Local authorities lack an efficient, user-centred system that provides back-office case management, transactional functions, and an easily navigational database. The national market is currently dominated by just two providers, meaning that commercial incentives to support innovation are low. The exising systems can be slow, resistant to interoperability, and usually require planning officers to learn a number of system ‘work arounds’ just to be able to effectively manage their application case loads.
The practical problems associated with poor quality software create challenges not just for individual case officers and local planning departments, but for the effective administration of the national planning system as a whole.
The cost of the problem
- High cost of change – projects cost >£1m to transition from one provider to another and are lengthy and resource intensive
- Hackney Council estimates it spends >£250,000 in administration time
- Connected Places Catapult found that planning authorities in England receive ca. 450,000 planning applications a year. A typical household application takes 4-7 hours to process, yet ca. 50% of these are returned as invalid because they lack the right information. Assuming an average salary of £50,000, ca. £500M is wasted annually across the UK.
A collaborative approachThe BoPS project is being funded by the Local Digital Fund as a collaborative project.
See the funding application here.