Transform Issue 17 - May 2020 Edition

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In print and online

Sector faces double deadly virus risk How Covid-19 is increasing cyber crime A UK public sector road trip Reflections on a UK tour from Canadian public sector innovators Also inside: • LBBD: Winner of UK Council of the Year • Local authorities rise to collaboration challenge • CareCubed Children's brings benefits • New staff join iESE team


Page 2 Welcome letter Dr Andrew Larner, Chief Executive at iESE and iESE news

Page 3-5 Reflections from Canada: a tour of transformation ‘in the wild’

Page 6 Public sector collaborates on Covid-19 response

Pages 7-8 London Borough of Barking and Dagenham scoop UK Council of the Year 2020

Pages 9-10 Councils face double deadly virus threat as cyber crime rises during lockdown

EDITORIAL CONTACTS TRANSFORM IS PRODUCED BY: iESE,, Tel: 08434 878 026 Email: @iESELtd CREDITS: Editorial by: Vicki Arnstein Designed by: SMK Design Views expressed within are those of the iESE editorial team. iESE is distributed on a triannual basis to companies and individuals with an interest in reviewing, remodelling and reinventing public services. © Copyright iESE 2020



Public sector rises to the Covid-19 challenge no time in recent history has the UK public sector faced such unprecedented challenge. For local authorities, the weight of responsibility is enormous. Necessary public services have found ways to continue with a fragmented workforce as councils endeavour to help their most vulnerable residents.


Dr Andrew Larner, Chief Executive

Even before the Coronavirus, local authority was facing increased levels of threat from cyber criminals, leading iESE to team up with experts Assurity Systems and Cyber Security Associates to offer Cyber Security Checks. Now, @LaverdaJota with more employees working on home-based systems than ever, taking steps to minimise the risks faced is vital (see pages 9 and 10). But it isn't all bad news. We've started to see communities pulling together in a way local authority was already keen to encourage, taking steps to allow councils to move away from being the paternalistic provider of all services to more of an enabling role. The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, for example, was halted while it processed applications from 750,000 volunteers just days after the Government put out a call hoping to get 250,000 responses. The sector is also pulling together in a way the Local Digital Declaration sought to encourage by collaborating to aid the crisis (see page 6) In a sector that has seen dramatic changes through austerity, the pandemic has shown that we can still respond fast. And with this response comes new opportunity. Departments that might have resisted home working may now move forward with allowing employees greater flexibility. Services that were not previously online may now become so. Services local authorities felt unable to cut or reduce may now have that option as residents seek new solutions. There is a high chance that our new normal will look slightly different and, for local authorities, this could be the chance to grab the momentum and keep on running. Dr Andrew Larner and the iESE team

Pilot delivers significant children's services savings A PILOT OF CARECUBED CHILDREN'S HAS SHOWN THE TOOL CAN DELIVER SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS. CareCubed Children's was launched at the end of last year, building on the success of the existing adult version. The secure online tool is designed to give care commissioners clarity on the cost of care and help manage care spend. The feedback gained when building the children's version of the tool is that it is often difficult to reach a clear understanding regarding what is included in the price. Placements can often be quoted in the region of £3-5,000 a week, while figures show councils overspent on children's social care budgets by £800m in 2018. iESE Associate Consultant Diana Sherwood ran the informal pilot as part of her other role as an interim at two London Borough Councils. The pilot looked at seven


placements and saved £325,000. One of the boroughs is now in the process of procuring a Children's CareCubed licence, while three other councils (two county and one unitary) have also signed up. "The pilot raised awareness of historic overspend in the commissioning of children’s care. Unfortunately, many local authorities feel defeated, believing there is little room to reevaluate costs. However, the pilots raised awareness and highlighted need to improve and widen negotiations with providers," she said. However, she stresses it is a transparent tool rather than one to 'beat providers up with'. "It is to ensure placements are value for money and there is sustainability on both sides. This tool is something new for all local authorities and there is a real appetite for it," she said.

CareCubed can help renegotiate emergency care packages THE FINANCIAL PRESSURE BEING PLACED ON COUNCILS AND CARE PROVIDERS BY COVID-19 COULD LEAVE MANY AT BREAKING POINT. Many emergency placements have been made to enable patients to be discharged to social care settings from hospital to free up beds within the NHS. The care packages being delivered have also changed with service users needing to be socially distanced and with providers facing greater demand for certain products and services such as assistive technology and a massive increase in PPE costs. Craig White, Business Development Manager at iESE, said: "These placements will need to be revisited, reconciled and renegotiated as we move forward to ensure the best care for the individual is provided and at a fair price. We will support customers through this because the financial pressures felt by all involved are significant and


already stretched budgets could leave many councils and providers at breaking point. Every day and week that goes by without this reconciliation happening is critical and will translate into devastating consequences for all involved." He said iESE had received multiple examples from customers about the benefits of having a tool such as iESE's flagship digital product CareCubed® to document the care packages agreed, the correct price and consideration of how this splits between councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups. iESE is already engaging commissioners and providers in online workshops designed to share ideas. "The workshops will direct our short-term development roadmap and see iESE investing in further development to CareCubed aimed at specifically helping with COVID-19 related issues both now and in the months and years ahead."

New Business Development Manager: Craig White Craig White joined iESE in October 2019 as Business Development Manager and will provide strategic sales leadership going forward. His initial focus is on growing and supporting the customer base of CareCubed®. He brings more than 20 years' experience building software businesses and providing innovative solutions that make a real difference to all parts of the public sector. His knowledge and learning will feed into and help shape our future strategy. “I am excited to be taking up this role and diving straight into helping health and social care organisations through these very challenging times with a proposition that is low cost, quick to implement and offers significant and measurable immediate benefits to the sector,” he said. ● You can contact Craig at:

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Reflections from a tour of public sector innovation 'in the wild' Earlier this year iESE hosted Nick Scott, Executive Director of Open Government and Innovation in New Brunswick, Canada and Dr Jules Maitland, founder of All In, a user-experience research and service design firm in New Brunswick, Canada. Here, in an letter to iESE, Nick and Jules reflect on their visit Dear iESE,

As practitioners and facilitators of public sector innovation, it's magical to see the theories and frameworks that underpin your work unfolding in the real world. That's the feeling we were left with after visiting the UK before the COVID-19 lockdown. We're writing this letter to thank you for sharing your time, experience and passion for making your communities better places to live, work and play.

We want you to know how special you are, so we thought we'd share some 'aha' moments we had when listening to your stories of innovation 'in the wild'. We've already shared many of these with colleagues to inspire and support their efforts to help New Brunswick thrive.

You lead from the future by exploring the adjacent possible By going where few public organisations would dare, your teams have created public value most could only dream of. As author Stephen Johnson described it: “The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself”.1 Discovery requires a kind of leadership that gets through the uncertainty and hardships of ‘losing sight of shore’. We observed this leadership in several projects. Bracknell Forest Council, for example, was a first mover in the e-card world with its e+ Card. The multi-use card gives holders access to libraries, leisure and the ability to pay for public transport services. The resulting uses and benefits of having implemented the card are examples of realising the “adjacent possible”. Beyond the obvious uses of

the card, Bracknell Forest has demonstrated a number of less obvious uses. The ability to allow vetted users to access the library after hours, variable pricing on parking and incentivising desirable behaviours, such as exercise or recycling, are all made possible by adoption of the e+ Card; adjacent possibilities. As Stephen Johnson noted: “The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new combination opens up the possibility of other new combinations”. Bracknell Forest e+ Card is an example of the mindset and behaviours needed to explore the boundaries of possibility. Another example is the MySense initiative. Inspired by first-hand experience of watching a loved one’s independence decline alongside their health, MySense is a disruptive innovation in the healthcare space. It provides healthcare providers with information previously unavailable to them and the MySense team have recognised the need to work with healthcare providers to understand the implications of this new information for their clinical decision making, care planning and workflow.


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About Nick and Jules DR JULES MAITLAND Dr. Jules Maitland is a people person who can also speak geek. Her career started in nursing before going on to study software engineering and gaining a doctorate for her work in digital health. After working in industry as Director of User Experience for several years, she joined NouLAB, New Brunswick's Public and Social Innovation Lab, as Human-Centred Design Lead. She founded All In in January 2020 to help organisations work with the people they serve to create effective humancentred services, programs, and products NICK SCOTT Since 2017 Nick Scott has been leading transformational change at the Government of New Brunswick in his role as Executive Director of Open Government and Innovation. In this role he established an Innovation Team, collaborative workspace and a public innovation framework, facilitating initiatives addressing mobility, literacy, second language acquisition, natural resource development, municipal reform and child protection. Previously in his role as Executive Director of the NB Social Policy Research Network, Nick launched the GovMaker Conference to explore the theory and practice of public innovation and open government, cofounded NouLAB - a public and social innovation lab facilitating collaborative problem-solving across sectors - and co-chaired the 2016 Canadian Open Data Summit.

The organisations Nick and Jules visited with iESE on their tour of the UK: • Lewes and Eastbourne Council: A two-day visit about the joint transformation programme, including a Seeing Is Believing Tour • London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: Waste management department and low-code in partnership with Netcall • Innovation club meeting featuring Durham Constabulary and the Isle of Wight Council • Workshop session with MindOfMyOwn, MySense, MHCLG, CareCubed, Cultural Compass • The MET police: Exploration of their One Met Model and beyond • Bracknell Forest Council: SmartCard project and Town Centre redevelopment • Assurity Systems



You work with early adopters to accelerate innovation Transformative solutions are not immediately implemented at scale. Innovation is an adaptive and iterative process of change and adoption. The Dr. Everett Rogers’ Innovation Adoption Curve, is a theory that depicts how new technologies are introduced and diffused throughout society. The theory identifies five archetypes in a population along a bell curve from introduction to full scale adoption: 1. Innovators — introduce new concepts, tools, behaviours 2. Early Adopters — join when ideas are fuzzy, technology is buggy. They want to be part of the innovation story

following the 2008 recession which created significant business challenges. Faced with a reduction of officers and staff, the MET began a transformation journey. Consisting of a portfolio of 15 change programmes and 80 projects, the Business Change Team works with smaller sites and early adopters to test changes and interventions. This approach allows the Business Change Team to take a focused “show-don’t-tell” approach; whereby the benefits of an intervention are experienced and demonstrated, thereby reducing the usual friction that occurs in implementation.

You demonstrate agility versus doing agile

Agile has become the method du jour in many organisations, with no shortage of books and consultants selling “how to do Agile”. This can 3. Early Majority — join when they see value often result in a performative-approach with a focus 4. Late Majority — join when there is plenty on process, roles, tools and steps. By putting of support residents at the centre of their work, the teams we visited are not simply doing agile, they are being 5. Laggards — join only when they have to, and agile. 6. (Bonus) Resistors — maintain the status quo Along with the majority of the other projects we saw, the Royal Borough of Management & Organization Maturity Kensington and Chelsea Exec Archetype project started when the team had to make savings Barrier 16% Innovation leadership Pragmatic by changing their paperbased processes. Their IT Apprehensive 68% Coordinated innovation practices teams had too much on, and so the team partnered with Supportive 13.5% Emerging Netcall to build the solution innovation practices Enthusiastic Skeptical themselves. They utilised the low-code application Join when Join only Advocate 2.5% Entry level Join and try Join when there is plenty when they practices environment to launch the the new they see value of support have to Introduce Maintain the new status quo 2 solution within four months Innovators Easy Adopters Easy Majority Late Majority Laggards Resistors of mapping out the process 2.5% 13.5% 34% 34% 13.5% 2.5% and continue to make iterative improvements to the system in response to By working with the Early Adopters, Innovators issues the public or field officers experience. are able to learn more about their solutions and the The collective sense of ownership of the solution problems they aim to solve. The pattern depicted by the team was evident during the visit. Perhaps by this theory is the story of culture change and can most significant was the team’s decision to send be applied to organisational transformations like field officers for training so they themselves will be those pursued by the MET Police. able to modify the solution. This opens up the Like most organisations and local authorities, the potential for them to design/develop other MET Police was faced with austerity measures

solutions as they see the need arise. Typically people in the field have to submit “change requests” and wait at the mercy of centralised (and often overstretched) development or innovation teams. Equipping all levels of staff with the skills and tools to develop digital solutions to challenges that they experience or observe, disrupts traditional power dynamics in systems. It is refreshing to see staff at all levels have autonomy and feel empowered to make decisions to fix problems being faced by the public. It is also encouraging that it was a recurring theme throughout our visit. From Durham Police Constabulary recognising the impact of having a Chief Inspector who wants staff to “find problems and fix them”, to the Isle of Wight Council advocating to “seek forgiveness, not permission”. One of our favourite examples came from Lewes and Eastbourne Council. The local authority received a call about some bricks which had fallen from a wall. A staff person was dispatched to remove the bricks but instead of moving the bricks and waiting for another department/jurisdiction to fix it, took the initiative to get a labourer to fix the wall.

You amplify impact through inclusion Human-Centred Design works from a relatively simple premise: that “the process of design begins with the people being designed for and ends with solutions tailored to meet their needs.”3 From the framing of the problem being addressed, to the implementation of the developed solution, there are many ways a human-centred approach may be adopted; each introducing varying degrees of engagement of the people being designed for in the design process itself. Human-centred design is




















2. 3. UK Design Council 4. Adaptation of the Design Council’s double diamond model of design, taken from


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a mindset as much as a suite of methods. The projects we visited embodied the human-centred design mindset regardless of whether they were familiar with the model or methods. PROBLEM SPACE - DISCOVER INSIGHTS INTO THE PROBLEM The discovery phase of the design process, sometimes referenced as the empathy phase, aims to increase our understanding of the problems we seek to address from the perspective of the people most impacted by them. As decision makers it can be easy to assume we know what is needed in our communities or organisations. Indeed, it is often expected that we know what needs to be fixed (and how we should fix it). Therefore the decision to engage in discovery work requires a degree of humility and acknowledgement that while we may be experts in our fields, we are not experts in the daily lives of our service users or service providers and there is much we can learn from them. Engaging in discovery work can provide new insights upon which meaningful action can be taken and can also build relationships with the people you serve. We observed this in Lewes and Eastbourne Council, where the incoming leader met business owners and asked what one thing the council could do for them. This allowed efforts to be directed towards a problem impacting a significant portion of the community; demonstrating it was open to listening and taking action. Durham Police Constabulary worked closely with stakeholders in the foster care system to understand the underlying factors that contributed to wasted time during an amber alert. This led to a solution that embodied the constabulary’s knowledge of what was needed to bring a child home, while addressing the needs of stakeholders in a way that has had a significant impact on the foster children themselves. PROBLEM SPACE - DEFINE THE AREA TO FOCUS ON There are multiple ways to frame a problem and the way a problem is framed will inform the approach taken to understand and ultimately address it. Most commonly, we adopt an institutional view of a problem. This can lead to solutions that are tightly bound to the priorities and current structure of the institution. Alternative views that lend themselves to more transformative explorations of the problem

space are that of the i) user/human and ii) the system. For example, iESE's CareCubed tackles the institutional problem of the rising cost of care, while addressing the human/user element of the problem experienced by providers of determining the appropriate plan of care for service users. By providing the service providers with a tool that helps them get their work done, the CareCubed team incentivises adoption and high-quality data entry, which the institution then benefits from through data-informed decision making. In addition, they have disrupted the systemic issue of marketdriven pricing of services, which impacts the industry as a whole. SOLUTION SPACE - DEVELOP POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS As problem solvers, it is very tempting to run with the first idea from sticky-note to implementation. While our first idea may well be a great idea, we may miss out on a game-changer if we commit prematurely. In addition to the “simple” act of dedicating time to explore the solution space, we can enrich the diversity and quality of our ideas through collective ideation activities to prompt creative thinking and co-creation with service users and service providers. It would have been very easy for the Mind of My Own team, given their years of experience working in the field as social workers, to assume they knew what was needed to help children articulate their needs. Instead, they worked with children to coproduce 90 per cent of the platform. By opening up the design process to the children, the team demonstrated humility (that their expertise alone was not “enough”), respect (of the expertise and perspectives of the children themselves), and trust (in ceding control of the design process). The influence and value of the children’s participation in co-production is evident in the platform’s design and global impact. SOLUTION SPACE - DELIVER SOLUTIONS THAT WORK In contrast to traditional “waterfall” approaches to solution delivery, whereby a design is fully architected upfront and then built in isolation from its intended context of use, a human-centred design delivers solutions through iterative cycles of design, development and user testing. These cycles can starts as early as when a concept is first formed and

can continue through the development lifecycle to test solution desirability, feasibility and viability. By taking the minimum viable step to solution delivery before testing, teams can de-risk innovation by reducing the overall investment of effort before validation and reduce the cost of correction.

You connect, nourish and illuminate innovation By identifying bright lights, supporting local authorities, and connecting innovators iESE is transforming the local public service system. Your suite of activities and initiatives work in concert to help local authorities fix problems and elevate service delivery. This was made evident by the Innovation Club, the Seeing Is Believing Tours and the Public Sector Transformation Awards. These efforts are highlighting bright spots and shedding light on positive deviance in public service throughout the UK. The Two Loops Theory of Change is a model Steward Innovators





system of influence



Nourish community of practice


inspired by the cycle of living systems introduced by Deborah Frieze and Margaret Wheatley. Frieze and Wheatley observed: "as one system culminates and starts to collapse, isolated alternatives slowly begin to arise and give way to the new." iESE is identifying, connecting, nourishing and illuminating the public service alternatives in local government. You are doing the critically important work of cultivating new practices and innovation in the shell of the old system. And that’s why we love you.

With appropriately socially-distanced hugs from Dr Jules and Layman Nick

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Digital collaboration aids Covid-19 response With the Covid-19 pandemic requiring rapid responses, many local authorities have turned to digital tools to help manage the crisis and meet the demand for information and answers from residents, businesses and charities. Time pressures and reduced workforces have made knowledge sharing in the sector more important than ever ollaborating and making applications available for wider use is something The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) Local Digital Declaration (LDD) sought to encourage and there is evidence this is happening as part of the Covid-19 response. Local authorities can access support provided by The MHCLG's Local Digital team online, which is seeking to ensure sharing and discussion can continue and that open products can be reused where possible. To aid this it has published a list of reusable products shared openly by councils and is also hosting weekly calls to aid collaboration across digital teams in local government too. Technology companies are also seeking to help the national crisis. Low-code platform provider Netcall has launched a Covid-19 package to help digital teams in local authorities share apps created using its platform. During the Covid-19 situation, Netcall is providing access to low-code apps built by its members and in-house to help councils meet the needs of communities quickly, easily and at low cost. The monthly subscriptions are based on council size and start at £600 per month to meet cloud hosting charges. If customers need support Netcall’s professional service teams are able to help with set-up at a daily rate. Richard Billington, Chief Technology Officer at Netcall, said he was delighted with the interest shown in the COVID-19 apps from existing and new customers. "The Digital Declaration showed that local government was ready to share. They want to move past doing the same things over and over again so they can focus on customers' real needs." At the time of writing, the Covid-19 package offered access to four applications but as members create additional applications it is hoped they will share these with the wider community or engage the community to build them. "Low-code is emerging as a very useful tool in delivering rapid outcomes. Our customers hope that many other organisations will join in so sharing can accelerate.



We have innovative customers that have created working apps in under two weeks because low-code is five-to-ten times faster than ordinary code. Other councils may be using spreadsheets or manual systems to support services. These can make for clunky customer journeys and be prone to errors. We know there is a better way," added Billington. The initial four apps have been unbranded and can be further tailored to an organisation's requirements. They are: • COVID-19 Business Grants app designed by Croydon Council to manage business applications and payments. • COVID-19 Volunteer Co-ordination app designed by Adur and Worthing Councils to connect volunteers with those who need help. • COVID-19 Workforce Monitoring which allows an organisation to monitor who’s working and who’s unwell. • COVID-19 Emergency Alerts provides mass communication to employees and offers a crisis response capability. Another organisation providing a solution to help local authorities meet the huge rise in queries from residents surrounding Covid-19 is ICS AI, a supplier of Artificial Intelligence technology to the public sector.

Following a 500 per cent increase in requests to the Cheshire West and Chester Council's Chatbot Digital Assistant AIDA, supplier ICS AI developed a Covid-19 skill which it has made available to other local authorities to add to their website - something which can be done quickly with no additional IT resources. Ben Cummins, Managing Director of Qwest which runs the Cheshire West and Chester Council’s contact centre, said: “Fortunately we had a 24/7 AI Digital Assistant on the Council’s website, so when our agent capacity was suddenly redirected to deal with a huge increase in demand relating to Coronavirus, we were able to switch to using our AI Digital Assistant to help hundreds of our residents. When we looked at the detailed logs from the Assistant, we saw more than 300 different questions related to Coronavirus, so it was clear we needed a specific Coronavirus skill." Martin Neale, CEO of ICS AI, said the company was able to take thousands of Coronavirus questions from Chester West and Cheshire's chatbot to populate and train the Assistant. It has a priority store of hundreds of Coronavirus voiceready answers and can fall back on multiple trusted and curated Coronavirus knowledge sources, such as the Council’s own website, the World Health Organisation, NHS 111 and Public Health England. Clients can also optionally create and manage their own dedicated local Coronavirus knowledge store.” The use of apps may become even more prominent in the fight against Covid-19 in the coming months with speculation around whether the UK Government will launch an app designed to track the spread of the virus. South Korea, Singapore and Israel among the countries that have already deployed such technology. • Read more about the Government's local digital help for local government digital teams: • Find out more about the Netcall Covid-19 package here: n

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Barking and Dagenham scoop Council of the Year The iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards were held this year on 4th March in London. This was their 11th year and saw hundreds of fantastic entries from the public sector across the UK. The awards now include 15 categories, including the overall Council of the Year award. To see a full list of winners and photos from the award's night visit: events/public-sector-transformtion-awards-2020 he London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) has been driving change hard since 2016/17 when it kickstarted its Ambition 2020 Transformation Programme to implement a Council fit for the 21st Century with a mission to 'leave no resident behind'. There is strong evidence the strategy is working and we were delighted to name the LBBD Council of the Year 2020 The challenge faced by LBBD is, by its own admission, an enormous one. It is one of the most deprived communities in the UK with poor outcomes for many of its residents. For years, it has scored low on some of the key outcome measures for its residents in comparison to other London Boroughs. It is also experiencing huge demographic change. In 2001, 90 per cent of its population was White British, compared with less than half in 2017. Thirty per cent of its population is under the age of 18, and half of these are aged seven or younger, placing huge demand on children's services. As a borough which still has relatively affordable housing and a large private rental market, LBBD faces additional pressure from other boroughs housing deprived families there. The impact of austerity, legislative change and increasing demand means the Council has had a £63m funding gap to close. With few businesses, and large number of residents on benefits, the ability to close this gap through taxation has been limited. LBBD's transformation journey was first born from a Local Government Association peer review commissioned in spring 2014, the conclusions of which led to the appointment of a new CEO, Chris Naylor. He initiated a wide-scale workforce review and the findings and feedback from staff were clear - the Council needed to think differently, be bold, be innovative and stop the incremental yearon-year salami slicing. The Council needed to change the relationship it had with its citizens, from paternalistic provider to empowering enabler. The Council of the Year award was just one of three awarded to the borough. LBBD also won the Community Focus and Intelligent Council


categories, adding to a growing awards collection it has amassed since completing its transformation agenda two years ago. Publicising this particular win has been overshadowed by the Covid-19 response, but Meena Kishinani, Transformation Director at LBBD says the Council sees great value in award applications. "When we first started applying for awards people were cynical but changed their attitude after we won our first set of awards and realised why it was important. Now when we win an award our Leader takes it around our buildings to show staff what we’ve collectively achieved, and insists on having the awards displayed." Winning awards is a huge morale boost for staff, none of whom have been left unaffected by the Council's complete transformation process. Kishinani says winning awards also helps with recruitment. "We have seen that the calibre of applicants for senior roles in the last three years is significantly different. They are aware of our awards and give this as a reason for applying." While the transformation is complete, LBBD still has huge challenges but has a leadership team that has huge aspirations and a real vision for wanting to change the lives of residents. The borough has been identified as London's Growth Opportunity. It is less than 20 minutes from the centre of London, has space for 60,000 new homes and is proof that economic growth is moving eastwards towards the borough. The Council is top in London and fourth in the country for replacing homes sold through Right to Buy. Stock in its own housing company, Reside, is providing affordable rents to local people, with numbers set to rise from 300 properties to more than 2,000 in the next three years. The income from this, and the other significant investments the Council has made, will deliver a net return of £5.1m a year. Kishinani believes the transformation's success has been down to buy-in from the senior leadership team and members and making sure services continued whilst designing the transformed organisation. "You need to have a clear vision, the right capability and capacity

Barking and Dagenh am

Council of the Year 2020

Barking Town Hall

Community focus GOLD Award

iESE Awards

Awards drinks reception


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around you and buy-in from the Leader and Chief Executive so they are absolutely behind it and owning it. We had 27 strands of the original transformation programme and every single one was sponsored by one of the senior leadership team. "We went big bang but while we were building the new ship, we kept the old ship sailing. That is important. You have to keep your services running and at some point bring the two together seamlessly." A new commercial model is helping close the £63m funding gap through the Council's whollyowned companies channelling profits back, whilst contracted services are increasing revenues through harnessing the capabilities of private sector providers. It has so far closed approximately £40m of its £63m funding gap and is on course to close the rest. But Kishinani is clear it was never all about money. "We definitely had a burning platform but we made sure this wasn't all about the money. If it had been we would have taken services and slashed them but we didn't do that, we thought about what residents needed to really change their outcomes and what the structure of the Council needed to be to deliver that." The launch of Community Solutions, one of the new services developed as part of the transformation programme, aims to resolve complex needs by tackling root causes rather than just signposting residents towards traditional service blocks to receive a service the usual way. Whilst the Council hasn't marketed the changes it has made to residents, it sees success in the evidence. Complaints have gone down, evictions have reduced, the number of residents in temporary accommodation has reduced, households are being supported with finance plans so they can get themselves out of debt, and residents are receiving quicker responses with a more efficient and informed response. "We don't have a housing department anymore but people don't know that, they just need someone to help with a housing issue, they don't care where it is coming from. We dissolved those hierarchies very deliberately so we didn't have the silos we had before in Adults, Children's, Housing, Environment etc." The Council has also invested in and revolutionised its social media presence, moving from 133rd in the country to 3rd in just two years (GovRank), communicating with residents in the way they want to communicate, about the things they want to talk about. In addition, the borough’s schools continue to go from strength to strength, with 93 per cent of them now classed as good or outstanding. The Council also holds Silver Investors In People status, with a recent assessment finding Council employees had a high degree of understanding and support for the organisation's vision, with the Employee Engagement Index score at 74 per cent and rising through a period of massive change. Whilst LBBD is a borough with a population on the rise, the Council continues to strive to reduce demand on its services and to seek new ways to make an impact on its communities. "One of our big areas now is predictive analytics. We have a small team of data scientists who have made a huge difference in a short period of time. We are now able to really understand where our demand is coming from and target our limited resources in the most effective way,” added Kishinani.


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LBBD scooped two further Gold awards: Community Focus Award and Intelligent Council COMMUNITY FOCUS AWARD: GOLD WINNER LBBD took the Gold award in the Community Focus category for its flagship transformation programme Community Solutions. Formally launched in April 2018, it brought together 16 distinct and traditional people-based Council services, comprising 500 staff. The service acts as the ‘front-door’ to the Council - a single integrated offer for early help, prevention and targeted support. Skills and expertise across a breadth of areas such as housing, welfare reform, children and adult social care, youth services, work and skills are pooled, supporting residents through blended teams, reducing hierarchy, streamlining referral processes and enabling stronger integration with services and wider partners. The Homes and Money Hubs show how Community Solutions is working. Provided in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centre Plus and other partners, it provides support for people experiencing or nearing financial difficulty and, in the worst case, crisis. Since its launch in early 2018, the Hubs have helped more than 2,500 people, 52 evictions have been prevented, 89 people have been supported into employment, and 217 people have been helped to manage their rent and/or council tax arrears. Community Solutions is also securing better outcomes for less. To date, £3.8 million in savings have been delivered, with a further £1.2 million on track for delivery by 2021. INTELLIGENT COUNCIL: GOLD WINNER The Intelligent Council Gold award was given to the LBBD Insight Hub - a team of data and behavioural scientists who are the analytical driving force behind the entire Council's operating model. First established in 2017 with a mission to 'turn data into insight-led action' the team’s projects have had global acclaim in the past two years. LBBD’s mission to 'leave no resident behind' is underpinned by an evidence base known as the Social Progress Index (SPI) produced by the Insight Hub; just one example of their pioneering work. The SPI has been instrumental in decision making around resource allocation and predicting area-based service demand. The tool is also currently being embedded into the Council’s social value policy. The SPI started as a global index comparing the social progress of countries against GDP. LBBD’s Insight team are the pioneers of a ward level application of this index, which brings together more than 50 datasets into the SPI framework. First published in October 2018, LBBD’s SPI includes four years’ worth of data across each of its 17 wards. Due to the world’s first nature of this project, the team is frequently asked to present its work on a global stage. In the past year, the team has presented its work in Iceland, Sweden and the United States. The project has inspired other cities and local governments to build the same model, with the latest local SPI being developed by the City of San Jose, California.

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Sector faces double deadly virus threat The public sector was at high risk from cyber attacks before Covid-19. But now, with whole workforces working from home, experts warn the likelihood of a successful attack is greater with potentially devastating consequences. Implementing gold standard security solutions may not be practical or affordable short term, but there are a number of actions that could and should be taken right now


ocal councils faced as many as 263 million cyber attacks in the first half of 2019, averaging 800 attacks every hour, according to freedom of information requests made by insurance broking firm Gallagher. Most are thwarted, but a successful attack, which can occur from a new unblocked threat or because anti-virus protection is outdated, can have far-reaching consequences for employees, service users and budgets. Ransomware continues to be a huge threat, with a successful attack able to scramble and encrypt key files and spread across a whole infrastructure in minutes. The number of avenues cyber criminals can target to activate these attacks has rocketed

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with entire workforces now linking into company systems on potentially unsecure and unprotected devices. David Woodfine, partner at cyber security company Assurity Cyber Associates (ACA), warned that there had been a 500 per cent increase in the number of phishing emails since the pandemic began and an increase in smishing (text messages) and vishing (voice calls) too. The National Cyber Security Centre has warned it is seeing a growing use of Covid-19 related themes by malicious cyber actors, while INTERPOL issued a notice to 194 member countries warning it had detected a significant increase in the number of attempted ransomware attacks against key organisations and infrastructure engaged in the Covid-19 response. It said the ransomware seemed to be spreading primarily through emails, often falsely appearing to be from a government agency regarding the Coronavirus. "The cyber attacker has realised that people are very scared and is using Covid-19 phishing emails to get us to interact," says Woodfine. Typical attacks include: trying to get an individual to divulge username and password directly, getting a user to click on a malicious link, open a malicious document or visit a malicious website and tricking an individual into providing financial details or paying an invoice. While ransomware remains one of the biggest risks, there are other types of malicious software designed to do harm. One clicked link or opened file, for example, can lead to an attacker downloading software known as a key logger onto an individual's device. This can then capture key strokes as an individual inputs a user name and password, giving the attacker access to an organisation's network. Two weeks into the lockdown there were news reports that Rotherham Council's IT system had been compromised by an employee accidently clicking on a spam email with "COVID-19" in the subject field, although the council said no data or information was compromised and the issue was quickly resolved. Kevin Borley, also a partner at ACA described the situation as "a perfect storm". "We have massively

increased risk, huge vulnerability and reduced ability to respond as we would otherwise do," he says. Borley advised that local authority leaders and IT departments should adopt the mindset that they will be attacked. "The public sector is always at the bottom end of the scale in terms of investment in infrastructure and technology, always having to make do and mend and do more with less. There is an inherent issue in terms of realistically what they can do, how close they can get to best practice and how close they can get to being ahead of an issue. They need to take a perspective that they will be hit and invest in technology that won't allow ransomware and malware through. A sophisticated attack could wipe out everything, including the backup infrastructure." And while we might have an image of a lone figure in his or her bedroom launching these attacks, Woodfine and Borley describe a much more organised enterprise. "Anyone with bad intent can buy a ransomware attack with a target in mind, have it tested by a customer support group and then have a post-attack review. This is a highly commercialised industry, this is not kids in their bedroom, this is big business," says Borley. While it sounds like a no-win situation, there are steps local authorities and the public sector as a whole should and can take as a matter of urgency to minimise their risks. With limited budgets, it pays to remember employees are the first line of defence. The best place to start is end-point protection (over and above anti-virus software) using technology that


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deals with zero-day threats, followed by e-learning about cyber safety and ongoing communication of articles, facts, figures and blogs. It is also important to check employees have device encryption enabled and are working with secure connections. Ensure employees who suspect they have been subject to phishing, vishing or smishing, or have any other sign that their system is compromised, know who to contact immediately. Check that they are being vigilant for suspicious requests and ask them to double check anything that raises suspicions with other colleagues or a line manager. Other good advice includes: • Don't rely solely on email for communication, use phone calls and video conferencing as well. • Do not give anyone your password or username at any time. • Regularly change home router admin logins and wi-fi password to something complex and strong. • Change home router names.

• Set up a guest network for home devices to keep work networks separate if home networks are hacked. • Log in as an admin regularly to check how many devices are connected to the home wi-fi network and which devices they are. • If attacked councils should report to the National Cyber Crime Unit or local Cyber Crime Units. According to research, 70 per cent of all security breaches occur at end points (computers) so ensuring employees home devices and networks are secure is key. iESE has partnered with ACA to offer a trial of unique and patented anti-malware technology. "This is an alternative solution to anything else available at the moment. It is fundamentally different to what has been in place for the last ten to 15 years at end-point PC level and is guaranteed to stop ransomware attacks in particular," says Borley. Unlike older technologies that rely on learning from previous attacks this technology operates at a behavioural level and

won't let bad programmes execute. "With this technology in place, even if it was a zero-day attack, it would cut off the device from the network meaning a virus can't spread," adds Woodfine. Dr Andrew Larner at iESE said the technology had been tested by replicating a number of serious threats, including the WannaCry cyber attack that successfully hit the NHS costing £92m. "We ran the trial once and watched WannaCry take over the network within seconds and deny access to all users. We then re-ran the trial using a version of the technology released before WannaCry was created. The threat was identified and neutralised instantaneously. "We are now setting up a trial of this technology with ten local authorities with a view to bringing it to our wider market. If you are interested in being a trial site let us know," he added. • Contact for more information n

CASE STUDY – Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council In February this year, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council in the North-East of England suffered a disastrous ransomware attack on its IT systems. It affected online public services for 135,000 locals, reportedly leaving council workers using pen and paper. A statement released by Leader Cllr Mary Lanigan confirmed it had experienced a ransomware attack. There was no indication the council had paid or intend to pay

the ransom, but news reports indicated the damage could take several months and cost between £11m and £18m to repair. "We have built a new server and website and mobilised a temporary call centre. We notified the relevant authorities of the attack swiftly and the investigation is being led by the National Crime Agency," Cllr Lanigan said. She added that there was no evidence that any personal information had been removed from the council's servers.

• Advice on cyber security and case studies, including one on Copeland Borough Council which was hit by a zero-day ransomware attack during the August bank holiday in 2017, can be found here: cyber-security n


During these difficult times, we are looking to shine the light on some of the fantastic transformation and improvement projects that are currently underway in the public sector. The iESE Certificate of Excellence recognises and champions examples of innovation and best practice. Why apply for a Certificate of Excellence? Public Sector Transformation Awards: you will be automatically fast-tracked into the pool of nominations for the annual awards Local Government Transformation Conference: you will also be in with the chance to speak at our autumn conference where we invite the best of the best to showcase the most innovative transformations and improvements Transform Magazine: you will have a feature in our quarterly magazine Transform, which shares public sector best practice To download an application for the iESE Certificate of Excellence, please go to:

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