Putney, January 24, 2007 - Civica plc, one of the UK's most experienced providers of consulting, software and services for the public sector, says that local government should place greater emphasis on streamlining overall business-process costs rather than taking a more narrow view of reducing ICT expenditure ahead of anticipated tougher targets in the 2007 spending review.
Commenting on SOCITM's IT Trends survey which points to a fall in ICT spending, David Roots, Civica's UK managing director, said: "Despite the public sector's considerable success in achieving efficiencies in recent years, there needs to be a sustained high-level focus on the virtue of re-engineering processes to combine front line service improvement with back office efficiency and savings. This wider focus will deliver the overall operational efficiency desired by local government."
"Whilst public sector expenditure on ICT continues to be squeezed in line with budgets as departments seek to achieve savings, those programmes which identify strategic-level process improvements present a far more compelling business case for funding support. These process-led projects are driving ICT expenditure in the longer term, especially in key areas of workflow, document and information management."
David Roots continued: "Our involvement in service transformations at Liverpool City Council and City of Edinburgh Council shows the progress that local authorities are making in establishing authority-wide service platforms. We are also seeing smaller local authorities successfully adopting "invest to save" strategies with innovations such as shared services bringing operational and procurement cost savings."
He added: "The pressures are immense, but public sector executives must resist the temptation to focus narrowly on short term efficiency and make overall business process costs their mantra this year. This high-level approach is essential to balance the demands of the Government's service transformation vision and the rigours of the 2007 spending review."
About Civica plc
Civica plc (www.civica.co.uk) is a market leader in software-based solutions that help public sector organisations to improve service delivery to their communities, with particular expertise in local government, housing, law enforcement, education and healthcare. Blending consulting, software and managed services, the group supplies more than 1,500 customers in the UK, Australia, Singapore and the USA, including approximately 89 per cent of the UK's local authorities.