Highland Council launches customer service portal
Highland Council has introduced a new customer service portal as part of ongoing efforts to encourage people to use online services.
The council, which covers the largest geographical area of any local authority in the UK, is aiming for at least 40 per cent of its transactions with citizens to be carried out online inside the next two years.
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase online engagement, the new website portal is designed to improve performance on mobile devices.
The service uses a platform provided by local government software specialist Firmstep procured through the G-Cloud framework, while the portal has been integrated with Scotland's Improvement Service's myaccount sign-in mechanism.
This will give local authority residents secure access to all online public services through just one account.
Speaking to Holyrood, David Moreton, the council’s Digital First Programme Manager, said: “The customer portal will hopefully provide real benefits to the customer which will encourage more people to use our online services.
“Customers had previously reported issues to us with our old forms package like the inability to save forms for completion later, which had dissuaded them from using them as some forms might take up to an hour to complete.”
In addition to the customer process redesign work, Moreton revealed the council had 37 new processes currently under development that will increase the number of services available online to the public.
“We are also looking at a project to replace our current online payments with forms which can link to the myaccount portal to address accessibility issues and provide enhanced functionality with regard to pre-population of fields and a project to provide online access to customer accounts, such as Council Tax," he said.