Monday, July 07, 2008

"Work in progress"

Back to the grindstone today, and awash with mail - mostly the inevitable flood of e-mails having been away for a week :-(

One piece of 'snail-mail' awaiting me, was the new-look "Edinburgh Council Services A-Z" ... I've no doubt that the new (smaller A5) format will grow on me, but its truncated size does surely mean it contains a lot less information than previously?

... one page that did catch my eye was the full A5 spread on 'Neighbourhood Partnerships', which boldly directs you to a new website for further information:

www.edinburghnp.org.uk

- as you'll see, if you follow the link above, Neighbourhood Partnerships (in more ways than one) are still "work in progress" :-((

Why members of the public couldn't just be re-directed here I don't know? ... most of the relevant information is all contained therein!

3 comments:

John Wallace said...

Ah, the problems when we get politicians and their officials involved in this newfangled interthingynet super highway.

To honestly ask punters to type in "http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/int
ernet/Council/Partnerships/Comm
unity_planning/CEC_neighbourhoo
d_teams_and_neighbourhood_partn
erships_" would be an extreme
stretch.

Why not just follow everyone else and have "www.edinburgh.gov.uk/neighbourhoodpartnerships/" Oh, I forgot - BT won't let the council, without some six figure service charge, do anything technical.

The people you should be digging at are the people who signed the contract with BT. I am reliably informed that more dirt re this contract will be surfacing real soon. (Labour administration signed the deal didn't they?)

It is always very kind of you to supply links into cpol. However, have you tried to search it? For example try the search term "andrew burns neighbourhood partnership" (without the quotes = because it doesn't understand them) and have a look at the results with both the checkbox checked and unchecked - useful?

To make matters worse try using the same search query on your council's website front page to get this result:

"Your search for andrew burns neighbourhood partnership yielded no results. Please try broadening your search or try help."

Finally try the same search on google.com - you will find that Google knows what information is on the council's website better than the council - around 60,400 hits - and if you do google.co.uk asking only for results in the UK you still get a handsome 13,000 results.

My oh my - bad news when the comment is longer than the post - sorrie.

Andrew said...

John

Lengthy 'relevant' comments I can live with ;-)

I do take your point about the current set-up ... I have lots of people complain to me about the CPOL search facility etc.

I wasn't suggesting that people be asked to type in that long address, simply pointing out that most NP information is already available on the Council site and it "shouldn't" be difficult to transfer it to a new address ...

Of course, any further information on the BT contract would be gratefully received:

andrew.burns@edinburgh.gov.uk

Andrew

John Wallace said...

NYS education dept noticed a couple of years ago that they were spending all this money on websites all around the state and it couldn't be accounted for. Their solution was to hire a team of consultants (at market rates) representing the state in all negotiations between vendors and in detailed specifying of requirements.

The consultants not only paid for their first year costs but managed to save a further $1.2m within 13 weeks. Included in those figures and timeframe was a web-based secure system that the consultants custom built to track all web projects throughout the state.

I believe the original white paper which led to the contract was initially offered to the Scottish Parliament a couple of years ago.

Maybe Edinburgh is in dire need of the same help.