Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government
At the WLGA Executive Board on Friday 25 October I confirmed that the Welsh Government will be providing funding of £500,000 per annum towards the cost of a Chief Digital Officer for Local Government (CDOLG) and a supporting Delivery Unit.
This will provide for a dedicated resource to identify, share, promote and champion a joined up approach to digital initiatives and their delivery across local government. Realising the potential that digital technology presents the potential to save money and provide better services.
The Chief Digital Officer will provide leadership for digital transformation in local government, build and grow on the good work that’s already underway, and support local government to build capacity and capability to take forward innovative technology and data-led approaches to service delivery and public engagement.
I see this firmly as a sector-led, and owned, approach which the Welsh Government is happy to be able to provide funding in support of. The Chief Digital Officer will be hosted by the Welsh Local Government Association and overseen by their Digital Advisory Group made up of WLGA Members, SOLACE, SOCITM, other professionals and stakeholders.
The funding will be for an initial period of 3 years to allow time for the CDOLG to be appointed, identify priorities and have time to make meaningful progress on them.
Securing an individual with the right skills, qualities, background and experience for the post is crucial and work is underway on the recruitment process. My expectation is that this process will be undertaken at pace to ensure that the CDO is in post by the start of the next financial year.
Alongside this I will be making over a million pounds available in the next financial year to support the digital transformation of local government in Wales, with a focus on encouraging and enabling collaboration.