Eurim launches inquiry into public services

The European Information Society Group Eurim launched an inquiry into shared services in the public sector on Wednesday.

The European Information Society Group Eurim launched an inquiry into shared services in the public sector on Wednesday.

The inquiry aims to produce a "quarry of ideas" and case studies to help and inform policy makers.

Margaret Moran MP, chair of Eurim, said the Transformational Government Dialogues will look at several issues affecting the way public services are delivered.

One such issue is how joined-up services are delivered across private, public and voluntary partnerships.

Digital inclusion and democratisation of delivery - ensuring consultations involve those most affected - will also be discussed.

Eurim secretary general, Philip Virgo, said, "It is a challenge to implement partnerships that really do cross boundaries.

"Central government provides the policy, local government provides the delivery, while charities and NGOs often do the actual work. They all have different structures and motivations, and the question is how do you put them together?"

Virgo said one possibility was the use of social networking to increase communication between the private, public and voluntary sectors.

He said, "Data sharing is also critical. We need to provide workers with better guidance as to who they should share information with. At that point it is not about technology but about the people processes, but technology is allowing us to do things now that we could not have done four or five years ago."

Woking Borough Council and Citizens Advice Bureau (Cab) are one example of effective data sharing, Eurim said. The system gives the Cab easy access to council data that is required to assist customers, allowing them to deliver better services.

The dialogues will take place in October and reports will be out at the end of the year.

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