London local government came together at Bloomberg HQ to toast the launch of the new London Office of Technology & Innovation, a new London Councils collaborative vehicle to strengthen the boroughs’ ability to innovate, build common capability and to scale-up digital innovation across London’s public services.
New Director Eddie Copeland, who will take up his post at London Councils in mid-July, introduced LOTI’s work emphasising the importance of collaboration. He was followed by Hackney Mayor Phil Glanville and London CDO Theo Blackwell in a ‘fireside’ with Bloomberg Associates Katherine Oliver.
Setting up LOTI is one of London’s commitments to the Local Digital Declaration signed with 21 London councils, London Councils and the GLA last year. It has a strong focus on building common capabilities across London to enable boroughs to ‘make — or buy- once and share often.’
LOTI is backed by the GLA and its priorities are driven by the 15 founding boroughs who form the Core LOTI group. It is anticipated that more boroughs will join Core LOTI and that strategic partnerships will be formed with other public services and universities, as well as joint work with tech firms.
In addition, major public institutions and agencies in London and beyond — including UCL and Imperial universities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Fire Brigade, London & Partners, the Olympic Park and the London Legacy Development Corporation, and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government (on which LOTI takes its inspiration) — are pledging to work with LOTI as it develops its work.
Eddie outlined work already underway by LOTI members:
Digital apprenticeships — developing London’s digital skills base and ensuring that all Londoners can benefit from the growth in tech employment by scaling the digital apprenticeships model pioneered by Hackney Council, which recruits local residents into apprenticeships focused on digital work
Pipeline adoption — speeding up opportunities for collaboration and providing a single place for the market to understand councils needs through the adoption of Pipeline (the LocalGov Digital platform), a single online source for all council projects
Information sharing framework — allowing the innovative use of data to tackle our biggest social and public services challenges by developing a framework for safe, ethical and secure data sharing between the boroughs
Developing the London Datastore — improving trust, transparency and greater collaboration with citizens, public agencies and the private sector through the development of the London Data Store
‘City Tools London’ — finally, Camden consultant CIO Omid Shiraji has been working on a new comprehensive view of the technology and expertise that enables the services delivered in all London councils.
- the ‘map’ of current technology: A detailed map of the IT systems that underpin council services, including the way systems inter-operate and any cutting-edge technologies that are enabling innovative public services.
- skills and expertise: The capability of local authority teams to develop and to support the IT systems used to deliver the service
- the market view: The view of local authorities on the value for money and capability of the technology they are using and an understanding of contract lengths and values.
When completed, data from the CityTools London service allows identification of new opportunities for collaboration — for example authorities coming together around procurement to drive market reform and obtain better value for money; matching boroughs with high capabilities to support and/or influence the development of IT products with those with lower capabilities.
This service, hosted by LOTI, will help boroughs identify where they have IT systems and/or suppliers in common, and therefore where there are opportunities for de-duplication, joint procurement, expertise sharing and economies of scale.
You can read how we built LOTI here.
Hackney’s CIO Rob Miller writes about why he’s excited about the new LOTI approach.
Look for more updates on LOTI on the London Councils site and watch this space!