The Register Columnists

Kable

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

Network failure closed hospitals to ambulance admissions

University College London hospitals trust (UCLH) has launched an investigation after a network glitch led to the closure of A&E to blue light traffic. The problem also led to cancellations of operations. The trust was last month forced to halt a number of services, including the cancellation of 50 per cent of its operations, due …
Kable, 30 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Hansard to pulp paper processes

Parliament's official recorder is planning to leave the paper age by processing ministers' written answers electronically. In April Hansard will launch a Parliamentary Questions Project to process responses to written questions electronically, a spokesperson said. The project is part of the three-year parliamentary Procedural …
Kable, 31 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

DWP seeks data for identity verification service

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a tender worth up to £2m for the supply of biographical data to identity online benefit claimants. The chosen supplier will provide biographical data to supplement information already available to the department, according to a notice published in the Official Journal of the …
Kable, 28 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

ICO slaps NHSBT for wrong organ donor data

The Information Commissioner's Office has reprimanded NHS Blood and Transplant for wrongly recording organ donation preferences over a decade. The ICO said that in March 2010 NHSBT, which manages the Organ Donation Register (ODR), found irregularities between donation preferences stated on Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency ( …
Kable, 24 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Italian regulator asks for copyright reform after Google settlement

Italy's competition regulator has asked the Italian parliament to reform copyright law after accepting Google's settlement of a dispute with newspapers. It does not have the power to solve the problem of the exploitation of newspaper content, it said. The Italian Federation of Newspaper Editors had complained in 2009 that if …
Kable, 19 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

South Yorks police leads UK in use of ANPR cameras

Figures released by the government show large variations in the use of automatic numberplate recognition cameras by police forces. Home Office minister James Brokenshire released the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Brian Donohoe. The numbers show that 4,225 cameras were connected by police forces …
Kable, 19 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

No cuts made on UK police national database

The National Police Improvement Agency has branded reports of a £3.1m cut in the Police National Database as "inaccurate". The agency said that the figure was actually related to the removal of "a contingency" which it put in place to extend the life of the Impact Nominal Index. The index is an interim database that holds …
Kable, 18 Jan 2011
channel

DWP will make feuding parents pay

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that estranged parents using its statutory service for child maintenance will be subject to charges. The plan is included in a consultation document on the future of the system, which outlines the priorities for the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission as it replaces the …
Kable, 17 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Cuts 'could hit NHS patient record plans'

The British Medical Association believes cutbacks will hinder efforts to allow patients to access their records online. The professional association for doctors says that many NHS organisations do not have IT systems which would allow patients online access to their medical details, and that computing is one of the first areas …
Kable, 12 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Government joins European fingerprint database

The Home Office has opted in to the Eurodac fingerprint database, which collects the fingerprints of asylum seekers and some illegal entrants to the European Union. Immigration minister Damien Green said in a parliamentary written statement, published on 11 January, that the move will help member states determine who is …
Kable, 12 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Pickles throws down gauntlet on council data

Eric Pickles has told more than 200 "slow coach councils" that they must put spending data online or face the consequences. The local government secretary reminded them that they have until the end of January to publish data about spending of £500 or more. This includes publishing details of senior pay and councillor expenses, …
Kable, 06 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Called 999 recently? They've got your number

Millions of people who reported crimes have had their details stored on police databases. The revelation has emerged from information provided in response to a freedom of information request from the Press Association. It shows that police forces in England and Wales have kept data about people who call 999 or non-emergency …
Kable, 05 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Speed-cam stats to be published, indicates gov

The Department for Transport is proposing that councils and police will have to publish data about speed cameras. The data could include accident rates at speed camera sites, vehicle speeds and the numbers of drivers prosecuted or offered training after offences are recorded on camera. Road safety minister Mike Penning said …
Kable, 04 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Mind your own: Scotland unveils privacy principles

The Scottish Government has published new guidance on achieving privacy-friendly public services. The five principles should encourage good practice and ensure personal data is always handled with respect, according to the the Scottish Government. The principles have been devised by an expert group - including the Assistant …
Kable, 24 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

ICO waves stick at climate boffins over FoI compliance

The Information Commissioner's Office has made its first move to force a public sector organisation to improve its compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. It has required the University of East Anglia (UEA) to sign a commitment to further improve the way it responds to FoI requests. Until now, the ICO has only required …
Kable, 23 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

The bill abolishing the National Identity Scheme is expected to gain royal assent later today. The Home Office said that it expected the identity documents bill would be passed into law on 21 December. As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time. Home office minister Damian Green said the bill's …
Kable, 21 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Lock and load: Birmingham launches gunfire location IT

The Safer Birmingham Partnership has begun to use communications technology developed in the US to locate the source of gunfire in the city. Birmingham is the first UK city to install the Shotspotter Gunshot Location System. The technology can locate gunshot fire within a 25-metre radius from up to 2km (1.24 miles) away. It also …
Kable, 09 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Police back ends must be slimmed, says Home Sec

Home Secretary Theresa May has said that police forces need to ensure that they protect frontline staff by making cost savings on IT. May was responding to concerns raised by Labour MP Natascha Engel about budget cuts in Derbyshire and what impact they will have on rural communities. "We have been absolutely clear about the …
Kable, 07 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Airport face-scan gate unilaterally imprisons traveller

The watchdog for the UK Border Agency says that facial recognition checks at Manchester Airport are being undermined by unreliable IT. The independent chief inspector of the UK Border Agency found that during one week between 18 and 24 April 2010, the gates at Manchester airport's terminal 1 broke down five times. Four were due …
Kable, 01 Dec 2010
graph up

Poor IT contributes to DWP errors

The Department for Work and Pensions is hampered by out of date IT in tackling benefit fraud and error, says the National Audit Office. The spending watchdog's report on minimising the cost of administrative error in the benefit system, published on 25 November, says the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has 140 core …
Kable, 25 Nov 2010
For Sale sign detail

HMRC excise tracking to go online

HM Revenue and Customs is to switch from paper to a new online Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) in January. The department said the new system has been designed to reduce excise fraud. Before the paper system is halted on the 31 December, traders will be able to try out dispatching goods on EMCS. To use it, traders …
Kable, 24 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Government will shred ID card data

The IPS plans to order Thales and 3M SPSL to shred the hard disks and back-up tapes holding the personal information on the National Identity Register (NIR), according to a document released through Parliament's library. The document, CWIC-NIR destruction and equipment decommissioning, says that IPS will order shredding, …
Kable, 08 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

First data fines on the way, says ICO

The information commissioner will announce the first organisations to be fined for failing to protect data later this month. Christopher Graham said that the fines of up to £500,000 "give the ICO the teeth that many people in the past said it lacked". The ICO gained the ability to issue such penalties on 6 April, along with …
Kable, 04 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

DWP CTO predicts the end of Windows

The Department for Work and Pensions' chief technology officer has said that the latest version of Microsoft Windows may be the last to be widely deployed. James Gardner said that he believes that Windows will no longer be as largely needed because there will be "fewer workloads" that require a "heavy desktop stack". "Today of …
Kable, 03 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Info Commissioner admits 'It's going to be tough'

Information commissioner Christopher Graham says his organisation has sent out a 'shock wave' to improve FoI compliance. Admittedly the weather forecast is poor, but thunder, lightning and torrential rain accompanies GC's interview with the information commissioner at his Wilmslow offices. "Welcome to the north-west," says …
Kable, 02 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Scottish police IT sorely lacking, audit finds

Audit Scotland has said that the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) 'is not yet able to meet all its customers' ICT needs'. In a report published on 28 October, the official auditor says that the SPSA, which was established in 2007 to provide a range of support services to Scotland's police forces, needs to "engage more …
Kable, 01 Nov 2010
cloud

Gov consults on UK's corporate governance

The Government will investigate whether Britain's companies are being properly run or whether failures in the checks and balances at the top of firms is undermining the market for investment. Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable has launched a consultation into corporate governance and whether failures in that process are …
Kable, 28 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

DfT to install new motorway tech

The Department for Transport (DfT) is to start work on 24 road and public transport schemes, several including managed motorway and hard shoulder running projects. Under its plans, the department is to improve access to Sheffield by using managed motorways technology on the M1 in Derbyshire between junctions 28 and 31. Active …
Kable, 28 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

North Lincs pilots victimisation index

An electronic system to help people who are vulnerable to antisocial behaviour is being trialled in North Lincolnshire. The Victims and Vulnerable Persons Index (VVPI) was launched on 26 October as an early warning system about people at risk of systematic attack or abuse by neighbourhood gangs. The VVPI has been developed in …
Kable, 27 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

ICO concerned over interception modernisation programme

Information commissioner Christopher Graham has said that he is concerned about government plans to allow enhanced storage of people's internet data. Graham said his sceptical stance on the £2bn interception modernisation programme, which would allow the police and security services greater abilities to access the internet usage …
Kable, 25 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Socitm: IT crucial in coping with cuts

The public sector IT professionals' association (Socitm) has said the sharp cuts in public spending will give IT a stronger role in public services Socitm has released a statement following the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which cut central government funds by an average of 19 per cent and subsidies to …
Kable, 22 Oct 2010
channel

Gov depts to cut back office, IT spending

Several government departments will cut back office services and IT spending under chancellor George Osborne's comprehensive spending review. The departments for education, justice, international development, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office are to reduce their back office budgets as part of the government's plans to …
Kable, 20 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Staffs cops place ANPR alley on M6

One police force area in the west Midlands appears to make much greater use of motorway automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) than other constabularies. Police in Staffordshire appear to be using ANPR cameras in at least four locations on the 40-mile stretch of the M6 within the county. This compares to only three sets on the …
Kable, 15 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Basic security housekeeping vital, says GCHQ boss

GCHQ's director has said that 80 per cent of the government's cyber security vulnerabilities can be solved through good information assurance. Iain Lobban, the director of the signals intelligence and information security organisation, said if government departments observed basic network security disciplines, such as "keeping …
Kable, 13 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

ICO issues draft data-sharing code

The Information Commissioner's Office is to consult about a new code of practice for sharing personal data. The data protection watchdog is to invite views about the 40-page draft code, which aims to create a model of good practice for public, private and third sector organisations. Christopher Graham, the information …
Kable, 08 Oct 2010
cloud

Depts declare dumped IT deals

The Ministry of Defence is among departments which have revealed the cancellation of multimillion pound contracts. The ministry confirmed the cancellation of its £4.8m Land Information Architecture Office project as part of an ICT project review. In a parliamentary written answer, Peter Luff, the defence minister, also said …
Kable, 07 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Official exposes govt IT overlaps

A Cabinet Office official has said the moratorium on central government IT projects has revealed a number of overlapping projects across departments. Bernard Quinn, deputy director and channels lead for the digital delivery team at the Cabinet Office, said that as well as identical IT projects being carried out, marketing …
Kable, 06 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

UK to make FoI data machine readable

The government is to change the law so that all data released under the Freedom of Information Act will be fully accessible to computers. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude told the Conservative party conference in Birmingham that the Freedom of Information Act will be amended so that all data released through FoI must be in …
Kable, 04 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Miliband retains Labour line on DNA and CCTV

The new Labour leader has expressed support for DNA in policing and the role of CCTV, while criticising the party's 'casual' attitude towards civil liberties. Ed Miliband, giving his first speech to the Labour party conference on 28 September 2010, said of civil liberties, "too often we seemed casual about them. "I won't let …
Kable, 29 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

ICO lets police maintain ANPR location secrecy

The Information Commissioner's Office has decided against forcing police to disclose the locations of vehicle tracking cameras. The ICO said that Devon and Cornwall Police was correct in refusing to provide the locations of automatic numberplate recognition cameras (ANPR) that it ran in its area following a Freedom of …
Kable, 28 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

UK.gov digital engagement director to retire

The government's director for digital engagement will retire at the end of 2010 after less than two years in the role. Andrew Stott was appointed in May 2009 to take forward the Labour government's Power of Information agenda, and has been based in the Cabinet Office. During a civil service career spanning 34 years he was …
Kable, 23 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

DWP's Harley tops government CIO pay list

Nine government IT managers earn more than the prime minister, according to information released by the BBC. Joe Harley, IT director general and chief information officer (CIO) for the Department for Work and Pensions, and John Suffolk, Cabinet Office CIO, have average salaries of £262,500 and £207,499 respectively. They are …
Kable, 23 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Cabinet Office agrees GCSx local council access terms

The Cabinet Office has reached an agreement with local government organisations about security standards for connection to its GCSx network. The Society of IT Management (Socitm), which helped negotiate the terms, said that the agreement included cost reductions in connecting to the Government Secure Extranet (GCSx). It also …
Kable, 20 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

DoH shows millions splurged on marketing

Airwave, McKesson and CSC are among the top 10 suppliers to the Department of Health, according to data released to Kable. The department has become the latest to disclose spending with suppliers in the 2009-10 financial year, following Defra and Communities and Local Government. The DoH, which published the data on its 100 …
Kable, 17 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Capgemini signs MoU with Cabinet Office

A second major vendor has announced what it calls an "outstanding new agreement" with the government. Further to discussions with Cabinet Office minister and chair of the Efficiency and Reform Group Francis Maude about cost cutting, the company announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding. It said on 13 September …
Kable, 15 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

IBM sees £50m sliced from fingerprinting deal

Immigration Minister Damian Green has said the government will save £50m by renegotiating a contract previously linked to identity cards. The saving will be made by abandoning plans to store fingerprints from UK nationals on a database, a commitment made by the coalition parties within their initial plans for government. The …
Kable, 13 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Osborne plucks strange fruit from the loon tree

HM Treasury has said it will implement three ideas submitted by the public to its Spending Challenge website which include a government e-auction site. The selling of surplus and second hand government equipment will be increased by expanding use of the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) online eDisposals service to other departments, …
Kable, 10 Sep 2010
fingers pointing at man

BT takes 40% of CfH spending

Connecting for Health spent £470m with BT last year, more than twice as much as went to CSC. BT's dominance of health service IT has been revealed by government figures showing the firm received more than two-fifths of NHS Connecting for Health's 2009-10 £1.1bn supplier budget. The data, released by the Department of Health ( …
Kable, 08 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

DWP spent £1m on search engine 'biasing' in single year

The Department for Work and Pensions has spent more than £1.1m on search engine biasing over the last four years. In a parliamentary written answer, work and pensions minister Chris Grayling revealed that the highest recorded costs were for 2009-10, when his department spent £956,000 on search engine biasing. The figure for the …
Kable, 07 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

HMRC issues CD-rom alert to employers

HM Revenue and Customs has warned employers who use its Employer CD-rom to update it immediately to avoid miscalculations. The department said it is important for employers to carry out the free update as it will ensure that they have the most recent guidance and calculators. "I encourage all employers who use our CD-rom to …
Kable, 02 Sep 2010