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SOCITM - Better Connected

SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Managers) have since 1999 evaluated every single local authority's website on an annual basis to ensure their websites meet certain criteria.

The sites are checked each year for 5 or 6 different tasks (and these change each year) for how easy it is to find and complete the task, some recent tasks for example have been:

  • Order a Bulky Waste Collection
  • Apply for Building Control
  • Apply for Single Person Discount
  • Object to a planning application
  • Pay Council Tax
  • Register a food business
  • Report a missed refuse collection

The website is also checked for functionality on a mobile device and some of the above task checks are only undertaken on a mobile device.

Each of the tasks will have 10 or more individual questions about the task e.g. for "Order a Bulky Waste Collection" the checks included:

  • Does a Google Search lead me to the task?
  • Am I told how many items can be collected for a single payment / booking?
  • Am I told how far in advance I should book the collection?
  • Can I book the collection online?
  • Does the home page link me directly to the task?

The above are all Yes / No questions so the SOCITM reviewer will also make comments on how well the task was completed and may even suggest that this is a good example for other authorities to follow.

The SOCITM reviewer will also check how well the Navigation of the site works, does the search engine return the searched for items at the top of the list of results.

Based on the checks undertaken each authority is given a score of 1 to 4 stars based on the criteria for that year.

The checks are undertaken usually between November and February with the report being issued in June.

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