- Background
- Vision 2019 - 2021
- Our Focus 
- Our programmes of work
- Principles for Success


The Digital Office for Scottish Local Government emerged from the development of a digital transformation strategy for local government in late 2015/early 2016, which was approved by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and the Local Government Digital Transformation Board.

Thirty councils in Scotland joined forces making up the ‘Digital Partnership’ to drive this digital transformation from which the new digital office was formed.

The original vision approved by SOLACE on November 2015 was:

“All Councils will be Digital Businesses by 2020. 

Through this, we will:

o   Deliver better outcomes for citizens;
o   Focus on delivering services to those who need it the most;
o   Provide services that are both customers centred and efficient;
o   Provide services as good or better than those available in the commercial sector - customers will choose to use our services;
o   Create new ways of developing and delivering joint services with partner organisations in an ever-changing world;
o   Have a workforce equipped and skilled for the digital world we live in."

In the follow up SOLACE paper published on the 1st April 2016 after consultation with Councils it was recommended that the new entity (the Digital Office) was to:

o   Support building the collective and local business case for being digital businesses;
o   Develop narrative / art of possible for key service areas – e.g. learning and education, social and health care;
o   Support CMTs and work with local ICT/transformation leadership to understand agenda and build local capacity;
o   Identification of opportunities and business cases – building a portfolio;
o   Drive the disruptive digital agenda across all participants.

The programmes three-year term ended in October 2019. A review was carried out to determine the future of the Office and with the remaining two Scottish Local Authorities joining the Partnership, all 32 Councils have committed to extending the programme for another two years until October 2021. 

Vision 2019 -2021

Our vision is to drive Digital First approaches in Scottish Local Government by:

o    Scoping and collating the representative needs of Scottish Local Government;
Shaping excellence in data, design, technology and innovation;
o    Shifting to user-centered services to deliver better outcomes for citizens, communities and councils;
o    Building capabilities by collaborating and sharing best practice, tools and guidance to help increase the capacity from within the sector;
o    Scaling suitable solutions to accelerate and reduce costs for Scottish Local Government’s digital transformation.

Our Focus

The Office aims to be a centre of excellence in data, technology and digital, working with the councils to help them with their own transformation and ensuring they are creating top class digital services for citizens by:

o   Providing sector-wide digital leadership;
o   Developing better digital transformation capabilities;
o   Delivering sector-wide digital programmes;
o   Building stronger relationships with other sectors for digital transformation;
o   Developing standards for local government digital services.

Programmes of work

Based upon the feedback from stakeholder engagement during the first half of 2019, the following portfolios for the Digital Office have been prioritised;

o    Digital Health and Care
o    Digital Learning and Teaching
o    Digital Place
o    Digital Council
o    Digital Foundations
o    Digital Leadership and Skills.

Our Principles for Success

To achieve our vision, we will use key principles for success which include:


o    Define, monitor and continuously communicate the needs and benefits of our products;
o    Identify the return on investment (ROI) to enable us to measure the performance of the Digital Partnership and allow councils to evaluate the efficiency of their investment;
o    Have a clear road map for each project supported by a common set of processes which enables projects to be delivered quicker and more cost effectively;
o    Encourage and enable collaborative procurement to truly get best value for our councils and more importantly our citizens.


o    Identify all users and understand their needs when defining and developing all our products;
o    Having a clear product roadmap to ensure clarity on what is and what isn’t being delivered and to manage expectations;
o    Using transformation capabilities in manageable sprints and produce honest and accurate project monitoring;
o    Consider cyber security at the outset to ensure there is no delay in development.


o    Clearly define the role and responsibilities of each local authority to ensure accountability;
o    Clear leadership from senior management and elected member level which demonstrates drive and commitment;
o    Use the heartbeat recruitment process to identify people with the right skills and experience to participate in our projects;
o    Regular and effective engagement with our users;
o    Prioritise the sharing of knowledge between all partners.


Regularly engaging with our stakeholders across the Digital Partnership is key to enabling the shaping, shifting, sharing and most importantly scaling of digital transformation across Scotland.