Feeds

UK gov publishes IT action plan to back up previous IT plan

'From what to how'... Maude still plotting gov tech future

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Cabinet Office has published an action plan that details deadlines for when it hopes to implement the IT strategy it announced in March this year.

By the end of this month Francis Maude's department will release strategies for "End User Devices, Cloud, ICT Capability, and Greening Government ICT".

The minister said that the Cabinet Office could make a saving of more than £1bn by 2015 – with the help of suppliers and central government departments – if the deadlines are achieved.

However, the plan will not be made mandatory at a local government level, which arguably could prove a huge sticking point for civil servants who fail to adhere to the "joined-up IT" mantra or, to use the Cabinet Office's latest slogan, the "digital by default" agenda.

The Cabinet Office is, in the meantime, continuing to forge ahead with its plans to get more taxpayers accessing services online.

In June this year it hired Liam Maxwell as its Cabinet Office advisor on ICT futures. The department said he "has begun work to horizon scan and improve capability to identify risks and exploit new technologies".

We think this probably has something to do with social media. The Cabinet Office had this to say in a late draft of the plan, seen by The Register yesterday:

Social media and other online tools are used increasingly by citizens around the world to effect change. It is important that government harnesses these technologies to allow citizens to have increased dialogue and involvement with the development of policies and have greater visibility of the decision-making process.

As a first step, to facilitate a two-way dialogue with citizens, departments will ensure that a digital channel is included in all government consultations by December 2011.

However in the longer term, a more comprehensive approach to developing user-centric online policy engagement and consultation is required. This will be developed as part of the single government web domain programme."

The single government web domain is the project that started life as Alpha.gov, but has now morphed into a closed beta currently being tested by a team of developers based in the Directgov building in Lambeth, South London.

In August, Maude's department injected £1.6m into the project. Meanwhile, the next phase of the project – which also includes work on an ID Assurance system – won't be opened to the public until early next year.

Separately, the plan also reiterates much of what has been said already about open-source technology and the thorny issue of procurement of such products within government.

Among other things it repeated the "level playing field" rhetoric on OSS adopted first by New Labour and then by the ConDem Coalition in May 2010.

"To create a level playing field for the use of innovative ICT solutions, government will publish a toolkit for procurers on best practice for evaluating the use of open source solution," reads an entry explaining the progress of that particular strategy.

That's a fact now well-known among OSS vendors that feel stung by the Cabinet Office's response to their plea to help them win more government contracts.

But the meaningless phrase "innovative ICT solutions" arguably appears to offer even less certainty about where open-source tech fits into the future of government procurement. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?