Local Digital
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Local Digital

Sprint Notes #55

Covering 1 September 2022–14 September 2022

Welcome to Sprint Notes #55! In this issue, you can see our latest update on our Local Government Cyber Assessment Framework pilot, find out which upcoming events we’re speaking at and keep up-to-date with the progress of our funded projects.

News from the team

Cyber Assessment Framework for Local Government Update

The Local Digital team is excited to be kicking off our pilot project to establish a Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) for Local Government.

We will be working closely with 10 councils over the next few months to test a Local Government CAF Profile. The pilot councils are:

  • Brent Council (Shared Services with Lewisham and Southwark)
  • Copeland Council
  • Dorset​ Council
  • Durham County Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Salford City Council
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Southend Borough Council
  • Torbay Council

To ensure a diverse and representative cohort of councils, a range of factors were considered, including type and size of council, cyber maturity, geographical location, and IT model.

The pilot will support us in our aim to set a clear standard and expectation around cyber resilience for local authorities in England, based on the established National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF).

We’ll be sharing our findings and progress from the pilot as we go, so keep an eye on our channels for regular updates.

Are you following us?

If not, why not? Follow us on LinkedIn to view the latest Local Digital news, job openings, blog posts, and upcoming events we’re hosting or other sector events we’re taking part in.

Events we’re speaking at

Thursday 29 September 2022, from 9am to 5pm

LocalGovCamp

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at LocalGovCamp22 (a PSDTF event).

Learn more about the plans for the Local Digital team over the next year including future rounds of the Local Digital Fund. Bring your problems and project ideas to develop in our session!

5 to 6 October, 11am till 12:45pm

Resilience & Cyber4Good 2022 — UKAuthority

Hear from Deputy Director for Digital, Lawrence Hopper, about Local Digital’s exciting plans for the next three years and what this means for local government. Lawrence will deliver his session on Wednesday 5 October.

…And more to be confirmed shortly!

News from our funded projects

A reminder that you can find information on all of our funded projects, including those mentioned below, on our website.

Greenwich Community Directory (Royal Borough of Greenwich)

The project team is now prototyping the end-to-end journey for the adults section of the Community Directory. In the coming weeks, the team will also be working closely with an interaction designer to develop proof of concepts which will determine the feasibility of the project and the next steps to take.

The team are keen to speak to people working in local authorities to improve their understanding of the barriers faced when implementing new products (particularly those that are open source). Following their user research, they hope to address many of these issues and ensure the community directory product is easy to adopt.

If you would like to provide your insight, please contact Alex Sturtivant (Alex.Sturtivant@royalgreenwich.gov.uk). The user research sessions will take no longer than 45 minutes.

Alternatively, if you would like to learn more about their project, you can attend their first Show and Tell on Wednesday 28 September, from 12 till 1pm. If you’d like to join, please contact Alex at the above email address.

Revs & Bens System (Teignbridge District Council)

Amanda Pujol, Paul Davidson and Tom Lowndes meeting colleagues from the Japan Local Government Centre

Amanda Pujol (Teignbridge Alpha lead), Paul Davidson (Chief Information Officer, Sedgemoor District Council) and Tom Lowndes (Collaboration Manager, Local Digital) recently delivered a presentation to representatives from the Japan Local Government Centre in the stunning surroundings of Teignbridge’s Old Forde House. They discussed the challenges of delivering digital services for residents and the support from central government through the Local Digital Fund.

The Teignbridge project team is also exploring the potential for using the Continuous Funding Model to support the next stage of building and testing a Revenues and Benefits integration product and service.

Digital Waste Service (Rugby Borough Council)

The project team plans to hold their final Show and Tell session on Tuesday 11 October at 2pm. This session will be used to demonstrate the full functionality available for the Low Code Digital Waste Service.

If you would like to attend the Show and Tell, please contact the team.

Scalable Approach to Vulnerability Via Interoperability (SAVVI) (Tameside and Sedgemoor Councils)

The project team has successfully developed the SAVVI Declaration based on feedback from the SAVVI leadership group, wider discussions with colleagues and through SAVVI projects. It captures the common problems that we all face as we tackle vulnerability with data, and a set of strategic actions that will aim to address the current shortfalls.

The team is now seeking co-authorship from the SAVVI leadership group and invitations have been sent this week for a review meeting on Friday 7 October.

Paul Davidson, SAVVI product owner, is completing the ‘Configuration Tool’, a prototype of a possible future engagement platform that will be shared with current SAVVI implementation projects (GMCA, Wigan) for feedback before progressing further.

Housing Repairs Service (City of Lincoln Council)

Source: www.madetech.com/case-studies/building-a-housing-repairs-service-for-easy-reuse-across-the-uk/

Following a meeting on Monday 12 September with NEC and the London Borough of Newham, NEC agreed to provide the Housing Repairs Service project team with access to their API documentation and their sandbox environment. The project team and NEC also agreed that the API sequence should create a job prior to getting appointment availability.

In this session, Wendy Banks (City of Lincoln Council) provided an update on the service, which went live in May. Some of the key insights highlighted include:

  • Between May and August, the use of online repairs service increased by 29%.
  • The percentage of repairs booked outside of office hours increased to 30% in July, and 38% in August.
  • The most popular times to book a repair outside office hours are 8am and 8pm.

On Tuesday 13 September, the project team’s Sprint 8 show and share session took place. The session was well attended with representatives from Bromley, Newham, Nottingham, Southwark and the Swan Housing Group present.

The Sprint 9 show and share session will take place on Tuesday 27 September at 11am. To attend, please join this Microsoft Teams meeting link.

Income Management System (Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council)

The Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council team began the sprint by refining the structure of the project into two parts:

  • Workstream one — iteration and adoption of the open source IMS
  • Workstream two — designing a support version of the IMS

The team’s developers focussed on Barnsley’s migration to Local Gov IMS, and dedicated time to designing a refund mechanism for GOV.UK pay transactions. The team also spent time exploring how they engage with councils that request access to the IMS codebase, and how they can learn from their experiences, to encourage adoption by others.

On Thursday 22 September, 11:30am till 1:30pm, the LocalGov IMS team will host a virtual inception session. The team are keen to understand needs and challenges in relation to current income management systems to help shape the next phase of the work, which is to develop a supported version of the IMS. The team are looking to hear from colleagues from either technical or finance roles, or those involved in transformation initiatives. If you would like to attend the session, please contact isobel@dxw.com.

Low Code Solutions for Housing Management (Redbridge Council)

Redbridge Council have been successfully awarded funding for their Beta application via the Continuous Funding Model. The next stage of this project will see the team prepare to collaborate with partner authorities — updates to follow!

Family Context (Stockport)

Source: www.digitalstockport.info/family-context-project-the-design-sprint-beyond/

The project team successfully established a partnership for data access with Stockport.nhs.uk and Youth Offending Services (MoJ) and Education, to help enable social workers to make critical decisions. However, the data now requires cleaning. Lack of standards and interoperability has delayed API testing and set the project back by some months.

Stockport is also working on the Supporting Families pathway as a national programme. Supporting Families works to drive early help system transformation to ensure that every area has joined-up, efficient services, is able to identify families in need, and provides the right support. The deadline for data to be implemented for this programme is October 2022.

The data for both projects have similarities, so the team is hoping to work together and extract the data for the two projects at the same time.

LocalGov Drupal (Cumbria County Council)

The microsites project team has announced that councils are now able to configure and populate a new microsite with pages, directories, events and tweak the look and feel of the sites in order to make them look individual.

Essex County Council is the 30th local authority to officially join LocalGov Drupal. In a blog post published in August they explain how LocalGov Drupal collaboration is enabling them to deliver digital services for Essex residents.

Offline Data Input Tool for Field Workers (Birmingham City Council)

The project team has planned a final Show and Tell for the start of October which will provide an opportunity to discuss how the process of business change, upskilling and product development shaped service development.

Within the West Midlands region, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Shropshire have expressed a need for this product with implementation via Microsoft (MS). The project team is also looking to connect with MS representatives to promote and amplify the sharing of the product/service on MS Power BI/Canvas platform.

Quality Children’s Data (Wigan Council)

As they build the Children in Need (CIN) Census data tool, the team have agreed on using Codespaces instead of Replit for this coding season as it provides a better development and collaboration experience for this project.

The team has also improved the amount of flexibility in how the rules for the tool are implemented. It is a significant improvement from the way the rules were structured in the 903 tool, allowing the team to enhance how the error locations are displayed. The new structure is robust enough to be changed at any time without causing issues to the tool.

In the past week, the team conducted a brainstorm session to look at the user interface. They analysed how the feedback they’ve received, the requirements of the CIN project, and the new and improved project architecture can all come together to provide a good user experience.

The coding season for the CIN project is now live and they are keen for people to join them in the building of the tool. Reach out to william.levack-payne@eastsussex.gov.uk to participate. No previous knowledge is required.

Demand Modelling for Children’s Services (East Sussex)

The launch of the tool has been paused by the project team while programmers address challenges with the model in the web tool. There will be an update on the new launch date shortly.

In the meantime, their preparation for the regional tool continues and the team has a number of regions ready to go as pilots, as well as a low cost approach for delivering the functionality.

That’s it for this sprint, thanks for reading! For the daily download on all things #LocalDigital, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and the DLUHC Digital Blog.

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The Local Digital team is part of the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Read more about our work: https://www.localdigital.gov.uk.