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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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