Here we share additional documentation. If you’d like the team to add something to this section please get in touch.

IMS Memorandum of Understanding

The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to guide and support councils that co-develop, share, and maintain the open source codebase for the Local Gov Income Management System (IMS).

Wherever possible we will re-use existing knowledge and solutions.


The project team are committed to the principles of the Local Digital Declaration including:

  • An open culture that values, encourages and expects digital ways of working from contributors
  • Working in the open
  • Sharing our plans and experience
  • Working collaboratively with other councils
  • Developing and reusing good practice
  • Publishing our work under open source licences

We agree to maintain a common codebase which means all improvements will be available to all councils.

We aim to create a diverse community and will value everyone’s voices.

We want as many councils as possible to benefit from this project. We welcome contributions from anyone interested in our work which helps to build on the strength of open source communities both in the UK and beyond.

We take our inspiration from other code sharing organisations and initiatives and recognise we are part of a wider international movement and community.

Intellectual property and licensing

Code and other materials will be automatically licensed to participants on an agreed open source licence (see “Code Licences” below).

As an example: a developer in a council develops some code. That council retains the intellectual property of the code. At the point of publishing the code, it is licensed under the appropriate licence for others to use.

Code licences

Local Gov IMS is released under the GNU AGPLv3 (or later version). Code repositories and testing infrastructure will be hosted on platforms that support open source projects for free (like Gitlab and Github).

Documentation licences

Documentation and other materials will be shared publicly and published under Creative Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 CC-BY) or GNU AGPLv3 (or later version).


No party has liability for any contribution. Code and other materials are provided without any warranty or support or other liabilities. Other collaborators must be told about bugs and security issues in a private and secure manner and according to good practice.

Parties involved in the IMS project

For now, there are three main parties involved in the IMS work

  • Project team
  • IMS users
  • Wider community

The structure will evolve as the project grows.

Project team

The project team is made up of partner councils, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) and dxw. The team represents Local Gov IMS as a collective and guides the direction of the IMS.

The project team is responsible for:

  • Governance
  • Beta development of the IMS
  • Technical direction and architecture
  • Development processes and coding standards
  • Git repository hosting
  • Security review and maintenance
  • Maintaining the list of collaborators and committers
  • Onboarding and offboarding councils

Wider IMS community

This wider group represents councils who have an interest in the IMS and want to be informed about its availability and development progress. These councils may or may not be using the IMS.

IMS users

Councils using the IMS. We expect IMS users are also part of the community.

Joining and leaving

Councils can leave at any time without notice, but all parties may have access to the common codebase in the repository on the basis of the open source licence.


The Local Gov IMS is solely funded by the Local Digital Fund kindly provided by DLUHC. The codebase will always remain open source, and free for anyone to download and use.


All functionality should adhere to WCAG 2.1 AA at a minimum.

All councils must acknowledge that administering, contributing, and becoming involved in the project will involve the processing of personal data. You must agree to comply with all relevant legislation and to establish appropriate practices and procedures.

Any code that is developed as part of this project will follow the principles of data protection by design and default.


The project team is responsible for governance processes, whilst the IMS is in beta. As the project develops, governance structures will evolve. We’ll update the community and users when there are changes to governance.


We work in the open which means that information is publically accessible.For example, pull requests and the product roadmap are all available publically.

The project team works in the open to help promote it and for wider recognition among councils and the public. We also try to have regular informal gatherings.