Citizens move home between different local authorities and as part of this process they are required to inform each local authority involved of changes required to the services they and their family need.
Characteristics of the family members moving home and their prevailing situations are widely dispersed, families which access a wide range of council services are often the most vulnerable people within society. This introduces complexity for local authorities to cease, re-provision and re-instate all of those carry-forwarded services upon request, alongside this there is the need for the citizens to register again for the same services. Non-interoperable IT Systems with sub-optimal capabilities can heavily constrain effective service delivery.
This proposal will identify the most significant and common issues experienced by citizens and local authorities arising from the repetitive customer contact over a “move”. This will also asses associated cost, missed opportunities, potential risks and their impacts.
This project will identify credible solutions with options and recommendations highlighting their merits, weaknesses and business benefits, aiming for citizens to notify a change once and authorities to record these transactions once, immutably and notifying others.
Other key functionalities we will consider include:
- GDPR Portability of personal and sensitive data
- Improving the quality and reliability of data
- Tell us once, cascade
This proposal will also explore the potential to implement a suitable open source, vendor neutral, technology agnostic, distributed, compliant and secured IT solution. This solution would be open to all local authorities with benefits being realised across the sector.
The project team will identify the key deliverables, draw a project plan and estimate effort required over each work element. The team lead will assign one or more resources to execute mutually agreed tasks. The project team will take advantage of the available collaboration tools and other communication technologies to progress seamlessly despite being widely distributed, geographically. The team will work using an agile approach to project delivery.
The team will join weekly meeting over voice / video to discuss the progress and issues to ensure the deliveries are on schedule. Should there be any slippage, the team lead will re-assign and re-prioritise the related work packages as necessary.
This project will produce and deliver three artefacts in publishable form as a collaborative outcome by end of March 2019. In the process of development, the outputs will undergo several iterations. Quality checked, polished final versions will be published at the end.
The project will be led by the collaborative councils. Councils may choose to employ specialist consultants and technology vendors to help in developing realistic business cases with reasonable precision of estimates.
Some of the key events and delivery milestones are as follows:
- Initiation Kick-Off Meeting agreeing A Project Plan
- Agree Terms of Reference
- Work Allocation of agreed tasks across lead authority and collaborators
- Sprint I – Three parallel activities will deliver
- Draft Business / Benefit Case
- Draft User Research Report
- Draft Project Conclusion (including Logical Data Model and Solution Options)
- Sprint II – Review Cycle Begins
- Amendments from Review delivering final Documents
- Publication of Three Documents as committed
- Project Conclusion Meeting
At the time of this application, we do not have any estimated total cost of this problem at a local (or national) scale. However, it is evident from the initial discussions within the cohort that most local authorities suffer from fragmented processes and disjointed systems to manage a “move” to various degrees. Citizens also duplicate unnecessary effort in informing authorities of their move, this solution would look to significantly reduce this effort.
The proposed solution will deliver following fundamental capabilities:
- Register a move transaction in form of a distributed ledger system
- Sign and authorise a transaction to make it immutable
- Data privacy and security
- Link every block of transaction with previous related records in a chain fashion
- Browse the entire series of related transactions in chronological order
- Notify the changes to all subscribers
New capabilities will enable the connected authorities to address multiple issues, leveraging direct and indirect benefits by fixing them. Some key achievable benefits are as follows:
- Local Authorities will avoid multiple contacts by the citizens reporting a move, saving operational cost
- Once a move is recorded, a single version of truth will be available, nationwide, avoiding duplicate and inconsistent records
- Every record will be linked to related records, traceable chronologically with audit trail
- Every recorded move will generate event notifications, which subscribed authorities could commit changes in their downstream systems consistently
- Authorities will be able to prevent (or minimise) the possibilities of fraud from those opportunists who exploit record irregularities with malicious intent
- Authorities need no third party specialist company services (e.g. credit agencies) this will result in cashable revenue savings
- No central authority is required to deliver the service avoiding any single point of contention
- Every connected authority will manage and maintain the solution, deploy it over their own computing resources at own cost eliminating need of a central national infrastructure. This is challenging the current market.
- Local Authorities could offer a better customer experience by asking customers “tell us once”
This discovery proposal aims to identify the most significant and common issues found within local authorities that arise from a “move” reported by a citizen. To catalogue those issues, this project team will reach out to the pre-identified user samples within the councils collaborating together.
Individual authorities will identify the target sample for conducting surveys. Outcome from the sample survey will lead to development and delivery of the user research and benefit research. These research outcomes will be shared among the cohort for further fine tuning to make them extendable on a national scale when shared.
Essentially this research is aiming to suggest a set of appropriate solutions to fix the root cause of the common issues. The solution propositions will also make sure they fit with the most common IT landscapes as found in local authorities and that they are easy to adopt, thus making them relevant.
This discovery project will produce and deliver the following outputs.
A Benefit Case:
This document will classify the most significant and common issues experienced by majority of the local authorities resulting from the repetitive customer contact over a “move”. This will also asses associated total estimated cost of this problem at a local (and national) scale, missed opportunities, potential risks and their impacts.
A User Research Report:
This report will identify what kind of solution the users will look for to fix the issues identified above. This will define the scope of the solution and set a direction of travel to develop the architecture vision of the proposed solution.
A Project Conclusion:
In this artefact, the project will identify and outline credible solutions with options and recommendations, highlighting their merits, weaknesses and business benefits. This will also suggest a suitable open source, decentralised IT solution, potential candidate for implementation. The project conclusion document will have the necessary level of details to serve as a foundation for a future alpha project to build and deploy the solution.
The above document will be supplemented with a proposed data model enabling a seamless customer journey between authorities, providing an option for digital customers to consent to transfer data (containing associated benefits and services) to a new authority.
The documents will be developed using collaborative tool by the contributors. This tool will enable the documents to be published with necessary version control. The artefacts will be reviewed diligently to ensure they meet quality standards to be published at a national level.
One of the project aims is to develop an architecture vision to outline the proposed IT solution. This solution will benefit the councils and other national authorities connected on its network by enabling them to capture each “move” transaction only once.
The primary users of this decentralised solution and technical specifications will be IT Architects, Business Analysts and Technical Solution Developers responsible for designing and building the integration middleware. This user community could belong to local and national authorities, technology vendors and other innovators who may be involved.
During this discovery phase, the project will request engagement of three individuals from each participating council. Proposed mix of the functions required will be as follows:
- Service Designer / Delivery Manager
- Business Analyst / User Researcher
- Enterprise Architect / Solution Architect
- Systems Analyst / Technical Lead
Questionnaires will be prepared for each of the above, followed by a telephone interview. Assessment of this user research will establish capability and maturity levels of the organisations’ IT functions.
User research with citizens will also be carried out during this discovery project and existing citizen engagement channels which exist in each authority will be utilised.
The combined research outcomes derived from these engagements will serve as a baseline to determine the following attributes of the proposed solution:
- Scope and capabilities
- Acceptable degree of complexity ensuring data compliance
- Expected level of usage
- Ease of adaptability
- A roadmap of rollout
- Future evolution
Later these estimates will be extrapolated to cater at a national level of operation.
This project may need to use consultancy from market leading public cloud service providers to explore available solutions to realise the defined architecture vision. This engagement will also help the project to define non-functional requirements of the system to operate at a national scale and associated costs of hosting.
These consultations will also aim to reveal suitable cloud centric infrastructure and ready to use platform capabilities available, alongside on-premise alternatives that could underpin the services. In essence this exercise will ratify the sustainable target operating and service delivery model.
Additionally, this project would benefit by advice from GDS to set the standards and best practices for implementing and deploying the services.
No grant funding has been received by any authority in this partnership.