The Register Columnists


Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

Connecting for Health suppliers told to get busy

The Department of Health's director general for informatics has told CfH suppliers to deliver 'significant progress' by November, and is opening the market for southern hospitals. "We will be working closely with the NHS and our current suppliers to improve the pace of delivery," said Christine Connelly, who has just completed a …
Kablenet, 28 Apr 2009

PAC slams government's 'cosy' relationship with IT suppliers

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee has said that Whitehall departments are not routinely checking value for money and applying financial penalties for poor performance. In a report on central government's management of service contracts, the committee says that although most departments monitor the performance of IT …
Kablenet, 28 Apr 2009
fingers pointing at man

Crunch will fuel outsourcing

Local government expert Tony Travers has predicted that the recession will lead to much more outsourcing, in some cases involving all services provided by organisations. "There will be a major move to outsource services to save money," the director of the LSE London research centre told the Society of IT Management's national …
Kablenet, 24 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

GPS, swipe cards to monitor Welsh school kids

Councils in North Wales are equipping school buses with GPS and swipe card technology to help monitor attendance and antisocial behaviour. A trial of the Star smart card scheme will be launched in May with the aim of improving the behaviour of pupils on schools' transport. Children will swipe a smart card as they get onto the …
Kablenet, 23 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

ICO rules against British Council

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found the British Council in breach of the Data Protection Act after the loss of an unencrypted computer disc Details lost include sensitive personal information relating to trade union membership of over 2,000 members of staff. The British Council reported the data breach to the …
Kablenet, 20 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Criminal Records Bureau launches e-disclosure service

The Criminal Records Bureau has introduced an e-application system to enable organisations to apply for bulk criminal records checks The electronic application system, known as e-Bulk, will enable those who make more than 3,000 checks a year to make multiple applications and receive the results online. Each year the CRB …
Kablenet, 18 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Traffic info goes mobile

The Highways Agency has launched a service to provide traffic information from its website to mobile phones and other portable devices It has highlighted the service in advance of the Easter holiday, claiming it will make it easier for people to plan their journeys. The service presents the information in a simple text based …
Kablenet, 09 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

UKBA to exchange fingerprints with US

The UK Border Agency plans to start exchanging fingerprint data with the US, Canada and Australia in the near future The organisation, which gained full executive agency status on 1 April 2009, says in a business plan issued on the same day that that it plans to work with the USA, Canada and Australia to "introduce a system of …
Kablenet, 03 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

BT gets 8 NHS trusts in south

NHS Connecting for Health has agreed that BT will take responsibility for the Cerner Millennium installations at eight acute trusts in the south of England. The NHS National Programme for IT has lacked a local service provider in the south of England since CfH fired Fujitsu in May 2008. "NHS Connecting for Health can confirm …
Kablenet, 03 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Foreign and Commonwealth Office plans biometrics bonanza

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office plans to buy biometric systems for security use in British embassies. FCO Services, the department's internal system integrator, plans to spend around £15m over three years on a new framework agreement for biometric software, algorithms and hardware, according to a notice published on 31 March …
Kablenet, 02 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

DNA database grows faster than forecast

Over 5m profiles are now on the national DNA database, significantly above the level forecast two years ago. Home Office minister Alan Campbell has released the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Sarah Teather MP. They show that on 9 January there were 5.14m profiles on the database, although the estimated …
Kablenet, 31 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Software generated attendance letter about dead pupil

Capita is modifying its school management software after a letter about poor attendance was sent to the parents of a girl who had died. Macclesfield High School in Cheshire, which uses Capita's SIMS (school information management system) software, apologised to the parents of Megan Gillan for the distress the letter caused. …
Kablenet, 27 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Home Office details early ID vendors

The Home Office has listed 3M and nCipher as providers to the early stage of the National Identity Scheme. Home secretary Jacqui Smith said that as well as Thales' £18m contract for development of technology and processes – which was publicised last year – nCipher will be paid about £1.3m for a contract to provide "public key …
Kablenet, 24 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Ofcom finds few using e-gov

The communications regulator has found that fewer than half the UK population have used online government services. In a report published on 20 March 2009, Ofcom says that 42 per cent of those interviewed had used the internet to search for information about government or local council services, or used online services such as …
Kablenet, 24 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Online opt-outs for care record

Connecting for Health (CfH) has told NHS primary care trusts that patients do not need to appear in person to opt out of the Summary Care Record (SCR). The agency in charge of the NHS National Programme for IT has issued guidance that suggests it may be possible for patients to opt out through web forms. It made the point that …
Kablenet, 20 Mar 2009

Government funds IT security research

The government's Technology Strategy Board has invited bids for a £6m fund for research into improving information security. Organisations and individuals are invited to take part in what the board describes as the UK's only publicly funded investigation into a "critical challenge for modern society". The aim is to combine …
Kablenet, 19 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Government flags ID cost increase

The identity minister has indicated that passports will account for a smaller proportion of the national identity scheme's overall cost than previously stated. Meg Hillier told Parliament on 11 March 2009 that introducing and producing passports containing fingerprints will cost "about 70%" of the ten year budget of the National …
Kablenet, 18 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Voice analysis trial gives wobbly results

Tests of voice risk analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions have produced varied results. The first wave of trials involved new claimants at Jobcentre Plus, and reviews of claimants at six local authorities, being classified as low or high risk by operators with the help of a voice risk analysis system. A selection of …
Kablenet, 13 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

ContactPoint will cost more than thought

The government has revealed that the ContactPoint children's directory will cost just under £44m a year to run, £3m more than previously stated. Children's minister Beverly Hughes provided the figures in a parliamentary written answer on 9 March 2009. "Most will go directly to local authorities to fund staff to ensure the …
Kablenet, 12 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

ID and Passport Service brings in ad men

The Identity and Passport Service has signed up an advertising agency to develop campaigns for its services. Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO won the contract following a three-way pitch organised by the Central Office of Information against CHI & Partners and VCCP. It will work in all media across the agency's entire area of work, …
Kablenet, 11 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

NAO calls for better crown court IT

The National Audit Office has called for improvements to two crucial crown court computer systems In a review of the administration of crown courts, published on 6 March 2009, the NAO says the 20 year-old Crest case management system is no longer supported by its manufacturer and is subsequently vulnerable. In addition, the …
Kablenet, 06 Mar 2009

Government promotes open source for public sector

The government has published a new policy aimed at promoting the use of open source software in the public sector. It is also aimed at promoting open standards and encouraging the re-use of IT solutions. Measures include an education programme, guidance on procurement from the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council and …
Kablenet, 25 Feb 2009
The Register breaking news

Hounslow tries STD test result texts

NHS Hounslow is using the internet and text messaging to encourage more young people to be screened for chlamydia. The west London primary care trust has launched an online service to enable Hounslow residents aged between 16 and 24 to request free, painless self-testing kits. The results can then be sent back by text message …
Kablenet, 20 Feb 2009
The Register breaking news

Berry warns about plodding police IT

The former head of the Police Federation has called for the Home Office to mandate the integration of police IT systems by 2015 In an interim report on police bureaucracy for the Home Office, Jan Berry says that although forces are at different stages in their development of IT, there is an operational need for them to have …
Kablenet, 19 Feb 2009
The Register breaking news

Scots and pilots brace against ID cards

The Home Office is seeking parliamentary approval to extend the scope of identity cards for non-European nationals, while opposition to the scheme increases. The UK Border Agency said on 13 February 2009 that Parliament will vote on secondary legislation which would mean that many foreign nationals who seek temporary leave to …
Kablenet, 17 Feb 2009