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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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