North Hertfordshire District Council and VAR Northgate Information Solutions have finished a three year project to revamp the council's customer service capabilities.
The deal was a public-private partnership and was overseen by a board including representatives from various political parties. The project saw Northgate and the council implementing a new website, customer service centre (CSC) and an e-payment service.
The CSC now provides citizens with 14 services including processing queries concerning council tax, housing, waste, recreational facilities, environmental health, travel and elections. Interaction with the CSC increased by 43 per cent in the two years up to October 2008. Website usage and the number of e-payments processed also doubled between September 2007 and 2008.
North Herts covers a largely rural area and towns benefiting from the deal include Baldock, Hitchin, Royston and Letchworth. The council claims the project has already facilitated £866,000 in annual cost savings, with more to come. North Herts also stressed it is now among the top third of district councils for customer support, technical skills and knowledge.
The council's chief executive John Campbell said: "This was a major programme which came in under budget, delivered significant improvements to citizen services, and delivered realisable savings."
Joe Bradley, managing director of citizen services at Northgate Public Services added: “North Hertfordshire District Council recognised that to reach out to the citizen, including the most vulnerable, there must be a root and branch review of the way that processes are organised and how technology can be used intelligently to improve services.”
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany