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Better data standardisation ‘a must’ to transform council services

Increased standardisation of data such as addresses would make it easier for local authorities to share services and save money, GeoPlace, a partnership between the LGA and Ordnance Survey, has said in a new report.

In the report, ‘Everything happens somewhere: address and street data a common standard for digital transformation’, GeoPlace provides a number of case studies of the benefits of data standardisation, which they say improves efficiency by removing the need to enter the same address into multiple departments.

For example, Wychavon District Council carried out data cleansing to improve connections between different council departments. The outcomes included weekly reports for council tax, business rates and the electoral register to notify the local address team of new records requests, automatic notification of new address requests to the planning department, and using the electoral register to locate properties that have failed to pay council tax.

Jason Kitcat, independent advisor to local and national government on digital transformation and former leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “The examples in this report show how much more could be achieved if wider use of the fruits of GeoPlace's work became embedded in all that public services do.”

In other examples of innovation, Wiltshire County Council created a consistent register of address and property information to be used by multiple departments and the London Borough of Hillingdon combined their master address data with an interactive map to help keep track of new business premises in the Heathrow area.

Barnsley Metropolitan District Council created a system linking together eight different departments, including education and benefits, to identify families to target in their Troubled Families Programme.

A data-sharing partnership across Cambridgeshire saved between £864,000 and £1.72m by tackling social housing tenancy fraud, and the London Borough of Harrow is set to save £3.2m across the next decade and reduce landfill waste by 18.8% by using its local address dataset to better integrate waste management and recycling systems.

Claire Holloway, the LGA’s head of corporate governance, said: “This report makes a compelling case for the wider use and sharing of data and should be a must read for anyone who wants to transform their services, make savings, and provide better citizen services.”

Steve Brandwood, head of engagement at GeoPlace, will present the report at the GeoPlace annual conference on 28th April at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster. Other speakers at the event include Matthew Hancock MP, minister for the Cabinet Office, and Nigel Clifford, Ordnance Survey CEO.

GeoPlace, the public sector LLP between the LGA and Ordnance Survey, inputs addresses collected from local authorities into national databases, where they are used by bodies including HM Revenue and Customs, emergency services and the Department for Work and Pensions.



Lyn   07/04/2016 at 14:00

Local Authority safe guarding measures have to be robust and can be very time consuming for all parties involved. Our Local Authority asked for Care Providers to complete a survey recently concerning the processes used presently. I fully agree with the above and through the present safeguarding processes there are several meetings using the same data on different forms e.g notifications, DOLS, Best Interests - this could all be sorted if one form was developed and what was applicable completed at one meeting with:- Client, family, social workers, health professionals, care providers. Instead of loads of meetings taking up a lot of THOSE INVOLVED less stressful for all - minimum paperwork and more protection for all those involved. A Much more efficient system that is a lot easier to monitor.

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