LGA unveils strategy to support successful IT service procurement

The LGA has today released its National Technological and Digital Procurement Category Strategy that will support councils make the right choices in procuring contracts for IT services.

It will help authorities assist and promote value for money, economic growth, wider service delivery and social value through the procurement of digital services.

The strategy highlights that councils must be able to demonstrate best value for money from IT investment, not only in terms of unit cost but also with the contribution that technology can make to solving the big challenges that councils and communities face.

“The challenge for IT procurement is to create the agility and flexibility needed to meet the unprecedented demand for new technology and new ways of using technology in a way which manages risk and does not compromise probity or value,” a spokesperson for the LGA said.

“Successful public service digital transformation therefore requires a strategic approach to redesign and reengineer on every level to make councils faster at doing things, more adaptable and able to share more information.”

The LGA added that many councils were already working to these strategic themes for IT and digital procurement or were working towards them.

“But even the very best performing councils should be constantly re-evaluating, inwardly challenging, learning and developing,” the association continued.

In his foreword to the strategy, Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, technology and growth at the London Borough of Camden, said: “‘Digital is not about more IT. It is about fundamentally changing the way councils operate, from top to bottom – governance, roles, risk management, decision making, policies, democratic process, citizen engagement, staff responsibility, structures and, of course, processes.

“The main outcome is to use procurement and commissioning to directly improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the communities we serve.

“We remain committed to improving that performance, to use leverage to get better value from our biggest suppliers and to further streamline our processes for smaller firms and scale-ups.”

Local government spends around £2bn per year on IT, and £1bn of this is spent on sourcing and supporting software applications.

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