In Norway, as part of a wider drive to improve public services and increase cost-efficiency, some of the country’s 400+ local and regional authorities are merging to create fewer, stronger bodies.
The IT implications of these mergers are complex. Public services are highly dependent on the availability of local IT systems, access to the right data at the right time and well-functioning integration with national IT systems. So the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) asked us to develop guidance to help their members merge digital services, systems and infrastructure with more confidence.
Drawing on our network of local government contacts across the Nordics, our digital experts consulted authorities that had already merged to understand more about the challenges. That meant we could develop a range of practical resources for authorities about to embark on their own mergers. These include a best-practice process for mergers, with detailed activity plans. And there are draft digitalisation blueprints for education, healthcare and planning services as well as guidelines and toolkits to guide the consolidation of IT systems and data migration.
We also developed advice for national authorities on how to handle the integration of national and local IT systems, and how to provide effective support.
For local and regional authorities undergoing a merger, our work provides a clear view of the challenges that lie ahead, helping them plan more effectively for a smooth transition. It’s a vital first step in establishing the robust, integrated IT systems needed to deliver modern, high-quality public services.