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Together we are stronger

NLPG Exemplar Award Runner-up – Best use of NLPG data by a partner 2008: City of Durham Council.

The County Durham e-government Partnership was established to deliver quality, joined up, customer focused services across the county regardless of personal means, locality and circumstances.

At the core of this partnership was a CRM project designed to facilitate access to a broad range of services through all of the partner organisations. In the short to medium term, this project would also enable citizens who do not have access to the Internet to benefit from the initiative via specially trained operators who can access data and instigate service delivery requests on their behalf.

The NLPG was identified as the key to joining up services, both internally within partner organisations and externally across all of the partners.

Outcomes

The original scope of the project was to procure and implement a joint CRM for the handling and monitoring of complaints, compliments and feedback, and establish a standardised process for the management of requests and fault reports relating to refuse and waste collection, street lighting and highways. By establishing a common technology infrastructure and developing and opening up access channels it was hoped the project would maximise the take up of electronic transactions, exploit integrated business systems and procedures and promote cultural change and organisational development.

Fundamental to the projects success was the identification of a means to join up services, both internally within each of the individual partner organisations and externally across the whole of the partnership. The NLPG, created and maintained and already in use at district level, was the ideal resource, providing a unique reference for every address in the county.

A process to coordinate weekly updates from each of the separate district gazetteers to the national hub with a download from the hub to the CRM was agreed to maximise the accuracy and currency of data held in the CRM. NLPG data was then matched to back office information relating to specific service delivery areas, for example refuse collection. This achieved a measurable reduction in the time taken for CRM officers to resolve specific enquiries and also gave the service delivery team additional intelligence by mapping requests and complaints, using the NLPG, and spatially analysing the results.

Other service delivery information and back office data has been similarly linked using the NLPG such as council tax and planning records. The addition of street records in the gazetteer has enabled the logging of requests that are not necessarily related to an individual property. For example notification of fly tipping or abandoned vehicles can be logged against the street rather than an unrelated address, preventing the possibility of blight to a property that just happens to be close by.

The flow of information is reciprocated from the CRM to the district databases with an established process for error notification and missing address requests. Notification to the relevant gazetteer custodian of missing or incorrect addressees not only ensures the accuracy of data used by the CRM, it also provides valuable feedback to the custodians validating and continually improving data standards.

Key benefits

  • Improved customer service with resolution of many requests at first point of contact, regardless of personal means, locality or circumstances.
  • Joined up service delivery underpinned by partnership and data sharing providing a solid foundation for local government reorganisation using the NLPG as the key to link all services and information.
  • Enhanced performance management through spatial analysis and a holistic view of service delivery.
  • A best value solution maximising return on investment and minimising duplication of resources.
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