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 to drive this digital transformation from which the new digital office was formed. The group of 30 councils will fund the digital office for the next three years and the new team will be shared by all the participating councils.
Martyn Wallace and Dr Colin Birchenall took up their new posts as Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer in October 2016, bringing extensive experience driving forward the digital agenda in Scotland across the public and private sectors.
Martyn and his team will be expected to turn the digital transformation strategy into a set of actions that will set the long-term digital direction for local government in Scotland. They will work with all councils to help build a portfolio of collaborative initiatives and projects that exploit digital technologies to reduce the cost of services and improve the customer experience for citizens.
As well as working with the participating councils, the new local government digital office will collaborate with public sector partners including Scottish Government, Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM), Scotland Excel, SEEMiS Group, NHS National Services Scotland, COSLA and the Improvement Service (IS) to exchange best practice, develop wider public sector strategic direction and develop new shared services and capacities.
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.
All Councils will be Digital Businesses by 2020. Through this, we will:
• Deliver better outcomes for citizens
• Focus on delivering services to those who need it the most
• Provide services that are both customer centred and efficient
• Provide services as good or better than those available in the commercial sector - customers will choose to use our services
• Create new ways of developing and delivering joint services with partner organisations in an ever-changing world
• Have a workforce equipped and skilled for the digital world we live in