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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 …
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TfL delays wave-and-pay tickets until 2013

Transport for London's (TfL's) plan to introduce contactless ticketing across the whole of its network is likely to happen in 2013, and will not be completed by the end of 2012 as previously announced by the authority. In October 2010, TfL said it wanted to introduce contactless technology across its transport network by the end …
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New Oyster online service goes live at TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has launched an online service for Oyster card holders, which allows them to look back over their journey history and fares paid. London's transport authority hopes that the online account will allow season ticket or pay-as-you-go users to easily check that they have been correctly charged for their …
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Scotland considers dishing out more iPads to schoolkids

The Scottish government has announced plans to "explore" the option of rolling out more mobile devices to education institutions in the country. Education Secretary Michael Russell revealed the plans on a visit to a primary school in Edinburgh, which is already using technology such as iPads. He said that the government will …
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Child support IT fail: Deadbeat mums 'n' dads off the hook

Problems with IT systems at the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) have left it unable to report payment arrears properly, the National Audit Office (NAO) has found. CMEC, which took over responsibility for statutory child maintenance schemes in November 2008, inherited two primary child support IT systems - the …
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IT bungle left dole office unable to check benefits for months

Late delivery of IT to support the Work Programme left it without a system to carry out automated checks on whether people - who had been placed into work by the programme's 18 prime contractors - had stopped claiming benefits. A report by the public accounts committee, which draws similar conclusions to a National Audit Office …
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West Midlands plods get mobile fingerprint tech

West Midlands police is to introduce fingerprint scanning devices, which allow officers to find out if a person is wanted by police or the courts. The force said it plans to roll out 70 hand-held MobileID devices following a successful pilot of the technology. The devices are satellite-linked to a national fingerprint database …
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HMRC's real-time PAYE pilot trousers 310 more employers

A further 310 employers have joined HMRC's pilot of Real Time Information (RTI) for PAYE (Pay As You Earn). The latest group of employers join 10 volunteer organisations which have been piloting the scheme since its launch last month. The tax authority said that more than 100,000 employee records have been successfully received …
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NHS rolls out open-source test results service for renal patients

Patients of 53 renal units across the UK are accessing results and clinical letters through a secure online system, often meaning they get the information faster than their GPs. Renal PatientView is used by 19,000 patients who have opted in to accessing their results online. The system also lets patients add their own data - …
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UK's big-spender councils shovel IT workers into a skip

A number of the UK's largest councils have significantly cut their IT workforce in recent years, according to local government figures. According to figures published in response to freedom of information requests by Guardian Government Computing by some of the highest spending local authorities on IT in the UK, several councils …
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NAO: 1 in 5 of Whitehall's mega projects at risk of failure

With nearly one in five major government projects in danger of failure, there are still significant gaps in how Whitehall oversees the delivery of such schemes, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). There are currently 205 major projects being undertaken across government, costing £376bn in total over their lifetimes, …
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Hampshire council throws BYOD party, hires extra security

Hampshire county council is to begin rolling out a bring your own device (BYOD) scheme later this year. The council has already begun trialling a programme of allowing staff to use personal devices for business tasks with a view to a wider implementation across the organisation in the autumn. The trial is investigating what …
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NHS trust goes 100% over IT budget in patient records rollout cockup

North Bristol NHS trust has confirmed it has overspent on its IT budget by almost 100 per cent in recent months as a consequence of the rollout of its Cerner electronic patient record (EPR) system. The trust has spent £4.5m implementing the Cerner system to date, the majority of which was spent during this January and February …
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Blackpool ICT boss: BYOD doesn't save money

Rolling out bring your own device (BYOD) policy is costing Blackpool Council more than it would to provide the mobiles itself, according to the local authority's head of ICT services. Councils considering implementing bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives should not think of them as a money-saving exercise, Tony Doyle, head …
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Online criminal records checks to save Surrey council £300k

Surrey county council has launched a new system to conduct Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks in an effort to cut costs and improve efficiency. The local authority said that the new system, which is being provided by technology firm Atlantic Data, will save up to £300,000 over three years and speed up CRB processes. Under the …
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Top UK.gov CIOs dealt string of pay cuts and freezes

A number of major Whitehall departments have slashed their CIO salaries since 2008, according to central government figures. The salary of the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) CIO, a job previously held by Joe Harley before his retirement at the end of March, was £265,000-£270,000 in 2008-09. By 2011, that figure had …
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NHS trust loses personal data of 600 maternity patients, kids

South London healthcare trust has admitted to losing two unencrypted memory sticks containing sensitive personal data about patients. The data breaches occurred in separate incidents. In the first breach, the device contained data relating to around 600 maternity patients, according to an undertaking signed by the trust with the …
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'Real time' PAYE pilot goes live at HMRC

HMRC has launched a pilot of Real Time Information (RTI) for PAYE. Under RTI, employers and pension providers will notify HMRC about PAYE payments at the time they are made, rather than solely at the end of the year. RTI will eventually support the operation of universal credit, the government's welfare programme that brings …
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UK.gov has shaved off 16% of IT staff in 4 years

The number of IT staff members working at four key Whitehall departments has fallen by 16 per cent in recent years. According to figures from the departments, total IT headcount at the four organisations has dropped from 3,552 in 2008-09 to 2,971 in 2011-12. The statistics were provided by the Ministry of Defence, the …
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Councils get online arsenal to battle billion-pound bloodsuckers

Local authorities will be able to use a set of online products to help them fight housing tenancy, council tax and blue badge parking frauds, under new government guidelines. The tools have been created as part of the "Fighting fraud locally" strategy. The strategy was the result of an eight-month review led by the National …
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TfL tosses another $33m at CSC

Transport for London (TfL) has extended its outsourcing agreement with CSC. The extension, worth $33m, adds 27 months to the length of the original contract. Under the agreement, CSC will continue to provide TfL with IT services such as service desk, desktop support and delivery of real-time customer information at a number of …
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Blighty slaps £100m spending cap on govt IT projects

The coalition's election pledge to cap IT contracts at £100m will become official policy from next month. A procurement policy notice released by the Cabinet Office sets 1 April as the deadline when the cap will come into force for central government departments, their agencies and non-departmental public bodies. The £100m …
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Bring-your-own-mobe pilot for BlackBerry-shunning council bods

Cambridgeshire county council is to launch a bring your own device (BYOD) pilot, which will allow 50 employees to access corporate resources on their own gadgets. The local authority has restricted the BYOD trial to Android and Apple products to give its staff an alternative to GCSx compliant BlackBerrys. According to the …
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Don't be alarmed - but 545,000 NHS patient files are going online

NHS Oxfordshire is to put the medical records of around 545,000 people online in an effort to give healthcare professionals faster access to patients' information. The Oxfordshire care records programme will be made up of two parts: the national summary care record (SCR) and the local Oxfordshire care summary. The cost of the …
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Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Hundreds of computer technicians in India are being hired to help develop an IT system for the government's universal credit welfare programme, work potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds, despite promises that large data projects would remain in the UK. Workers in Bangalore and Mumbai are being hired by the …
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London wage slaves face hour of Cloud discharge a day - official

Passengers travelling on London Overground are to get free internet access after the body that runs the train network, London Overground Rail Operations Limited, signed a deal with The Cloud to roll out Wi-Fi at its stations. The contract will give travellers one hour of free online access every day, at any station on the …