Feeds

Gov coughs extra £81m for firefighter command & control

'Need is as great as it was before the huge cockup'

Top three mobile application threats

The government has said it is to invest £81m in fire and rescue authorities in England to "improve the resilience, efficiency and technology in their control services" following a damning report into FiReControl by the National Audit office.

In a written ministerial statement published on 5 July, fire minister Robert Neill announced plans to provide up to £1.8m for each fire authority. Services will be asked to submit their plans by 4 November and these plans will be assessed on value for money and resilience improvements, Neill said.

A further £1.8m will also be made available to the sector as a whole for initiatives that the government believes are likely to deliver co-ordination and resilience improvements across fire and rescue services, such as the development of common technical and procedural standards.

"The great majority of those responding to the consultation believed that improved resilience and efficiency, and the enhanced technology needed to support these were as important today as when FiReControl began in 2004," he said.

"Most responding also agreed with the government's preferred approach of achieving these objectives now through encouraging increased collaboration in a locally determined manner with some government support."

Neill's statement was accompanied by the publication by Communities and Local Government (CLG) of the responses to the consultation on fire and rescue services. Its concluding section says the funding should be sufficient to meet the local costs of improving data capabilities, making use of facilities such as the Firelink radio system.

It adds that the department will not monitor individual local projects, but will need to assure resilience outcomes. CLG is beginning work on a new Fire and Rescue Service National Framework, which will define national and local resilience roles and look at interoperability between services.

The project to build an IT system for regional fire control centres was labelled a "comprehensive failure" by the government auditor in a report published last week.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the Local Government Association's fire services management committee, expressed support for the government's position. "Fire and rescue services devoted a lot of resources working with government on FiReControl," he said. "Although there remained fundamental problems with the infrastructure of the project, there are elements which are of value to the service. In the interests of the taxpayer it's vital these investments are not wasted and authorities can now consider how the equipment can best be used."

He added: "This £81m should go a long way to ensuring authorities can build resilience by putting together alternative upgrades, and it's cash which will stretch even further where they combine efforts to find savings."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.