Public Sector Roundup: Internet reduces government’s costs

This week, local government websites need to install tracking systems, Liverpool’s City Council web site ranked one of the best, and a new agreement allows educators access to software.

Local governments turn to the internet to lower service costs

Avocent Corporation has measured the efficiency of local government websites through an independently commissioned survey. Ninety-two per cent of survey respondents accessed a local government website for information retrieval but only eight per cent were willing to use the online self-service, according to the survey results.

Citizens are choosing more expensive forms of communication, such as face-to-face and the telephone to access the services because of their reliability. In order to use the more cost-efficient internet, local governments are looking into installing systems to tracking service requests.

Ben Grimes, Avocent chief technology officer, said: "Councils can gain the trust of citizens by installing systems that ensure online queries and requests are always serviced efficiently. The costs of upgrading online services will be dwarfed by the savings that will be achieved if more people access services online."

Liverpool upgrades city council web site

Liverpool City Council's web site has been ranked as one of the top performing Local Authority web sites in the UK by web site testing service SiteMorse.

The website was upgraded through Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL), a joint partnership between BT and the Liverpool City Council. Changes included a new, easy-to-use interface and search box, which allows simple navigation to all of the government's services as well as an improvement to the content and infrastructure.

This venture has delivered cost savings to the government, and has enabled quicker delivery and accessibility of e-government services.

Education sector customers receive software through new agreement

Bectaand OGCbuying.solutions have collaborated to offer a variety of software to schools and other educational institutions. A new agreement between the two replaced the previous Becta software licensing framework agreement, set to expire this month.

Education sector customers can now retrieve software for six main categories including operating systems, office productivity, security software, data storage, resource planning and management into software. The collaboration includes twelve suppliers of both proprietary and open source software.

Joan Murray, ICT software category director at OGCbuying.solutions, said: "We're delighted to have worked closely with our partners at Becta to offer education sector customers a convenient, value-for-money vehicle for meeting their software requirements."

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