Many citizens use the local authority’s website as their first port of call when it comes to accessing services. This means that all local bodies must have an easy-to-use web offering if residents are going to make the most of their local service provision.
Many citizens use the local authority’s website as their first port of call when it comes to accessing services.
This means that all local bodies must have an easy-to-use web offering if residents are going to make the most of their local service provision.
Town Web is an all-purpose solution for local governments, creating municipal websites for online payments, event listings, and other public-facing tasks.
Let’s take a look at the importance, benefits, and use of local government IT.
What Does a Local Government Do?
A local government is a public body that provides services within a certain geographic area. These include general services for its citizens, managing land use, collecting taxes and enforcing regulations.
These services also vary greatly, depending on the size and location of the municipality. In larger cities, a local government may take care of public transportation, police and fire protection, garbage collection and disposal, water and sewer services, and parks and recreation. In smaller towns and rural areas, this may be maintaining roads, enforcing zoning regulations, and providing other essential services.
Local governments are usually created by state or provincial legislation. A charter outlines a local body’s powers and responsibilities.
Functions of a Local Government
The local government has a wide range of functions. These include:
- Economic and Community Development: The local government plays a major role in its citizens’ economic and social well-being. It provides infrastructure and services necessary for businesses to operate and people to live.
- Recreation and Amenities: The local government often offers recreational and services, such as public parks and playgrounds, to local residents.
- Public Works and Infrastructure: The local government is responsible for maintaining and repairing public infrastructures, such as roads, bridges, and sewers. It may also manage the water and electricity supply for its citizens.
What Is a Local Government IT Solution?
A local government IT solution is a software application or system designed to help a local government manage its operations more effectively. Examples of such solutions include applications for managing land records, building permits, and election results.
Local government IT solutions often include features specifically tailored to the needs of local government officials, such as support for multiple languages and the ability to interface with other government agencies.
Government software has many benefits to both citizens and government employees. The right software can help save taxpayers money by making government operations more streamlined and can improve government transparency and accountability.
What Can a Government Software Do?
The capabilities of digital local government solutions depend on the type of software being used. Some solutions focus on a specific task, while others provide a more comprehensive suite of management tools.
Two common types of local government software are:
- Government contracting software: This may include tools for creating and managing bids, tracking payments, and maintaining compliance with regulations.
- Performance management software: This is often a multi-faceted tool that allows for goal setting, data collection, data analysis, and reporting.
Examples of Software for Government
Popular local government software solutions include:
- Asset Management Software: Local governments must track and maintain various assets – from buildings and vehicles to parks and infrastructure. Asset management software helps government organizations keep tabs on their holdings, plan for maintenance and repairs, and track asset depreciation.
- GIS Software: Geographic information systems (GIS) software enables governments to visualize and analyze data concerning location. Most governments use these solutions to map crime hot spots, track disease spread, and plan infrastructure.
- Resident Self-Service Software: Many digital government solutions are designed to make it easier for citizens to interact with the local government. Resident self-service software typically provides a portal for citizens to access government services and information, such as paying property taxes or applying for a building permit.
How Does a Local Government IT Solution Work?
Most government software is cloud-based, which can be accessed from any internet-connected device. This makes it easy for government employees to use the solutions they need, whether in the office or the field.
In many cases, government software solutions are designed to interface with other systems, such as those used by state and federal agencies. This helps facilitate the smooth flow of data across different levels of government.
Local governments also use software solutions to keep their citizenry up-to-date. Town Web’s easy-to-use notifications platform provides a quick-and-easy way to keep locals informed via text message or email.
Town Web recently helped the town of Vernon create a website that allows it to update its citizens about all local happenings using an instant feed.
Similarly, they provided Glen Cove city with an updated version of its website, making it much more user-friendly and intuitive for its local citizens.
Why Do Local Governments Need IT Solutions?
Local governments often use IT solutions to automate menial and repetitive tasks. A good example is data entry, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors when carried out by a human being. This task can be easily automated with the right software solution.
By automating a task with an IT solution, the local body frees government officials up so that they can focus on more essential tasks, such as ones that require human interaction and critical thinking.
IT solutions also help improve communication and collaboration between different government employees and teams. An important tool in this regard is project management software, which helps government employees keep track of deadlines, assign tasks, and maintain progress reports.
Project management software is beneficial for government employees because it allows groups and team members who work across different departments to coordinate closely with each other.
How to Choose the Best Government IT Solutions?
When searching for local government solutions, it’s important to do the following:
- Look for government software solutions that offer features like role-based access control, data encryption, and activity logging to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive local government information.
- Make sure the software solution is compliant with local regulations. Local authorities are subject to a number of compliance regulations, such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Records Management Directive (RMD). Your software solution should be compliant with these regulations.
- Find solutions that are easy to use. The software should have a user-friendly interface and offer features like online payments, e-filing, and online forms.
Benefits of Government IT Solution
Information technology has taken over the world, with almost all businesses and organizations using some form of IT solution. The government is no different, as IT solutions offer a number of benefits for local government bodies.
Here are some of the main benefits that government IT solutions can provide:
- Increased Efficiency: Government IT solutions help to increase efficiency within the organization. For example, local governments can provide fillable forms on their websites so that users don’t have to visit the local town hall to seek out a paper version of a form they can complete online.
- Time-Saving: Besides increasing efficiency, IT solutions can also save time. Many government agencies have to fill out forms manually. The agency can easily save time by using an electronic form.
- Accuracy: IT solutions can also help to improve accuracy within the organization. A local government can use an automated system to track data and avoid human error.
Alternatives to Software Solutions: Apps and Websites
Besides full-blown software solutions, local governments can also use apps and websites to increase transparency and openness. Doing so can provide citizens with quick and easy access to government information and services without downloading or installing any software.
Whether you want to create a communication platform or a custom website to take online payments, we have a website solution for you.
The same applies to local government apps. You can create apps for anything from providing emergency services to displaying information about your city’s budget. Apps and websites are often less expensive, easier to manage, and more user-friendly than software solutions.
Signs a Local Government Needs IT Solutions
How can you recognize the need for local government apps or other IT solutions?
Here are some signs:
- The government is using process-heavy manual methods, like paper forms.
- There is a need for real-time data tracking (crime rates and pothole locations).
- Citizens are frustrated by a lack of online access to government services.
- There is a high volume of phone calls and in-person visits to government offices.
- There is a lack of standardization in systems across departments.
- Inefficient workflows.
- Poor data quality.
- Lack of data security.
Let Town Web Build Your Municipal Website
If you need a local government website built from scratch or just want to upgrade or redesign your existing municipal website, Town Web is here to help.
At Town Web, we can provide everything you need for an effective, responsive, and modern local government website.
Request a quote today to learn more about our services.