Councils to appoint Scotland-wide CDO

Twenty-five councils in Scotland are establishing a ‘digital transformation partnership’ and recruiting a chief digital officer (CDO) to lead its work.

The CDO will be expected to shape and lead a programme of change that will “radically improve how local services work and how councils serve citizens,” said a statement from Scotland’s Improvement Service.

A digital transformation strategy for local government was approved earlier this year by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and cross-public sector organisation, the Local Government Digital Transformation Board.

The Improvement Service said in its statement that councils believe digital technology “provides opportunities to redefine their business and improve the efficiency and outcomes of public services from street management to social care”.

The councils will fund the CDO and a digital team for three years. The team will also work with other public sector organisations including the Scottish Government, SOCITM, SEEMiS, NHS National Shared Services and the Improvement Service. Applications for the job close on 16 June.

“With successful national digital transformation projects such as myjobscotland and tellmescotland already in place and delivering efficiencies across local government,” said councillor David O’Neill, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and chair of the Improvement Service Board.

He added: “This exciting new role will harness our expertise further by enhancing the innovative thinking which already exists within our workforce and strengthening the service we offer to our communities.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, Derek Mackay added: “The Scottish Government welcomes the action that councils are taking to drive digital transformation and improve local services for citizens and communities across Scotland.

“The appointment of a chief digital officer for local government will strengthen strategic leadership and influence good practice across the sector, and we look forward to working closely with the successful candidate in the future.”