Lambeth Council purchases Drupal expertise through G-Cloud
Purchase to help build online collaboration platform as part of work to transform council's digital services
Lambeth Council has used G-Cloud to acquire Drupal expertise to help build its new website. The new website, www.lambeth.coop, will replace the current website and is part of Lambeth's overarching Cooperative Council strategy.
Lambeth aims to transform the online experience for citizens to provide "clear, useful content and excellent transactional services" and also for the site to be "a core part of changing the way we interact with citizens and sharing our data openly," said Lambeth's business systems assistant director Rob Miller.
According to Miller, the G-Cloud purchase was for a specialist consultancy firm to provide the council with expertise to help build an online collaboration platform using the Drupal Commons module. He said that the council expects to use a mix of sourcing options to build lambeth.coop as the project progresses.
Although Lambeth Council is building a core team in-house, it aims to include a wider development community in the work too, Miller said.
The project kicked off in October 2012, and the team is closely following the work shared by the Government Digital Service to inform its own project. Lambeth is working 'iteratively' with an aim of achieving monthly releases, according to Miller.
Looking forwards over the next few months, Miller said, "We are working on further enhancements to maps (more data and area mapping), moving our open data content and blog onto the new site, launching an online collaboration tool [which the G-Cloud purchase will be used for] and the first iteration of a citizen account to provide online transactional services."
"Most of our focus at the moment, however, is on working with citizens and analysing how our current online services are used to prioritise user needs, and this will define the shape of the following work. The programme will be a major area of focus for some time, and we expect 'digital' to be a core part of how we do things moving forward - so in many ways there won't be an end date as such, we expect to keep iterating and evolving to meet user needs."
The team is currently considering options for hosting the new site, which will require an IL2 service to meet information security requirements.
Going forwards, the team has instituted a 'G-Cloud' first policy whereby they will consider the CloudStore first when looking to acquire cloud services.