Articles about Cabinet

editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Home Office extends mega 18-year Fujitsu contract

The Home Office has extended its mega Fujitsu contract to 2018, meaning that when the contract ends it will have been running for the best part of two decades. That is in contrast to the Cabinet Office's long-standing goal to get government departments to break up their expensive legacy contracts with single suppliers. The …
Kat Hall, 27 Oct 2016
Parliament in the clouds

Digital minister Matt Hancock promises 'full fibre' eating plan for Blighty

Digital minister Matt Hancock has promised there will be a forthcoming government strategy to ensure Blighty's "full fibre future" is realised in the next decade. Speaking at the Parliament and Internet Conference 2016 today, he told The Register: "There will be more in the coming weeks and months. But I can’t put more flesh …
Kat Hall, 27 Oct 2016

Gov.UK goes TITSUP

The website for the British government has suffered a little TITSUP, that is a total inability to support usual politicking. The domain is suffering intermittent issues at the moment, and many citizens are complaining of their inability to access the resource. Speaking to The Register on the phone, a Cabinet Office …

Cabinet Office gears up to ink mega Oracle deal

The Cabinet Office is gearing up to ink another mega pan-government Oracle licensing deal, multiple sources have told The Register. One person close to the matter told us: "Government is supposed to be moving away from big monopolies by big companies, especially expensive ones that operate bully behaviour like Oracle. "Yet it …
Kat Hall, 24 Oct 2016
Snail on a leaf... looking surprised (yes, that's possible). Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media

Snails attacked a Virgin Media broadband cabinet in Shropshire, UK, resulting in sluggish broadband services. The escargot slid into a cabinet on Wednesday and were subsequently flambéd after being electrocuted by the battery. According to an incident report by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, a call was received on …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Glued-shut IT wallets hindered UK govt's programmes – study

Efforts by the previous UK government to rein in lavish Whitehall technology spending caused more harm than good in some instances. That's according to a new academic paper, titled Identifying the critical success factors for major government projects that incorporate IT or “digital” developments. It builds upon two …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Buck up, You need to get a grip on failing shared services centres - PAC

MPs have urged the Cabinet Office to get a grip on its embarrassing efforts to consolidate departments' back offices into two privately owned shared services centres. Moves to shift departments' back office servers and ERP systems were announced to much fanfare four years ago - but have yet to save the government any cash …
Kat Hall, 19 Oct 2016

The UK's 'Universal Credit mega cockup was the coalition's NPfIT' - Margaret Hodge

When Margaret Hodge was appointed chair of the UK Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in 2010, she was the first Labour leader since 1997 – as its head is always drawn from the main opposition party. In 2015 her colleague Meg Hillier became the new PAC chair, with all indications so far suggesting her successor will also be …
Kat Hall, 14 Oct 2016

Atari's Bushnell gets into VR

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has put his weight behind a startup that will offer business uses for virtual reality. Bushnell's Modal VR touts itself as providing the hardware and software for "industrial-grade" virtual reality applications. This means the company will develop and sell VR systems used for things like military …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Oct 2016

Cabinet bare of Apple Watch

Apple Watches have reportedly been banned from UK Cabinet meetings as a result of spying fears. PM Theresa May top ministers have been prohibited from taking Apple Watches into meetings amid concerns that Russian spies might use the devices as a bugging devices, The Telegraph reports. Smartphones have already been banned from …
John Leyden, 11 Oct 2016
Image by Maksim Kabakou

Stickers emerge as EU's weapon against dud IoT security

The European Commission is readying a push to get companies to produce labels that reveal the security baked into internet-of-things things. The labelling effort is part of a broader push to drive companies to better handle security controls and privacy data in the notoriously insecure and leaky devices. Deputy head of …
Darren Pauli, 10 Oct 2016

Citizens don't trust UK.GOV with their data

UK citizens have little faith in the government's ability to securely handle their private data - according to a wide-ranging survey which echoes findings by the National Audit Office. Just 22 per cent believed that the government has appropriate means to stop cyber-attacks and identity breaches, according to 1,500 citizens …
Kat Hall, 06 Oct 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock is doing sod all to break £20bn of locked-in IT contracts

Analysis If IT wasn't perceived to be such a boring topic by Joe Public, the amount the government still spends on expensive clunky technology would be viewed as a national scandal. Across the entire public sector the annual figure has been pegged at around £20bn. No one knows for sure. As long as Whitehall's money is locked into …
Kat Hall, 28 Sep 2016
Photo by Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if were a success

Millionaire supermodel Lily Luahana Cole says we should be pleased that her taxpayer-funded vanity website doesn’t make any money. We’d hate it even more if it her were financially successful, she has told the Daily Telegraph in an interview. “I actually think if we were making loads of money, we …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016

IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has heavily criticised IBM for the security it applied to the nation's failed online census, which was taken offline after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that battered a curiously flimsy defensive shield. The Bureau also admits it could have done better in a submission (PDF) to a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016

Woo hoo, has unveiled yet another tech creche – for infosec

Plans are afoot in Westminster to burn even more taxpayers' cash by launching a new cyber-security startup accelerator in Cheltenham. The accelerator will be the umpteenth vehicle for funnelling money to muppets since the coalition government came to power. Other accelerators have included a military technology free-money …
Flag of India

'Strategic' submarine cable to connect islands where locals just emerged from stone age

India's government has decided to build a submarine cable between the city of Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The where? The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are about 1,300km east of India, way out in the Bay of Bengal. The Islands are home to about 380,000 people, among them the Jarawa people who lived a more-or-less …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
Sheaf of £50 notes poised on the rim of a toilet bowl as toilet is flushed. Collage of two photos sourced from Shutterstock

Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Review It’s impossible to read former bollocker-in-chief Margaret Hodge’s account of being chair of the government's spending watchdog without repeatedly banging your head against the wall. Hodge presided over the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee between 2010-2015, during the coalition government’s austerity programme. …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016 oughta get its data-sharing house in order before Digital Economy Bill plans

Analysis The government has a funny notion of how to tackle failure. When it comes to contracts, suppliers that have routinely messed up are handed more deals. When it comes to policy, approaches that have proved unsuccessful get dusted off and pushed with renewed vigour. The author who wrote "the definition of insanity is doing the …
Kat Hall, 19 Sep 2016
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

So, Gov.UK infosec in 2015. 'Chaotic'. Cost £300m. NINE THOUSAND data breaches...

The Cabinet Office is failing to coordinate the UK's government departments' efforts to protect their information according to a damning report by the National Audit Office. The NAO found that the Cabinet Office failed in its duty and ambition to coordinate and lead government departments’ efforts in protecting such …

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

George W Bush hacker Guccifer to spend 52 months in the big house

Notorious celebrity hacker Guccifer will spend at least four years in prison on charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to computer systems. Guccifer – in real life, taxi driver Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, of Romania – was sentenced today by US district court judge James Cacheris after hearing of Lazar's lack of remorse …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Sep 2016
inspector clouseau

Good job, Oz feds: Conroy wants you investigated for privilege and contempt

As was inevitable, the fate of the “NBN documents” is off to the Australian Senate's privileges committee. The referral to the committee was a formality, since nobody in the Senate wants to find themselves raided by the Australian Federal Police for receiving leaked documents. However, Senator Stephen Conroy, chief target of …

Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

Interview One month after Theresa May swept into government, former culture and digital minister Ed Vaizey is relatively sanguine about getting the sack. "The reason for me not being in my job is due to political reasons ... I didn't have perhaps enough credentials for her [sic] to stay in my post or even stay in government. Others did …
Kat Hall, 23 Aug 2016
francis_maude_flames_evil depts in post-Mad Frankie Maude landgrab over IT spending controls

Analysis Government departments are winning significantly more exemptions to splash the cash on expensive IT projects since the departure of former Cabinet Office minister Francis “Mad Frankie” Maude last year, according to a Register analysis. The Department for Work and Pensions alone was given the green light for £200m in IT …
Kat Hall, 22 Aug 2016

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
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Asian nations mull regional 'Europol' in fight against cybercrime

RSA APAC A closed-door meeting of cabinet ministers from more than a dozen countries met yesterday to mull the creation of a Europol-style organisation to crack down on cyber crime in the region and abroad, The Register has learned. The Asian organisation is conceptual only, but has support from countries including China, Malaysia, …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
Penguins and wellies, image via Shutterstock digi peeps hunt open source chief

The British government’s Digital Service is looking for a chief penguin to head up open source. GDS has created a brand-new position for an individual to conduct open source technology projects, adoption and working practices for the government's IT arm. Moreover, the chosen candidate will be charged with forging …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jul 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

Australia gets one-quarter of a minister for national infosec

If you were hoping tech would get some kind of boost in the Turnbull government's third ministry, prepare for disappointment. Mitch Fifield retains communications, and Fiona Nash remains minister for regional communications – which at least means the telcos don't have to spend the time and energy getting to know capturing …
Three cows image via Shutterstock

Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding. Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Lily Cole,

Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost, the world-changing “sharing economy” website founded by millionaire supermodel and polymath Lily Cole lost even more money last year. Year end P&L accounts filed with Companies House revealed that I Am Possible Ltd - with Cole as director - was £257,889 in the red for year ended October 2015. That’s worse than …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Greenland iceberg

Backblaze hopes to melt Amazon Glacier customers' hearts

Backblaze has announced its B2 cloud object storage for $0.005/GB/month as an alternative to LTO tape drives. Unlike Amazon’s Glacier tape storage, its disk drive retrieval starts in seconds and takes minutes instead of hours and days, it claims. The first 10GB is free each month and there is no data upload charge. Download …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

£8 BILLION is locked into's failing IT schemes, El Reg analysis reveals

The UK government has £8bn locked into IT contracts which are at high risk of failure, according to an analysis of the Infrastructure Project Authority's accounts by The Register. Of 143 major projects representing £405bn of government spending, The Register identified 19 IT projects that were flagged as “red” or “amber/red” …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Mind the GaaP: needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016

UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources

BREXIT The UK government's long-awaited digital strategy has been put on ice following the landmark EU referendum decision last week, The Register has learnt. The strategy was intended to be a mixed bag of policy from the department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Cabinet Office's …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016
Two designers sitting in front of a "conceptual" desk filled with buzzwords. Photo by Shutterstock

Professor slams digital efforts of 'website-obsessed' government

A professor of digital governance has slammed Whitehall's IT 'transformation' efforts to date, blaming an obsession with websites for obstructing any real digitally-enabled revamps. Vishanth Weerakkody, who works at Brunel University, said: "Digital technology undoubtedly has huge potential to contribute to the functions of …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Exclusive Microsoft invited a UK government cabinet minister from the Remain camp to give its troops the big sell on why Blighty should stay in the EU – but shelved the meeting following the murder of MP Jo Cox, the company confirmed. The senior politician was to debrief the Windows giant's Brit workforce on the benefits of staying …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2016
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Medicare payments privatisation dumped, but IT refresh is imminent

Australia's Medicare will have to contract its own systems to replace the current payment processing iron, with politics killing off the idea that payment processing could be privatised. The current government had long entertained hopes to get the payment processing off its books. However, that opened a political wedge for the …

Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Sketch The high profile collapse of the UK Government Digital Service’s voter registration site last week only shows how brilliant the Government Digital Service is, says the minister responsible* for it. Matthew Hancock MP, minister for the Cabinet Office, ran through all the latest TED talk buzzwords (he's an Oxford PPE graduate) …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

NBN chairman's rant breached caretaker conventions says public service boss

An op-ed written by nbnTM chairman Ziggy Switkowsky defending the company's handling of leaks breached the “caretaker conventions” that apply during election campaigns. That's according to the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, in a letter published by Fairfax today. Following the …
No. 10, image via Shutterstock

No 10's online EU vote signup crash 'inevitable' – GDS overseer

MPs have taken the Government’s digital masters to task for their inability to handle online voter registration for this month’s European Union referendum. Members grilled Cabinet Office minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin after the Government Digital Service’s EU voter registration site crashed under "unexpected" …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2016

China pledges tighter privacy as it centralises personal health data

China will create “more comprehensive regulation and legislation in personal information and data protection” to facilitate a new national big data scheme it hopes will improve health policy and services. China's State Council (the equivalent of Cabinet) announced the strategy this week, with premier Li Keqiang declaring that …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

Updated Registration to vote in the UK's EU referendum has been extended until midnight June 9 after No. 10's voter registration web site crashed. Legislation is being introduced to the House of Commons to extend the deadline for those wishing to register to vote in this month's referendum, minister for the Cabinet Office and …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jun 2016

Brit upstart Arkivum gets new CEO

UK Archiving-as-a-Service product startup Arkivum has a new CEO, Guy Yaniv, who has been appointed three months after its new chairman, Jim McKenna, took office. Yaniv was general manager of customer experience analytics at NICE Systems, recently leading its cloud-based Big Data Customer Analytics Division. He moves into the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2016
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Oz PM's department red-faced after database leaks in the cc: field

The Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in an excess of security ineptitude, has mistaken the cc: field for the bcc: field. The inevitable result: a database of names and addresses has leaked. The department, on behalf of the Australian government, was e-mailing women on a register called AppointWomen to tell …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Switkowski wades into NBN leak debate, ALP is furious

nbnTMchair Ziggy Switkowski has penned an article for Fairfax saying the “NBN leakers” aren't whistleblowers, but partisan ideologues. The article, coming as it did during an election campaign, has drawn immediate fire from the ALP's Tony Burke, who accuses Switkowski of breaching the “caretaker conventions”. With the …
By Bob Bob -

More than half of people on UK counter-terror biometrics databases are innocent

A new report from the UK's independent biometrics commissioner has revealed that more than half of people on British counter-terrorism databases are innocent, more than a thousand more than previously thought. The commissioner has revised upwards his figures on fingerprint and DNA profile retention, stating that 53 per cent of …

Blighty's National Cyber Security Centre cyber-reveals cyber-blueprints

The UK government has released the prospectus for its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), ahead of the launch of the facility this Autumn. The blueprint [PDF] outlines that the NCSC will act as a hub for sharing best practices in security between public and private sectors, and will tackle cyber incident response. As …
John Leyden, 26 May 2016

Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

HMRC is pushing ahead with its own plans to build an online authentication portal following the decommissioning of the current Gateway portal in 2018, according to multiple sources. One source said the department is building its own authentication capability that will deal with businesses – something the Government Digital …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016