Today, I went along to the LGA Conference on Data Handling in Government, at Local Government House in Smith Square, Westminster. The Data Handling Guidelines for Local Government, which Mark Brett has worked-on with the LGA, on behalf of Socitm, was due to be launched, but in the event we weren’t quite ready so “pre-publication copies” of the guidance were provided.

I particularly enjoyed a workshop run by Dave Roddis, Service Quality Manager, and Jasmine Speight, Quality Standards Officer, of Rotherham Borough Council on “Living the Customer Journey through Video Diaries”, which I thought a really powerful means of gaining buy-in to radical service improvement – and it certainly seems to have worked for Rotherham.

“Prepare for the dropping of jaws”, Dave said, when video “journey maps” are shown to Services’ Managers and staff (and they finally see themselves from their customers’ viewpoint).

In the afternoon, I followed Alison Wellens, Head of Data Protection Practice (Public Sector) at the Information Commissioner’s Office, talking about “Keeping it Legal – pitfalls in handling data and how to make sure you do it properly”. My summary:-

  • Shared – i.e. by whole of Public Sector – Vision required.
  • Need pragmatic advice for the public at large.
  • Let’s make Government Connect the “master project”.
  • In a fast-changing environment we need to future-proof.
  • The one thing we need less security about is Government’s work on Information Assurance!

Meantime, we still have stories like this