Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of understanding the mutually constitutive relationships between the provider (suppliers of information communication technologies (ICTs)) and user (service departments of ICTs) groups in UK local authorities in order to see the changing work patterns of public sector employees during the modernization process. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the literature on the use of the ICTs in local authorities, as well as related literature on user-provider relationship. Empirical research is gathered from a survey of 22 UK local authorities and five in-depth case studies. Findings – The framework shows how the use of ICTs changes the way public sector employee’s work, especially when dealing with the Modernization Agenda. The framework highlights that the use of technology alters the roles of user and provider groups, in particular, their sanctioning behaviour, use of resources and barriers they face in their work routines. Practical implications – The findings should be of value to policy makers who need to understand the changing work patterns in local authorities in order to plan new ways of public service delivery. Originality/value – The paper illuminates the impact of the use of ICTs on the way different groups of employees work and interact with each other everyday during the time of public sector reform in UK local authorities.