Socitm reveals services for review in 2017 Better Connected survey

Written by Rebecca Hill on 26 October 2016 in News
News

Soctim, the body that represents public service ICT professionals, has announced which digital services it will review in the next round of its survey of councils’ online performance.

The assessment will use both mobile phones and desktop computers - Photo credit: Pixabay

The Better Connected survey looks at a range of digital services provided by councils, with reviewers using the websites as a citizen would be see how well they do the job.

The tasks are selected from areas that have high numbers of visitors, which is based on data from Socitm’s website performance service, or are important for another reason. Not every type of council is assessed for every task, and some are assessed on a mobile device instead of a desktop.


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For 2016-17, the first task to be assessed is expected to be on applying for building regulation approval, which Socitm said was likely to begin in November. This will be assessed in shire district, London borough, Northern Ireland district and English, Welsh and Scottish unitary councils.

The timing of the other assessments is not yet confirmed, but Socitm said that it expects to assess county councils on either the ease of signing up for e-resources at libraries or finding out about roadworks from a phone before Christmas.

This is the only council type to be assessed on these tasks, and whichever task is not reviewed this year will be assessed before March 2017.

The other tasks to be assessed in only one type of council are: single person discount for council tax in shire district councils; renewing a residents’ parking permit in London boroughs; housing information in metropolitan councils; and information on children’s sports activities in Northern Ireland councils.

Two tasks will be assessed in six types of councils: apply for building regulations approval and ordering bulky waste collection, the latter of which will be done from a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, four council types – county, London borough, metropolitan district, and English unitary – will be assessed on both services to find local care support for an older person and on requesting care assessment for elderly relatives.

Scottish unitary councils will be assessed on the former of the two social care options, while Welsh unitary councils will be assessed on the latter.

Shire district, Northern Ireland district, and Welsh and Scottish unitary councils will also be assessed on applying for business licences.

Other tasks and services will be assessed in the survey’s test of how quickly certain services can be found, which sees reviewers look at site navigation and search, on both desktop and mobile devices.

Socitm also announced that the event attached to the survey, Better Connected Live, will be held in Birmingham on 27 and 28 June.

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