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TfL considers life without Oyster

Transport for London may replace its Oyster card with with new ticketing systems operated through mobile phones or bankcards. Will Judge, head of future ticketing at TfL, told the London Assembly's Budget and Performance Committee on 21 October that the body is looking at various technologies and providers to take over from …
Kablenet, 23 Oct 2008
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MoJ plots spending cuts to plug £1.3bn funding gap

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it is considering spending cuts that could possibly affect IT systems. This follows a report in the Times of discussions on emergency action to fill a £1.3bn funding gap. It said that officials have identified a series of "quick wins" to recoup big savings that include the axing of computer …
Kablenet, 15 Oct 2008

No IT budget for faster SME payments

The government is not allocating funding to upgrade payment systems to meet the prime minister's commitment to pay small suppliers faster during the credit crunch. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), which is coordinating payment changes to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs), said that no …
Kablenet, 13 Oct 2008
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Home Office defends retaining comms data

The Home Office has said that ministers have not yet decided how to retain data on all communications - but defended the importance of doing so. Several press reports have said that the government will build a single database to hold everyone's communications data, collected from all service providers – adding that this would …
Kablenet, 09 Oct 2008
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Tories plan streamlined children's database

An incoming Conservative government would replace the ContactPoint database of all children in England with a system covering only those seen as vulnerable. Its central system would cover only groups such as those in care, on the child protection register or with backgrounds of domestic violence, according to Tim Loughton, the …
Kablenet, 08 Oct 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Tories would decentralise NHS IT

An incoming Conservative government would decentralise health service computing and extend competition between suppliers, according to a plan released at its party conference. The party's NHS Improvement Plan, released on 29 September 2008 by shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley, says the party will replace "Labour's centrally …
Kablenet, 30 Sep 2008
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FCO owns up to energy waste

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been leaving about 10,000 computers switched on overnight. In response to a parliamentary question from shadow environment secretary Peter Ainsworth, minister Meg Munn said that on the assumption that each computer uses 80 watts of power and is left on for 14 idle hours each day, the …
Kablenet, 29 Sep 2008
The Register breaking news IDs identity vendors

The Identity and Passport Service has announced shortlists for two stages of the National Identity Scheme procurement programme. It has said that CSC, Fujitsu and IBM will be considered as suppliers for the Application and Enrolment Programme for the replace of passport application contracts and development of new capabilities …
Kablenet, 22 Sep 2008
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NPIA extends Holmes 2 agreement

The National Policing Improvement Agency has added three years to its agreement with Unisys for the support of its major crimes enquiry system. It has signed a contract with the company, with a value of up to £12m, to provide support and maintenance under the Holmes 2 Software Supply Enabling Agreement. The agreement, which …
Kablenet, 16 Sep 2008
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Saatchi to promote foreigners' ID cards

The Home Office will use advertising agency M&C Saatchi to tell employers about the introduction of identity cards for foreign nationals. The UK Border Agency will start issuing cards from 25 November 2008 to those from outside the European Economic Area applying to stay in the country as students or through marriage. About 50, …
Kablenet, 10 Sep 2008
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ID scheme plans 50,000 cards by April

The National Identity Scheme will produce just 50,000 cards in its first few months – and has yet to define the role or budget of its commissioner. In response to a parliamentary written question from Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne, home secretary Jacqui Smith said that about 50,000 identity cards will be …
Kablenet, 08 Sep 2008
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DNA database costs soar

Home Office figures show that the cost of running the national DNA database has more than doubled since 2002-03. Meg Hillier MP said that in 2002-03 the cost of DNA database services was £774,300, but that service and IT development delivery costs for 2008-09 are projected as £1.77m. In 2006-07, that figure reached £2.04m, …
Kablenet, 05 Sep 2008

Fujitsu wants NHS exit payment

Fujitsu Services has submitted a claim for payment to the NHS, following its sacking in May from the National Programme for IT. A spokesperson for the firm refused to confirm or deny a claim in the Independent that the vendor is asking for £700m of the £896m it was due to have been paid if the ten year contract had been …
Kablenet, 02 Sep 2008
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Electoral officers oppose edited register

Most local authority electoral officers support the information commissioner's recommendation to scrap the edited electoral roll, according to a new survey. The survey of 204 councils, taken during August by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Electoral Administrators, found that 98 per cent of officers …
Kablenet, 27 Aug 2008
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Tories want data loss prosecutions

The Conservatives have repeated their call for those involved in data losses to face criminal charges, following the Home Office's loss of data on all prisoners. The party said the government should make it a criminal offence for someone to "knowingly or recklessly" cause the loss of data, reports the Observer. The opposition …
Kablenet, 26 Aug 2008
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BCS to review NHS IT for Tories

Shadow health secretary Stephen O'Brien MP has commissioned an independent report from the British Computer Society on what English health service IT should look like in five years' time. Beyond that patient-based records will form the basis of NHS informatics, no assumptions are being made, according the review's chair Dr Glyn …
Kablenet, 22 Aug 2008
Children crossing sign

BSF programme boosts schools' IT spending

Education spending on ICT will be accelerated by the Building Schools for the Future programme, according to research by Kable. Investment in new technology for secondary schools has grown faster than any other part of the state education sector over the past three years and this is set to continue, the research says. Overall, …
Kablenet, 21 Aug 2008
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MoJ admits data breaches affecting 45,000

The Ministry of Justice has reported eight data breach incidents affecting around 45,000 people. The incident affecting the most people, reported in the ministry's 2007-08 resource accounts (pdf), took place in June 2007. Discs containing 27,000 supplier records, including supplier names, addresses and in some cases bank details …
Kablenet, 18 Aug 2008
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Home Office lost CDs on 3,000 workers

The Home Office has lost the names, nationalities, passport numbers and dates of birth of 3,000 seasonal agricultural workers on two CDs in transit to the UK Borders Authority. The incident, which took place in March, was reported to the Information Commissioner's Office but has only now been publicly disclosed in the Home …
Kablenet, 11 Aug 2008
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Electoral Commission criticises London e-counting

The Electoral Commission has registered concerns over the electronic counting of votes in London's recent elections. It highlights a number of issues in a report on the elections for the mayor and the London Assembly. Among these are apparent discrepancies between the number of ballot papers recorded as having been issued and …
Kablenet, 01 Aug 2008
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Foreign Office reports five data losses to Info Commissioner

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has reported five significant data breaches to the Information Commissioner's Office in the last financial year, in total affecting less than 188 people. The losses have been disclosed within the department's resource accounts (pdf) for the year ending 31 March 2008. They show that in …
Kablenet, 01 Aug 2008
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Plods say it's OK for them give out your DNA

The National Police Improvement Agency has defended allowing companies access to the national DNA database. A spokesperson for the NPIA told GC News that there are "stringent guidelines" surrounding each request for profiles from the National DNA Database, including scrutiny by a newly formed ethics board. "After approval by …
Kablenet, 30 Jul 2008
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Government halts work on Scope intelligence network

Ministers have frozen the development of the Scope project, a secure computer network providing key officials with speedy access to secret intelligence on terrorism and other threats. The government has refused to disclose the cost of Scope, but it has been described by parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) as …
Kablenet, 16 Jul 2008
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Farmers face subsidy error fall-out

The cost of processing each single farm payment has often exceeded the claim's value, according to the Public Accounts Committee. In a report published on 15 July 2008, the House of Commons committee says that continuing problems with the Single Payment Scheme IT system have racked up high processing costs, as well as damaging …
Kablenet, 15 Jul 2008
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Public sector faces hefty fines for data breaches

UK state-sector organisations could face seven-figure fines for data breaches, according to the review of data sharing ordered by the prime minister. In a wide-ranging report, which also recommends the scrapping of the edited electoral roll, information commissioner Richard Thomas and Mark Walport, director of medical charity …
Kablenet, 11 Jul 2008
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IPS ditches e-passport system

The Identity and Passport Service has written off £10.8m in dropping a scheme for electronic passport applications. The management board of IPS has decided to abandon the electronic passport applications (EPA2) scheme, which it started in 2005 and opened in May 2006, according to the agency's annual report (pdf). The system, …
Kablenet, 08 Jul 2008
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DWP slammed for fraud computing failure

The Department for Work and Pensions has failed to measure benefit fraud properly because of its slowness to improve IT. The accusation is made in a report by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which says that the department's new management information system, known as FRAIMS, was only introduced in February this …
Kablenet, 08 Jul 2008
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Observers criticise London e-count

The body which provided official observers to the London elections has said it was given insufficient evidence to feel confident in the results. The Open Rights Group (ORG), which was accredited by the Electoral Commission to provide observers, has released a report that identifies a number of shortcomings in the electronic …
Kablenet, 02 Jul 2008
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Cambridge congestion charge plans shelved

Cambridgeshire County Council has shelved plans for congestion charging following a lack of local support. The council had said it wanted to cut traffic levels in the city by 10 per cent and submitted a bid for £500m of the government's Transport Innovation Fund (TIF). Its bid included proposals for peak period congestion …
Kablenet, 27 Jun 2008
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NHS chief explains NPfIT delays

The chief executive of the National Health Service has told MPs that complexity and customisation have been the main causes in delaying England's National Programme for IT. David Nicholson was speaking to Parliament's Public Accounts Committee at its hearings on the programme on 16 June 2008. Committee chair Edward Leigh MP …
Kablenet, 17 Jun 2008
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House of Lords hits YouTube

The House of Lords has released a series of short films on YouTube to explain its work. The five films, released on 13 June 2008, aim to improve understanding of the upper chamber. The first, House of Lords: What's it all about?, is a four-minute film, in which members of the public appear in black and white – some expressing …
Kablenet, 16 Jun 2008
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Mobile fingerprinting heads to another 10 police forces

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has announced a further roll out of mobile fingerprinting devices. It has provided 100 devices to a further 10 police forces this month as part of the Lantern project. Lantern was initially rolled out to 10 forces last year. The new forces using Lantern are: City of London Police …
Kablenet, 11 Jun 2008
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NHS standardisation failed, says London CIO

London's programme for IT has succeeded by dumping the National Programme for IT's standardised model, according to the chief information officer for the capital's health service. "Without a doubt, we haven't delivered the systems envisaged in 2002," said Kevin Jarrold, chief information officer of NHS London, told the Smart …
Kablenet, 11 Jun 2008
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TfL hands out contracts for congestion charge tags

Transport for London has contracted six companies to introduce 'tag and beacon' technology for the next phase of the capital's congestion charge. The framework contract will provide roadside equipment to charge motorists for driving into the centre of London and the western extension which covers Kensington and Chelsea. Tag and …
Kablenet, 06 Jun 2008
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City of London pilots national fraud project

The City of London Police will pilot a national fraud project which will enable banks to report e-crime. The force, which covers the capital's financial Square Mile and several hundred international banks, is taking the lead in setting up a national fraud reporting centre. A spokesperson for the force told GC News that it is …
Kablenet, 06 Jun 2008
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NHS IT procurement leaves solid carbon footprint

ICT procurement for the health service in England produces carbon dioxide equivalent to that generated by 27,000 of its patients. Such procurement produces 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, according to data released with Saving Carbon, Improving Health: A Draft Carbon Reduction Strategy for the NHS in England, …
Kablenet, 02 Jun 2008
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FIPR slams central communications database

A proposal for a central database covering all electronic communications has been heavily criticised by members of the Foundation for Internet Policy Research. At an event to mark foundation's 10th anniversary, a former director of the think tank described such a data warehouse as a deeply flawed plan, which had been previously …
Kablenet, 29 May 2008
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Tories would have to compensate ID vendors

A Conservative government would have to compensate suppliers of the National Identity Scheme for lost profits as well as costs if it cancelled the project. "To guarantee these payments knowing that a future Conservative government has already said it will scrap ID cards is improper and quite extraordinary," shadow home secretary …
Kablenet, 29 May 2008
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Auditor gets diminishing returns from data matching

Audit Scotland's second major comparison of public sector databases has identified 36 per cent less fraud than its first attempt. The 2006-07 National Fraud Initiative, which started in October 2006 and involved 74 organisations, found £9.7m of fraud, compared with £15.1m identified by the same exercise in 2004-05, according to …
Kablenet, 19 May 2008
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MPs say shared service sums 'don't add up'

MPs say that the Cabinet Office's claim that government could save £1.4bn a year through sharing corporate services is a "flimsy estimate at best". A key problem is the lack of centrally agreed benchmarks against which to measure the performance of shared functions, including the impact of two of the established shared service …
Kablenet, 09 May 2008
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Whitehall kick starts digital strategy

A new Cabinet committee on IT and information security is aiming to publish a digital strategy for government this summer. In his first speech as minister for digital inclusion, Paul Murphy MP said: "We are going to be working very hard between now and the summer recess to see if we can come out with government plan which all of …
Kablenet, 01 May 2008
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Data sharing could have stopped killing

A report has shown that improved data sharing between prisons and police would help stop a repetition of the mistaken release of a man who committed manslaughter the same day. Anthony Peart was released on 29 July 2005 from the privately run Forest Bank prison in Pendlebury near Manchester, after charges against him for alleged …
Kablenet, 29 Apr 2008
Olympic rings

Border Agency plans Olympic identity card

The Border Agency is developing a "pretty inclusive and far reaching" Olympic accreditation card for the 2012 games. The card will provide access to both the county and to the venues, chief executive Lin Homer told the Secure Document World conference in London on 23 April 2008. When asked by GC News about the extent of the …
Kablenet, 24 Apr 2008
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Choose and Book mixes up patient appointments

The NHS hospital booking service has sent up to 340 patients incorrect appointment data, delaying a software upgrade. According to Connecting for Health (CfH), the agency in charge of the NHS National Programme for IT, a system error led to some patients receiving other people's appointment details. It said the error is still …
Kablenet, 18 Apr 2008
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London borough lost children's data three times

The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has revealed that staff have had data on children stolen on three occasions, including twice in pubs. In response to a freedom of information (FoI) application from BBC Radio 5 Live's Donal MacIntyre programme, the borough said a social worker had taken papers including court reports …
Kablenet, 15 Apr 2008
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IPS wants ID card service pilots

The Identity and Passport Service is discussing a round of pilots that use identity cards to join up service delivery. James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, told GC News the agency is talking to government departments about how the card may be used to support service delivery. He said the move has the …
Kablenet, 09 Apr 2008
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Child protection project hit by delays

A large number of local authorities in England with social care responsibilities will miss the government's deadline for implementing the Integrated Children's System (ICS), a project for sharing information about vulnerable young people. In a statement, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) said it was …
Kablenet, 02 Apr 2008
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DWP extends staff criminal record checks

The Department for Work and Pensions, which manages personal data on virtually every adult in the country, plans to check whether new staff have criminal records. It previously asked all applicants whether they had a criminal record, with an actual check carried out only for appointments to sensitive posts. In response to a …
Kablenet, 27 Mar 2008
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Majority of NHSmail accounts are inactive

The secure email and directory system for England and Scotland's health services has 153,000 active accounts, less than half the 337,000 registered users The number of active users is a small fraction of the NHS employees within the two nations, which exceeds 1m. In April 2006, then director general of NHS Connecting for Health …
Kablenet, 25 Mar 2008
Warning Speed Camera

UK CCTV numbers 'may be overstated'

Police forces are seeking electronic transfers of data from local authority cameras to police forces, according to Nick Garvan, assistant chief constable of Thames Valley Police. Describing such cameras as "an indispensable investigative tool", he told the Home Affairs Select Committee last week: "Any perception on the part of …
Kablenet, 25 Mar 2008