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Our policy work

Built from connections

We work with our members, the Local CIO Council, and strategic and international partners to develop evidence-based policy based on what works.

Practical guidance for success

Our policies and practical guidance for successful local policy implementation are critical for members to improve outcomes in the communities they live and work.

By leaders, for leaders

To best represent you Socitm spends time thinking about policy and best practice. Policy is central to representing and promoting the work of digital and ICT professionals in the public sector.

The building foundation

Policy is the foundation for Socitm’s research, events and services. Policy themes are driven by members to reflect and respond to the challenges you and the whole sector face.

Our work is divided into distinctive themes, driven by insights from our members and the wider sector

Leadership, diversity and skills

Policy theme partner: Microsoft

Supporting members to develop professionally, share best practice and deliver their organisation’s technology and data-enabled transformation objectives.


Key challenges:

  • How to provide insight and support to enable the management and delivery of effective organisational and community-based change that will enable business leaders to establish a holistic view of the core components to facilitate practical place-making.
  • How to respond positively and proactively from our sector’s perspective to the impact of digital technology on our lives, so as to address the wider issues and challenges that can support Socitm members to develop professionally and share wider leadership and development best practice

Team

  • Matt Lewis (policy lead), Chief operating officer (COO), SRS Shared Resource Service
  • Nadira Hussain, Chief executive officer (CEO)
  • Aidan Matthews, Leadership programme manager
  • Sam Smith, Director of Institute

Strategic partners

Modernising service delivery

Policy theme partner: Netcall

Supporting the effective application of technologies, digital processes and data in delivering services and improved outcomes for the public good – putting our customers at the heart of service delivery. Encouraging digital skills update and empowering our staff to utilise new ways of working, making our organisations more effective and efficient through championing inclusivity and equality through all aspects of change.


Key challenges:

  • DDaT service delivery is no longer business as usual. We need to modernise and to make decisions about how we manage and resource our operations in different ways.
  • To do this, we need to make sense of emerging technologies to underpin new service patterns while recognising ongoing funding challenges to meet the increasing expectations of service users and tackling the challenges around recruitment and retention of skilled staff in the public sector
  • How do we make this happen seamlessly and effectively.

Team

  • Carol Williams (policy lead), Director of transformation and digital at Walsall Council
  • Dave Sanderson, Member services director
  • Sam Smith, Director of Institute

Strategic partners

Collaboration, innovation and connectivity

Stimulating positive changes through sharing “what works” and what has been achieved, to enable economically sustainable, socially just and ecologically safe places.


Key challenges:

  • Amongst the extraordinary impacts of turbulent times on organisations and local, national and regional economies, local authorities have been forced to change the way they work to address the needs of their communities.
  • Looking to the future, the challenge is how can we successfully champion and stimulate enhanced connectivity to enable new services & solutions to support place-based initiatives to overcome these impacts.
  • Central to our interest will be to connect and embed local public sector innovation, technology and modernisation, aligning with Socitm’s ambition to support the growth and development of resilient people, communities, and places.

Team

  • Kurt Frary (policy lead), Deputy director of information management & technology / Chief technical officer (CTO) at Norfolk County Council
  • Sam Smith, Director of Institute
  • Martin Ferguson, Policy and research director
  • William Barker, Chief strategy officer (CSO)

Strategic partners

Responsible and secure use of technologies, artificial intelligence and data

Supporting the responsible and secure use of AI, digital, data and technology to support common good, fairness, transparency and societal well-being


Key challenges:

  • How do we understand and promote the ethical, responsible and secure use of Artificial Intelligence and wider technologies.
  • How to ensure the opportunities AI and wider technologies provide for places and communities to transform, whilst sustaining robust and resilient cyber security.
  • Ensuring that the data generated and stored, and the public service designs, processes and interactions proactively support wider social value and social progress.
  • All this while ensuring public benefit and minimising unintended consequences. In practical terms, what do we mean by ethical and responsible use and how is it applied in a rapidly changing world.

Team

  • Mark Lumley (policy lead), Director of ICT & digital at London Borough of Hounslow
  • Martin Ferguson, Policy and research director
  • William Barker, Chief strategy officer (CSO)

Strategic partners

Service design and transformation

Policy theme partner: AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Supporting innovative design and transformation in the delivery of public services that meet the needs of people and communities.


Key challenges:

  • To support leaders in co-design, co-creation and co-delivery of public services that achieve better outcomes in the communities they serve. This will include maximising the potential of digital opportunities within a dynamic environment, using service design principles to consider end to end service design service requirements.
  • The approach needs to be a holistic one, focusing on all the core components, stakeholders, organisations and users that combine to facilitate the establishment and delivery of service outcomes in any given ecosystem.
  • It needs to ‘bridge to digital’ – to embrace the role of new digital technologies and effective use of data insight in delivering better services, to make the best use of systems and to realise the full benefits of technology investments.

Team

  • Huw McKee (policy lead), Head of IT and digital transformation at Conwy Council
  • Nadira Hussain, Chief executive officer (CEO)
  • Sam Smith, Director of Institute

Strategic partners

Sustainability and net zero

Developing place-based sustainability and net zero initiatives that will directly and positively impact local residents, communities and businesses in a fair, transparent and equitable way.


Key challenges:

  • Harnessing the data and digital capabilities that will support local public services in delivering place-based sustainability and net zero initiatives.
  • Sharing best practice about cost-effective digital and data capabilities that enhance the sustainability and resilience of residents, communities and businesses.
  • Developing and championing the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence and harnessing leading edge research to help drive equity, transparency and fairness.
  • Developing a common understanding of the landscape and the opportunities available to enable and influence sustainable and net zero places.

Team

  • Yogita Popat (policy lead), Assistant director of sustainability & insight, London Borough of Barnet
  • Martin Ferguson, Policy and research director
  • Diana Rebaza, Senior research analyst

Our policy releases