Pendle Borough Council is extending its relationship with IT firm Liberata in a bid to digitise at least 65% of the services it offers the public and partners.
The aim: save at least £5m in efficiency savings, make a big shift to digital channels and offer more and more self-service options, says the body.
The ten year extension, out now until 2030, will be a £54m commitment, adds the council.
Pendle has been working with the company since 2005 on areas including revs and bens, strategic HR and payroll, property, fraud and error and IT, but the next push in what’s being dubbed a “major digital transformation programme” is all about ensuring all services are redesigned to exploit technology.
That’s with the goal of delivering enhanced services to both citizens and employees with greater accessibility, easier service requests (in the form of improved automation of forms, reduced keying) and speedier problem resolution.
It will also reduce the cost of delivery, ensuring sustainability in the services and enabling additional resources to be assigned to enhance the handling of vulnerable citizens and more complex requests, predicts the council’s leadership.
The track record of the relationship so far seems promising in terms of realising these ambitious goals; Pendle is saying it’s reduced its budget deficit, improved staff engagement and retention and helped regenerated the local area, creating over 150 jobs. The collaboration has also helped Pendle to boost its revenue collection capability.
It also managed to achieve its highest ever percentage of business rates (99.1%) in 2015-16.
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For Dean Langton, Strategic Director and Head of Paid Service at Pendle Borough Council, “As we embark on our digital transformation journey, Liberata’s expertise in channel shift will prove invaluable. In the face of budgetary challenges, Liberata has always worked with us to identify alternative ways of doing things, allowing us to realise additional cost savings.
“By continuing our partnership with Liberata, we can build on the improvements made to date and achieve even greater things in the future.”
Liberata says its services are being used by the Ministry of Justice, the London Boroughs of Bromley and Hounslow, Barrow, North Somerset and other public sector bodies.
The vendor says its Capacitygrid on-demand business service suite, launched in 2011, are now being used at over 200 UK councils, where it has among other things reportedly won back £4.5m of incorrect awards of Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit and £12m for Rateable Value for other customers.