Articles about Cabinet Office

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Identity disorder: Does UK govt need Verify more than we do?

Comment One problem writing about government IT is that after a while it feels a bit like Groundhog Day – a syndrome that must be even more pronounced for the folk working in it. Six years ago I remember clearly being walked through the reasons why the British government needed an online identification tool to enable citizens to use …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
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Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that it's ditching the Cabinet Office's new online ID system, and will be pushing forwards with its own replacement for Government Gateway. Sources previously informed The Register that HMRC was been building its own online authentication portal following the planned …
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Planned Espionage Act could jail journos and whistleblowers as spies

Exclusive Proposals in the UK for a swingeing new Espionage Act that could jail journalists as spies have been developed in haste by legal advisors, The Register has learned. The proposed law update is an attempt to ban reporting of future big data leaks. The British government has received recommendations for a "future-proofed" new …
Duncan Campbell, 10 Feb 2017
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Brought to you by UK.gov: 'Most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world'

Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer has today unveiled the government’s long-delayed digital strategy, calling it "the most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world”. He was speaking at think-tank Reform's annual conference. The Government Transformation Strategy was intended to be launched at the …
Kat Hall, 09 Feb 2017

UK.gov slammed by Parliamentary types for 'dysfunctional' infosec

A scathing parliamentary report into UK.gov’s infosec practices has called for the government to step up its efforts to protect Britain from cyber attacks in the face of today’s “chaotic” practices. The criticism is published today in the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Protecting Information Across Government, which …

Head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan steps down for 'personal reasons'

The Director General of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has announced his intention to step down as leader of the UK signals intelligence agency. Citing "personal reasons", Hannigan informed the UK's Foreign Secretary of his decision in an exchange of letters. His departure comes at a difficult time for the agency as pro-torture …
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GDS chap: UK.gov is better off on public cloud than its own purpose-built network

The Cabinet Office wants government departments to buy public cloud rather than services from the Public Services Network (PSN). In a blog post on Friday, James Stewart, director of technical architecture and head of technology at the Government Digital Service, indicated that the PSN would be wound down. He said the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2017

UK.gov still drowning in legacy tech because no one's boarding Blighty's £700m data centre Ark

Analysis Only in IT is “legacy” a pejorative term, where it is used to condemn ageing systems and forgotten workarounds. In the UK government, as with banks, increasingly difficult-to-maintain mission-critical systems are a huge problem. Not least because of the dwindling number of folk who remember how the damn things work. One …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2017
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UK.gov departments are each clinging on to 100 terabytes of legacy data

Some Whitehall departments are saddled with more than 100 terabytes of legacy data, and are wasting time recreating old work at a cost of £500m per year, according to a Cabinet Office report. The Better Information for Better Government report [PDF] said good information governance is critical for effective government. …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2017
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Tech committee slams UK.gov for dithering over digital strategy

The Science and Technology Committee has today slammed the UK government for dragging its feet in releasing a digital strategy, now more than a year late. In a letter to digital minister Matt Hancock, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Stephen Metcalfe, said he was "disappointed" by the "continued absence of …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2017
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Big tech's grip loosens on UK.gov IT spend

UK government IT spending is still dominated by a few big suppliers – but they are losing some of their grip, according to publicly released data and Freedom of Information responses covering five of the biggest-spending organisations. Last year, the Cabinet Office said the three biggest IT suppliers across central government …
SA Mathieson, 13 Jan 2017

Capita is STILL the BIGGEST tech services supplier to UK.gov

Despite all the mini fires burning at beleaguered Capita, the much maligned outsourcing giant remained the UK's biggest public sector tech services supplier in 2016 as revenues swelled to £1.9bn. An annual report by analyst TechMarketView found the firm that everyone loves to hate increased top line sales 5 per cent year-on- …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2016

Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash

The UK government's procurement arm, the Crown Commercial Service, has failed to save taxpayers' cash – according to the National Audit office. CCS is responsible for funnelling billions of pounds of IT spend through large framework contracts, a practice which tends to favour larger suppliers. It was responsible for £12.8bn in …
Kat Hall, 13 Dec 2016
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Shared services centres flop: Only one UK.gov department uses them

The government's plan to move all of Whitehall's back office IT into shared services centres has been such a flop, all but one department has pulled out of the scheme, according to the National Audit Office. The shared services centres, run separately by IT provider Arvato and French outsourcer Sopra Steria, were set up in …
Kat Hall, 08 Dec 2016
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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

The UK government has insisted it is effectively communicating the benefits of its controversial smart meter programme – despite MPs having identified a "lack of clarity" over the "problem" the scheme is trying to solve. In its response to the committee’s “Evidence Check” report on smart meters in September, the government …
Kat Hall, 07 Dec 2016
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UK.gov was warned of smart meter debacle by Cabinet Office in 2012

The government was warned of the risks surrounding its controversial smart meter programme four years ago, according to a leaked internal report seen by The Register, but appears to have largely ignored those concerns. A review of the programme from March 2012 highlights the vulnerability of smart meters to cyber-attacks, and …
Kat Hall, 30 Nov 2016
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Sharing's caring? Not when you spread data across gov willy-nilly

Digital Economy Bill Privacy campaigners and academics have called for the removal of personal data sharing proposals in the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill. The Bill puts government ministers in control of citizens' personal data, "a significant change in the relationship between citizen and state," wrote 26 signatories in a letter to The …
Kat Hall, 25 Nov 2016
cloud

Four IBM data centres planned for Big Blue UK cloud

IBM is expanding its UK data centre footprint, tripling the number of facilities in the region. Big Blue plans four new centres to drive adoption of its various cloud-based services for development and enterprise deployments. It currently operates just two UK data centres. Notably, neither of the first two DCs we know about …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2016
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UK.gov has 18,000 IT contractors on its books due to dearth of skills

The government currently employs 18,000 digital contractors and 12,000 "in-house" tech folk, according to a leaked draft outline of the Government Digital Transformation Strategy seen by The Register. A lack of digital skills in government has repeatedly been named as the main obstacle against digital transformation. Billions …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2016
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C'mon, it's the current year! Report finds UK gov could save £2bn by modernising IT

The UK government could save £2bn by 2020 by overhauling its clunky technology and legacy contracts and shifting citizens to digital services, according to the Institute for Government. The independent charity's report claims that savings through digital have so far been minimal. Far more could be saved with a proper focus on …
Kat Hall, 31 Oct 2016
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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
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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 www.gov.uk 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
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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
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Buck up, UK.gov. 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

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
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UK.gov 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
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Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Millionaire supermodel Lily Luahana Cole says we should be pleased that her taxpayer-funded vanity website Impossible.com doesn’t make any money. We’d hate it even more if it her Impossible.com 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
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Woo hoo, UK.gov 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 …
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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

UK.gov 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
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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 …

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
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UK.gov 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
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UK.gov 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
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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, Impossible.com

Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Impossible.com, 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
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£8 BILLION is locked into UK.gov'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
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Mind the GaaP: UK.gov 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Archive

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
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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
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Business dept sinks £14m into canned shared services plan

The department for Business, Innovation and Skills has sunk £14m in consolidating its legacy kit as part of a cross-government shared services plan that it later pulled out of. According to an FOI response, BIS invested £13.9m during the first phase of consolidating back office services for the department and 13 public bodies …
Kat Hall, 23 May 2016