Birmingham most technically advanced city in Europe

According to a new report Birmingham is the most technologically advanced city in Europe.

The eGOV initiative (known locally as Implementing Electronic Government) drove local councils to bring in the infrastructure to deliver 100% of services and transactions that could be delivered electronically through electronic means by 2005. Birmingham beat this by a full year. Whilst a number of project managers and external suppliers were involved the key co-ordination and IT skills were provided by a 7 member internal team known as the Technologies Team, this team was disbanded without fanfare in July 2004.

Early on in the eGOV process many councils, including Birmingham, had a nasty shock when the central government announced that simply putting in a call centre and providing telephone contact would not suffice. Many councils had been planning to do just that to achieve a ‘quick win’. Focus switched to the internet and web delivered services. Birmingham upgraded it’s website from one created in Lotus Domino to one created in a bespoke content management system and implemented interactive forms via an off the shelf product with some customisation. A separate system for publishing minutes and results from council meetings swiftly followed.

Further developments very much rely on the outcome of the Business Transformation Strategic Partnership Project where the choice from the two bidding consortia or whether to keep services delivered from in house will greatly determine the direction Birmingham will take in service delivery, indeed if it will deliver services at all…

1 Comment so far

  1. Tony (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 10:06 pm

    Good to know. Now maybe they might start pushing the residents and the stores to embrace technology.

    I thought it was like going back to the stone age when I moved to Birmingham after living in Cologne – heck, even ‘s-Hertogenbosch seemed to be more switched on.
    Mind you, I was looking at it from a tourists view point.
    Much more of the restaurants had a web presence with online ordering, a decent online guide to the shopping centre (we put a bid in for the Bullring but didn’t get it), the public transport system was better integrated with electronic noticeboards (roll on the golive for #11 route), with integration for PDA’s with decent route planning we’re getting there with the travelWM website, but still a long way off – which seems to be the story all over.
    So much potential [sigh]

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