Service Transformation Agreement
© Crown copyright 2007
Published with the permission of HM Treasury on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
SERVICE TRANSFORMATION AGREEMENT
1.1 Citizens' time is not free, yet often the way public services are delivered assumes
it to be so. The aim of this Service Transformation Agreement (STA) is to change public
services so they more often meet the needs of people and businesses, rather than the
needs of government, and by doing so reduce the frustration and stress of accessing
them. The result will be services that are better for the customer, better for front line
staff and better for the taxpayer.
1.2 Service transformation is about changing public services so they are tailored
more to the needs of people and businesses and less to the structures of government.
Public services should be delivered in the ways and at the times that people now expect
them; the public service should get it right first time so that people do not have to
initiate contact again and again; and rather than expecting people to 'join up'
government for themselves it should be done for them. Government will do this by
engaging users of public services to learn what really matters to them, and by acting on
what is learnt.
1.3 People are busier and their time is an increasingly precious commodity. They
expect services that respond to their individual needs ('I've been made redundant')
rather than to the needs of individual delivery agencies ('fill in Form D123'). And they
expect to deal with government in ways and at times that are convenient for their
personal circumstances, for example out of normal office hours and from home over
1.4 Yet carrying out a simple task — reporting a house move, notifying a change in
circumstances — can involve being shuffled from office to office, phone line to phone
line giving the same information again and again. And services that appear confusing
and inaccessible may deter people from seeking them with the result that citizens are
denied the help that the Government, in its policies, seeks to offer.
1.5 This is self-perpetuating. The entire public sector faces a constant battle with
"avoidable contact" — demand caused by customers initiating contact because they are
confused, need to check on progress, pass on information they have already given to
other parts of the public sector and so on. This is contact that would not be necessary if
the public sector could get things right first time. It simply frustrates customers and
wastes their time; erodes public trust in government; clogs up government offices so
that more important demand goes unmet; and wastes money. The challenge for the
public sector is to follow the example of leading private sector providers who have re-
thought the ways in which they interact with people and businesses to improve
customer value and reduce costs.
1.6 The key aim of service transformation is to reduce the number of unnecessary
contacts that people need to have with government. Achieving this will require the
whole of government to look critically and fundamentally at the way in which it designs
and delivers services, and at the relationships between those organisations, whether in
the public, private or third sectors, who have an interest in a particular area or customer
group. By doing this the public sector will improve quality, accuracy and joining up
across government. It will also save money and create more satisfying jobs for public
sector staff. Tailoring services to needs. Reducing avoidable contact
1.7 This change will require action right across the public sector, specifically in the
context of delivering the 30 PSA priority outcomes, and will not be complete within a
single Spending Review period. But during the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review
(CSR07) period the Government will make practical reductions in the number of
contacts; introduce the core services on which further change can be built; make the
policy changes which will underpin further improvement; and engage with citizens,
businesses and front line staff involving them, listening to them and learning from
them, to improve public services.
1.8 The Government's aim for this STA is to establish across the public sector a
sustainable culture built upon an understanding of the needs and behaviours of citizens
and businesses to create services that are:
- better for customers. Services are simpler, more streamlined and intuitive,
more accessible and convenient. Services are not designed to trip customers
up, even though it sometimes seems that way. Customers will progressively
find that when they deal with government each contact they have is easy
and joined-up. Each one fulfils a need, adds value to the outcome and is
- better for staff. Front line public sector staff — not just those in face-to-face
offices, but also those answering calls in contact centres and developing
services for the web — have a strong culture of service. They are closest to the
customer and feel the public service's strengths and weaknesses the most
acutely. By using their own experience front line staff will increasingly find
that they can get on with delivering services of which they can feel proud.
- better for the taxpayer. Unnecessary and duplicative contact, cumbersome
and complicated processes, fragmented and inaccessible services are as
frustrating and costly for government as they are for staff and the customer.
Each unnecessary contact removed is a saving giving greater value for
money for the taxpayer.
2.1 The Minister for the Cabinet Office, who chairs the new Cabinet Committee on
Public Engagement and the Delivery of Services, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury
will hold departments to account for the delivery of the commitments within this STA.
Each Secretary of State will be responsible for the delivery of service transformation
within his or her department.
2.2 The Civil Service Steering Board, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, consists of a
small number of departmental permanent secretaries and non-executive members. It is
responsible for the overall leadership and direction of this Agreement. This includes
endorsing the overall strategy, assigning leadership of cross-government projects to
specific departments, and reviewing overall progress against plans.
2.3 A senior official Delivery Council, including all lead and supporting departments
together with other service delivery organisations, will monitor progress, regularly
review delivery, and be responsible for programme management and the development
of strategies and plans. The Delivery Council will have a particularly important role in
identifying areas of future work and making proposals to the Civil Service Steering
2.4 To complement the Delivery Council the Local Government Delivery Council
(LGDC) has been established to manage the interface between local and central
government. It is responsible for leadership on service transformation on behalf of local
government. This includes facilitating support for councils in implementing this
Agreement, and developing mechanisms by which progress at the local government
level will be monitored and evaluated.
2.5 The Civil Service Steering Board has appointed a lead department to each
specific area of transformation, with the Delivery Council providing support and
coordination as required. These departments and the service transformation areas they
are leading on are as follows: Department of Work and Pensions for citizen focused
services; Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for business focused services; Home
Office for identity management; Ministry of Justice for helplines and Local Government
for face-to-face services. As new specific areas of transformation are agreed other lead
departments will be appointed.
2.6 At official level, service transformation will continue to be led by the Cabinet
Secretary, supported by the Civil Service Steering Board and a secretariat in the Cabinet
Office (CO), as recommended in Sir David Varney's Report1 on service transformation.
2.7 The Prime Minister has appointed Sir David Varney as his adviser on public
service transformation. In this role Sir David will:
- advise the Prime Minister and Secretaries of State directly on all aspects of
service transformation delivery, reporting annually to the Cabinet on
progress against service transformation goals, which will be made available
to the Public Administration Select Committee of the House of Commons;
Responding to being asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for advice on opportunities
for transforming the delivery of public services, Sir David Varney published Service
Transformation: better services for citizens and businesses, a better deal for the
taxpayer in December 2006.
GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Overall leadership and direction
Adviser to the Prime Minister
- chair the cross—Whitehall Delivery Council; and
- work closely with the senior leadership of the civil service, and in particular
Director General of Service Transformation at the CO, to advise on the
Government's approach at all levels to improvements of services. To
facilitate this further he will remain a non—executive member of the Civil
Service Steering Board, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
2.8 Measuring progress purely from the customer's subjective point of view is not
enough. Whilst government will monitor the customer experience through journey
mapping and customer satisfaction tracking mechanisms at the front line (explained
further in chapter 3), it will complement these with more objective data in the form of
two key progress measures.
Reducing avoidable contact
2.9 All too often people find they have to contact the public sector again and again
even for the simplest thing because it has got it wrong. They have to initiate contact to
provide information which the public sector already has or because the public sector
has not explained something properly. They also initiate contact to chase public service
providers for action that they are not confident will be carried out. This type of contact
is what is termed "avoidable".
2.10 The first progress measure will track how much contact between government
and citizens is "avoidable". This will be done by asking those who are closest to the
citizen in local and central government to identify when and why that type of contact
happens.2 By bringing this information together the public sector will be better able to
see how this contact could have been avoided had things been done right first time. And
by comparing the results across similar services and organisations the public sector will
be able to gather better information on why citizens and businesses need to initiate
contact in the first place.
2.11 The intention is to halve the proportion of "avoidable" contact by the end of the
CSR07 period in line with the recommendations made in Sir David Varney's report.
2.12 Reducing avoidable contact in this way will mean that the public sector delivers
existing services more quickly and effectively. However, it will also inform how the
public sector fundamentally re-designs those services to be more streamlined and
accessible in the future. New cross-government initiatives such as "Tell Us Once" and
Free School Meals will be putting this approach into practice. And already across
government organisations are starting to use avoidable contact to highlight where a
form needs to be shorter and clearer, where information needs to be more accessible,
where closer links need to be made between different services. Based on the Varney
definition of avoidable as a contact which is duplicate, made in
error or nugatory.
Faster and more effective services
Reduction in the amount of avoidable contact
Aim - The aim is to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in avoidable contact by
the end of the CSR07 period as recommended by Sir David Varney in
Data provider - Local government and central government contact centres; and local
government face-to-face outlets.
Data set - There is no existing data set to draw on. The progress measure will
be based on two proposed data streams:
- data collected from government contact centres and collated by the Contact Council
on the number of contacts which add no value (either to supplier or customer) to the outcome
- data collected through the local government National Indicator Set on the number of
contacts it takes customers to complete the key services which together represent the bulk
of Local Authority service delivery
- data will be combined, with duplicate data removed, to show the total number of unnecessary
contacts occurring in the system.
Local data coverage and to be determined by April 2008 and published on the CO website.
Frequency of reporting Quarterly.
95 per cent confidence interval to be determined by April 2008 and published on the CO website.
Data Quality Officer to be determined by April 2008 and published on the CO website.
Definition of key terms
Avoidable contact - contact that adds no value to the outcome. It includes contact that is
nugatory, duplicative or caused by failures in business processes.
Building better online services
2.13 Citizens are increasingly turning to government websites as a means of
accessing public services, yet often people find it hard to locate the information they
need. It doesn't help that in the past the public sector has spread information across
many departmental websites, often failing to make connections between them and
assuming that the citizen knows how to navigate around them.
2.14 This approach ignores the fact that citizens' needs are individual and often fall
across a number of organisations. People often are not even aware of the support which
the Government is able to offer.
2.15 The public sector can better strategically manage customer online access to
services by progressively moving e-services onto two websites where they can be
presented and linked in ways which customers understand. Those two sites are
Directgov for citizens and Businesslink.gov for businesses.
Two key websites
2.16 The second progress measure will therefore track the movement of services onto
Directgov and Businesslink.gov. By the end of the CSR07 period the aim is that almost
all online information and transactions will be easily available through these two sites.
2.17 Whilst the Government will focus upon Directgov and Businesslink.gov, it is
acknowledged there will be a small number of exceptions as government organisations
may need to retain a separate site (for instance, for their own internal corporate
information). However the CO will ensure that these remaining sites do not include any
customer information or transactions which should be on Directgov or Businesslink.gov.
2.18 This progress measure will record the number of sites actually closed and the
(much smaller) number confirmed as being clear of relevant material. It will be reported
both in terms of site numbers as well as a percentage of the total task.
Citizen and business e-services content migrated to Directgov and Businesslink.gov
Aim - The aim (in percentage terms) is to migrate more than 95 per cent of
the total identified websites by the end of the CSR07 period, with the
remaining 5 per cent migrating soon thereafter.
Data provider - Central Office of Information.
Data set - Data will be derived from a set of departmental agreements setting out,
quarter by quarter, the material that will be moved and as a consequence
the sites that will be closed or, in a small number of cases, remaining
open (most usually to provide corporate information) but confirmed as
holding no further relevant information or transactions.
Progress will be monitored through departmental returns to the CO.
Data coverage - Central Government websites.
Baseline - Both the number of websites already closed (or cleared of relevant content
if not tagged for closure) and the total number of relevant websites will
be determined by April 2008 and published on the CO website.
reporting - Quarterly.
95 per cent confidence interval N/A, as no sampling is required for measurement.
Data Quality Officer Lead, Government Website Review, COI.
Definition of key terms
Migration - the process by which information and transactions become integrated
with Directgov and/or Businesslink.gov. Migration involves more than simply moving
material from one site to another. It involves weaving information and transactions
into these two sites, making connections and cross-referring so that customers see a
coherent service that responds to their needs.
Corporate information - information that is aimed at an audience interested in
the organisation itself.
2.19 Sir David Varney's report made some estimates of efficiency savings which
service transformation should release. This is an important part of service
transformation: what is wasteful for the customer is inefficient for government. While
not explicitly setting a level of efficiency savings as a primary progress measure of
service transformation, the value in recording the level of savings achieved by
departments is recognised, and the CO will track these as this STA is delivered.
3.1 Following the direction of travel set out in the Transformational Government
strategy,1 the Government is adopting the recommendations of Sir David Varney's
report that it should focus in the CSR07 period on actions at both of two levels:
- a wide programme of activity across the whole of the public sector in which
every organisation puts into practice the principles of service
- a small number of strategic initiatives, such as 'Tell Us Once', which would
not only provide immediate benefit to customers and greater efficiency for
government, but which would also lay the foundations for a new generation
of public services.
3.2 At the first level, relevant departments have developed individual service
transformation plans for the CSR07 period in the context of their settlements. These
summarise the service transformation activities each department plans to implement
over the period. Detailed summaries of each department's plans can be found in Annex
A. Departments will continue to develop these plans during the CSR07 period.
3.3 Six areas of strategic action are needed to deliver the vision of service
- 1. Learning from citizens and businesses. The best service providers in the
public, private and third sectors start by making sure they have a real,
evidence-based understanding of the behaviours of the people they are
trying to reach, including by directly engaging with their end users. The
Government's vision is that it establishes across the public sector a culture
and systems which make this routine.
- 2. Grouping services in ways that are meaningful to the customer. Each
service solution offered by the public sector is what Sir David Varney's
report described as '...a child of its time and circumstances...', presenting
the citizen and business with a fragmented picture which can appear to have
little relevance to the task in hand. This is inefficient for government and
frustrating for the user. The Government's vision is to develop ways in
which the public sector can offer integrated packages of services which
respond directly to the tasks which citizens and businesses face in their day
to day lives and which offer a timely response to immediate needs.
- 3. Rationalising services for efficiency and service improvement. Public
sector structures and processes allow a proliferation of websites, helplines,
and front offices which make little sense to those they are intended to reach.
The performance of services is managed individually with little opportunity
for comparison. The Government's vision is to present a service framework
which is simpler, clearer and more accessible.
Transformational Government — enabled by technology, Cabinet Office, 2005.
Detailed plans for each department
- 4. Making better use of the customer information the public sector already
holds. The types of transformation covered by this Agreement will simply
not be possible unless the public sector can establish the identity of the
customer it is dealing with simply and with certainty, and be able to pass
relevant information between different parts of government. This is
especially important for identifying vulnerable groups in society and
assessing their needs and entitlement to support.
- 5. Linking local and central government. Ensuring that public service delivery
is joined up across both central and local government is a key component of
this Agreement and the Government recognises that successful service
transformation is dependent on close collaborative working between
departments and local government bodies. This is reflected in the alignment
of central progress measures and the local government performance
framework, and in the establishment of the LGDC to mirror at local level the
central role of the Delivery Council.
- 6. Engaging front line staff. The public sector will seek to harness the energy,
input and customer insight of front line staff who it believes is strongly
committed to the vision set out here and are well placed to deliver service
LEARNING FROM CITIZENS AND BUSINESSES
The Customer Insight Forum
3.4 Sir David Varney's report on service transformation argued that each
department should have a customer insight function. These functions may be
structured differently according to the needs of each organisation, but the role is the
same: to bring the true voice of citizens and businesses into the way in which services
are designed, delivered and enhanced over time. These functions offer the ability for a
department to gather (and commission where necessary) the information it needs to
build a picture of what really matters to the people it is trying to reach; and to use this
information to drive service transformation.
3.5 To support these functions the Customer Insight Forum, first established under
the Transformational Government Strategy and reporting to the Delivery Council, will
play a more formal and active role through the CSR07 period supporting the culture
change that is needed to create more customer-focused services.
3.6 A counterpart Business Insight Forum has also been established by
Businesslink.gov. This will be a special interest group linked to the Customer Insight
Forum, championing the business experience when interacting with government,
sharing best practice and business insight. Alignment with the Customer Insight Forum
will ensure the group has links into the Delivery Council and where appropriate
common issues will be shared as they arise.
3.7 The role of the Customer Insight Forum includes:
- spreading good practice and sharing information/learning;
- enabling cross-government service transformation by tackling barriers to
change from a customer perspective;
Supporting culture change
- acting as a resource to inform major cross-government policy issues or
delivery initiatives by the provision of targeted, timely insight;
- establishing the training requirements for achieving competence in
customer insight for public sector service providers;
- exploring closer working relationships with users and their representative
bodies to ensure effective user engagement; and
- sponsorship of cross-government customer insight initiatives.
Customer journey mapping
3.8 The two progress measures outlined in chapter 2 will give the Government a
view across the public sector of progress being made towards what Sir David Varney
described as a service economy which is "...slicker, more immediate, more convenient
to the citizen and less intrusive on (their) time...". But in order to understand what this
looks like to the citizen, the public sector needs to be able to follow and understand
representative customer journeys through their various stages in accessing public
3.9 The technique of "customer journey mapping" is widely used in the commercial
world and there are some excellent examples in public services. It enables a service
provider to look at each step a customer takes towards completion of a task but from
the point of view of that customer. Taking this viewpoint is critical for government
because it exposes those steps which lie outside the immediate horizon but which hold
part of the solution to streamlining the whole journey. So, for example, a call to a
government helpline might be preceded by a visit to the Citizen's Advice Bureau; a
completed application may conceal research in a library.
3.10 By its nature customer journey mapping is qualitative. It is often complex,
covering journeys which extend over long periods of time and which are often
disjointed and sometimes ambiguous. But it is one of the best ways available to the
public sector to understand what needs to be done to streamline a particular area.
3.11 In advance of the CSR07 period the Customer Insight Forum will be providing
guidance on customer journey mapping, drawing on the best techniques currently in
use. It will then continue to act as clearing house to ensure that good practice is shared
and that government as a whole extracts the greatest understanding and value from
customer journey mapping.
3.12 In the commercial world better services lead directly to more loyal and satisfied
customers. In the public sector the linkage is less straightforward. Very few citizens
have a strong sense of what a "public service" is and, without anything to compare it
with, find it hard to express a firm opinion as to how satisfied they are.
3.13 Used appropriately customer satisfaction monitoring is a valuable tool,
although it does require careful interpretation if it is not to mislead. For example, the
expectations of citizens change faster than their reported levels of satisfaction and so it
is not unusual for the improvement of a service initially to have little, or even negative,
impact on reported satisfaction levels.
Valuing customer's point of view
Careful interpretation necessary
3.14 Many parts of the public sector monitor customer satisfaction as part of their
performance management regimes. At the moment, these activities are rarely linked or
comparable, either within or across departments and agencies. This means that service
delivery organisations are not able to compare their findings with peers, and are
missing opportunities for benchmarking and sharing learning.
3.15 The Customer Insight Forum has already provided departments with guidelines
and a framework aimed at improving the consistency and comparability of customer
satisfaction measurement across government.
GROUPING SERVICES IN WAYS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO THE CUSTOMER
The 'Tell Us Once' project
3.16 Redesigning services so that they match the needs of the customer rather than
government raises some real challenges, both cultural and practical. These are quite
well understood at a theoretical level, but Sir David Varney's report recommended that
they be tested through practical application. The "Tell Us Once" project, led by DWP
but involving a broad cross-government partnership, will achieve just that.
3.17 The overall vision for the end of the CSR07 period for this project is for a service
whereby citizens can report changes in circumstances (initially dealing with
bereavement, change of address and birth) just once and with government responding
in a coordinated way. This is a worthwhile service in its own right, but this work will also
provide the frameworks and lessons for developing other similar cross-government
services that citizens and businesses are saying they need.
3.18 Tell Us Once prototypes are being tested with the aim of pilots of the service
being launched from April 2008. The Government will provide more detail on how the
service will be developed over the CSR07 period as this becomes available.
Directgov and Businesslink.gov
3.19 Directgov and Businesslink.gov will also, by presenting all citizen and business-
facing government transactions and information on single, customer focused, websites,
contribute to this strategic action. These two sites are also important for the
rationalisation and efficiency of delivery, and are described below.
RATIONALISING SERVICES FOR EFFICIENCY AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT
3.20 A key outcome of service transformation will be the better coordination of
service delivery across all the channels through which citizens and businesses access
public services. In order to move towards more efficient and integrated channel
management, the Government is commencing a programme of service delivery
rationalisation, with actions in this area falling into four parts:
3.21 The overall vision for online services is for Directgov and Businesslink.gov to
become the primary informational and transactional channels for citizens and
Service piloted from April 2008
Single point of access
Businesses, reducing the number of departmental specific websites and providing a
single secure point of access to information and services. This will involve the
convergence and streamlining of information and transactions from those government
websites which are aimed at individuals and businesses to Directgov and
3.22 During this process the power and user-appeal of Directgov and
Businesslink.gov will be built in line with customer needs and priorities;2 aligned with
departmental plans; and achieved within the technical, service design, policy and
financial resources available. The scale of this process is significant and will be
underpinned by an overall implementation plan giving a clear indication of the number
of sites, audience types and service areas involved.
3.23 Making access to information and transactional services easier via Directgov
and Businesslink.gov will mean that the public sector no longer needs the plethora of
websites which citizens find so confusing. The process of closing websites which are no
longer needed is already underway and the aim is to complete the process by the end of
the CSR07 period. As this is done, checks will be made to ensure that no material which
should be on Directgov or businesslink.gov.uk has been left on a website aimed at those
interested in information only about the organisation (for example, annual reports,
details of ministers and so on). It will be clear that the process of migration in a
particular area is complete when a) redundant customer-facing websites can be closed
and b) it can be confirmed that any customer-facing material has been transferred from
any corporate websites.
3.24 Public sector contact centres are significant to service transformation. The
phone channel handles over 400 million calls each year. Because people often turn to
the telephone when they are confused, impatient, or uncertain, what happens in a
contact centre is often indicative of an organisation's overall service delivery capability.
So improving contact centre performance often requires fundamental service
transformation across the organisation.
3.25 Sir David Varney recommended that all public sector contact centres be
accredited by the end of 2008.3 This work is being taken forward by the Contact
Council4 which has:
- agreed a set of specific operating standards (a blueprint), applicable to all
publicly funded contact centres but using where possible recognised and
accepted industry-wide models aimed at delivering a better service for
callers and improved efficiency for operators. Adoption of these standards
will allow the process of external accreditation to be carried out by any
recognised body; and
- These were initially identified in their respective strategy studies; but are
continually refined and updated in line with website management information and
ongoing research, both specific and general.
- Accreditation is a process by which a contact centre is reviewed by an external
body to show that it has implemented an agreed set of operating standards; established a
common measurement framework to track performance; and achieved a minimum level of performance.
- In line with the recommendations in Sir David Varney's report departments have
appointed Contact Directors to carry overall responsibility in their department for customer
contact. These Contact Directors together form the Contact Council, which is
responsible for providing oversight across the public sector on all matters relating
to customer contact.
Contact centre accreditation
- set out a performance framework which will allow consistent measurement
across the public sector.
3.26 Over the CSR07 period and beyond the Contact Council will take the lead in
using these tools to benchmark and improve performance across public sector contact
3.27 A number of Local Authorities are achieving significant improvements in the
quality, penetration and accessibility of services by bringing them together in single
face-to-face locations. Some of the best examples have been brought together under the
"Front Office Shared Service" programme (FOSS). These initiatives also enable central
and local government services to be delivered alongside those from the third sector and
other partners to provide local solutions to local needs. The LGDC will be encouraging
the development of these initiatives.
3.28 The objective for the CSR07 period is to move towards more one-stop shops in
places which the public will find convenient; towards greater sharing of generic
administrative back office space (for example shared service centres, especially where
this makes for improved front-of-house delivery); and towards finding ways of
delivering face-to-face services at a place of the customer's convenience through the
use of mobile service provision.
3.29 The LGDC will develop a progress measure reflecting the FOSS approach for
later inclusion in this Agreement.
3.30 There is a link between this work and the rationalisation of the Government
estate which is being implemented by the Office for Government Commerce through
the High Performing Property Programme.
3.31 Phone helplines provide vital support to people in crisis or seeking expert advice
on a broad range of personal difficulties. They are often the first port of call for the most
vulnerable. Government funds around two-thirds of the 1500 helplines in the UK.
3.32 Publicly funded helplines are possibly the most over-stretched of all phone-
based services in the public sector, with callers either failing to find the help they need
or simply failing to get through. The onus to coordinate help where a number of
services are required is clearly placed on the citizen. The potential for failure in this
situation is high and with an increase in issues such as personal indebtedness and
obesity, helpline services, if left unchanged, will require higher levels of funding and
may still find it increasingly hard to reach those who need them. The Ministry of Justice
is leading work to find better ways of managing publicly funded helplines. This is
complex — from the point of view of the customer the existing landscape is extremely
fragmented, and it is not always clear where to go for help. The issues which these
services deal with — such as indebtedness, relationships, health — almost invariably
overlap and conventional customer or task segmentations have proven ineffective.
3.33 To support this work, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform is developing a pilot to explore options to simplify and rationalise helplines
related to employment, delivering an improved service to both citizens and business,
and savings for government.
MAKING BETTER USE OF THE CUSTOMER INFORMATION THE PUBLIC SECTOR ALREADY HOLDS
3.34 This is a highly complex challenge which will not be entirely solved within the
CSR07 period. The public sector can, however, make progress:
- at a strategic level; with the work being lead by the Home Office (on identity
management) and by the Ministry of Justice (on information sharing). The
aim is that the implementation of these strategic plans is largely complete by
the end of the CSR07 period; and
- at a tactical level by tackling these issues within the context of specific
projects, most importantly 'Tell Us Once'. This approach allows progress to
be made while also providing valuable information for the wider strategy. In
addition to 'Tell Us Once' the Government will also sponsor and facilitate
other specific projects including the Free School Meals pilot which is already
underway in conjunction with DCSF, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and
Hertfordshire County Council.
LINKING LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
3.35 To ensure alignment between service transformation activity in central and
local government, the service transformation indicator within the local government
performance framework will reflect the key theme of this Service Transformation
Agreement to save citizens and business time in their dealings with government. As
such, the local government indicator focuses on reducing avoidable contact and
maximising first point of contact resolution.
3.36 Central government departments will also engage actively with local
government partners to drive through the strategic initiatives set out above, as well as
the wider programme of activity across the whole public sector, which will involve more
effective joining up across the whole delivery chain. The establishment of the LGDC will
play a key role in facilitating this engagement.
ENGAGING FRONT LINE STAFF
3.37 There is a recognised link5 between service quality, customer satisfaction and
the engagement of front line staff (not just those in face-to-face situations, but also
those answering phones and delivering web services). The Government will build upon
this link by assessing the drivers of front line employee buy-in and developing the use of
cross-government staff surveys as a means of maximizing the potential for staff to
contribute to the delivery of more customer-focused public services. Work in this area is
ongoing and will link with the outputs and objectives of the Permanent Secretaries'
Employee Engagement Working Group. See People, Service and Trust: Links in a Public Sector
Service Value Chain, Ralph Heintzman and Brian Marson, Canadian Government Executive
June/July 2006, http://www.psagency-agencefp.gc.ca/veo-bve/publications/atricle_e.asp
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
A.1 The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) serves the public by providing a framework within
which the state promotes and enforces rights and responsibilities, and upholds and
protects justice and democracy. The department's work in criminal and civil law,
human and democratic rights defines its core rights and responsibilities - the protection
the public is entitled to expect from others, and the department's reciprocal obligations.
The department is also responsible for providing support where rights and
responsibilities are not respected - for example through legal aid, tribunals, and the
resolution of disputes through the civil and family courts - and for ensuring that there
are consequences for the breaching of rights and responsibilities. This includes
sentencing policy, the effective administration of prison and probation service, and the
enforcement of court judgments.
A.2 The MoJ is focused on delivering key outcomes for society, including more
effective public protection from dangerous offenders, ensuring that people have
confidence in the criminal justice system and that fewer offenders re-offend. The MoJ is
focused on ensuring that people can understand and access their rights, and are given
appropriate help and assistance to avoid and resolve conflicts. The MoJ is also
responsible for taking forward one of the Government's key priorities — giving people
have a greater say in the way they are governed.
A.3 The creation of the MoJ also provides new opportunities for working better
together, right across the justice system, in order to deliver improvements to public
services. Building on the rationale for the creation of the MoJ on 9 May 2007, the new
Secretary of State has re-iterated the importance of delivering these improvements. In
order to achieve this the MoJ will create an organisation that is focused on outcomes;
takes a whole system approach; shows decisive leadership; and is customer focused.
A.4 The MoJ is the lead government department on service transformation in two
A.5 The MoJ is leading a cross-government programme to deliver a package of
measures over the next 3-5 years to overcome current barriers to information sharing
within the public sector.
A.6 The vision of this programme is to 'develop frameworks and mechanisms that
enable public sector organisations to share information to improve personalised public
services, increase public safety and tackle social exclusion in an environment of
openness and respect for citizens' privacy and access rights'.
A.7 The information sharing programme will take account of all major government
initiatives involving data sharing, including identity management, which in itself is key
to facilitating effective service delivery.
DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE TRANSFORMATION PLANS
A.8 The MoJ is leading a cross-government project to rationalise the 1500 helplines
operated or funded by central or local government. The main objective of the project is
to: consider whether existing helplines should be grouped into broad clusters of subject
areas such as money/tax/benefits, employment, family, housing and health etc., each of
which could be accessed through a single telephone number. Alternatively, a single
helpline number, a 'one-stop-shop' for all government funded helplines, or possible
groupings of helplines may be appropriate based on their ability to cope with customer
A.9 Other key steps are:
- to gather and map data on existing helplines. This will help identify the areas
where potential exists for increased cooperation and joining up of services
between departments so as to increase ease of access for citizens and allow
the pooling of resources which will lead to a better, more joined up service
- to initiate a data gathering and mapping project involving all government
departments, third sector helpline providers and privately run helplines who
receive government funding. At present there is no register of government
helplines and the project team will be addressing this issue; and
- to conduct a survey of the 1500 helplines over the summer 2007. The survey
will include Performance Framework Indicators set out by the CO as well as
detailed information requests regarding inter-agency relationships currently
used by helplines. Survey forms will be distributed via respective
departments in early September with the results expected in October 2007.
A.10 A practitioners' group, made up of contact representatives from all
departments, has been convened to oversee the development of the project. A formal
Steering Group and Programme Board, based in the MoJ but also including members
from other government departments who have previously worked on similar projects,
and third and private sector representatives, held its inaugural meeting in September.
A.11 The MoJ is also actively working in the following areas in order to transform its
A.12 In May 2007, the Permanent Secretary commissioned an Organisation Review to
ensure that the new department is able to exploit opportunities for improving services
and delivering on the issues that matter to citizens.
A.13 During the current Organisational Review, the department has been consulting
with a range of staff across MoJ. The Review has identified four critical success factors
for the new organisation. Being customer focused was one of these factors and another
was taking a whole system approach. Taking a whole system approach refers not only to
ensuring that systems are managed end-to-end from a customer perspective, but also
to working with other government departments and other stakeholders to consider
common client groups and customers.
DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE TRANSFORMATION PLANS A
A.14 The detailed structure of the new department will be developed over the coming
months. The four critical success factors will be at the heart of the design criteria and so
being customer focused and taking a whole system approach will soon be hard-wired
into the structure of the MoJ. The MoJ will ensure that concrete actions are taken once
the new structure is in place to fulfil the department's commitment to focus on the
needs of the public it serves.
A.15 The MoJ has been working on a number of customer focused projects over the
past 18 months including: 'Breakthrough', a project to establish key elements across
criminal, civil, family and tribunals that will make a real difference in the service being
offered; delivering a real improvement in the users' experience of the justice system.
The department is currently looking at the introduction of performance league tables
for all courts to help further improve courts' performance.
A.16 The National Offenders Management Service is formulating a strategy of the
future work required to best meet the needs of users. This includes a new approach to
offender management by way of a single approach in dealing with offenders. It provides
an end-to-end, seamless and integrated service with a single offender manager
responsible for the whole of an offender's sentence. It also seeks to reduce re-offending
by working with offenders to change their behaviour and addressing the issues that may
lead them to re-offend. This work is delivered under 'seven pathways1'.
A.17 HM Court Service (HMCS) is undertaking a three-year programme of user
surveys (2006-09). Exit surveys will be conducted face-to-face with users from Ipsos
MORI (the HMCS survey provider) and separate postal surveys will be conducted in
respect of jurors and complainants. Surveys will be conducted in most courts each year
but all courts will be surveyed at least once during the three-year programme. The first
year surveys have concluded and an annual report will be published this autumn.
Survey results have, and will in the future, be published on a secure online interactive
reporting portal (accessible by password) and will provide data down to area level. It
will also contain court level verbatim comments. Results from the juror survey are
displayed on a separate part of the portal and those for the complainant's survey will be
included on the portal later in the year.
A.18 The Tribunal Service is undertaking a 5 year programme of administrative
reforms aligned to its five year strategy. Together with the legal reforms of the Tribunals
Court and Enforcement Bill the Change Programme will radically transform the delivery
of services to users of Tribunals. It will deliver a new multi-jurisdictional business
model providing a high quality, efficient, independent and customer focused business.
A.19 The National Archives has produced a 5 year strategic plan with a vision to
transform information and guarantee the survival of information. Given the expectation
for increasing numbers of people to find and use information online, the National
Archives will focus on providing practical support through areas such as supporting the
development of a government digital preservation service and conducting a Digitisation
Programme to provide digital copies of all its most popular records online.
A.20 The National Archive's strategy is also to provide as wide as possible access to its
content online, so that researchers can find information wherever they are based. It will
also focus on its reading rooms for those who need to consult original records or require
specific expertise. The transfer of the National Archive's current services to Kew in 2008
Seven Pathways: accommodation; education, training and employment; health; drugs and alcohol;
finance, benefits and debt; children and families; attitude, thinking and behaviour to allow
an integrated online and records service will facilitate this goal. Further, there
will be a development of a wiki site to create a repository of information about the
content and interpretation of the National Archive's records.
A.21 The Land Registry is currently developing an electronic system to make
conveyancing easier for all. Its aim is to make buying and selling property easier for the
general public, conveyancing professionals and other parties involved in the process.
A.22 All registered properties are computerised and the Land Registry online website
now allows the public to download copies of title information as well as a service for the
public to register properties through Land Registry Direct.
A.23 As part of customer insight, the MoJ is working on a channel strategy project,
which has been commissioned by the MoJ Departmental Management Board, to:
- Understand the rationale behind the department's current service delivery;
- Know whom the department is trying to reach and their preferred delivery channels;
- Develop a strategy that underpins the development of contact channels; and
- Understand the cost and efficiencies involved in using different channels.
A.24 The project is building on previous and current work activity and mapping an
activity point in understanding the MoJ universe 'as is' and 'will be'. In looking at
existing change MoJ is ensuring this does not limit the strategic thinking and that
planned change must not constrain the vision of how services could be delivered. The
project will demonstrate a clear vision for the future but referenced to an awareness of
existing projects and programmes.
A.25 The next stage of the work will address customer segmentation, providing an
assessment of the range of channel preferences associated with particular groups and
the channels MoJ should aim to use for delivering services. It will also look at the scope
of potential for new technology to transform the services MoJ provides e.g. predictive
software suggesting, based on other cases, the type of decision a court might reach in a
divorce or civil case.
A.26 MoJ is aiming to produce:
- A vision for how justice services would be delivered in the future;
- A channel strategy setting out the channels MoJ would use to deliver those
services to particular user groups;
- A checklist against which projects and programmes could be measured for
strategic fit with the vision; and
- A draft assessment of where key projects and programmes fit using that
A.27 The project team will be producing an internal report on this work by the end of
A.28 The MoJ will continue to ensure that the online potential that DirectGov and
Businesslink.gov offer in providing citizens with easily accessible information and
advice is used to best effect. Prioritisation of citizen facing content has begun and over
the next 12 months web convergence will take place based upon citizen's needs,
appropriate channel usage and business priorities.
A.29 Key milestones include:
- By mid-2008, MoJ will have finalised the web convergence plans and begun
to introduce audio and visual digital content in multiple formats such as
DVD, online and audio leaflets;
- During 2008 MoJ will be looking to improve access to existing transactions
and develop new applications to provide procedural information and advice
in areas such as voting, housing, wills and consumer issues;
- Seven of MoJ's active websites, representing 10 per cent of the website
portfolio, have already been archived. Firm plans are in place to archive two
additional sites this financial year. Planning is taking place for phased
migration of agency/Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sites over the
next CSR07 period, including an online hub for all currently separate
tribunals' websites. MoJ is working closely with National Archives and the
British Library to develop the proposition for the digital archiving of online
information and publications during this financial year; and
- The web convergence review will be completed by 2011.
Asset and estate management
A.30 Through its Organisational Review and Change Programme, the MoJ has, as
stated above, drawn up a blueprint which includes plans to rationalise its headquarters
for national, regional and area management.
A.31 MoJ headquarters will be moving to refurbished premises (50 Queen Anne's
Gate) in Spring 2008 which will provide a modern office environment to support flexible
ways of working and business change. This will release other premises from its current
A.32 The Tribunal Service's longer-term aim is to reduce their estate potentially by
up to 50 per cent and create a network of multi-jurisdictional hearing centres - 40 will
be permanent and based in cities and large towns. It will also move all of its
administrative processes to six regional multi-jurisdictional bulk centres.
A.33 The Unified Family Service will consolidate family jurisdiction either into
unified family courts and enable clearer network of family courts and flexibility of
A.34 The Legal Services Commission is undergoing organisational change and
anticipates being able to operate from 50 per cent fewer regional premises and to
consider the possibility of co-locating/sharing accommodation with other members of
MoJ. It is also reviewing central functions with a view to moving them out of London.
A.35 The National Offender Management Service is looking at four key programmes
of change to deliver the policy and organisational changes needed to bring about a new
approach for managing offenders and to deliver more effective services. The key strands
- Offender management — to design and implement end-to-end offender
management with I.T. infrastructures and applications to support it across
prisons and probation;
- Commissioning and contestability — to implement commissioning of
services required by the courts and offender managers;
- Probation change — to establish probation trusts from April 2008 devolving
responsibility to front line staff supported by a programme of training to
develop business acumen. This will deliver 3 per cent efficiency savings; and
- Performance and information — to deliver performance reporting, metrics
and management information to support NOMS business needs.
A.36 The Community Justice Centre pilots in North Liverpool and Salford promote
collaborative working between criminal justice agencies all under one roof. Magistrates
also go out into the community to hear and learn at first hand the types of problems
and concerns that are present in the local areas. Plans are underway to expand the
concept of community justice centres to a further 10 areas and the flexibility and
potential to provide outreach facilities to support some community justice initiatives.
A.37 The Tribunal Service will also hire venues or share premises in other
geographical locations as required.
A.38 The youth justice system will benefit from the implementation of the "Wiring up
Youth Justice" programme which will ensure that practitioners in the system have the
tools and the shared information they need to prevent offending and re-offending by
children and young people. Improved connectivity in the youth justice system will be
facilitated by the implementation of secure email and automated case management
A.39 The virtual court prototype is very exciting in terms of its potential to deliver
speedy justice, by shortening the process from arrest to charge to sentence.
Camberwell Magistrates is the site for further tests to establish whether it is possible to
deal with some cases via a virtual court hearing, based on a video link from the police
station to the courtroom, and testing of an expedited 'quick process' to reduce the
amount of preparation required for simple guilty plea cases.
A.40 The tests apply only to the most simple cases. Only the key evidence is provided
to the Crown Prosecution Service, the defence and the court. This work is looking at
whether it may be possible to further simplify the procedure for all agencies. The key
aim is to see whether it is possible to reduce the burden of preparation by the police
without impacting upon effectiveness at the court. The tests so far have demonstrated a
saving in preparation time, but work is on-going to ensure that legal aid processes are
built into any business ready model and that there is no detrimental impact on
effectiveness at court (which would be counterproductive).
DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM (BERR)
A.41 Transformational Government is already influencing how BERR delivers
services. In the past 18 months the department has introduced new service
transformation activities, for example the BERR Ministerial Response Unit, electronic
services at Companies House and better project and programme management through
the BERR Project Pool.
A.42 Together with Businesslink.gov and Directgov, BERR is also working to deliver
the platforms on which joined up online transactions and services will be delivered to
UK businesses and citizens. This is evidence of BERR's commitment to putting the
needs of stakeholders, businesses and citizens at the heart of what the department does.
A.43 BERR has established a transformational government board, to take the
strategic lead on developing a coordinated work programme around service
transformation. Different service transformation work streams, such as website
rationalisation and helplines rationalisation, report to this board.
A.44 The department has also nominated a contact director who sits on the Contact
Council, and has director general-level representation on the Delivery Council.
A.45 BERR has been able to group its service transformation activities around seven
themes, set out below.
A.46 UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has invested in a single comprehensive
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System used both at home and overseas to
ensure the UK Companies they help to export get the services they need in today's
global economy. This improves the UKTI understanding of Business needs, and helps
deliver services more quickly and efficiently. The system, used by over 1500 staff,
already holds almost 130,000 records and is growing as it is extended beyond the 46
countries initially covered.
A.47 Companies House is transforming service delivery from paper-based
operations, to e based, to improve services to customers. In the future, companies and
their agents will have personalised web portals, which will be faster to use, more cost
effective and more secure.
A.48 BERR website rationalisation is progressing well. During Autumn 2007, the
department will develop migration plans for moving content from BERR websites onto
Businesslink.gov and Directgov.
A.49 The department is leading a cross-departmental pilot to explore options to
simplify and rationalise helplines related to employment, delivering an improved
service to customers and savings for government. This will feed into the wider work
programme looking at all government funded helplines, led by MoJ.
A.50 Delivery management responsibility for Business Link was devolved to the RDAs
from April 2005 and the RDAs have now completed a process of rationalisation. In most
regions the RDAs have opted for a single Business Link operator, rather than a model
with several sub regional contracts with different suppliers. The South East has opted to
retain their six existing operators and Yorkshire Forward still has their four sub regional
operators. This means that there are now only eighteen Business Link websites under
the national site.
A.51 In addition, all of these Business Link websites are now delivered via the
Businesslink.gov Local Site Development model (LSD). This means that there will be a
consistent online presence, where every Business Link website is a minor variation on
the national businesslink.gov.uk website.
A.52 They therefore provide consistent guidance for businesses, regardless of which
website they visit. This also leads to greater efficiency as the online presence across
Business Link is a much more manageable proposition. New site developments are
deployed once and automatically replicated across the entire network without
additional resource or complication.
A.53 From April 2007 HMRC have stewardship of the Businesslink.gov programme.
This change aligns the online channel with the primary transactional department and
has injected new impetus to the programme. Consequently, Treasury have allocated
additional funding for the CSR07 period to help enable web rationalisation delivery.
A.54 BERR remains the owner of the Business Link brand and continues to have a
strong governance role through this responsibility. For Businesslink.gov,
transformational government is the logical next stage in the online integration process.
The site already hosts content from most business facing government owned sites and
new service developments are moving towards transactional relationships with the
A.55 4,000 UK Businesses have registered for online access to the UK Trade &
Investment (UKTI) Introduction Services. This supports UK Businesses entering new
overseas markets. It provides access to International Trade Advisors in the English
Regions and staff in 68 Embassies and Consulates worldwide, and a range of adaptable
services including a mix of pre-visit research and advice, and support for market visits.
It's now easier to pay for chargeable services, securely using a credit card online, with
2,500 orders placed in 2006, and 900 in the first quarter of 2007.
A.56 In a unique collaboration between HMRC, Business Link operators in England,
Invest Northern Ireland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, all
web users have been migrated to the Government Gateway User ID and password to
manage online identities. The My Business service, available on all these organisations'
websites, offers a simple, quick way of acquiring a Government Gateway User ID that
can then be used not only to log in to businesslink.gov.uk and other websites, but also
for tax filing with HMRC, and a range of other government services. Around 6,000 users
a month are acquiring their ID in this way.
A.57 The Retail Enforcement Pilot provides a framework for collaborative working
between Local Authorities and national regulators, which will help reduce the burden of
inspections for compliant businesses; promote targeting of risk based interventions
across the regulatory piece; increase the efficiency of Local Authority regulatory services
through joint local working, and enhance consumer and employee protection.
A.58 Through the use of mobile technology and data sharing, regulators are able to
work jointly across trading standards, health and safety, environmental health and fire
safety, and generate intelligence. By analysing this intelligence, regulators are able to
assess the competence of businesses in how they manage risk. This allows regulators to
act flexibly by differentiating between businesses and targeting their efforts away from
well-run businesses and onto poor performing businesses and illegal traders.
A.59 The savings in regulatory capacity made from reducing routine visits will be
redirected into methods of alternative regulatory intervention such as business advice
and information provision.
A.60 The Retail Enforcement Pilot is being rolled out in up to 70 county, unitary and
district councils nationwide during 2007-08.
Asset and estate management
A.61 The former Department of Trade and Industry broke new ground when rent
rises put seemingly insurmountable pressures on accommodation budgets, by sharing
desks across its London estate. Over a 2 year period to 2006, everyone in London
moved to using a standardised desk space with a ratio of 8 desks to 10 staff. This,
combined with some staff reductions and some moves out of London inspired by the
Gershon and Lyons reviews has allowed BERR to go from 8 London buildings to 2, with
a massive saving of £25m per annum.
A.62 Technology played a key part in enabling this change as everyone needed access
to their computer systems from anywhere on the estate, and new telephone systems
were needed to allow staff to use their allocated number wherever they sat. Electronic
records played their part by allowing a drastic reduction in the space needed for filing
A.63 But this was a massive change project as over 2,500 staff adopted new ways of
working, where they now sit in team villages, but not the same desk. Staff had
substantial concerns, not least that they would not be able to find a desk. But these
were successfully addressed, and the new ways of working and more efficient use of
space has now become the norm.
A.64 With any organisation there is an amount of expensive 'churn', as
accommodation needs change. But BERR's new approach minimises these costs by
moving people from one standard environment to another, with no accommodation
changes. This means lower cost and faster moves when re-organisation is needed.
A.65 BERR has cracked down on individual printers and printers shared with just a
few colleagues to provide better quality, more energy efficient, higher speed printers
with greater functionality printing services shared by more staff. BERR moved from a
1:7 ratio with a number of personal printers to an aggressive 1:24 ratio in shared printer
bays. During the change project over 900 personal printers were recovered, and the
new more efficient printing equipment has saved over £200k pa in printing
Efficiencies / Deregulation
A.66 BERR's Enterprise directorate is leading the cross government programme to
simplify business support. The department is consulting with stakeholders on what
business support government might fund in the future; the policy of using Business
Link as the primary route for business to get advice and support; and how to avoid
business support schemes proliferating once they have been simplified.
A.67 As part of its work on better regulation and simplification, the department is
working to deliver a 25 per cent reduction in the administrative burden imposed on
business by employment law by 2010-11. The two key projects which will deliver this
reduction are consistent with Transformational Government - reforming the dispute
resolution procedures, with an improved helpline and advice service to encourage early
resolution of problems in the workplace; and improving the guidance available to
employers on employment issues, including online tools to help employers comply
with the basic requirements of the law quickly, cheaply and easily.
A.68 Just as Directgov will be the primary online service for citizens, the
businesslink.gov.uk website will serve businesses with a significantly expanded set of
responsibilities under Transformational Government. The businesslink.gov.uk website
currently reaches 800,000 unique users a month, reflecting steady growth from under
100,000 for its predecessor site businesslink.org. The growth rests on a large body of
plain English content covering all the major business topics; more than 50 interactive
diagnostic tools and alerting services; and a growing suite of transactional services to
enable enrolment for online submissions.
A.69 An impact survey carried out at the end of 2006 was a jointly agreed project
between an economic analysis unit within BERR and the service provider. Carried out
with 805 established businesses in England, it gave a robust basis for demonstrating
that over a 12 month period businesses in England using the service saved 2.9m hours
of time (worth £61m); £94m by getting information and advice they would otherwise
have paid for; and reported additional sales of £195m, increased profits of £31m and
cost reductions of £7m that they believed they could not have otherwise achieved,
without access to the service.
A.70 This economic impact analysis was praised by the National Audit Office as a
model of how to understand the purpose, reach and impact of a web service. As more
departmental information and transactions migrate to the businesslink.gov.uk website
under service transformation, this economic impact is expected to grow in line with a
greatly expanded reach.
A.71 The aim of the ITSW is to develop an online space where traders can fully
understand import and export regulatory requirements, and submit declarations to
government in one place using one form. A cross-government project delivered by
Businesslink.gov, phase one was delivered on time and on budget in November 2006. It
involved the development of 55 new guides and four interactive tools, to complement
the 33 guides already in the international trade section of the site. The four tools were
developed in collaboration with stakeholders from HM Revenue and Customs, Defra,
SITPRO and the British Chambers of Commerce.
A.72 eAccounts enables customers to quickly and conveniently file business accounts
online. Over 135,000 sets of accounts have been filed electronically since the launch of
eAccounts in November 2005.
A.73 Companies House became the first company registry in the world to launch a
service whereby accounts information could be submitted as electronic data.
Companies House is also the first government organisation to accept XBRL filings on a
large scale, and designed the system to enable efficiency gains elsewhere in Whitehall.
A.74 Companies House performance is significantly improved as eAccounts provides
consistent examination and rejection rules. Templates are used with built-in checks to
reduce errors and omissions to improve the quality of data capture. This has
significantly reduced rejection rates below those of paper account filings, and
electronically enabling what was formerly a paper-based service has lowered processing
costs from is £0.35 for paper accounts to just £0.004 for electronically-filed accounts.
Cost savings are reflected in reduced charges to customers.
A.75 The number of companies submitting their annual return of information on
company details electronically has grown from 100,000 in 2004-05 to 1,000,000, with
customer satisfaction approaching 90 per cent. Historically, annual returns have been
filed on paper, but electronic filing is now widely recognised as the quickest, easiest and
most secure way to file annual returns. Companies report a significant reduction in the
administrative burden when filing electronically.
A.76 Electronic returns are made easier and quicker for companies, with onscreen
forms pre-populated with the information Companies House already holds. The quality
of information gathered is improved by automated checking procedures using
intelligent templates. This minimises errors and omissions, and so reduces the chances
of rejection. Electronic returns save time and effort which is illustrated by them being
half the price of paper returns, with additional savings in postage.
A.77 BERR has overall responsibility for overseeing the Digital Strategy and is also
responsible for the Digital Strategy Review. This is a cross-departmental project, with
actions within the Digital Strategy owned by different government departments.
A.78 There are seven key actions outlined in the Strategy: transforming learning with
ICT; setting up a digital strategy for Local Authorities; making the UK the safest place to
use the Internet; promoting the creation of innovative broadband content; setting out a
strategy for the transformation of the delivery of public services using new technology;
asking Ofcom to consider how the regulatory framework can be used to improve
competition and take-up in the broadband market; and improving accessibility for the
A.79 The introduction and consolidation of the BERR Project Pool has been an
important innovation with regard to the efficient and flexible deployment of resources
within the department. The Project Pool provides a central resource of project-trained
staff who work on specific projects alongside colleagues from standing directorates.
They bring with them their expertise and experience of effective project management.
Knowledge is also shared. Demand for the service is high.
A.80 PDAs have proved very useful tools to keep people in touch with their office and
office systems, but are notoriously insecure. BERR has pushed the limits of this
technology by being the first to develop a PDA system based on 'Blackberry' technology
that is safe enough to use with 'Restricted' information with nearly 400 Blackberry's
now deployed. BERR staff can now have mobile phone access, as well as access to their
office email and calendars anywhere with GSM coverage at costs about 20 per cent
lower than using mobile PCs.
A.81 Throughout 2007 the Business Support Simplification Programme will be
consulting and engaging with local government, business support organisations and
business to shape the new portfolio of business support. There will be a formal public
consultation in the summer. By the beginning of 2008 the department will have
developed a comprehensive portfolio of one hundred or fewer business support
schemes. Built-in flexibility will ensure the portfolio can be deployed to meet local,
regional and national economic development needs, as well as business needs and
public policy aims.
A.82 By the beginning of 2008 plans will be in place for the business support portfolio
to be managed and monitored by those involved in its provision to enable strategic,
evidence-based decisions to be made about future business support.
A.83 By 2010 all existing publicly-funded business support will be earmarked to close,
merge into or be delivered through the new business support portfolio.
DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS
A.84 The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has a
substantial set of service transformation activities which take on board the key service
transformation theme of improving accessibility of services by grouping them together
to make them easier to find. Defra does not run any major face-to-face services, but is
taking steps to deliver key policy objectives via cost-efficient online channels. Examples
of this are the Environment and Greener Living franchise on Directgov, and the Greener
Business theme on businesslink.gov.uk. These services will reduce the time customers
spend looking for services, as will the department's Whole Farm Approach (WFA) online
channel and involvement with the International Trade Single Window (ITSW).
A.85 The department has key data-sharing approaches in the areas of customer and
geographic data. The latter includes inter-agency access, public access and access
across the EU. The department's EU/UN emissions trading register system is also being
adopted by 17 states.
A.86 On deregulation, the department is combining some agencies and also creating
a new Regulatory Science Agency which will take over the work of several scientifically-
based agencies and directorates (and in the process, reduce the number of customer
access points). The ITSW will make life easier for importers and exporters by providing
a single access point for many regulatory activities, and the Environment Agency's
NetRegs system provides a risk-based approach which combines and reduces
A.87 Defra has appointed a Director of Customer Focus and Regulation. The post
will be expanded to include responsibilities for a Customer Intelligence function.
A.88 Defra is the lead department partnering CO, Directgov and Businesslink.gov in
the pilot phase of web rationalisation — this was completed in July 2007. Defra launched
a new environment theme on the businesslink.gov.uk website in August 2007 and will
have rationalised 11 core-Defra managed websites by April 2008. Rationalisation will
achieve an overall efficiency saving (non-cash releasing) of around £4million a year
once phase one is complete.
A.89 Defra has implemented a greener business theme on the businesslink.gov.uk
website and will develop this further.
A.90 The ITSW Project delivers, via the businesslink.gov.uk website, an integrated,
cross-government source of information and gateway for transactions that will reduce
the burden of regulatory compliance on UK importers and exporters. Many Defra
network transactions will be available on ITSW by May 2008.
A.91 The WFA provides an online channel through which farmers can interact with
Defra and partner agencies thereby reducing the burden of regulation on the
agricultural sector and providing a single source for targeted advice. WFA will
contribute to Defra's commitment to deliver a 25 per cent reduction of total
administrative burden by 2010-11 from the 2005 baseline. Electronic access to RPA's
Single Payment System will be provided during 2008 and links to other transactional
systems from the following year.
A.92 In summer 2007, Defra launched its new Act on CO2 carbon calculator which
calculates citizens' personal carbon footprints from home energy, appliances and
transport and then develops a personalised action plan with steps individuals can take
to cut their emissions. Subject to future policy decisions, this will be extended to
include personal carbon trading during 2012-13.
A.93 Delivery staff are already using or piloting a range of mobile devices and staff
can now connect to Defra's systems from any Internet-connected PC. This enables field
staff to enter data etc. at the point of contacting customers. These facilities are
particularly important in enabling the department to respond rapidly to flooding or
animal health emergencies.
A.94 Defra has set up a group covering its Delivery Network to identify the steps
delivery bodies must take to achieve accreditation within the timescales recommended
by Sir David Varney and to achieve the goals set for contact centre performance for the
end of the CSR07 period.
A.95 Defra is re-assessing its strategy for customer identity management to ensure
that anything the department does in the future will improve services to customers,
provide efficiencies and be consistent with wider government initiatives.
A.96 Defra is developing a Customer Data Sharing service to give users access to
information about customers, their activities and use of land to help improve customer
experience, operational processes and research activities. An initial release will be made
at the end of 2007 with capabilities and data sources being added in following years.
A.97 Defra will examine the feasibility of a joint land registration service that would
provide data to different business areas. This would improve the customer experience
and generate efficiency savings.
A.98 Defra is implementing a corporate Spatial Information Repository (SPIRE)
together with a set of managed data services and tools for presentation and analysis of
A.99 The Geographic Information Panel (which reports to DCLG ministers) has
supported in principle, a Defra-network lead on implementation of the INSPIRE
Directive and the UK GI Strategy given the similarities between the two initiatives. This
would result in SPIRE becoming the UK access point for INSPIRE data services linking
spatial information from across government. Note that the Inspire Directive requires all
government departments, agencies and Local Authorities to share and re-use spatial
data about the environment and, where appropriate, make spatial data available
directly to the public across the internet.
Asset and estate management
A.100 Defra's Estate Strategy seeks to co-locate Defra Agency delivery bodies in
accommodation with other members of the Defra Network, including NDPBs.
A.101 Defra has established a Shared Services Organisation (SSO) which by 2010-11
will cover core-Defra, its executive agencies and natural England. The SSO will deliver
approximately £12m efficiency savings year on year. Defra is in discussion with a
number of other government departments who are interested in the SSO providing
services to them.
A.102 The Environment Agency's Netregs service provides guidance on legislation and
environmental topics to 105 industries. The Agency's approach to environmental
regulation of agriculture is integrated and based on pollution risk. It is expected to
deliver gross savings of £8m over five years (but additional agriculture related duties
means that these savings will be not be cash-releasing but will allow the agency to
deliver more outcomes for the same money).
A.103 Defra is combining several agencies with the Rural Payments Agency and
Animal Health, and also creating a new Regulatory Science Agency which will take over
the work of several scientifically-based agencies.
A.104 Animal Health Business Reform Programme (BRP) will design and implement a
new operational model for the Animal Health Agency together with a new IS strategy
implementing enabling technology. This will change the delivery of transactional
services from the current model of local delivery in 24 Great Britain-wide offices by
bringing these together, thus rationalising the estate while using the WFA e-channel for
services such as licensing or advice. In addition it will standardise business processes
and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the field operations.
A.105 Animal Health is proposing to work with industry to develop a new approach for
registering animal movements that will incorporate a simplified approach to defining
movement locations and a more effective channel strategy and partnership with the
DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES (DCSF) AND DEPARTMENT FOR INNOVATION,
UNIVERSITIES AND SKILLS (DIUS)
Note: This is a combined statement due to recent machinery of government changes
and the strong links between the departments' sectors.
A.106 DCSF and DIUS's purpose is to reach and support a larger and wider set of
customers through streamlined, collaborative and inclusive delivery arrangements that
better reflect their needs and rising expectations in the digital age. This will be
underpinned and made possible by better customer insight, improved information and
identity management and a shared service approach. It will result in a coherent set of
services and facilities that enables: parents to engage with their children's education
and wider welfare; pupils, learners and employers to access the services and resources
they need to succeed; and sector workforces to share the knowledge and tools they need
to work effectively and make best use of their time.
A.107 As part of a broader insight programme DCSF and DIUS are introducing a new
six monthly survey of the views of the public including parents and learners, teaching
staff and delivery partners. Starting in 2007, it is designed to help better understand,
track over time and act on the issues that are most important to them.
A.108 For example, the work of the Schools Directorate in DCSF has been refocused
around customer and front line feedback; and quarterly tracking of parent and head
teacher views as well as weekly feedback from the contact centre is shaping policy and
operational decision making. This approach will now be extended other areas of policy.
A.109 To enable people to use the most appropriate and beneficial channel DCSF and
DIUS will seek to remove barriers to their access and effective use.
A.110 Following a successful pilot, 'myguide' will be rolled out during 2007-08
including through UK online centres. This is a service that makes the Internet more
accessible and usable for people who currently do not use it or get benefit from it
whether because of disability or lack of skills and confidence. The centres will, more
generally, also help provide access to online public services often in the most
A.111 By 2008 the Computers for Pupils initiative will have provided home internet
access for the 100,000 most disadvantaged households with secondary school pupils in
England. A home access taskforce set up in 2007 is engaging industry and the voluntary
sector in finding other ways to open up, to even more households with school-age
children, the benefits of Internet access, including not only education but wider public
A.112 Given the new department's wider role for families, DCSF is actively exploring
the scope for appointing a Customer Group Director for Parents. During 2007-08 a
service transformation project will develop a model for joining up services for parents.
This will build on the success of online school admissions and use it as a 'gateway' to a
more holistic service offer, as part of the department's strategy programme for parents.
A.113 Children's Centres are being set up to bring together a range of services based
around the needs of parents of young children; the aim is to have 2,500 in place by 2008
and 3,500 by 2010, providing one for every community. Similarly over 4,700 'extended'
schools in England provide community access and signposting to a wider set of public
services; the aim is for all to do this by 2010.
A.114 In 2007 DCSF and DIUS will carry out a review of their contact centres and
enquiry lines including the telephony tariff. They will also support sector contact
centres to meet the new standards introduced following Sir David Varney's report.
A.115 During the CSR07 period DIUS will facilitate a gradual transfer of Local
Authority responsibilities to a single assessment contact centre to deal with
applications for student support.
A.116 DCSF and DIUS are working with the MoJ, the lead department, on identifying
appropriate clusters of helplines for collaboration. In parallel, from 2008 the Parent
Know-How programme will include support for a group of helplines providing
specialist parenting advice for different customer segments; and from the outset they
will have access to information sharing and collaboration facilities.
A.117 DCSF and DIUS's web strategy is to use Directgov, Businesslink.gov and
workforce channels (for example, Teachernet) to streamline and improve their web
offer for different customer groups.
A.118 DCSF and DIUS's approach includes sharing responsibility for delivery with
stakeholders. For example, education and skills delivery partnerships will steer the
future development of integrated services for both further and higher education using
the shared Directgov channel. And from late 2007 lead bodies for those services (LSC
and HEFCE) will take on a management role for relevant content areas on Directgov.
A.119 DCSF leads on the online government offer for three cross-government
customer groups: parents, young people and children. For example, Directgov Kids is a
dedicated public service channel for 5 to 11 year olds. Building on the successful launch
of the first phase in 2007 the department will work with other departments to help them
develop this shared facility to communicate and consult with young citizens.
A.120 With the Home Office and Department of Health, DCSF and DIUS have
agreement on a distance-from-government web presence for appropriate issues for
young people, scheduled to be operational by 2008-09.
A.121 The Parent Know-How programme will encourage third and private sector
partnerships to propose Web 2.0 approaches to sharing parenting information and
advice which can be trialled during 2008-09.
A.122 DCSF and DIUS have funded 'i—mode' pilots to provide mobile access to
services provided by a number of departments on Directgov; this has now been rolled
out and further extended. The Parent Know-How innovation fund will also encourage
delivery partners to develop and test new ways of providing parenting advice and
guidance including through SMS.
A.123 Many schools are already using text messages to alert parents to anything from
pupil absences to the return of a bus from a school trip (for example 400 schools are
being supported by BECTA in using text messaging to help reduce absenteeism during
the 2007-08 academic year). DCSF and DIUS are also looking at how a range of
technologies including text messaging will offer delivery options for future parent-
school engagement including school reporting arrangements.
A.124 The department is providing an ICT capital grant to Local Authorities to invest
in mobile technologies for children's social workers. This will enable the workforce to
make better use of their time and to have real-time access to information and resources
when dealing with vulnerable children.
A.125 DCSF and DIUS are currently working with partners across government and in
the education and children's system to develop a system-wide information strategy that
will bring greater coherence and personalisation to customer services. Extensive
consultation is planned with partners and stakeholders to ensure that the strategy will
have their active support.
A.126 A key element of the strategy is the way the identities of children, learners and
practitioners are managed to support personalisation. There is also an opportunity to
provide citizens with improved access and control of their own learning records. Work
is under way to capture, across a number of DCSF/DIUS policy areas, the potential
high-level benefits from a more coordinated identity management approach. A
programme will be rolled out in 2008 and will align the departments' approach with
related cross-government work and the National Identity Scheme. It will build on work
to establish a Learning Registration Service and Unique Learner Number. For example
learners will be able to record their consent for others to view their learning records
which will help improve services.
A.127 An education system-wide Chief Information Officer Council and an
Information Standards Board were established in 2007 to bring greater coherence in
decision making. This will enable gradual convergence between different approaches
thereby improving interoperability and efficiency as well as providing better outcomes
for the citizen.
A.128 Managing Information across Partners (MIAP) is a true partnership involving
more than 40 organisations from across the education system and government, with a
stakeholder group which includes CO, DWP and the NHS. The programme includes
creating a standard set of data definitions and policies.
A.129 ContactPoint is a tool to enable children's service practitioners to identify and
contact one another easily and quickly so they can share relevant information about
children who need services. It will be introduced in all areas in England by the end of
A.130 Rather than sharing the data itself DCSF and DIUS are working with DWP on the
potential for a 'hub' that will check if the data held by them confirms eligibility for Free
School Meals. Not only will this significantly reduce the burden on Local Authorities
when checking Free School Meals eligibility, it will also mean a much more streamlined
process that will greatly benefit busy parents.
A.131 The Customer First initiative will deliver a transformed student finance service
through improved data sharing arrangements between the Student Loan Company and
UCAS, the Identity & Passport Service, and in later years possibly HMRC.
A.132 Schools and Local Authorities will use national framework agreements to
procure ICT and related services, offering national purchasing power while retaining
local independence and flexibility.
A.133 During the CSR07 period DCSF and DIUS will develop the potential for shared
services to create increased value for money across their sectors including universities,
colleges, schools and children's services. Particular opportunities considered for pilot
activities include adopting a shared approach to the delivery of: back office services of
finance, human resources and ICT across the education system; recruitment services;
and student management and other learner-facing activities.
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT
A.134 The Department for Transport's (DfT's) aim is to provide 'Transport that Works
for Everyone'. As one of the department's cross cutting themes, service transformation
plays a key part in delivering the department's aim by ensuring systematic engagement
with citizens and businesses to ensure that the services the department provides meets
their needs, whilst at the same time enabling DfT staff to deliver better services and
providing value for money for the taxpayer.
A.135 The department has been actively transforming its services for many years now,
particularly for motorists, and has both new and ongoing programmes of service
transformation activity, including the following:
A.136 DfT will continue to actively build its services around the needs of its customers.
It carries out an extensive rolling programme of customer research every year, overseen
by a well established cross-agency customer insight network.
A.137 This research uses a range of studies and surveys, customer testing, focus
groups, and customer 'journey mapping' to test both existing and proposed services
and identify customers future needs. The results are then used to help target and
prioritise investment and identify areas for future improvement.
A.138 Consumer and Commercial Customer Directors covering the Driver and Vehicle
Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the Vehicle Certification
Agency (VCA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) are in place.
Customer champion functions are also established in every agency.
A.139 The DfT agencies also have targets for maintaining or improving their customer
satisfaction scores year on year.
A.140 DVLA, VOSA, DSA and VCA are considering how to improve customer
accessibility to their face-to-face locations and looking for opportunities to further
rationalise sites. DSA's regional offices are being rationalised from 5 to 2 and
opportunities for co-locations between DSA and DVLA offices are also under
A.141 The department will continue to expand the use of its electronic channels to
make it easier for private and business customers to carry out transactions, comply with
regulations and keep their records up to date, for example by taxing their vehicles
online. For motorists the aim is that by 2011 an increased level of interactions with the
department will take place through electronic channels.
A.142 To help customers find the information they need quickly and easily, 75 of the
89 DfT websites currently identified will close by 2011 (18 by the end of 2007) and the
information they contain will be moved across to Directgov and the businesslink.gov.uk
website. DVLA, DSA and VOSA already hold the majority of their information on
Directgov and are in discussions with Businesslink.gov about transferring the
A.143 The Transport Direct website also offers a journey planning service and live
travel information to customers, available through Directgov, and via mobile phones
and digital television. Versions of the service are also available through third parties
(such as Visit Britain and the BBC). These channels are set to increase in number and
A.144 The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are developing online ship
registration and introducing a consolidated database of ship information, which will
help staff to deliver improved services to customers.
Contact and call centres
A.145 The department is moving quickly to rationalise the number of contact centres
it operates to reduce costs and improve customer service. DVLA has reduced its contact
centres from seven to one, and DSA from two to one, with DVLA's contact centre due to
be accredited by December 2007 using the Contact Centre Associations Global
A.146 The Highways Agency have assessed their call centre against accreditation
standards and are looking to improve their automated message service for major
incidents and severe weather.
A.147 MCA provide 24/7 telephone and email support to customers through their
rescue coordination centre and information line.
A.148 The department is working to increase its contact and call centre productivity
further during the CSR07 period by improving processes, bringing in the latest call
centre technology, and employing people management techniques.
A.149 The department will be working in partnership with Local Authorities and
operators across the country encouraging the use of interoperable electronic 'smart
ticketing' options to help streamline the way customers use public transport. A trial in
February 2008 is also planned for introducing a chip onto driving licences to help
improve card security and enable remote authentication of drivers.
A.150 The Highways Agency is also working to make wider use of mobile technology to
keep customers up to date on delays and is developing their HA Radio service into a
national digital (DAB) traffic radio station, including for Wales and Scotland.
Identity management and data sharing
A.151 The department is working closely with the Home Office and others to look at
the opportunities for sharing data and identity management. DVLA are also in
discussion with the MoJ on streamlining processes for prosecuting speeding offences.
A.152 This will allow a step change in customer service for the processing of both
driver and vehicle transactions, allowing e-services for secure transactions and
providing greater security for customers.
A.153 Transport Direct will increasingly be sharing the data it collects with
government, private, voluntary and academic sectors to help them develop services for
customers, e.g. using data on use of travel modes to help with planning and calculating
the carbon footprint of travel to new offices.
Asset and estate management
A.154 The Highways Agency already co-locates its national call centre with its regional
traffic control centre, and shares its facilities with contractors and the police. It is
looking at further ways to share accommodation.
A.155 DSA's regional offices are being rationalised from 5 to 2 and opportunities for
co-locations between DSA and DVLA offices are also under consideration.
A.156 MCA's Coastguard Rescue Coordination Centres also double up as information
points for locals to visit.
Shared services and process improvement
A.157 The department's Shared Service Centre, hosted by DVLA in Swansea, opened
for business in April 2007 to provide centralised personnel, payroll and financial
support services. DfT is now looking at the scope for sharing other services such as
A.158 The Highways Agency is also carrying out a service review to ensure it has more
efficient and effective IT services and systems to support front line service delivery.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
A.159 The Department of Health (DH) has embarked on an ambitious programme of
reform of the NHS and social care. The aim is to create a self-improving, locally-driven,
more innovative NHS that puts the public, patients and users at its heart and promotes
a 'bottom-up' approach.
A.160 The department's devolved approach enables local organisations to engage with
their local communities and partners to deliver locally-agreed priorities that best meet
the local health and social care needs.
A.161 A Customer Insight Unit has been established to understand patients and the
public's wants, needs and their use of the health and (adult) social care systems. This
will be used to inform both policy and service development and evaluation. Example
projects include working with DCSF and IDeA on understanding the public's preference
to receiving complex information to aid decision-making, and developing a real
understanding of how patients differ in their needs and wants, and how services might
respond to those differences.
A.162 NHS Choices launched in June this year, a single information portal on health
information and services to help the public make informed decisions about their health
and well being, enabling them to get the most from the healthcare system.
A.163 Patients are now able to directly comment and feedback on their hospital
experience, and hospitals will have the opportunity to respond to comments about their
services. Citizens are involved through the 'Your Thoughts' service, regular customer
insight sessions and a dedicated NHS Choices Users Council to represent their views.
A.164 NHS Choices will also engage with the Customer Insight Forum and will work
closely with Directgov to establish a comprehensive and integrated service covering
'Health and Wellbeing' content area to allow the customer to seamlessly transfer
between the two information sites.
A.165 The DH has responsibility for two contact centres: NHS Direct and Ambulance
Trusts. Health and social care is fundamentally a face-to-face activity, an important
interaction between trained healthcare professionals and the citizen seeking healthcare
advice. NHS Direct is a national service providing 24/7 telephone, internet and digital
TV access to health advice, information and support. Ambulance Trusts contact centres
deals with 999 calls and planned patient journeys from home to hospital.
A.166 In this context, NHS Direct and Ambulance Trusts are not purely a contact
centre or web-based information service, their primary role is to deliver secure,
confidential, personal health advice staffed by specially trained healthcare
professionals. Both NHS Direct and Ambulance Trusts therefore encourage citizens to
contact them for urgent and life-threatening health problems.
Websites and channels
A.167 The DH / NHS is planning to align its online services based on the principles
set-out by Transformation Government. The use of single destinations by customer
audience, such as NHS Choices for citizen health, will dramatically reduce the number
the sites operated by DH / NHS and improve the quality of the of the online services
provided to those customers.
A.168 The latest figures showed that DH had 140 websites. As part of the cross-
government website rationalisation, DH has:
- agreed to close 53 sites and has a firm date/plan to do so; and
- agreed in principle to close 60 sites but has not yet brokered this with the
Identity management and data sharing
A.169 The national programme for IT in the NHS is a key strategic programme
providing the essential information infrastructure to help realise the Government's
vision set out in the NHS plan of a health service focussed on the needs and wishes of
patients and their carers. This strategic infrastructure also underpins other key policy
goals for the NHS, including :
- patient choice and patient empowerment (in particular through the
'Choose and Book' service, Healthspace, and the nhs.uk portal) i.e. patients
can choose appointments at times and places convenient to them;
- the 'Our health, our care, our say' White Paper objectives (in particular
through the establishment of a national broadband network that enables the
use of telemedicine and tele-care to deliver home based care, and the ability
to share patient information across agencies in a secure, consent-based
framework) i.e. enabling clinicians to share information about patients and
- Through the establishment of a national broadband network and related
information infrastructure that enables the sharing of patient information
across agencies in a secure consent-based framework; and
- Enabling tele-health and tele-care services to deliver home based care for
people with chronic conditions and vulnerable older people through work to
engage industry in the development of open technical standards and
support for the Long Term Condition Whole System Demonstrator programme.
A.170 At the heart of the national programme is the NHS Care Records Service which
will provide a lifelong electronic personal health record for NHS patients in England.
Patients will be able to view, review and record their preferences for care and choose
how their records are shared. The Summary Care Record went live in early adopter sites
in Spring 2007. Full transformation to a digital NHS will be achieved in the next few
Process improvement and shared services
A.171 The NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) focuses on the provision of
finance, procurement, payroll and HR solutions. NHS organisations are free to choose
NHS SBS and many do so on the strength of a jointly developed and agreed business
case. The NHS Shared Business Service has saved 108 health trusts an average of 34 per
cent of the cost of processing finance transactions through shared finance services.
DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS
A.172 DWP is committed to delivering against the service transformation agenda and
is doing so by fully integrating its vision and objectives into the DWP Change
Programme. The department's current ways of working mean that many of its
customers need to contact more than one part of the department to have their needs
met. The Change Programme will bring in a 'no wrong door' approach, which aims to
meet all the customer's needs through a single contact. It will also explore how DWP
can provide more joined up services with other government departments and other
partners, widen customer choice and improve self-serve opportunities.
A.173 This is a long-term journey, but DWP now has an agreed and comprehensive
blueprint for the programme and are beginning to pilot new ways of working that will
start to make the blueprint a reality. DWP will ensure that all change effort within the
department is in line with the blueprint through a new, robust governance authority to
be introduced this year.
A.174 Understanding the department's customers, and using that understanding to
design better policy and services, is central to the programme. DWP has put a
corporate customer insight capability in place. Their work is informing many other
programme strands and the department is creating customer service measures that
reflect the quality of the whole customer experience.
A.175 The department is re-designing its services around customer needs, including
those that cut across several delivery organisations, such as HMRC and Local
Authorities. It will continue to drive through enhancements to services for people who
need to tell government organisations about life events such as bereavement by leading
on the 'Tell Us Once' project.
A.176 Delivering the department's vision of an integrated service for its customers
means that it needs to re-structure the way it delivers services and standardises
processes. DWP has agreed a high-level model for this and, during CSR07, will further
refine the model and restructure the organisation to help deliver against the model in
the most efficient way possible.
A.177 The main resources the department has to achieve its ambitions are the skills,
experience, capability and knowledge of its people - and their commitment to
delivering the best possible service to the department's customers. DWP will set out
how it will define, develop and harness its people's capability, maximise the quality of
leadership, and identify the key HR enablers that are needed to deliver this in its People
Strategy, later in 2007.
A.178 Staff engagement underpins the department's commitment to continuous
improvement using Lean techniques. Learning from external experts to develop its own
capability, DWP will remove waste from its processes and focus on the things that are
most important to customers whilst simultaneously enabling the department to live
within the constraints of a challenging CSR07 settlement.
A.179 A Customer Insight Director and team are in place, working with a network from
across the department. Capability is being developed and embedded into DWP's
business. Objectives are:
- to generate a deep knowledge and understanding of and with DWP's
customers — to inform the design, development and delivery of services and
- to create the organisational capability across the department to generate
and apply customer insight; and
- to influence attitudes and behaviours - promoting a culture that values
A.180 Already, the department has in train a joint piece of customer insight research
with HMRC around co-owned customers aimed at understanding how both departments can better
meet this group's needs.
Channels strategies (face-to-face, web, contact centres/phone, mobile, helplines)
A.181 The DWP channel strategy, to be in place by April 2008, will set out the
department's vision for exploring new ways of bringing services to customers and giving
them greater choice; increasing self-serve options; providing face-to-face contact that
targets more intensive help where it adds most value and joining up contact services
across DWP and externally. The department is already:
- scoping initiatives to standardise contact services and telephony across
Agencies, paving the way for more integrated and efficient delivery;
- examining ways of achieving efficiencies within contact centres, e.g. by
extending use of demand forecasting tools, specifying working patterns,
improving performance management capability and sharing best practice;
- Identifying potential around integrating services for reporting fraud in
HMRC and DWP — pilot starting by 2008;
- exploring with HMRC potential for smoothing workflow into the Winter Fuel
- preparing to lead on Directgov by April 2008 - investing an additional £5m
into it in 2007-08 and planning to converge DWP content and services on to
it, including The Pension Service by 2010 and Jobcentre Plus by 2011; and
- introducing a web-based tool through Directgov, bringing together a range
of new and existing services for customers by March 2008, with incremental
enhancements, based on customer insight, following throughout CSR07.
A.182 DWP is working closely with the Home Office and other departments in
supporting the development of the cross-government Identity Management
Framework. It is directly engaged in a number of initiatives, including:
- enhancing the DWP Identity Management policy so that it supports and
enables the cross-government strategy and Crosby's Public/Private Identity
- using and supporting Tell-Us-Once in developing and testing identity
management service propositions - this includes research on data-sharing
- exploiting the department's Customer Information System (CIS) to support
the National Identity Scheme;
- assessing the feasibility of a joint venture between Identity and Passport
Services (IPS) and DWP to establish how the identity card will help
customers to establish their identity quickly and securely, and improve
access to DWP services; and
- working with UKvisas and HMRC to on how to streamline the National
Insurance number allocation process, for benefit integrity purposes and to
A.183 DWP is a key provider of data for service improvement. For example, most
recently this has included data for the Department for Children, Schools and Families
contact point database and the Digital Switchover Help Scheme. The department has
established a Data Sharing Strategy Unit and a new DWP Data-Sharing Protocol to
continue enabling more effective and efficient approaches to agreeing information
sharing proposals across government and beyond.
Asset and estates management
A.184 DWP has a strategy in place to optimise use of its estate and reduce space from
2.16m sq metres at March 2008 to 1.75m sq metres in 2011. Demand and cost will be
reduced by better alignment of people, estate and IT planning; improved office design
and better performance measures. The department will also exploit opportunities to
work with central and local government partners and the 3rd sector to optimise estates
A.185 As part of its channel strategy DWP will explore how it can maximise the
effectiveness of its estate in terms of the quality and accessibility of services it offers to
its customers. Already, DWP is working with HMRC on three pilots to start in 2007-08,
in which both departments will share office space with a view to providing increased
estate efficiency and a more integrated service.
A.186 DWP has an established HR and Finance shared services business within DWP
and, as a preferred supplier of shared services within government, it will start to deliver
CO services in 2009 and are actively pursuing further delivery opportunities with other
A.187 CIS is an IT system that provides a single view of key information about DWP's
customers. The information it holds is available to 80,000 users in DWP and a further
60,000 in several other government departments and 400 Local Authorities. DWP is
planning to further extend use of the system to become a true shared service across
government. This includes the addition of the IPS within CSR07 and positive
discussions ongoing with others, such as HMRC.
Efficiencies / deregulation
A.188 The Change Programme is a key enabler that will help DWP to live within the
challenging CSR07 financial environment. This requires the department to make real
terms annual savings of 5 per cent over the period of the settlement. DWP has included
the cost and efficiencies of its Change Programme in its plans for achieving the CSR07
settlement. The programme will achieve significant efficiencies whilst delivering a
better service to customers by:
- streamlining processes through the application of Lean techniques;
- dealing with more of the customers' needs in one contact;
- collaborative working with other government departments and other
- shifting appropriate contacts to self-serve channels.
A.189 The development of the DWP operating model; use of Lean techniques; the
design of new processes built around the needs of particular customer groups and the
delivery of the 'Tell Us Once' project, will all help to improve processes that impact
upon DWP's customers and to provide more customer-centred services. Already the
- trialling 6 Lean initiatives over 7 sites — building on the learning of 3
- working with HMRC and Local Authorities on pilots focused on meeting the
needs of people who are frequently in and out of work, in 6 diverse locations;
- consulting with people with disabilities with a view to piloting redesigned
- services around their needs — and planning two further pilots, in 2008;
- learning lessons from customer needs-focussed pilots — planning how to
scale up activities, ensuring that CSR07 resources are channelled most
- preparing to launch two 'Tell Us Once' pilots in 2008, with an indicative full
launch in 2011; and
- scoping and prioritising over 40 potential, wide-ranging initiatives to move
DWP towards the new Operating Model — some will make very early
enhancements to customer service — for example, providing a consistent
greeting and better signposting to customers across DWP.
HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS
A.190 Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is transforming tax administration
in the UK. The department is committed to making it as easy as possible for people and
businesses to deal with it. Putting the customer at the heart of everything it does —
understanding and acting on their needs — is the basis of HMRC's strategic approach to
transforming its services to customers and achieving its ambition.
A.191 By focussing on the customer, HMRC will improve the customer experience and
realise business benefits:
- Ensuring customers know what they have to do and are confident they (and
HMRC) have got it right will lead to less reassurance contact and less rework;
- Guiding customers to the most efficient and easy to use mix of channels for
their needs will reduce costs for customers and HMRC, ease and speed
compliance and lead to less paper production; and
- Being responsive and simple to deal with will lead to fewer complaints and
increased levels of take up to entitlements.
A.192 This approach to transforming delivery to customers is supported by a range of
strategies and programmes of delivery built on improved customer understanding and
A.193 Note that this summary focuses on how the department deals with
predominantly compliant customers. It does not cover the additional work in hand to
address the potentially or actually non-compliant, from those who make errors to those
who carry out criminal activity. But that work shares the same agenda, to put
customers at the heart of everything HMRC does and to understand its customers better
so as to tune its responses to the behaviours it observes.
A.194 HMRC has two units specifically representing and championing the interest of
business and individual customers with the rest of the department.
A.195 Within the customer units is a well established and cross-disciplinary customer
insight team. The team is positioned to become a centre of expertise, capturing
synergies between independent programmes within (and potentially beyond) HMRC,
creating best practice in customer understanding activity and establishing a central
repository of customer data to prevent duplication of effort.
A.196 The leader of the team is chairing the Business Insight Forum. The forum will
focus on the needs of business and will provide expert advice and support in the
development of the programme of business customer research and insight, particularly
around the development of the businesslink.gov.uk website.
A.197 HMRC is currently rolling out the SIMPLE customer understanding process
internally. The process provides a series of checkpoints and a toolkit for building
A.198 understanding into every stage of the design and delivery of services. The
intention via the Business Insight Forum is to agree a cross-departmental approach
based on this or a related process.
Channel strategies and management
A.199 The overarching objective of HMRC's Channel Strategy is to improve business
results by making it as easy and as efficient as possible for customers to get it right. The
department wants customers to be able to use the channel that most effectively meets
their needs at the lowest cost to them and to us.
A.200 The HMRC Channel Strategy sets the strategic direction and looks across all
channels — online, face-to-face, telephone and post — to ensure it delivers a multi
A.201 HMRC is using extensive customer research and analysis about who is using
which channel and why to drive out customer focussed changes to its channels. This
evidence is allowing the department to plan migration strategies to move the key
customer groups into the most effective channels for their needs.
A.202 HMRC is using data from total contact modelling to identify the causes and
types of unnecessary contact (e.g. progress chasing linked to the processing of a
particular claim) that it will then target and reduce in the future.
A.203 HMRC is also identifying the long term vision for each channel and identifying
and prioritising key enablers to deliver change in the short, medium and long term.
A.204 The capacity of the department's call centres has increased through increasing
staff numbers and increasing efficiency. It has reduced the number of occasions where
customers have to make a further call to get through by around 70 per cent, from 80
million in 2005-06 to around 24 million in 2006-07.
A.205 The department is improving and rationalising customer touch points by
reducing the many helpline telephone numbers and addresses for communication that
HMRC currently offers to create a more logical gateway and signposting system for
customers. The exact scope and timing of the overall rationalisation programme has
not yet been finalised, but initial opportunities for rationalisation have already been
identified and are being implemented.
A.206 HMRC is working with DWP on identifying the seasonal variations in workload
in each department, and is developing a detailed plan with DWP collaborating on the
delivery of telephone services. This will be piloted in one area — fraud hotlines — in 2007-
08. Other potential areas for collaboration are under consideration.
A.207 HMRC submitted its application for formal external accreditation by the
Contact Council Association (CCA) accreditation in June, and is aiming for full
accreditation by the end of September. The Contact Council has now agreed that
accreditation by recognised external bodies, such as the CCA, will meet public sector
accreditation requirements identified in Sir David Varney's report.
A.208 HMRC are playing an active role in the development and implementation of
public sector contact centre standards. It is working with the Central Office of
Information and other public sector bodies on development of public sector contact
centre best practice standards. It has played a lead role in defining the public sector
contact centre performance measurement framework and is currently implementing
this across its contact centre organisation, with the aim of producing initial reports by
the end of October 2007.
A.209 HMRC is taking a leading role across government in delivering the web
convergence vision. Since April the department has established and resourced a Web
Convergence Project to plan for and deliver the changes required for HMRC to achieve
convergence with businesslink.gov.uk and Directgov by 2011. In particular the project
- deliver high quality, customer centric content to Directgov and
businesslink.gov.uk starting with the rewriting and migration of priority
content areas in 2007-08;
- completely redesign its processes to align with Directgov and
businesslink.gov.uk — starting with the content production process in 2007-
- work with other government departments and with Directgov and
businesslink.gov.uk to define and agree on cross-cutting requirements and
priorities (the department has already established a cross-government
requirements working group to support this); and
- work closely with businesslink.gov.uk and Directgov to develop and agree
proposals that meet defined requirements to ensure that the needs of
HMRC's customers are met.
A.210 HMRC has also been working closely with Defra through businesslink.gov.uk on
the ITSW to deliver an integrated cross-government source of information and a
gateway for transactions. The first release was in November 2006 and when fully rolled
out the site should enable traders or their agents to submit all regulatory information
required in a single message which can be shared by the relevant departments.
A.211 In addition to the work currently under way on web convergence, HMRC is also
delivering the Carter Programme. This programme is taking forward the work
necessary to support the mandating of online services for in-year PAYE (phased from
2009), VAT (for some categories of trader from April 2010 at the earliest) and
Corporation Tax (April 2011). The department is reviewing how best to deliver this in
collaboration with Directgov and businesslink.gov.uk. The programme is also investing
in the Self Assessment online service and implementing changes to self assessment
filing dates. HMRC is introducing an improved main tax return for 2007-08, including a
new online version, which will be shorter and easier for most taxpayers to complete.
A.212 HMRC has a national network of 279 Enquiry Centres (ECs). A recent redesign
has improved efficiency and service to customers by:
- Continuing to deliver a high quality service to those customers who need to
use a face-to-face service; and
- Directing other customers to lower cost channels, where those channels
would meet their needs.
A.213 The redesigned service introduced a floorwalker process to deal immediately
with very quick and simple enquiries, channel customers to the phone (or intranet in
the 40 largest ECs) where appropriate, or make appointments to see an adviser where
A.214 HMRC is currently exploring options for the future to deliver a more cost
effective, efficient and tailored service that is both better aligned to customer needs and
maximises the potential benefits of technology and Joint Working, but will still have
sufficient coverage and flexibility to deliver a core service to those who need it. As part
of this we are running pilots in the Sheffield and Ballymena Enquiry Centres testing
access to HMRC IT systems via broadband. The department is due to report in the
autumn, and can then start to make recommendations and decisions about how it
might use this technology in the future.
A.215 The Sheffield and Ballymena pilots are testing the technology for mobile
working while a pilot with the department's debt management staff will test mobile
working more fully. These are supporting HMRC's efforts to develop a generic remote
and mobile capability which will enable flexible working throughout the UK. This will
facilitate more convenient contact, both in terms of time and location for those
customers for whom this is necessary or most efficient.
A.216 While the department classes many of its telephone services as 'helplines' (e.g.
Tax Credits helpline, Self Assessment Helpline, Employers' Helpline) these do not in the
main address the same kinds of critical needs as outlined in the service transformation
report. The handling of HMRC helplines is set out under Contact Centres.
Identity management and data sharing
A.217 The department is seeking an Identity Management Service to provide a
corecustomer record. It has developed its requirements around individual and business
identity. Having provisionally concluded that CIS is the right technical solution it is
working with DWP and IPS to develop their requirements with the prospect of
addressing the HMRC position when appropriate funding is identified.
A.218 The department is also participating in the development of a cross government
identity management strategy via membership of the Home Office led Identity
Management Strategy Group. In addition, HMRC has engaged with the Crosby
Forum to present a joint employer/HMRC perspective to inform development of
proposals for a one-stop-shop for employers potentially likely to feature in the Crosby
A.219 HMRC/DWP and 12 Local Authorities have carried out proof of concept work to
identify practical evidence of the benefits of providing a consistent approach to identity
management and developing a shared identity service. This research will usefully feed
into the next stage of the 'Tell Us Once' feasibility work as it moves into prototype and
A.220 The department has been heavily involved in the 'Tell Us Once' feasibility
project, in particular coordinating the participation of Local Authorities, and
developing the model to give a line of sight through the vision, benefits, capabilities,
change activities and costs. DWP are the lead department for this work. HMRC will
continue participation as appropriate from the feasibility studies through to prototype
and pilot stages.
A.221 DWP, HMRC and North Tyneside Council have trialled a single transaction
approach for people moving in and out of work to capture from customers at first point
of contact all the information necessary to start or stop Jobseekers Allowance/Income
Support, Working Tax Credit, and Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. The processes
devised in North Tyneside have been further enhanced in the light of other
developments in Jobcentre Plus. The Trial is now (from September) being extended to
give the trialled processes a further test across a broader range of Local Authority types.
A national roll-out from 2008-09 will be considered in the light of results from the six
Asset and estate management
A.222 The major cross-government aspect of HMRC activities around estate
management relates to Enquiry Centres. Of the HMRC network, some are already
housed in one-stop shops (for example Livingstone and Bradford), or are co-located
with JobCentre Plus (Cardiff and Melton Mowbray), or Local Authorities (Goole).
A.223 As part of DWP/HMRC joint working, the departments want to see how far it is
possible to use their respective estates to serve each other's customers. They are, as a
first step, trialling locating HMRC enquiry centres in Jobcentre Plus offices in Widnes,
Alfreton and Buckie. Planning for IT, telephony etc. is well advanced and the three
offices should start joint working from these locations later this year. The trials will run
for a bedding-in period of three months, a further three months to collect evaluation
data, and a further two months to report and make recommendations. If these trials
prove successful this could be the forerunner to a wider programme of co-location.
A.224 In addition HMRC has plans to reduce its estate holding by around one third by
March 2011, saving £100 million in annual running costs.
A.225 A major cross-departmental initiative, the Government Banking Programme,
will create a new service to deliver the future banking needs of HMRC, including the
Office of HM Paymaster General which has some 800 public sector customers, and of
National Savings and Investments.
A.226 On shared corporate services more generally, HMRC has been taking forward
implementation of the plan it published for its sector — HMRC plus its Valuation Agency
(VOA) — in January 2007 as part of the CIO Council Annual Report 2006. Following the
successful launch of VOA onto HMRC's Enterprise Resource Planning online IT system
in July (which covers finance, procurement and HR), the department remains on target
to develop by 2008 the internal capacity to provide wider shared corporate services to
VOA and some of the smaller central departments.
A.227 Since its formation in April 2005 one of HMRC's main aims has been the
reduction of customer compliance costs. In summer 2005 the department measured
and baselined the administrative burden that the tax system places on business and in
his 2006 Budget the then Chancellor set HMRC two targets to reduce that burden. These
- reduce the administrative burdens on business of dealing with HMRC forms
and returns by at least 10 per cent over 5 years; and
- reduce the administrative burden on business of dealing with HMRC's
audits and inspections, by 10 per cent over three years and at least 15 per
cent over five years.
A.228 Since then HMRC has consulted widely and developed a long-term vision to
both reduce those compliance costs and to improve its service to customers. These
plans are set out in two papers entitled 'Delivering a New Relationship with business'
published in November 2006 and March 2007. By April 2007 HMRC delivered £130
million towards its targets for forms and returns and £43 million towards it target for
audits and inspections. As well as this HMRC delivered a further £134 million in wider
administrative burden reductions through improvements such as a simplified pensions
regime and a new construction industry scheme.
A.229 HMRC is also acting on the stock and flow of regulation through its impact
assessment regime and the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board together with its
robust regime of internal Challenge Panels. It also participates in the wider
simplification suggestion scheme run by the Better Regulation Executive enabling the
public to suggest ways of reducing regulation.
A.230 In addition and although not within the remit of Phillip Hampton's report on
risk and regulation, the department is committed to reflecting the need to reduce the
burden of unnecessary regulation and old style enforcement and to focusing resources
on areas where the risks are the greatest.
A.231 HMRC is addressing process improvement across the range of its activities,
introducing Lean ways of working in PAYE & SA Processing, Child Benefit Office, Tax
Credit Office, National Insurance Contributions Office and National Operational
Services; and transforming debt management activities through a more risk-based
approach and tailored responses.
A.232 Introducing Lean has helped to streamline key work processes by reducing lead
times, increasing productivity, improving quality and establishing standard ways of
working which means HMRC is able to provide a much more consistent service to its
customers. The frequent and real-time quality checks carried out in teams using Lean
ways of working help the department to prevent errors from reaching customers and
also to identify and resolve the root causes of problems. Managers and team members
are then able to identify any additional training, coaching or mentoring that may be
needed. In this way 'continuous improvement' becomes part of everything the
A.233 While the initial roll out has been completed individual location assessments are
completed every 6 months to continually assess the department's progress. Continuous
improvement is a key element of PaceSetter and HMRC will be launching its approach
to problem solving this month. It expects everyone to be involved in evidence based
problem solving and will use best practice derived from its people to continuously
improve its standards.
A.234 On debt management and banking HMRC is committed to offering more
flexible payment methods and making changes to make it easier for its customers to pay
on time. HMRC is changing the way it looks at amounts it is owed, focusing less on the
debts arising from individual taxes, and more on the whole of a customer's interaction
with HMRC, reducing unnecessary transactions.
A.235 HMRC wants paying tax to be no different from paying other bills, and aims to
make it as easy as possible for customers to pay what they owe by providing a range of
flexible payment methods. Payment methods currently vary according to the tax to be
paid. There are advantages in extending these methods and introducing new ones to
make it easier to pay. HMRC already accepts debit cards as payment for a wide range of
tax debts and will be extending this facility to take payment for debts across a number
of regimes in a single transaction. Customers can also pay various tax liabilities using
the Billpay system on the HMRC internet, allowing them to pay by debit card at a time
of their choosing. The department has recently published a consultation paper seeking
views on extending these services to include the use of Credit Cards. HMRC will be
extending the use of direct debit in 2008, allowing payments for a wide range of taxes,
and will provide online direct debit facilities, during 2008, helping customers to budget
for their tax obligations and to keep up to date with their payments.
THE HOME OFFICE
A.236 To transform the services it provides, the Home Office (HO) has a
comprehensive Reform Programme to improve and strengthen all aspects of its internal
operations as well as — whether directly or work through others — to the public. A
customer and citizen focus is at the heart of this programme and to deliver this the HO
is joining its efforts particularly with those of the Criminal Justice departments and
others. One of the four priorities that have guided its reform programme since then has
been the creation of 'a Home Office organised to support frontline delivery and high
performance'. HO has already made substantial progress in implementing these plans,
and will continue to build on them.
A.237 In particular, the HO is working much more closely internally within
directorates and between the wider criminal justice landscapes. Closer cooperation
between the police, the Border & Immigration Agency (BIA) and other government
departments means that users have less contact points to negotiate in receiving public
services from us. The department's commitment to consulting and involving the public
will enable services to be measured more accurately and improved more quickly to
meet individual needs. Lastly, a thorough review of the department's communications
strategy and channels has been undertaken with a confident expectation of a much
more streamlined and easy-to-do-business-with organisation. All of the points are
exemplified below. These improvements address frontline issues such as victim
support, border protection and counter terrorism as well as dealing with internal
process improvements particularly in the area of corporate services. The HO is also
taking the lead across government in identity management which is one of the
foundations of the wider public services transformation agenda.
A.238 As part of the Government's transformation programme, the IPS will have
biometrics recorded for all visa application by the end of 2008. They will also introduce
the first Identity cards to British citizens by the end of 2009. The Border and
Immigration Agency will introduce Biometric Immigration Documents (BIDs) for non-
EEA foreign nationals already in the UK who reapply to stay here by the end of 2008.
A.239 Police Authorities are now fully obliged to consult with the public on policing
A.240 The new PSA and performance frameworks for police and Local Authorities
emphasise the need to improve public satisfaction with services as well as perceived
confidence in local community safety agencies to deal with local priorities. The
Assessments of Policing and Community Safety will start in April 2008.
A.241 Police reform is focused on making policing more citizen focused. This requires
community engagement to agree on priorities in dealing with crime and antisocial
behaviour. Neighbourhood policing is one of the tools used. The aim here is to provide
more visible, accessible and responsive policing which demonstrably links in with
community safety partners to resolve local issues. By 2008 a neighbourhood policing
team will be present in every area.
A.242 Working with other Criminal Justice System (CJS) departments, the HO is
improving the experience victims and witnesses have of the criminal justice system.
This aims to place the needs of the victim and not the public sector at the heart of CJS
processes. Together with the MoJ and the Crown Prosecution Service, the HO has
introduced a Victim's Code of Practice setting out minimum service standards and will
be introducing an equivalent Witness Charter from April 2008.
A.243 The Border & Immigration Agency is introducing new regional services, led by
regional directors to improve performance and Local Accountability. This will help give
local communities a much stronger sense of how BIA is performing and how decisions
affect people in their area.
A.244 The new Migration Advisory Committee has also been established to advise the
Government on where the UK economy migration should sensibly fill the skills gaps.
A.245 HO will encourage the highest level of customer feedback so as to improve its
witness and victim support. With the MoJ and the Crown Prosecution Service, HO will
continue to improve the Witness and Victim Experience Survey (WAVES) which gives
detailed national and local performance data on user satisfaction with the criminal
A.246 To ensure a single point of contact by a dedicated Witness Care Officer for
victims and witnesses in cases going before the course, police forces and the Crown
Prosecution Service will support 165 Witness Care Units across England and Wales.
A.247 The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) National Contact
Management Programme is taking forward work on improving National Call Handling
Standards and National Standards for Incident Reporting.
A.248 The IPS's channel strategy is to increase the proportion of online applications.
A.249 Within the HO itself, website rationalisation is being aggressively pursued with
16 out of 39 central sites closed this year with further 21 sites due to be removed by
2010. Information held, including on HO sponsored NDPB sites, is being actively
migrated to Directgov or the businesslink.gov.uk website.
A.250 HO correspondence tracking system has been improved to ensure published
targets for replying to customers are met. Consideration now being given to developing
a correspondence shared service with other departments.
A.251 At present some forces are making use of PDAs and a number of trials are being
conducted through the NPIA. The aim is to use the Airwave (the police radio system)
capability as the bearer of preference.
Identity management and information sharing
A.252 The HO is the lead department on identity management with the IPS leading on
identity management policy and introducing the National Identity Scheme. Design
work was completed in June 2007 on using the Department for Work and Pensions'
Customer Information System database technology as a basis of the National Identity
Register, which will be managed as a shared service on behalf of the IPS. Further plans
regarding identity management include:
- a National Identity Scheme Commissioner to be appointed by end of 2008
(the Commissioner will oversee the scheme and will make regular reports on
the scheme's operation that will be laid before Parliament and published);
- by end of 2007 a network of offices to meet first-time passport applicants
- by end of 2008 biometric Immigration Documents (BIDs) introduced for
non-EEA foreign nationals already in the UK who reapply to stay here and
biometrics recorded for all visa applicants;
- by end of 2009, first identity cards issued to British citizens and additional
identity checking services operational; and
- plans to screen pre-arrival data for 30m passenger movements over 90
routes, to stop 85 per cent of all detected illegal immigrants before reaching
the UK and to proactively manage action plans for the top ten countries of
harm are all in place for the 2007-08 period.
A.253 The IPS has developed a passport verification service which is used across a
number of other government departments and the public sector. IPS is piloting other
joint venture partnerships with other parts of government and the private sector to
further develop those identity checking services.
Process improvement and shared services
A.254 Process improvement projects are underway through the Police Service and
wider criminal justice system. Projects under the department's FrontRunner strategy
have already delivered policing improvements such as increasing victim satisfaction in
Ipswich by 10 per cent, and reducing crime in South Liverpool and Ipswich by more
than 5 per cent.
A.255 Further FrontRunner projects are underway in four police forces, under the title,
Operation Quest, with the aim to achieve productivity improvements and release gains
to the front line. Implementation is due to commence in September.
A.256 The strategy also supports the 10 criminal justice areas that are now recognised
as 'Beacons'. These are working closely with the Office for Criminal Justice Reform to
join up and improve the whole criminal justice process from the point of charge
through to the sentence of the court.
A.257 Further projects are being developed for the Border and Immigration Agency to
assist the Case Resolution Directorate and the development of one single primary
checkpoint for both passport control and customs.
A.258 FrontRunner aims to create a culture of continuous improvement — nurturing
the space and skills to pursue solid, incremental business change capable of
transforming the citizen's experience of HO delivery.
A.259 Process improvements will be realised from implementation of the Points Based
System. The key outcomes of the new system will be:
- better identifying and attracting of migrants who have most to contribute to
- a more efficient, transparent and objective application process; and
- improved compliance and reduced scope for abuse.
Quality of service commitment
A.260 HO is committed to shared services. The HO departmental framework states
'Shared Service business will deliver high-quality customer services, speedier access to
information and data, increased flexibility and a long term, sustainable platform for
future cost reductions and service improvements'. It includes all sharable functions
and all HO organisations and is planning for commercial relationships.
A.261 The HO has created a Shared Services Directorate to manage Corporate Service
provision specifically IT, Information and Records Management, Estates, Finance,
Procurement and HR. It also has a Strategy and Business Development group
identifying and exploiting shared service opportunities across the department.
A.262 The HO has established a programme to deliver a shared service to the Border
and Immigration Agency and HO headquarters which will be delivered alongside HM
Prison Service at Newport.
A.263 The HO has established a General Property Shared Service for the provision of
accommodation across the HO. This is already working across MoJ and the HO, taking a
joint approach to facilities procurement.
A.264 The HO has engaged with other organisations e.g. the IPS to expand Shared
Service provision. There is standard 'Engagement and Take On' process in place for
potential customers of shared services.
A.265 The HO continues to explore the potential for other services to be delivered
through shared services e.g. the Correspondence Unit.
A.266 Newport Shared Service Centre starts to deliver services to the HO alongside
those delivered to the MoJ in February 2008. Once fully operational there will be a single
contact point for queries on HR, Finance and Procurement transactions.
A.267 The HO is working closely with MoJ to build on this and establish a joint
strategic approach to shared services.
A.268 The HO will implement new processes and systems for HR, Finance and
Procurement, utilising the Shared Service Centre, to improve service provision and
enable staff greater control starting Summer 2008.
A.269 The HO will establish a customer service and management frameworks and
ethos across all shared services and develop charging models that relate service to cost.
Asset and estates management
A.270 In line with the creation of the estates shared service strategy the HO is
developing a detailed estates plan which includes to commitments to cost savings,
improved working conditions, best utilisation of space and carbon neutrality.
A.271 The department's borders will be transformed by the rollout of phase 1 of the
visible border programme in 2007-08 including a visible uniformed border service in
place at major ports and Heathrow. Online visa applications will be expanded to all
customers and the outsourcing of application services will cover 87 per cent of all visa
applications by the end of 2007.
A.272 Critical to the success of the borders transformation agenda is the e-Borders
programme due for final approval in autumn 2007.
A.273 Fast tracked asylum decisions will be made significantly more cost effective,
speeded up and strongly enforced. Asylum support costs are to be reduced by £80m by
December 2008, 60 per cent or more of asylum cases will be concluded within 6 months
and enforcement will deliver the removal of more failed asylum seekers than
A.274 Ensuring and enforcing compliance requires a whole variety of collaboration
activities inside and outside of the Borders and Immigration Agency. The HO is already
building new partnerships with the police, HMRC, DWP, Gangmaster Licensing
Authority, Health and Safety Executive, and BERR and these will be strengthened as it
puts in place plans for a unified Border Force, announced in July 2007.
A.275 Success will be measured on the rate of deportation and removal, the number of
illegal workers found and removed, the number of failed asylum seekers removed and
for overall throughput of the detention estate.
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