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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 …
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Electronic patient records rollout cocks up hospital clinics

Electronic patient records system led to problems including wrong patient notes being supplied and incorrect clinic lists. The rollout of the Cerner Millenium electronic patient records system has led to a series of clinical incidents at North Bristol NHS trust. The trust began deploying Cerner in December 2011 as a replacement …
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NHS trust mops up after electronic patient records mess

Oxford University hospitals NHS trust is dealing with patient contact and data quality issues following a major project to implement Cerner Millennium. A roll-out of the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record (EPR) system caused delays in treating patients at Oxford University hospitals NHS, its board has found. There were …
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UK drivers' privates fondled overseas in new outsource plan

Transport for London (TfL) has proposed that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) vehicle keeper data - which includes names, addresses and registration plate numbers - should be accessed outside the UK by contractors working on the capital's congestion charge scheme. The congestion charge is run by IBM, which was …
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Met plod will use 1980s software to police Olympics

The Metropolitan Police Service will use software from the 1980s to coordinate the command and communications of its policing operations during the London Olympic Games. The software, known as MetOps, is installed in the force's special operations room (SOR), the central control room providing communications support during more …
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HMRC snatches back £200m in Aspire outsource rejig

HM Revenue and Customs will save more than £200m by 2017 after renegotiating its Aspire outsourcing contract with Capgemini, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. The Aspire deal covers IT services including desktops, laptops and a number of tax and credit systems such as online VAT filing. The contract, which is …
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NHS trusts beg IT suppliers to manage eHospital plan

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS foundation trust and Papworth Hospital NHS foundation trust are seeking suppliers to provide project management and IT consultancy services for the pair's eHospital programme. The programme, which aims to provide clinicians at the trusts with access to a single source of patient information, …
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ICT for Highlands and Islands fire and rescue 'inadequate'

Highlands and Islands fire and rescue service's ICT infrastructure is inadequate and requires significant investment to be effective, says an Audit Scotland report on behalf of the Accounts Commission. The fire service covers a predominantly rural area with many islands, rugged coastline and mountainous terrain. According to the …
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NHS claws back £1.8bn from IT project fiasco

The government has reached an agreement for a reduction in its contract with CSC, the largest supplier to the now-defunct National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The total saving for the Department of Health (DH) from NPfIT will now be approximately £1.8bn. Health secretary Andrew Lansley told an E-Health Insider event in London …
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HMRC cuts IT spending in half in 2 years

HMRC has reduced its spending on IT from £1.4bn to £700m in two years, according to Phil Pavitt, the organisation's chief information officer (CIO) and director of change. Pavitt told the public sector efficiency expo in London that HMRC that the cuts had not come at the expense of quality of service. "This year it was just …
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NHS strikes new deal with CSC for electronic patient records

CSC and the Department of Health look to have concluded negotiations around the future of its Lorenzo system in the NHS. A revised deal announced by CSC will see the US-based firm deliver additional implementations of the Lorenzo electronic patient records system beyond the 10 have already been rolled out, with "options for more …
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UK tax fraud IT project 'missed virtually every delivery date'

IT projects that formed part of Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) compliance and enforcement programme missed key delivery milestones and failed to bring the expected recovery of tax, according to a report by the National Audit Office. The compliance and enforcement programme was implemented between 2006 and 2011 with the aim of …
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Brits trapped in confusing council website labyrinths - survey

Too few council websites are sufficiently focused on the top tasks that are of most interest to their users, according to an annual report by Socitm. The IT trade body examined how easy it was to complete popular tasks, such as paying council tax or finding school term dates, on council websites, with only 5 per cent achieving …
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UK will share passenger data with US in Euro deal

The UK has opted in to the EU passenger name record (PNR) agreement with the United States, Home Office minister Damien Green has confirmed. "The UK, in common with many other EU member states and third countries, places considerable value on the collection and analysis of PNR data (that data collected by carriers in the …
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Risky child-support plans rely too much on new IT system – NAO

Plans by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to cut spending are risky and rely too much on the introduction of a new IT system, according to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO). The commission has committed to cutting its budget to £428m in 2014-15 – although this is £44m higher than than its original …
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UK.gov to double number of biometric chips for immigrants

The government is to double the number of people required to have a biometric residence permit (BRP) to stay in the UK, raising the number to 400,000 a year. The system is being expanded to include refugees and those given the right to live in the UK permanently. It will mean that all non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals …
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Report: Most council workers granted access to Facebook, Twitter

Most councils allow employees to access social media. This is compared with only one-third of them allowing it two years ago, research by Socitm indicates. All employees potentially have access to Twitter in 44 per cent of councils and only some employees in 54 per cent of councils, with only 2 per cent offering no access, …
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Councils spunk £515m in 4 years on CCTV

UK local authorities spent a total of £515m installing, operating and maintaining CCTV between 2007-11, according to the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch. It has released figures obtained from freedom of information (FoI) requests showing that Birmingham was the highest spender on CCTV with more than £14m, while …
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British Medical Association calls for long, slow rollout of NHS 111

The British Medical Association (BMA) has written to health secretary Andrew Lansley over concerns about the implementation of the NHS 111 24-hour non-emergency phone service. The letter, written by Dr Laurence Buckman, chair of the BMA's GPs committee, expresses "serious misgivings" about the roll out of the NHS 111 service. " …

70 London 999 calls lost due to clock-change IT glitch

The London Ambulance Service trust has confirmed that more than 70 emergency calls were not visible to staff due to a technical fault caused by a switch from British Summer Time last year. A control room IT glitch led to the loss of the calls in October last year, the service said. According to an article in the Health Service …
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Sensitive council data sent to hundreds via PERSONAL EMAIL

Cheshire East council has been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for failing to have adequate security measures in place when emailing personal information. The ICO said the serious breach of the Data Protection Act occurred in May 2011, when a council employee was asked to contact the local voluntary …