TechnologyStop whingeing about money, councils told

Stop whingeing about money, councils told

Local authorities should embrace e-government as a way to fundamentally transform the way they do business and not to turn it into a 'typical local government whinge' about money, according to the chief executive of Liverpool City Council.

Speaking at the Spring Seminar of the public sector user group Socitm, David Henshaw told delegates radical reform is needed if e-government is to work.

‘There are huge possibilities in cost reduction and incremental improvement is not acceptable anymore. E-government won’t stand the test of time if we just look at small scale incremental improvements,’ he said.

Henshaw cited Liverpool’s example of overhauling its services using technology to bring cash savings, improve the council’s performance and a reduction in council tax for citizens.

In the last three years the council has gone from third bottom of the performance league table to eighth, has cut £105m a year of its cost base and introduced a three per cent reduction in council tax.

One of the projects that contributed to this was the integration of nine human resources departments and eight payroll systems that Henshaw described as ‘a complete shambles’.

The departments have been centralised and use an integrated Oracle HR and Payroll system and call centre and a ‘frequently asked questions’ page on the council’s intranet.

‘It gives one version of the truth instead of nine and is taking £2.5m annualised cost out of this service,’ said Henshaw.

An e-procurement system has also cut the number of suppliers used from 17,000 to 5,000 leading to annual spending savings of £5m.

The view was backed by John Mahoney, research director at analyst Gartner, who told delegates not to be blinkered by just cost savings.

‘It is not primarily about saving money in the existing way of doing things but an opportunity to redesign those mechanisms and structures.’

IT managers should set targets that reflect increased service levels, reductions in operational costs and political return, he said.

Related Articles

Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

Audit Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

2d Martin Herron, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

Security Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

6d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

Technology Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

1w Workday | Sponsored
GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

Security GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

2w Neil Patrick, Director of GRC and Centre of Excellence EMEA for SAP
5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

Accounting Software 5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

3w Heather Darnell, Founder of Ask the BOSS
HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

Brexit HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

3w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

Corporate Governance What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

4w Workday | Sponsored
Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

Career Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

1m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter