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Planning back office

Alongside the weekly updates set out below, you may find more about BoPS in the dedicated project website.

Planning departments in local authorities are currently experiencing a sector-wide problem: back-end case management systems aren’t meeting the needs of the people using them.

Over the last few years, a number of pain points have emerged from the current systems and processes, including:

  • 40%+ applications submitted via Planning Portal arrive incomplete, resulting in lengthier administration processes and higher costs
  • poor and non-responsive user interfaces make it difficult for officers to succeed in meeting their goals
  • poor data quality and data accessibility is affecting authority strategic considerations
  • a lack of required integration capabilities across different systems is blocking streamlined processes, increasing administration activity
  • authorities are reliant on external software providers to update their product roadmaps, based on feedback - a lengthy and non-guaranteed process

Local authorities need to understand how a cross-authority, user-centered solution for providing back-end case management could unlock wider transformation of the town planning system.

A collaborative approach

To begin solving this problem, Southwark Council has partnered with Hackney Council, Greater London Authority and Future Cities Catapult to secure funding via the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Local Digital Fund to run an initial collaborative 8-week discovery phase across all four teams and Unboxed - our delivery partner.

Planning kick off
Kick off session

Over the next 8 weeks, we will be taking an open approach to sharing as much of the project as possible, in the form of:

  • weekly updates
  • shared fortnightly Show & Tells
  • conversations across different local authority planning teams
  • open communication via the PlanTech Slack workspace and #southwark_planning channel
  • regular blog posts on different subject areas and project learnings
  • following the #InnovateSouthwark hashtag on Twitter

Page last updated: 01 December 2020

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