COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor visited the Improvement Service to find out more about the organisation’s role in supporting improvement and innovation in local public services and the work being delivered by the IS to support national public service reform at a local level.
The visit specifically focused on the digital services work at the IS and the potential of data to inform the transformation of local public services. This included demonstrations of parentsportal.scot and Data Hub, as well as a summary of the IS’ Transformation offer to councils and an overview of the data available through the Spatial Hub.
The key purpose of the Improvement Service is to help and support councils and their partners to improve and deliver high quality, efficient local services by providing a wide range of improvement support at a local, regional and national level. The Improvement Service is funded by Scottish Government to deliver the Customer First programme, which includes the roll-out of myaccount to support the delivery of local services online and the National Entitlement Card.
The IS works closely with COSLA, SOLACE, Local Government professional associations and other public service improvement agencies to provide improvement support on key local and national priorities, such as inclusive growth, health and social care, children and young people and place. The IS also manages national address and spatial data on behalf of Local Government, which underpins, for example, the census and planning.
The IS receives additional grant funding from Scottish Government to deliver improvement support to Local Government in a range of priority areas, such as the early learning and childcare expansion, local child poverty action reports, planning skills and tackling violence against women.