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Varya Shaw reports from Newport...
Varya Shaw reports from Newport

Information Technology will be a 'key driver' for top councils under the comprehensive performance assessment, Audit Commission southern regional director Jane Wreford told delegates at the Society of IT Management's Newport conference.

She said: 'Applying intelligence to achieve new and better ways of meeting user needs is a characteristic of high-performing authorities. IT is a key driver.'

IT managers should push their way into top management meetings, she added: 'E-government has a major part to play in moving council services forward, but you need to get yourself at the top table and make sure you contribute.

'You have much greater knowledge of what is possible, so don't be rebuffed easily. Remind chief executives, some of whom may have never visited their council's website, that the Audit Commission will be looking at their site.'

IT should be a major driver in what the council was doing, she said. While CPA and best value inspectors were not government agents, they would look at IT in the context of national policy.

This included keeping objectives uppermost in any service, the efficiency and quality of services, ease of access and delivery outcomes.

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