|Objectives & Proposals||Objectives and Proposals|
To promote, encourage and support collaborative working
3.35 LondonConnects will engage with a wide range of public and private sector partners covering the London region.This will not always be easy and a major challenge in developing easy access to e-service will be to overcome fragmentation between and sometimes within,different organisations and sectors.
3.36 We believe London can develop effective joint working and to build on the wide range of joint e-Government initiatives which are already underway - many of them at local level.There is already a strong commitment to achieve this among the partners of LondonConnects. Current Status
3.37 London currently suffers from a lack of good,clear,well organised and accessible information about e-Government developments and initiatives across the capital.This is preventing organisations learning from the experience of others and applying approaches which have been successful.Public awareness and knowledge of IT developments and of public service provision in London is generally uneven and there is widespread agreement that much more needs to be done to improve the information base.
3.38 LondonConnects will fill this gap by developing web based information services including linkages to organisations own public information,and by providing resources to identify approaches with wide applicability.Specific proposals are contained elsewhere in this document.
3.39 Most London Local Authorities are in the course of developing internal capacity around e-government.This has been promoted by the process of preparing IEG Statements.Some authorities are more advanced than others. Many suffer from internal fragmentation of effort and weaknesses in coordination but this is starting to be addressed.Most are starting to develop some key external linkages,particularly with the NHS,the voluntary sector and the police.This will be given further impetus by the development of Local Strategic Partnerships,which government is encouraging within Local Authority areas.
3.40 The other key elements of the public and voluntary sector such as the NHS,RSLs,Police etc.have their own e-service plans and are at varying stages of development.Each sector has a different set of local physical boundaries, and each has varying level of regional direction and co-ordination.Within these local organisations they tend to have local plans and flexibility.
3.41 In addition to the arrangements within and between individual organisations,sub-regional e-working is starting to operate at two main levels.
The Way Forward
3.42 Currently most of the joint e-government projects tend to focus on delivering a single set of defined outcomes.LondonConnects will aim to provide resources to facilitate a more strategic approach to joint working.This will involve gaining agreement for longer-term e-service objectives and a programme of work to achieve them including a number of sub-projects.The approach will support the growing requirements for joint service planning in areas such as Health,Education and Housing plus the new local Community Plans;and will be used to achieve a wider sharing amongst organisations covering involvement, ownership and information.
3.43 Establishing networks to promote successful local initiatives is a key element of the overall objectives.Given the number of players in each locality it is impractical for such co-operation and planning to work on a London-wide basis,and a number of sub-regional groups are already beginning to operate, typically covering an area represented by five or six London Borough boundaries. LondonConnects will support and encourage the development of these groups, and their evolution,so that they become fully representative of all the public service agencies developing e-Government services in the sub-region.
Early benefits from this multi-agency working are already evident.As one example,work has started on a project to assist all London Local Authorities and sections of the NHS achieve joint working via secure IT linkages and arrangements for sharing information.
The initiative has been prepared by representatives from the NHS Executive in London,the Health Authorities and the NHS Information Authority together with representatives from a number of Local Authorities,SOCITM and the ADSS IT Group representing Social Services Departments,together with the London Health Observatory.
The plan is to hold Londonwide workshops for NHS and Local Authority colleagues on NHS connectivity and security and on information sharing arrangements and protocols.These workshops will draw on national best practice which will also be published for general guidance and information on the LondonConnects website.The main outcome from this work will be to prepare a bid for funding to achieve secure physical connectivity between all of the 33 London Local Authorities and NHS Net to facilitate effective joint working between Local Authorities and NHS partners right across London.
Plans to promote and develop successful inter-sector working need a programme of discussion and analysis covering a range of potential partners and options. Some of the issues that need to be covered are:
LondonConnects will thus promote a variety of approaches to joint working between partners including:
3.44 In terms of management arrangements,the LondonConnects Board will operate at the top level,providing overall direction,and ensuring the necessary linkages with the key players.It has representation from the GLA,the ALG,and the Government Office for London,and this is likely to be enhanced as the LondonConnects work programme is developed and implemented.
3.45 The Board is supported by a broadly-based Steering Group representing the LondonConnects partners at senior officer level.This group provides the main focus for progressing developments,particularly ensuring appropriate cross-sector working.Consideration is being given to establishing a further Advisory Group,with representation from the private sector. In order to further develop collaborative working LondonConnects will therefore: