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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 …
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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 …