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The National Computing Centre and the eGovernment Unit are launching a IT accreditation body to help public sector organisations comply with the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF).

e-GIF sets out the policies and standards for e-government and e-service development and delivery. All public sector systems used to deliver e-services must comply with the Framework.

The e-GIF Accreditation Authority is charged with setting universally recognised standards in technology consulting, to reduce risk to public sector IT projects.

Those on the register have been deemed capable of implementing the kind of complex, large scale IT projects that are common in the public sector - without the large scale cock-ups that tend to accompany them. Certification also requires that the people involved have the appropriate skills.

The organisation launched this week with 21 accredited members from both public and private sectors. A spokeswoman said the goal is to have a register of "a thousand or so suppliers and procurers". Public sector departments or contractors can qualify as suppliers, as well as those from the private sector.

e-GIF is partly funded with sponsorship from industry. Founding sponsors include Microsoft, Atos Origin, Logica, Thales, Northgate and Unisys.

An e-GIF FAQ is here

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