Wednesday 27 May 2020
The States of Guernsey's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included a significant focus on maximising the use of technology to ensure the continued delivery of many vital services to the community.
By examining how government can adapt and work differently, a total of 26 services are now being delivered remotely. These include:
- Revenue Service
- Employment and Social Service
- Social Housing
- Planning and building control
- Property Services
- Royal Court including States of Deliberation Meetings
- Guernsey Water
- Legal Aid
- Population Management
- Vehicle licensing
Health & Social Care functions such as community services, data quality and off island care are now operating remotely, likewise support services within Law Enforcement, probation, the Children's Convenor and the courts.
This significant step-change in how teams work or services are delivered will have long-term benefits for the community, as many areas will maintain and further develop these new ways of working.
Paul Whitfield, States of Guernsey Chief Executive, said:
'What our response to COVID-19 has demonstrated is that the Public Sector have the ability to rapidly adapt to new and innovative operating processes and utilise the technological tools that have been given to us as part of our partnership with Agilisys. As we look to the next phases of the exit from lockdown and the wider recovery we will need to capitalise on the gains we have made, not just reverting back to the previous way of working, and use what we have learnt during this challenging period to deliver some of the opportunities around public service reform. I also wish to pay tribute to our IT staff and colleagues at Agilisys who have been working consistently long hours to make all of this change happen as smoothly as possible.'
Additional measures that have enabled these changes in recent weeks include:
- Over 400 laptops were secured and deployed at a time of significant supply shortages, to allow remote working for staff normally located in office buildings
- More than 1,000 Microsoft Teams licences installed to enable staff to effectively work remotely/collaboratively
- More than 250 Virtual Private Networks rolled out so that key HSC staff can work remotely
- Delivered a new Virtual Call Centre (VCC) to enable call handling whilst remote working
- Hundreds of staff trained so they can use newly delivered technology and work from home
Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer, said:
'During the last couple of years we have done a huge amount of work to maximise our IT resources and infrastructure. We have consolidated where we were able to do so and then invested in the right areas, particularly on key networks to increase performance and resilience. More recently our partnership with Agilisys brings a whole new dimension to the delivery of services and the transformation of our IT infrastructure, which is enabling much of our current success to adapt and quickly implement remote-working solutions so that vital services continue to be delivered during these challenging times.'