Objectives and Proposals  
 

To Provide a unified e-face for London’s publicservices

3.17 People who use services often have no great respect for organisational or geographic boundaries.We all want access at times that suit us;in locations that suit us (at home,work or out and about);and in ways that suit us whether this by telephone,through face to face contact,or electronically.

3.18 It is already clear that there will be a steady growth in the take-up of electronic access to public services and the Government target of having all public services e-enabled by 2005 will add further impetus to this trend.

3.19 We know there will need to be a range of access methods,both electronic through personal computers,mobile phones,kiosks and digital television and by more traditional methods such as the telephone

3.20 In London,all public service organisations now have a website.Some are well-developed and go beyond the straightforward provision of simple information provision and signposting,by providing a full transactional capability.A number have also started the planning necessary to provide a multi-agency approach.The strategic projects listed in Appendix 1 show where some of this innovative work is taking place.

3.21 These include a single public access portal to serve four Boroughs in south-west London,led by the London Borough of Kingston;a multi-agency portal being developed by the London Borough of Barnet,which will include a focus on e-democracy and on disadvantaged groups;a collaborative project,led by the London Borough of Lewisham,to use life events in designing access to services through one-stop shops,kiosks,and video-conferencing ;and a major initiative in the London Borough of Merton to ensure service delivery is fully multi-agency focussed.

A London portal

3.22 To c omplement the developments now taking place locally we now need to go one step further and establish a capital-wide London Portal -and set up Londononline.gov.uk.

3.23 Unlike other major world cities,London does not at present have a single capital-wide portal,and establishing the London Portal will be high profile evidence of the city ’s commitment and ability to retain it place as the e-capital of the UK and Europe.

3.24 It will provide an entry point for all public services in the capital and, equally importantly,will provide a real stimulus to help build the partnerships and collaborative networks which are essential for developing a successful e-strategy.

Specifically the London Portal will :-

  • provide the necessary architecture and ‘gateway ’ facilities for all the connections necessary to link individual agencies;and to provide the necessary security and authentication features.
  • complement and link to other service organisation web-sites,other key public service portals (including NHSNeT,UKOnLine),and to private sector portals where these are an integral part of delivering public services to the citizen.
  • provide a London-wide focus to handle consultation on major policy proposals in the city.•
  • facilitate the local and sub-regional ‘pathfinder ’ developments;;and act as a test-bed for further innovative projects,particularly those that exploit broadband access as it is made available across London.
  • use outputs from the current London strategic e-projects to inform the development of the portal.

3.25 After listening to the views of all those who contributed to the earlier strategy workshops we believe there is a compelling case for proceeding with the development of a London Portal and we will want to hear the views of all the key agencies and stakeholders on how best to develop and implement.

Over the next three months LondonConnects will therefore :-

  • develop a business case and demonstrator to support a bid for Government funding,which would then enable the portal to be public sector led,with delivery and support provided by the private sector.
  • consider,with Central Government,whether the ukonline.gov.uk service and its associated Gateway could be customised in such a way that it could be used as the basis for Londononline.gov.uk
  • discuss with the LDA and London First whether Londononline.gov.uk could host any further web-based services for those seeking to set up and do business in the City.
  • discuss with the London Tourist Board,and other agencies,whether Londononline.gov.uk could host any further web-based services for those visiting London.
  • discuss with the voluntary sector whether Londononline.gov.uk could host any web-based services for those seeking to access voluntary services across the city
  • consider how to provide gateways from local community web-sites to Borough web-sites,and London-wide portals
  • put in place a management framework which ensures a tight linkage with those involved in London ‘Pathfinder ’ portal work,,including the APLAWS, EXSEL,LEAP and the Kingston Single Public Access projects (summarised below);those responsible for other London wide service portals;and with the LondonConnects partner organisations.

Single public access

Kingston Council,in partnership with its neighbouring boroughs Hounslow, Merton and Richmond,has been awarded £3.5m by Invest to Save funding to help develop the ‘SouthWest London Extranet ’.

The extranet will link each of the boroughs ’ data systems and provide the public and businesses with information and access to a wide range of public services through a single access point,without people having to visit each of the separate council websites.

Once in operation the new extranet service will cater for a residential population of nearly 700,000 residents in the South West London areas, providing them with up to date information and services on their local areas as well as access to information about Government departments,public agencies and voluntary bodies.

For further details contact tony.newbolt@londonconnects.org.uk

A London Smart-card

3.26 Smart-Card technology is now moving from innovation to operational use. It is a technology with the potential to provide access to a wide range of services from electronic cash payment to the provision of personal data without the need for form-filling,and its increased uptake can also provide a source of data on aggregate use which over time can provide valuable inputs into policy and operational service planning. Single public access Kingston Council,in partnership with its neighbouring boroughs Hounslow, Merton and Richmond,has been awarded £3.5m by Invest to Save funding to help develop the ‘SouthWest London Extranet ’. The extranet will link each of the boroughs ’ data systems and provide the public and businesses with information and access to a wide range of public services through a single access point,without people having to visit each of the separate council websites. Once in operation the new extranet service will cater for a residential population of nearly 700,000 residents in the South West London areas, providing them with up to date information and services on their local areas as well as access to information about Government departments,public agencies and voluntary bodies. For further details contact tony.newbolt@londonconnects.org.uk

3.27 Smart-Cards themselves are the same size as a credit card.They can contain a radio aerial,which obviates the need for swiping through a read- device;and they have a silicon chip which can store and process far more information than is possible on the ubiquitous magnetic strip.Data held on a smart-card can be periodically refreshed.

3.28 Early pilots suggest the use of Smart-Cards will evolve progressively over a three to four year period.Initial simple service access will move on to embrace appropriate authentication and access safeguards ;and then later enabling full payment and e-purse facilities.London already has three particularly significant smart-card initiatives,one developed by the LB of Newham,one by Transport for London,and one by Southwark Police.

3.29 The Government,through the e-Envoy ’s office,has already set up a number of smart-card policy groups,which should result in a national technical framework.Once this is in place we can expect a rapid increase in smart-card developments,and therefore a growing market stimulus.

3.30 The early experiences in smart-card usage in both the EC and the UK have already shown that it can be a key driver in bringing about cross-agency working,improved targeting of service provision and in reducing fraud.A Londonwide approach should help achieve these aims and to bring about the public private partnerships which will be an essential means of funding.

LondonConnects will therefore :

  • work with the London Borough of Newham,TfL,and Southwark Police to maintain a wide awareness of the early stages of these and other smart-card projects in the capital ;and will monitor progress elsewhere in the UK of developing smart-card applications.
  • initiate work to explore the implications of developing a ‘London-wide Smart-card ’,considering the range of applications and uses which are possible,the probable timescales for development and roll-out ,and the potential sources of funding.

Southwark Youth Smart Card

This scheme is developing a ‘smart card ’ that will reward secondary school pupils for good school attendance,positive behaviour and citizenship by giving them points which can be exchanged for access to local leisure,arts centres and internet cafes.

This innovative scheme is being led by Southwark Police Partnership Team together with the Southwark Council ’s Youth Offending Team and other council departments.It aims to reduce levels of truancy,school exclusions, crime and anti-social behaviour and encourage young people to be more locally involved.

Private sector partners who are also actively engaged in developing the project include London Bronco ’s Rugby League,London Knights Ice Hockey, Surrey County Cricket Club,Millwall Football Club,London Towers Basketball and the Globe Theatre.Additional funding has also been secured from McDonalds restaurants and the Metropolitan Police Service.

Other benefits of the ‘smartcard ’ scheme,,which will cover all 17 secondary schools in the borough,include an estimated saving of more than £1.5m in the cost of dealing with crime,truancy,school and social exclusion over two years. For more information contact Sergeant Dave Payne or Sergeant Guy Beattie on david.payne@londonconnects.org.uk or guy.beattie@londonconnects.org.uk

Networks and Access

3.31 ‘The Government has said that it wants the UK to ‘have the most extensive and competitive broadband market in the G7 by 2005 ’.This is essential if London is to remain at the forefront of the e-world,and affordable broadband is indispensable to this aim.At present,the basic reason for buying broadband connectivity is to get faster access to narrowband services,as few broadband services of any real relevance have yet been developed.A mass market to sell into is a prerequisite for the development of broadband services,and the principal obstacle to the growth of the market is the high price of broadband to the consumer ’

(E-London:An outline of London ’s opportunities and challenges;GLA 2001 )

3.32 The provision of both an inter-agency and domestic broadband ICT infrastructure in London is a key component of the proposed e-Government Strategy.In particular,a broadband infrastructure is needed to:

  • support inter-agency information transfer,with appropriate security and authentication facilities,especially to permit live transactions with real-time processing
  • provide two-way,24/7 access to and from the Londononline.gov.uk portal, and underlying interactive services as they develop.Work is needed to identify high-volume transactions that take place between public authorities so that networking requirements are based on a sound understanding of the scale of the activity.
  • enable universal,affordable,access (home,customer service locations etc),and thereby ensuring a high rate of e-literacy amongst residents and businesses
  • support the incubation and roll-out of new and innovative broadband supported applications,which could include remote hosting
  • avoid any sense of a digital divide,by ensuring the availability of those broadband-based easy-to-use applications that are needed to encourage take-up by those less confident when dealing with technology

3.33 These are clearly requirements which will stimulate the need for widely available,affordable,broadband provision,but for as long as the core infrastructure is not in place there will be a dearth of specific applications. This clearly needs action at Government level.There must be public funding available to support the building of the broadband infrastructure,and also to develop those early applications which will act as a stimulus for continuing private sector investment.The presence of such a trusted public sector infrastructure will rapidly drive up levels of trust and confidence in e-commerce across all sectors.

A public services network for London

3.34 Workshops ahead of this consultation examined the value of establishing a public sector network to provide inter-agency working within London ’s public sector,and how this could best be achieved.Much infrastructure is,of course, already in place,including the Internet itself,the Government Secure Intranet (GSI),London-wide service-specific private networks and secure VPN systems in individual organisations.The discussions did,though,support the case for establishing a dedicated London Public Services Network.

We therefore propose to:

  • explore the possibility of partnering with the London Grid for Learning network (LGfL)to provide a London Public Services Network.This would have the known advantages of a private network,including predictable and controllable costs for usage and additional capacity;would provide levels of security and authentication commensurate with the hosted applications;and would ensure guaranteed levels of service and throughput.We will assess the extent to which this approach would represent a more cost-effective approach than one which is more piece-meal.
  • Undertake research into the type and nature of suitable applications which could potentially benefit from broadband provision,produce guidelines for system developers,and seek to develop a market for their mass production.