The Register Columnists

Kablenet

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

N3 dominates NHS IT savings

The N3 broadband network produced nearly all the savings generated by the NHS National Programme for IT to March 2007, according to the government The Department of Health said that of savings totalling £208m, N3 generated £192m, with digital imaging and scanning saving a further £14m, and software licensing and hardware …
Kablenet, 14 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

Work and pensions IT projects £315m over budget

An MP has revealed that a single Department for Work and Pensions project is responsible for £169m cost overruns. The project, which is intended to help improve customer service and deliver efficiencies, was planned for completion in March 2007. It is now scheduled to be finished in 2010 or 2011, and cost £598m rather than the …
Kablenet, 12 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

Minister wants more mashups

The new minister for transformation has advocated the cause of user generated content on public websites. Tom Watson said one of his priorities for the transformation of government is that data mashups, in which users can take and combine data to meet their own preferences, becomes embedded in the thinking of all departments. …
Kablenet, 11 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

Two centuries of Hansard to move online

Parliament hopes to place all Hansard reports - from 1804 to 2004 - online by the end of this year. Its information management department is using optical character recognition (OCR) technology to turn three million printed pages of the record of Parliamentary proceedings into digitised text. Some is already online, although …
Kablenet, 06 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

Poor data handling keeps prisoners inside

The National Audit Office says the work of the Parole Board is hampered by the lack of timely information from other parts of the criminal justice system. Prisoners who may be eligible for parole are having their case hearings delayed because of poor information handling by the criminal justice system. One of the most common …
Kablenet, 05 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

DoH IT projects overshoot budgets by £247,000

Five of 15 IT projects run by the Department of Health and its agencies are costing £247,000 more than expected. Health minister Ben Bradshaw produced the figures in response to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable. Bradshaw attributed the overspend to "unexpected technical issues …
Kablenet, 03 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

HMRC appoints 37 data guardians

HM Revenue and Customs has appointed 37 staff to protect information, since it lost personal records on 25 million people last November. Each of HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) business units has appointed a data guardian "to strengthen the management of the department's data assets", according to a parliamentary written answer …
Kablenet, 29 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

Minister defends National ID Register security

The National Identity Register will have very limited access, stringent security and no risk of 'discs flying around', MPs have been told. Home Office minister Meg Hillier defended the government's plans for its controversial National Identity Scheme, as she faced questions about data security from a committee of MPs. Hillier, …
Kablenet, 27 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

Infra-red cameras to tackle congestion in Leeds

Trials of technology to enforce use of a high occupancy vehicle route into Leeds will start next month. Leeds City Council has agreed to trials of the latest version of technology which will automatically count the number of people travelling in cars on a high occupancy vehicle lane into the city centre. The trials are expected …
Kablenet, 26 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

MySociety tests FoI website

A charity is testing a website which automates the submitting, tracking, and publishing requests made under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. MySociety, which runs sites including elected representative service TheyWorkForYou.com and mass pledge system PledgeBank.com, has built a list of FoI contacts at central government …
Kablenet, 26 Feb 2008
Flag United Kingdom

Lords look again at internet security

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has announced a follow-up inquiry to its 'Personal Internet Security' report. It said it has taken the measure because of its disappointment in the government's response to the report, which was released in August 2007. The government rejected many of the committee's …
Kablenet, 21 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

OFT sends out scam texts

The Office of Fair Trading has sent out thousands of fake scam text messages to 18-24 year-old mobile phone users to raise awareness about scams. The text message, sent out on 15 February 2008 as part of Scams Awareness Month, reads: "Urgent! U may have won £1k cash with '2 Good 2 B True.'" It is followed shortly afterwards by a …
Kablenet, 18 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

HMRC gets Airwave comms network

HM Revenue and Customs has signed up to use the emergency services' digital communications network. It has announced a £60m, 15 year contract that will provide its Criminal Investigation and Detection teams with access to the digital radio and data network. This will include the roll out of 4,000 connections and the …
Kablenet, 14 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

NPfIT director general hands in his scrubs

The Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed that Richard Granger has left his post as director general of the NHS National Programme for IT. This follows a period in which there has been uncertainty about Granger's continued role in the programme. He had announced in July that he would leave by the end of 2007, but this had not …
Kablenet, 08 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

HMRC still waiting for EDS cash

A committee of MPs has said the government has received little of the compensation due from EDS for problems with tax credit IT. EDS has paid only a fraction of the £26.5m due to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as compensation for problems with the delivery of a tax credit computer system, says a report by the Public Accounts …
Kablenet, 05 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

IPS sticks to fingerprint plan

The Identity and Passport Service has denied that fingerprints could be dropped from the National Identity Register. It has dismissed a report in The Observer, based on a leaked document, that claimed plans to assess the costs for different groups of people point to the plan for a fingerprint register being dropped. "It's a …
Kablenet, 29 Jan 2008
The Register breaking news

IT tackles benefit cheats

Technology is helping catch benefits cheats but there are doubts about a key case management system, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) In Progress in tackling benefit fraud, the NAO praises the government's record in reducing fraud from an estimated £2bn in 2000-01 to £800m in 2006-07. The significant …
Kablenet, 23 Jan 2008
Olympic rings

Olympic 'business dating agency' goes live

The organisers of London's Olympic Games have launched an online "business dating agency" to attract bids for sub-contracts. A website which could help small IT companies bid for contracts with London's Olympic Games has gone live. The London 2012 Business Network was launched at Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium to an …
Kablenet, 21 Jan 2008

Finance watchdog warns about being 'seduced' by IT partnerships

The Audit Commission says councils must be not be "seduced by the warm language of partnerships". Local government IT partnerships intended to overcome the drawbacks of traditional contracts, often fail to live up to expectations, an Audit Commission report (pdf) reveals. In an examination of so-called strategic service …
Kablenet, 18 Jan 2008
thumbs down teaser 75

Outsourcing overruns cost UK taxpayers £9bn

A think tank has called for 'root and branch change' in public services, following its damning report on ICT outsourcing Research by the European Services Strategy Unit shows that 105 outsourced public sector ICT contracts have significant cost overruns, delays and terminations. The unit examined large outsourcing contracts, …
Kablenet, 27 Dec 2007
The Register breaking news

Gov departments need better data systems, NAO says

The National Audit Office wants improvements in the data systems used to measure performance across Whitehall Many government departments need to improve the data systems they use to report progress in meeting official targets, finance watchdog the National Audit Office has said in its latest validation report. It found that …
Kablenet, 21 Dec 2007

DCMS inks IT deal with Atos Origin

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced a £14m contract with Atos Origin for IT services. It signifies a seven year continuation of the relationship in which the company has designed, implemented, and managed the IT infrastructure of the DCMS. Under the new contract, Atos Origin will continue to provide the …
Kablenet, 21 Dec 2007
The Register breaking news

Police shut non-urgent crime reporting portal

An internet portal to enable the public to report non-urgent crime has been closed following "serious defects and delays". The Police Portal, an award winning secure electronic system to allow the public to alert the police to minor offences, has been shut. A spokesperson for the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) told …
Kablenet, 19 Dec 2007
homeless man with sign

Milton Keynes council embraces WiMAX

Milton Keynes Council has launched what is thought to be the UK's first commercial wireless broadband service using WiMAX technology. ConnectMK, a private company set up by the council to address the issue of poor broadband connectivity across Milton Keynes, has joined forces with Freedom4 to provide residents and businesses in …
Kablenet, 19 Dec 2007
The Register breaking news

IT errors continue to plague EU single payments scheme

The Rural Payments Agency still has plenty to do to resolve the IT difficulties it experienced in implementing the EU Single Payment Scheme. A report by the National Audit Office finds that the agency has yet to deal with all those farmers who were paid too little in 2005 – the first year of the scheme – nor recovered the sums …
Kablenet, 13 Dec 2007
The Register breaking news

Info chief calls for data safeguards in wake of HMRC debacle

Organisations and individuals must step up the fight against identity fraud, the Information Commissioner's Office will say today. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will say the data security problems at HM Revenue and Customs were a watershed and call for organisations to implement new safeguards to help protect …
Kablenet, 11 Dec 2007

Citizens Advice coughs to laptop loss

A laptop containing client information has been stolen from the car of an employee of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland. Up to 60,000 client records are held on the computer, which was stolen in the early hours of 5 December 2007. According to Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, the data stored relates to people from the …
Kablenet, 11 Dec 2007
channel

Poor take-up of e-tax system

A committee of MPs has found that take up of online services for filing company tax returns remains low, despite the incentive of cost savings to users and the government. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is planning to invest £340m in its online services between 2006 and 2015. As levels of online filing increase, it expects to …
Kablenet, 04 Dec 2007
The Register breaking news

Watchdog criticises UK gov websites

The Directgov supersite has been labelled "Not Me Gov" at a hearing of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC). PAC chair Edward Leigh MP made the accusation at a hearing on the National Audit Office report, Government on the Internet. He questioned the government's plan to reduce the number of websites with an increased …
Kablenet, 30 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Audit bodies should merge, report says

A think tank has urged the government to merge the Audit Commission and National Audit Office (NAO). A new report from the New Local Government Network (NLGN), Expecting more from Inspectors?, calls on the government to create a super audit agency under the banner of Audit UK. It says this would provide cashable savings of about …
Kablenet, 29 Nov 2007
graph up

Audit commission tells councils to get competitive

The Audit Commission is urging councils to be more creative in using the market to drive down costs and improve services. Local authorities need to be more open minded and creative if they are to realise the £4.9bn efficiency savings required following this year's Comprehensive Spending Review, says a new report by the local …
Kablenet, 28 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Child protection site to show Scottish sex offenders

Scotland's police forces are preparing to use the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre's (CEOP) "Most Wanted" website. The Scottish Executive has announced a formal contract to use the service between the Crown Office, Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, CEOP Centre, and Crimestoppers, the charity that …
Kablenet, 27 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Inmarsat wins ESA space satellite contract

Inmarsat is to build the UK's space satellite programme, with financial backing from three regional development agencies. UK satellite operator Inmarsat has won a European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop Europe's space satellite programme. The £360m project is backed by £36m in financial support from the East of England …
Kablenet, 26 Nov 2007

Foreign Office on target for £120m efficiency savings

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has insisted that it is on course to deliver on its £120m efficiency savings target by the end of 2007-08. The declaration comes in spite of delays to its Future Firecrest desktop IT project, which will not be rolled out until early next year. In a review of its annual report for 2006-07 …
Kablenet, 20 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

MoD defends £5bn IT system

The Ministry of Defence has moved to quash claims that its Defence Information Infrastructure programme is an 'unmitigated disaster'. It has told GC News that thousands of new IT terminals are being installed each month, and that changes in the programme have been made to respond to the demands created by the wars in Iraq and …
Kablenet, 19 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Local govt think tank slams road pricing plan

A new think tank report says government should drop the idea of a national road pricing scheme and allow councils to make decisions on local schemes. The New Local Government Network (NLGN) has made the recommendation as part of a broad emphasis on local authorities dealing with traffic management. In The Politics of Transport …
Kablenet, 19 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Public shows new data protection nous

Individuals' awareness of their rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) has reached an all time high, according to new research published from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). It said 90 per cent of individuals know they have a right to see information that an organisation holds about them compared to 74 per cent …
Kablenet, 15 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

UK tightens borders with single agency and screening system

A single agency and a multi-billion pound passenger screening system will strengthen the UK's entry points, according to the Home Office. The Home Office has announced that a new UK Border Agency will unite immigration, customs and visa checks, backed by a £1.2bn passenger screening programme. The screening system programme …
Kablenet, 15 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Government rejects retreat on e-voting

The government has dismissed the Electoral Commission's call to pull back from e-voting. It has rejected the commission's view that no further e-voting pilots should take place until the government has a comprehensive electoral modernisation framework covering the role of e-voting. It has turned down a number of proposals made …
Kablenet, 13 Nov 2007
channel

Watchdog issues voluntary public data standards

The Audit Commission has launched a set of voluntary standards to help public bodies improve the data they use to report their activities. Introducing the guidelines, the Audit Commission said they were designed to be flexible and allow public sector organisations to take into account local risks and resources. Recommendations …
Kablenet, 12 Nov 2007
clock teaser

HMRC extends Aspire deal to 2017

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has decided to restructure its IT outsourcing contract. The move comes in response to HMRC's aim to cut its IT running costs by about 10 per cent by 2010-11. The Aspire contract with Capgemini and other IT service suppliers was originally signed in 2003-04 and was due to run for 10 years. It will …
Kablenet, 08 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Police fight to retain 30 year old petty crime records

Police will appeal against a ruling from the information commissioner to remove records, including on covering the theft of a 99p piece of meat. Four police forces are to appeal against an order from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to delete old criminal convictions from the Police National Computer (PNC). The ICO …
Kablenet, 01 Nov 2007
IBM

IBM grabs London congestion charge deal

Transport for London has awarded IBM the contract to run its congestion charge scheme. The company won the deal from Capita, which has managed the scheme since it was introduced in 2002, at the end of a competitive tendering process in which Thales Alliance also took part. IBM will take over the role, including the relevant …
Kablenet, 26 Oct 2007
thumbs up teaser 75

MPs claim IT supply savings

Whitehall has acted on the recommendations of a parliamentary committee by improving services and value for money, according to its chair. Edward Leigh, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said the government's response to recommendations in the committee's 16 most recent reports has resulted in action by Whitehall …
Kablenet, 25 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Call to curb 'frustrating' tax admin

MPs are urging Revenue and Customs to update its multiple helplines and complex paper registration systems for new business taxpayers. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should introduce a single registration system and a unique identifer to help new businesses with the processes of paying taxes, according to MPs on the Public …
Kablenet, 25 Oct 2007
Exit arrow

MoD slashes IT jobs

Computer specialist posts will be axed as part of the defence ministry's latest round of cost cuts. IT staff will be among 1,000 civilians to lose their jobs at the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Whitehall headquarters as part of a "streamlining programme". The MoD said the loss of posts, amounting to a 25 per cent staff reduction …
Kablenet, 24 Oct 2007
channel

Identity and Passport Service announces ID supplier shortlist

Eight companies have got through the first stage of the Identity Card Scheme procurement process. Accenture, BAE Systems, CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM, Steria and Thales have been given the go ahead to enter a competitive dialogue with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) for places on the National Identity Scheme Strategic …
Kablenet, 22 Oct 2007
globalisation

Becta reports Microsoft to OFT

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) has referred Microsoft to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for alleged anti-competitive practices in the schools software market. Becta, the government's education ICT partner, made the complaint on 19 October 2007. It also relates to concerns over Microsoft's …
Kablenet, 19 Oct 2007
Identity

Home Office minister invites DNA database debate

Home Office minister Meg Hillier has insisted on the need to debate the future of the National DNA Database. Responding to parliamentary questions from two Conservative MPs, Hillier said the growth of the database, which now holds records of more than four million people, has made a debate on its future development necessary. …
Kablenet, 18 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Government denies road charging 'blackmail'

The government has rejected suggestions by MPs on the Transport Committee that it is "blackmailing" local authorities into introducing congestion charging schemes. It said that it will not support charging unless there is a robust investigation to show that it will be beneficial. The comments are made in the government's …
Kablenet, 18 Oct 2007