The standards have been developed by the PARSOL national project and will
provide a benchmark for local authorities to judge their services against
The standards have been set across the spectrum of relevant services within
the two professional disciplines and also deal with how they fit within the
wider local authority corporate context.
Each standard will contain one or more grades, from minimum, through progressing to excellent. The minimum standard reflects that required to meet the 2005 target for delivering services electronically (BVPI 157). Excellent reflects national best
practice, while progressing indicates substantial progress towards the
The standards describe how they contribute to local authorities meeting the
Priority Outcomes for 2005 set for local authorities by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (see here).
The work of compiling the standards was undertaken for PARSOL by KPMG. In
developing the standards extensive consultation was undertaken with a range
of local authorities, including the best performers and poor performers,
ODPM, national and statutory bodies and professional organisations including
CIEH and DSA.
These new standards follow the launch of the e-Planning
Service Delivery Standards by PARSOL at the RTPI conference in 2004. If
every local authority adopts and implements the standards, major progress
will have been achieved in making the provision of e-enabled local authority
services a reality.
PARSOL has also developed a number of supporting products that help local
authorities meet the challenge of e-enabling both planning and regulatory
services by 2005. These include: an expert system answering the question
'Do I need planning permission'; an agent certification scheme; online
Enforcement database and breach of planning control form; coordinated
e-consultation on planning applications; publishing and e-consultation on
local development documents; planning data monitoring schema; online
licensing for over 60 license types (including the Licensing Act 2003),
online self-assessment for businesses and tailored information on regulation
by business type. Toolkits are available for each of the products to help
local authorities implement the services on their own websites. Supporting
material from PARSOL includes a Best Practice Review, Baseline Survey and
the PPA Planning and Regulatory Website Reviews.
Target audiences for this launch event include local authority personnel
working in environmental health and building control, including heads of
department, plus e-government practitioners.