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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 …
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 …
Kable, 01 Dec 2010
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Becta agrees £400m ICT framework

More than 20 suppliers have been included in a services framework agreement set up by the soon to be abolished education ICT agency. Becta has divided the framework into two lots. The first covers network technologies, which will incorporate infrastructure services and mobile connectivity services, and the second covers ICT …
Kable, 30 Nov 2010
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FCO spends £39m with HP

HP took nine per cent of the money spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with its 100 biggest suppliers in 2009-10. Figures released to Kable under Freedom of Information by the department show that the technology firm topped its supplier list, with Global Crossing coming third with £20m of spending in 2009-10. The …
Kable, 29 Nov 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The Department for Work and Pensions is hampered by out of date IT in tackling benefit fraud and error, says the National Audit Office.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
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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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Fujitsu in deal with Northern Ireland beaks

Fujitsu will provide a managed ICT and telecommunications service for the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service for the next five years. The services included in the contract, awarded by the Department of Finance and Personnel on behalf of the courts and tribunals service, are infrastructure and software support, …
Kable, 24 Nov 2010
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DfE spent £113.8m with Capita last year

Capita Business Services took 24 per cent of the money spent by the Department for Education in 2009-10 with its 100 largest suppliers. Figures released to Kable under Freedom of Information by the department show that the outsourcing company topped its supplier list, with Capgemini coming second with £33.9m of spending in …
Kable, 23 Nov 2010
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Maude: Gov contracts 'made my eyes water'

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said he was shocked by things he found when renegotiating government contracts over the summer. Speaking at the government's Open Data conference on 19 November 2010, he told the audience that in the past departments have signed inefficient deals because senior ministers "have not …
Kable, 19 Nov 2010
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DWP spreads IT spending around

Figures for May to September of this year appear to show the Department for Work and Pensions giving proportionately less work to its two largest suppliers. Spending data published by the government on 19 November shows it spent £224.3m with HP during the five month period, its main IT partner and second largest supplier of …
Kable, 19 Nov 2010
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Agreement paves way for PSN services

A Cabinet Office official has said there has been an agreement for some of the first services on the Public Sector Network (PSN). John Stubley, the PSN programme director, released a short statement on Twitter that IP services company Global Crossing has signed a deed of undertaking (DoU) to provide the first Government …
Kable, 11 Nov 2010
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HMRC spent £765m through Aspire last year

HM Revenue and Customs spent 44 per cent of its 2009-10 supplier budget through its IT outsourcing deal led by Capgemini. New figures released to Kable by the tax-collection agency through Freedom of Information show that its spending was dominated by two outsourced deals – Aspire for IT and Mapeley Steps. Mapeley Steps is a …
Kable, 09 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 …
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
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Maude put squeeze on suppliers, says Watmore

Cabinet office minister Francis Maude put pressure on suppliers who resisted initial efficiency negotiations, according to a senior civil servant. Ian Watmore, the chief operating officer of the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), addressed the House of Commons Public Administration Committee on the issue on 28 …
Kable, 02 Nov 2010
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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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IBM bags £15m borders deal

The Home Office has awarded a support deal to extend the use of its Semaphore border system, following the cancellation of the e-Borders contract. The government awarded the support deal to IBM without a competition, as it said that as the current supplier it is the "only possible provider" capable of keeping Semaphore in …
Kable, 29 Oct 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 …
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 …
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 …
Kable, 22 Oct 2010

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