FOI requests are a growing burden on Council resources across the UK; a 2010 survey of local government estimated the cost of FOI at £31.6m, and that civil servants spent 1.2m hours responding to nearly 200,000 requests. The workflows and processes of responding to these requests are highly variable and inconsistent across departments.
Our preliminary research on the current ways of working found that our teams are adaptive and proactive in responding to requests. Our existing processes use obsolete software and ad hoc processes. There is inconsistency with the current systems that make it difficult to develop a standard procedure for responses, which provides an opportunity for streamlining this service.
There is potential to provide Council employees with a digital solution to the current disjointed process. We would like to research the workflow and processes that each department currently use to respond to requests and consider ways to make this process more agile. This would allow the Council to better serve the public, delivering fast and proficient responses, save the Council time and embed agile working practices across every department which deals with FOI requests. We envisage this will be scalable to other Local Authorities.
- Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
- Digital and agile awareness
- Agile for teams