Welsh Government announces £500,000 a year for digital officer

By William Eichler | 01 November 2019

Local authority leaders in Wales have welcomed an announcement that the Welsh Government will pay £500,000 per year towards the cost of a local government digital officer.

The chief digital officer for local government will identify, share, promote and champion a joined up approach to digital initiatives and their delivery across the sector.

Local government minister Julie James said: ‘The chief digital officer will provide leadership for digital transformation in local government, build and grow on the good work that’s already underway, and support local government to build capacity and capability to take forward innovative technology and data-led approaches to service delivery and public engagement.

‘I see this firmly as a sector-led, and owned, approach, which the Welsh Government is happy to be able to provide funding in support of.’

Welsh Local Government Association spokesman for digital and innovation, Cllr Peter Fox, said the cash would help efforts to use digital technology to transform services.

He continued: ‘Local authorities have taken big steps in recent years in the development and deployment of digital solutions within their services, including several collaborative projects involving chatbots, webcasting, remote working, apps and virtual reality.

‘However, there is still more to do to ensure greater consistency and coordination of digital technology to ensure public services continue to transform and meet the expectations and needs of citizens now and into the future.

‘I look forward to seeing how this investment, along with a commitment from all councils, will help deliver a more ambitious and consistent approach to digital transformation and to promote better engagement with residents.’

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