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EU ponders £30bn BAE-EADS mega aerospace-military borg

Questions remain over the likely outcome of a proposed £30bn merger between BAE Systems and EADS which would create the world's second-biggest aerospace and defence company. Securing government approval for the deal from the French, German and British governments is considered to be pivotal to the merger going ahead. While …
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Leeds' amazing cash-slash plan: BYOD and that cloud thing

Leeds City Council's ICT department is stepping up its efforts to help save the council money in the medium to long term. This will include the introduction of new IT asset management software and potential further development of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) options for employees and council members. A series of decisions are …
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G-Cloud: Please excuse our 'overlapping' frameworks

The G-Cloud team says that in a move away from traditional frameworks, it is setting up "multiple overlapping frameworks" which it says are each compliant with the Official Journal of the European Union process. A blog post on the G-Cloud website explains that bidding for G-Cloud contracts can become "unusual" – and that once …
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Surrey council plans to SAVE money by switching to BT

Surrey county council has said that its Public Services Network (PSN) contract with BT will save more than £5m on its current networking arrangements. According to the council, the seven-year contract will replace up to 40 separate networks in Surrey and Berkshire with a single PSN. It expects savings of up to 20 per cent on …
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NHS eye hospital embiggens in-house open source system

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has said that it has added three new modules for prescribing, operations notes and correspondence to OpenEyes, its open source e-patient record system. OpenEyes was developed by an in-house team, led by consultant surgeon and former medical director at Moorfields, Bill Aylward. He …
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Online dole queue tech 'not grounded in reality', say councils

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) needs to revise its 'agile' approach to developing ICT systems for universal credit to avoid additional costs, the Local Government Association (LGA) says. In written evidence (PDF) to Parliament's work and pensions committee, the councils' body says that if the plans for the new single …
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Gov IT bods must shield their budgets from gov's knife – Socitm

A report from the public sector IT directors' group Socitm has identified four ongoing priorities for ICT managers in the wake of continuing austerity. The priorities are: protecting ICT budget share by promoting the role and achievements ICT functions; focusing on reducing total costs of ownership; reviewing insourcing versus …
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Pasty munchers scoff at £300m council deal with comms kingpins

Cornwall Council says it remains committed to a £300m strategic partnership proposal with either BT or CSC that it insists will help it protect frontline services and reduce costs by at least £5m a year. It follows a council debate earlier this week at which the partnership plans were criticised by elected councillors. Now, the …
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Health Dept teases suppliers with mega NHS systems cash windfall

The Department of Health has issued a pre-tender for a framework agreement contract to provide an electronic staff record system and pension scheme administration services. Suppliers will be bidding for a lucrative contract beginning in 2014. A notice in the Official Journal of the European Union indicates that there will be a …
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New crime-busting Sherlock Holmes app sought for Brit cops

The Home Office has indicated it plans to tender for a replacement for the Holmes 2 crime investigation system used by police forces. The Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, which is considered to be critical to UK policing, is the subject of an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice in which the Home Office is …
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Auditor: You know what Scotland needs? Proper IT experts

Audit Scotland is calling on the Scottish government to consider providing a central resource of specialised ICT expertise and advice for public bodies. In a report on delays and cost overruns in three public sector ICT projects, the auditor urged the government to conduct a strategic review of current ICT skills within …
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New NHS chieftains put docs' software bill on their tab

The NHS Commissioning Board will continue to pump cash into the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) scheme, which funds approved clinical software for doctors - adding to the list of erstwhile National Programme for IT projects that it will maintain centrally. The board, which will take responsibility for running the NHS in England …
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Police beg for e-forensics team to probe crims' iPads, mobiles

The National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) said it wants an e-forensics project, aimed at speeding up the examination of ICT used by criminals, to be available to all forces from September. Over the past seven years, the number of electronic devices examined by technology experts in police force hi-tech crime units (HTCUs) …
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ICO to probe Essex council over data leak

The Information Commissioner's Office is making enquiries into a leak of data possibly involving the details up to 400 users of services provided by Essex county council. The council said that all affected residents had been informed. It has not yet been confirmed that the leak amounts to an offence under the Data Protection Act …
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City strokes modest firms, promises to spend a few million on IT

Bristol City Council has announced changes to its ICT strategy aimed at ensuring that within the next three years 25 per cent of its annual technology budget will be spent with local SMEs. The council is planning a "more flexible approach" towards the procurement of ICT goods and services on which it spends about £25m each year …
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North Tyneside: Mega-outsourcing deal will SAVE jobs

North Tyneside council is to outsource all its ICT services, along with finance, procurement, revenues and benefits, customer services and human resources to mega-services provider Balfour Beatty. The company has been named preferred bidder for a contract which is intended to help the north east council to cut its costs. North …
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Cars, lorries stalked via GPS to create live traffic super-map

The Highways Agency is trialling combining GPS tracking with data from its existing sources to provide real-time information to drivers on a 'beta' version of its traffic information map for drivers in England. A spokesman for the agency told Government Computing that by adding GPS data to that from its existing sources - …

London Fire Brigade: This time we'll send the NEAREST fire truck

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has signed a £19.6m control room contract intended to deliver improvements including better call identification and data sharing with other emergency services. A replacement for the LFB's existing control centre IT contract with Motorola, which expires in 2014, was due to have been delivered through …
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Lincolnshire dangles ICT cash carrot over hungry suppliers

Lincolnshire county council is to launch a procurement exercise later this year to investigate the provision of various support services, including ICT systems. A pre-tender document issued by the council says the estimated value of the deal is between £100m and £150m over five years. The contract – or contracts - which will …
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London NHS trusts: Let's BORG up our patient data

Three NHS foundation trusts have published proposals (PDF) to merge into a single organisation, with intentions including making better use of IT and creating shared platforms, such as a shared electronic patient record. In their strategic outline case, the three trusts - Guy's and St Thomas', King's College hospital, and South …
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Cameron: We'll turn NHS patients into real-time drugs lab rats

Prime minister David Cameron said his government is launching a consultation on changing the NHS constitution so that the "default setting" is for patients' data to be used for research unless the patient opts out. In a speech to the Global Health Policy Summit in London, he said that the UK is going to be the "world leader" in …
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NHS trust: Not buying through NHS IT saved us £7m

A direct tender has enabled Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS foundation trust to purchase a patient records system at a cost more than £7m below the price paid by the Department of Health (DH). "We set a capped limit for cost and we introduced this rate at the start of the project," Jane Berenzynskyj, Caerus project manager, …
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Jobless yoofs! Get on your bike, er, mobe, and look for work

Reading Borough Council is to develop an app to help young people find jobs. The authority's plan is part of its "from handset to mindset" project that aims to address the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) issue across Reading and West Berkshire. By developing the app, with the benefit of £125,000 of funding from …
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6 London boroughs haul all their kit to 1 Oracle biz product

Six London boroughs intend to generate £6m savings from a plan to implement the same version of Oracle's E-Business Suite. The boroughs - Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Havering and Croydon - will implement Oracle EBS Release 12 as part of a plan to support the introduction of HR, finance, payroll, pensions and …
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Blighty's coolest mapper will flog its stuff to global buyers

Ordnance Survey (OS) is launching an international service intended to make its expertise about data collection and maintenance, product development and geospatial data management available to overseas governments. To be known as Ordnance Survey International, the new organisation will be launched in September. It will be headed …
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London CGI firm scores DON'T-HIT-the-PEDESTRIAN test contract

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has awarded animation firm Jelly a contract for CGI technology. DSA said it met with the SME last October to identify new technologies that could be used to refresh its hazard perception test. The agency started a formal procurement process in January and two early examples of CGI clips were …
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ICO power to stop FOI dodgers 'some way off'

Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has said that implementation of the justice committee's recommendation for his office to have more time to prosecute people who destroy data requested under freedom of information (FOI) is "still some way off". Although it is an offence to destroy information so as to avoid …
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Capita and pals get £500m for ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE call centre

The Department of Health (DH) has awarded a framework agreement to four suppliers for health-related managed contact centre services, worth up to £500m. Capita Customer Management, 118, Vangent and MM Teleperformance have been named as the chosen suppliers. According to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, the …
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UK Border Agency to create 'national allegations database'

The home affairs committee has welcomed plans by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to create a National Allegations Database to manage information provided by the public on possible immigration violations. In a report (PDF) on the UKBA's work between December 2011 and March 2012, the committee says that overall, only 4 per cent of the …

Capita inks another local council deal, pockets £154m

West Sussex County council has awarded Capita a 10-year deal for the outsourcing of various support services, including telecommunications and pension fund administration, worth £154m. According to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, Capita, which was named as the council's preferred bidder last month, will …
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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 …