-Outsourcing has no discernable impact on satisfaction of ICT users
light on the impact of outsourcing local authority ICT services, suggesting
that authorities with significantly outsourced ICT services spend 25% more
per user and that outsourcing has no discernable impact on the satisfaction
of local authority staff using ICT services.
The report also reveals that spending more money on ICT is unlikely in
itself to improve user satisfaction, but that the political regime does
appear to have an impact, both on user satisfaction and the level of
investment in ICT.
Also significant, in terms of overall expenditure on ICT, is the level of
seniority of the Head of ICT. Interestingly, the higher up they are in the
organisation, the less is spent on ICT. The position of the person the
Head of ICT reports into is also likely to affect the level of investment.
Benchmarking the ICT Service summarises and provides analysis of the
results from three benchmarking groups which completed data collection
during 2001. The Socitm benchmarking scheme has been developed to help ICT
units within local authorities identify potential improvements in
performance using a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) developed
by Socitm's best value group. The report is based on results from a total
of 49 participating authorities from across the UK. The report analysis is
also informed by a second benchmarking service run by Socitm which focuses
on user satisfaction among local authority staff who use ICT for their
work. The benchmarking user satisfaction service which began in April 1999
and has just completed its seventh series, has captured data from 21,000
users in 140 local authorities.
According to Martin Greenwood, programme manager for Socitm Insight which
published the report, the data emerging from Socitm's benchmarking
activities is a major and unique asset: 'The data can be mined for all
sorts of information about performance and performance management, not
just in the 'nuts and bolts' of the ICT service as currently delivered, but
also for information about how to deliver the vision of e-government and
meet the rising expectation of citizens and customers, individuals,
businesses and other organizations.'
The report suggests that the Socitm key performance indicators (KPIs),
which are continuing to develop, and the associated benchmarking services
will help all local authorities to deliver the challenging agenda of
e-government. In particular, they will help individual councils answer key
questions such as:
- Does access to services match the needs of the community?
- Are plans and delivery mechanisms in place that will meet the
government's targets for electronic service delivery?
- Are systems and procedures in place that will enable electronic
service delivery through the right mix of channels?
- Does the council provide value for money in the way it delivers
The report also raises the issue of investment in ICT at a time when local
authorities are gearing up to deliver e-government. Local authorities
already invest only 65% of the average found across other sectors, and
funding is almost invariably identified as the number one obstacle to the
development of e-government. However, the report highlights the fact that,
based on expenditure per user, there is a very patchy and uneven record of
funding across local authorities to date. The lowest and highest level of
investment in each type of authority varies by a factor of three or four,
suggesting that differences in investment levels are determined by factors
other than just size and type of authority. These reasons are likely to
include political and management commitment to ICT investment and the
contribution that this might make.
Copies of Benchmarking the ICT Service cost£149, and can be purchased
here, or from the Socitm office (call/fax 01604 674800 or
email email@example.com). The report is free to Socitm Insight
subscribers. A four page executive summary of the report is also available
with the report.
Notes to editors
Socitm is an association of ICT professionals working in and for local
authorities and other public sector bodies. It is a leading authority on
the effective application of ICT in local government, and provides
information and advice through a growing programme of research,
publications, conferences, training, and consultancy. More at
Socitm Insight is a subscription service to which over 400 local
authorities and other public sector organisations now belong. It identifies
good ICT management practice in local government. Socitm Insight has
produced a series of comprehensive and detailed guides on all the major ICT
themes linked to the critical issues of the day, which provide valuable
advice and support for ICT practitioners.
The Socitm Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
1 Customer Satisfaction
2 Percentage calls resolved within agreed timescale
3 Percentage of successful projects
4 Acquisition cost of workstation
5 Cost of connection to voice network
6 Cost of connection to data network
7 Support costs per workstation
8 Workstations supported per support specialist
9 Ratio of workstations to employees
10 Number of training hours received per employee
11 Availability of the ICT service
12 Accessibility of information to the general public
13 Electronic service delivery