£12m. extra to put tax and social security online
MAKING Revenue Service information available online will require £12m. of funding even though it is being supported by Smart Guernsey, which has been allocated more than £16m. for digital services.
Smart Guernsey is a States initiative aimed at giving islanders greater access to online services and information.
It came about as a result of the States teaming up with digital specialists Agilisys and it has already seen work on providing digital medical certificates, with plans including the ability to view and make planning applications online.
As part of the £200m. over 10 years which the States is spending on its partnership, £16.7m. has been earmarked for States-wide digital services.
But that does not preclude committees coming forward with initiatives of their own, such as the move by Employment & Social Security towards putting income tax and social security information online.
‘As was stated in the Future Digital Services policy letter, the States’ significant transformation projects and programmes, which extend far beyond IT change, will continue to make their own separate funding and approval applications to the States,’ said ESS in its joint report with Policy & Resources.
The committee is asking the Assembly to approve spending £12.1m. on the final phase of the project, having already spent £5m. on the initial two phases.
A committee spokesman said that the work by ESS would have had to go ahead even if the Agilisys partnership had not happened and it had already begun before that was established.
But Agilisys Guernsey will be involved, said the committee, ‘to develop and implement new digital services and replacement IT systems’.
This will make sure that there is no duplication of the system’s functions elsewhere and that it is in line with States strategy and standards and cost-effective.
The report also gave notice that additional expert help might be required.
‘Specialist revenue collection system development or procurement, however, may require the involvement of other external expertise.’
The report also stated that it was not intended to buy an ‘off-the-shelf’ system but will instead make use of the States’ IT platform from Agilisys Guernsey, which provides many of the tools needed to develop the services required.
‘These services include authentication permissions provision for users, website and digital platform management, rules management, case management, workflow management, reporting, payment processing, document storage, user storage and data management.’
ESS said that this was a value-for-money approach and would allow elements to work as they become available rather than users having to wait for the whole system to be up and running.