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UK.gov: Real time PAYE and new benefits systems WILL work

HMRC's real time information (RTI) project is "very much on track" to being a "successful government IT project", and universal credit is on time and on budget, exchequer secretary to the treasury David Gauke and welfare reform minister Lord Freud have said. The ministers' comments follow a recent report by the All-Party …
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We'll punish crims faster... with lots of shiny new tech - minister

Effective use of technology will be at the heart of the criminal justice system, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has promised. In a white paper, Swift and Sure Justice: the Government's plans for reform of the Criminal Justice System, the government says exploiting its investments in technology will help improve service delivery, …
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London's Lambeth council vows: We'll share ALL the data we have

Lambeth council has announced plans to publish all the information it holds online for residents to use. The local authority said it intends to go one step further than simply publishing spending above £500, as all councils in England and Wales have been asked to do by central government, and will release information such as all …
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ICO: Nearly HALF all FOI complaints are about local councils

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received 1,922 freedom of information complaints about local authorities in 2011-12, accounting for 43 per cent of the total number of complaints, according to the watchdog's latest annual report. The document says that of the 4,633 freedom of information complaints during the year, …
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Cerner questions Epic win for Cambridge patient records

Patient record supplier Cerner has written to Cambridge University Hospitals foundation trust over its recent award of a major software tender to Epic, Government Computing understands. The letter, understood to be from Cerner's European managing director Alan Fowles to the trust's interim chief executive Dr Karen Castille, …
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UK's chief procurement officer quits for COO post at recruitment firm

The government's chief procurement officer John Collington has resigned to leave for a post in the private sector. Collington is leaving to become chief operating officer of Alexander Mann Solutions, a UK-based specialist in global recruitment process outsourcing. His successor will be named in due course, the Cabinet Office …
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NHS trust spunks £67m on e-patient records, Twitter, Facebook

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust is planning to invest £67m in an information management and technology (IM&T) strategy over the next five years. A spokeswoman for the trust told Guardian Government Computing that the board in approving the plan noted "that where capital funding is required to progress the workstreams, …
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Sussex bobbies get undisclosed tablets in networked-copper trials

Sussex Police is to issue neighbourhood officers with tablet devices on a trial basis from 2 July, as part of a mobile policing project. A spokesman for the force, which has to cut its budget by £50m and officers by 400 by 2015, told Guardian Government Computing that 10 devices would be issued to officers in its Lewes District …
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Teleconferencing 'shifts hundreds of NHS bed-blockers out the door'

The Whittington hospital NHS trust is speeding its discharge rates and saving about £150,000 a year by using teleconferencing, according to Jar O'Brien, team leader for Islington's community rehabilitation services. He said the system, a hosted audio-conferencing service supplied by BT, costs £6,000 a year to run. O'Brien said …
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Gov ICT strategy for system upgrades needs a system upgrade

The Institute for Government (IfG) has urged the government to "broaden out" its ICT strategy to demonstrate more clearly how to turn the strategy from a collection of technical strands into a "clear articulation of how it will help citizens". In a report, "System upgrade? The first year of the government's ICT strategy", the …
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Cabinet Office pilots sales website for small IT suppliers

The Cabinet Office is piloting a website intended to be an "interactive forum" to help small businesses communicate with government and find out about ways to sell to the public sector. Known as Solutions Exchange, the website has been divided into two sections. The first, 'challenges', focuses on emerging opportunities to work …
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New body to supervise as your NHS file includes more and more stuff

The Department of Health is setting up a new organisation to oversee the scope of the clinical content in the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR). An SCR is an electronic patient record that sums up all of the data collected in the course of all an individual's treatments by the NHS. The new body will be known as the Summary Care …
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Serco ate our IT supplier: Now what? – London boroughs

IT services relationships at the London tri-borough group of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea are likely to become more complex following the acquisition of Westminster's IT supplier Vertex by Serco. Serco said the acquisition last week, for £55m, brings it additional skills and capabilities to …
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Whitehall goes to White House for advice on 'ID assurance' plans

The Cabinet Office is to join the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a US-based non-profit providing "certification trust frameworks for open identity technologies", to help with the development of its identity assurance programme. The Cabinet Office's identity assurance team recently visited the White House, where it met up with OIX …
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Cabinet Office promises to challenge 'culture of secrecy' on IT projects

The Cabinet Office has insisted that it will publish details of the progress of major government IT projects, despite fears that government promises of transparency were in danger of being watered down in the face of departmental opposition. Reports earlier this week suggested that although the Cabinet Office has won plaudits …
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G-Cloud boss hopes sexy cloud expos will warm up gov bods

The G-Cloud programme is being developed to help the wider public sector transition to cloud services, according to Denise McDonagh. In an interview with Guardian Government Computing, the director of the G-Cloud programme said that she is currently focusing on the "propagation" of the G-Cloud. "Propagation for me is about how …
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Foreign Office commercial chief: Suppliers, don't be liars

The commercial director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has argued that if the government is to achieve its goal of procurements taking 120 days, both Whitehall and suppliers have to understand what they are procuring and the risks associated with it. Ann Pedder told the Intellect World Class Public Services conference in …
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Hardy handymen handed handy hardened handheld hardware

Fife council has pushed ahead with its mobile working plans by issuing building services staff with Motorola-built handheld devices to receive job instructions. A number of frontline staff have been using mobile phones to receive information for carrying out scheduled repairs and maintenance in council homes and non-domestic …
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Gov exposes 8,000 GPs so punters can pick one

Data on more than 8,000 GP practices in England has been published in an effort to help patients choose the best GP surgery and to drive up standards. The Department of Health will use the information to measure patient experience for each surgery based on areas such as: How convenient it is to get an appointment. The length …
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Gov not using 6 MILLION of its software licences

The government's recent end of first year ICT strategy report revealed that in the 12 months from April 2011 to April 2012, the total number of software licences held in the government's assets and services register was 18.4 million. But the total number used was around 12 million, suggesting that 6 million software licences are …
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Council builds £2.8m shared database of vulnerable kids

Derbyshire county council has announced plans to improve outcomes and reduce costs by installing a new £2.8m single database. The system will allow a range of partner agencies, including the police, NHS and schools to share information on children and young adults at risk. Derbyshire, which employs 16,675 employees, currently …
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Department of Health tests online NHS 111 helpline

The Department of Health is trialling an NHS 111 online service as part of a plan to provide a service to complement locally driven telephone services. The department plans to have rolled out the 111 helpline by April 2013. It is supposed to replace NHS Direct as the first port of call for patients with urgent, but not life- …
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Most of Home Office's savings scored from haggling over ICT deals

The majority of procurement cost savings in the Home Office for the third quarter of 2011-12 came from ICT, according to its permanent secretary Dame Helen Ghosh. According to a report by the Home Affairs committee, Ghosh said that the £24.2m came in particular from the purchase of hardware, software and ongoing support. The …
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Dole office to roll out digital benefits to north-west – 6 months early

The government has announced plans to launch universal credit six months ahead of the national rollout in October 2013. The scheme will go live in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire region in April 2013. The Department for Work and Pensions said that the early rollout of its new benefit system is expected to see up to 1,500 new …
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NHS axes HealthSpace: 'Just too difficult' to use

The Department of Health has confirmed that HealthSpace, NHS patients' personal health records organiser, will close by March 2013. It follows a speech this week by Dr Charles Gutteridge, national clinical director for informatics at the Department of Health, at the Westminister Health Forum in London. Gutteridge said in the …