Tag Archives: local government


Taking control of the devolution revolution

Sue Holloway, Director of Services Strategy

Technology enables us to do a lot more online, but we still experience public services locally. We report crimes to our police force, use the schools and GPs closest to home and rely on councils for everything from social care to planning.

These organisations know what we need and how much it costs, so giving them greater control is a no brainer. And once you think about trying to prevent those needs rather than meet them, there’s an even greater incentive to pool knowledge and funding.


Strong leadership is vital because moving budgets locally is just a means to an end. We need ambitious plans for thriving communities, the creativity to bring them to life and the determination to create something that hasn’t existed before. That’s where digital comes in.

Every local government professional I’ve met wants to deliver more and better services but needs the right data to do it. They want security not silos, but data sharing is a legal minefield and practical nightmare, so silos are where they end up.

The creation of GM-Connect by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is a hugely positive step, as is the announcement of a new London data office. The experience these areas already have through informal collaboration and shared services will be useful for solving some of the most intractable problems, like how organisations secure investment for initiatives that deliver huge cost savings to someone else.

But if I could ask just one thing of each new regional leader, it’s that they make the case for why the collection and sharing of data is the difference between a good service and a great one.

Data sharing

We’re a nation of social media sharers but haven’t yet shrugged off our distrust of sharing things with government. I’m not sure if this distrust is of ‘big government’ only, fuelled by the failure of big IT projects, or if it travels down to a local level but we have to change the tone of the debate to have any chance of moving forward.

In our experience, being clear about the benefits of data collection and sharing means that people are happy to give their consent. A good example is the National Joint Registry, which holds detailed information on millions of joint replacement surgeries.

When patients are asked for consent for their data to be added to the NJR, over 90% say yes and the benefits are clear. Its existence meant the surgeon could select exactly the right implant; that the device manufacturer could improve the implants over time; and that patients can be contacted quickly in the event of a recall. The same registry is now being used to track the introduction of new medical devices, with huge benefits for patient safety.

Models like these – where different parts of the public and private sector have access to the data they need for better decisions – are technically possible, genuinely transformational and can enjoy strong public support.

It’s a model that new leaders might consider to help make devolution a genuine revolution.

This blog is part of TechUK's Local Government Transformation campaign. Follow #techUKlocalgov

System Optimisation

PARIS System Optimisation

PARIS System Optimisation is a set of tools and services designed to maintain system performance through creation of an historical database, allowing old transactions to be removed from the live system.

The historical database is then used for searching and reporting against those older records, removing processing demands from the live system.

PARIS sites typically store huge volumes of transaction data within the PARIS database. This data consists of financial transactions captured through PARIS payments modules and file imports. This ever-increasing volume of transactions will, over time, impact the performance and customer experience of PARIS. The requirement for more and more database space also increases demands on local infrastructure and impacts performance of regular housekeeping tasks.

Demands of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) and compliance with Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA DSS) also mean PARIS updates must be issued on a regular basis. The process of installing new versions of PARIS can also be impacted by excessive data volumes resulting in increased downtime and disruption to payments collection and processing during upgrades.

Get in touch to find out more about PARIS System Optimisation.


PARIS Administration Toolkit

Supporting more efficient and effective operation of PARIS.

PARIS is continually being developed, with new functionality designed to supplement the core payments and income management functions.

Our PARIS Administration Toolkit brings together a set of browser based modules that can support your operation and management of PARIS and includes:
●    Browser Reporting
●    Browser Suspense Management & Clearing
●    Browser Transfers / Transfer Module
●    Transaction Browser
●    Summary Total Reporting

The easy to use and intuitive user interface of the Administration Toolkit gives you enhanced transaction management and reporting functionality.

Browser Reporting
An extensive library of standard reports has been created since the launch of PARIS in 1998. This library of reports no longer requires a thick-client interface with software installed on a PARIS workstation. The thin-client, browser based solution lets you access the same reports online.

Browser Suspense Management & Clearing
The browser based module gives an intuitive user interface. The enhanced functionality allows for:
●    creation of custom rules automating subsequent clearances
●    splitting of suspended items and making partial clearances
●    additional data filtering, sorting and drill-down capabilities

Browser Transfers Module
The module provides a simple method of correcting transactions already posted from PARIS to any back-office or line of business receiving systems such as Council Tax or the financial ledger.

Individual posted transactions can now be re-posted as a single corrected transaction or split across multiple transactions before re-posting.

Using PARIS to correct posted transactions makes sure it remains in step and in balance with transactions in the back-office / line of business systems – providing an accurate audit trail of transactions. 

Transaction Browser
Offering enhanced journal and transaction enquiry functionality, the Transaction Browser supports custom reporting with the creation of views with full sort, search, filter, drill-down and print functionality.

Summary Total Reporting
Giving the user the ability to take a snapshot of transaction totals – usually as part of the automated end-of-day process – they can produce reports on that snapshot which can be re-run at any time.

Typically used to aid reconciliation with the general ledger the reports show the total at various levels including Fund, Payment Type, Bank, VAT and Suspense.

Using the Administration Toolkit will help streamline your processes and make information more accessible across your organisation, resulting in more efficient working with less chance for error.

Get in touch to find out how the PARIS Administration Toolkit can benefit your organisation.