.2.4 Website developments – the need for a corporate approach

5.2.5 Bilingualism

5.2.6 On-line transactions / Self-service

5.2.7 Type of transactions that can be undertaken via the website

5.2.8 On-line payments

5.2.9 E-mail

5.2.10 Mobile Applications

5.3 Telephone

5.3.1 Contact Centre Developments

5.3.2 Developments in phone technology

5.3.3 SMS text alerts

5.4 Social Media

5.5 Digital Inclusion

5.6 Broadcasting of Council Meetings

5.6.1 Audio Recording

5.6.2 Filming (recording) of Council Meetings – via fixed cameras

5.6.3 Filming of Council meetings – manual recording

5.6.4 Live Web-Streaming of meetings

5.6.5 Translation Issues

5.6.6 Staffing issues

6.0 APPENDICES

6.2 Appendix 2 – Strategies / Policies / Research & Reviews

6.3 Appendix 3 – Council Websites

6.2 Appendix 2 – Strategies / Policies / Research & Reviews

6.3 Appendix 3 – Council Websites

6.5 Appendix 4 – News Articles

8.0 GLOSSARY OF TERMS