Articles about Local Authorities

Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

EU graciously lets Dutch splurge €33m on 'leccy car charger network

The Netherlands is to fork out nearly €33m in public funds for electric car chargers after the European Commission gave its permission for the plan to go ahead on Monday. EU Competition Commish Margrethe Vestager said that the plans were within EU state aid rules and would not unduly distort competition, adding that “electric …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Jul 2015

Indonesia: e-commerce firms must have local domain

Indonesia will effectively ban cross-border e-commerce and make it harder for foreign firms looking to invest in the country, by mandating that anyone wanting to sell goods online must register a local .ID domain. The Communication and Information Ministry made the announcement as part of new rules for “electronic system …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Mar 2013
france

The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

Microsoft could get the boot from the French government if a new recommendation from an official advisor is adopted. DISIC (Direction interministérielle des systèmes d'information et de communication de l'État) has recommended that French authorities ditch Microsoft Office tools in favour of the Open Document Format (ODF). …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Jul 2015

Man in India claims his new iPhone 6 combusted in his car

A man in India says his iPhone 6 burst into flames just two days after he purchased the handset. The Times of India reports that restaurant owner Kishan Yadav was making a hands-free call while driving through the city of when he noticed his new iPhone 6 emitting sparks. He tossed the overheating handset out of the window and …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2015

Hey, posh boy. Fancy a £200m PHONE THREESOME?

A massive phone and network connectivity services framework between three local authorities is up for grabs, valued up to £200m over four years. A contract notice for by the procurement peeps at the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington was published this week on the Official Journal of the European Union. The tender for …
Kat Hall, 09 Jan 2015
Sleeper

Legalising London's bed-hopping economy is POINTLESS

Exclusive There is no evidence to support claims that London residents have been fined for using sites such as Airbnb, despite moves by the government to push through headline-grabbing "sharing economy" legislation, El Reg can reveal. Last month, the government announced it would introduce an amendment to allow London residents to use …
Kat Hall, 12 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

ICO: Nearly HALF all FOI complaints are about local councils

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received 1,922 freedom of information complaints about local authorities in 2011-12, accounting for 43 per cent of the total number of complaints, according to the watchdog's latest annual report. The document says that of the 4,633 freedom of information complaints during the year, …

UK surveillance commish asks CCTV operators to please be good

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has written to local authority chief executives, reminding them of their duty to "pay regard" to the surveillance camera code of practice. Tony Porter, appointed as the first Surveillance Camera Commissioner in March 2014, has circulated a letter reminding those who are responsible for …
channel

Local gov buying group inks £50m software framework

The Pro5 buying consortium has confirmed that 12 suppliers have made it onto the next generation software and services framework agreement. The framework is worth tens of millions over a 36-month period. The procurement group includes the Central Buying Consortium as well as purchasing organisations for the North-east, Eastern …
Paul Kunert, 16 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Janet, E2BN procure network for education and local authorities

The national education network and a broadband provider to public services have shared a £6m deal for new infrastructure in the east of England. The Joint Academic NETwork (Janet) and the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN), have jointly procured the network to support broadband services for schools, higher and further …
Kable, 25 May 2010

Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

A Georgia man who took a 9mm pistol to an armadillo also managed to pop a cap in his wife's mum after the round ricocheted off the animal, "hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law's mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in, and into her back". According to cops, 54-year-old Larry McElroy pulled off …
Lester Haines, 14 Apr 2015

£300m education tech framework is LIVE

Crown Commercial Services has rung the bell on the mega ICT for Education framework, with 21 suppliers passing the entrance exam, one more than was originally planned for. The four-year agreement was first tendered last October and the roll out was delayed by a couple of weeks due to the high number of responses from candidates …
Paul Kunert, 22 May 2015
The Register breaking news

ICO slates local authorities on data protection compliance

The Information Commissioner has called for the commencement of the custodial element of the section 55 offences and expressly criticised data protection compliance by local authorities as being “very bad”. He also criticised data controllers, especially in banks and financial services, as being uncooperative in relation to …
Panic button

Uber hits PANIC BUTTON after India threatens to BAN dial-a-car firm

Dial-a-car outfit Uber is addressing safety complaints in India by giving users a "panic button" to call police, amid reports suggesting the service may soon be banned in the state of Maharashtra, where Uber operates in the cities of Mumbai and Pune. The company said in a blog post that it will offer users the option to contact …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Feb 2015
Taxi Driver

UberPop granted temporary reprieve in France

A French Court has declined to ban Uber's controversial UberPop app, bouncing the decision to the country's highest appeals court. The ruling provides a reprieve for Uber's lower cost app service, which effectively allows users to be ferried around without a professional licence. "The Paris Court of Appeal today gave a strong …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2015
Un Frog

Sacré bleu! Parking machine labels French mayor ‘thieving bastard'

Police are investigating complaints from a Gallic politician after he was branded a “thieving bastard” on hundreds of parking tickets emanating from a machine in the town where he's mayor. Jean-François Copé, a former bigwig of the French (conservative) opposition party Les Republicans, stood down last summer following a funding …

Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

The government’s tech procurement arm is asking suppliers to burn candles brightly over the festive season by filling in a 700-question Network Services tender after redrafting it. An OJEU contract notice for the framework, worth between £100m to £2bn over four years, was rewritten because suppliers claimed it was convoluted. As …
Paul Kunert, 22 Dec 2014
Barcelona brothel takes poster site

GSMA: Er, sorry about that MWC brothel ad with our logo

Mobile World Congress organiser the GSMA has issued an apology for the use of its logo on a website advertising a Barcelona brothel, but has been unable to do anything about a large poster which sits next to a Samsung advert. Visitors to Mobile World Congress are used to the route from the airport to the city imploring the 90, …
Simon Rockman, 06 Mar 2015

UK Cabinet Office's £200m IT bonanza: I got 999 contracts but a pitch ain't won (yet)

The UK government is seeking as many as 999 firms to provide a raft of tech services across the public sector, according to a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Cabinet Office, acting via government procurement body Crown Commercial Services, is splitting the Technology Services framework into 11 …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2014

MonkeyParking FLINGS AWAY San Francisco service

Embattled mobile app vendor MonkeyParking has suspended service in San Francisco under threat of legal action from City Hall. The company said that users in San Francisco would no longer be able to bid on parking spots through the mobile app. The move leaves Rome as the only city in which MonkeyParking currently operates. …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
A dragon in Game of Thrones

Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?

Brits are very concerned about the potential for life-threatening incidents involving dragon attacks, asteroid crashes and ghostly manifestations and they want their local council to do something about it, if their FoI requests are anything to go by. A dragon in Game of Thrones England’s Local Government Association has …

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

The government must take action to ensure that signs used to warn motorists that CCTV cameras are being used to monitor for parking offences are compliant with UK data protection laws, a watchdog has said. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that there are "deficiencies" in the information displayed to motorists on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2014
wales

Official: BT wins £420m Wales PSN gig... just as we said it would

The Welsh government has finally coughed to what El Chan readers have known for months, that BT dislodged incumbent Logicalis from the next Public Sector Network (PSN) contract valued at roughly £420m over seven years. The gig to provide the public sector in Wales with broadband and other IP services was actually awarded to the …
Paul Kunert, 08 Oct 2014
Houses of Parliament at night-time

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Millions of people may be unable to vote in May's general election because the Cabinet Office refused to heed warnings from its own pilot programmes two years ago. Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) at local authorities who have spoken to us on condition of anonymity say the Cabinet Office – the secretive Whitehall …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Local councils will carry on splurging on IT

Despite the recession Kable believes UK local government ICT budgets will rise to nearly £4bn by 2016. Research by the publisher of GC News says that growth in technology spending will be driven by transformational outsourcing projects, online channels and mobile working. Its Local Government Forecast: Opportunities in …
Kable, 17 Aug 2010
South Park Ginger Cow episode

Broadband bumpkin BONANZA: 8 altnets shortlisted for £10m UK.gov subsidy

The government has earmarked a £10m wad of broadband cash for eight outfits whose bids were shortlisted for what the Ministry of Fun described as the "feasibility stage" to bring faster internet connections to hard-to-reach parts of Blighty. It said the Tory-led Coalition was "focusing on exploring ways to reach those premises …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2014

Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

You've heard of the tiger that came to tea, but what about the leopard that came to lessons? That's exactly what techies-in-training at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay had to deal with when a big cat invaded their campus. After a leopard was spotted by the metallurgy department last week, the local forestry …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Local authorities offered outsourcing benchmarks

Local authorities wondering if they are keeping up with The Joneses in the outsourced IT stakes will soon be able to find out through a new performance benchmarking service from the Society of IT Management (Socitm). As well as keeping an eye on how other local authorities are handling outsourced projects and partnerships, the …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 May 2005
The Register breaking news

Local authorities must change child privacy practices

Local authorities across England should change their rules on collecting information about children, a new report into the protection of children's privacy has said. The report was produced by children's rights lobby group Action on Rights for Children (ARCH). The report calls for better training for local authorities in data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Cell site data sinks into black hole of local bureaucracy

It seems that UK mobile operators do publish the location of every base station, but they then mail that information to local authorities who do almost nothing with the data. The data is collected by the Mobile Operators Association (MOA), and converted into the standard-but-little-known Easting and Northing coordinate system …
Bill Ray, 05 May 2011
Two mobiles man

MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

The UK government has completely screwed up the deployment of faster internet connections to Brits living in the countryside because it failed to properly address competition concerns as a result of its awarding all its broadband contracts to BT, politicians concluded today. MPs sitting on the public accounts committee published …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Apr 2014
Reading Room British Library, St Pancras by Paul Grundy.

UK libraries trial free access to scientific research

Hundreds of thousands of journal articles are to be made available to the public in Blighty's local libraries after a government consultation on how to expand access to publicly funded research. The Access to Research Initiative is kicking off a two-year pilot programme today, after major publishers like the Nature Group, …
Angry-looking cat. Pic by  Guyon Morée from Beverwijk, Netherlands. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

'Lemme tell you about my trouble with girls ...' Er, please don't, bro-ffin

QuoTW This week, the science world was shocked to its dorky core after one of its own attempted to tell a joke. In public. Step forward Sir Tim Hunt and hang your head in shame. The Nobel Laureate, who has been a Fellow of the Royal Society for nearly 25 years, royally cocked up a speech to a group of senior female boffins at a …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jun 2015

EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database

The FBI is planning to expand the facial recognition components of its biometrics database to catalog and search the faces of more than 52 million individuals, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The group has released a cache of documents it obtained from the bureau by way of a Freedom of Information Act suit …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2014
Pirate Flag

Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?

The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) is once again looking to rat out known piracy hotbeds to the US government, both online and in real life – and Canada's largest urban center remains high on its list. The MPAA said on Monday that it had provided the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) with a list of markets that …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014

AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities

Keeping pace with rival Google Fiber, AT&T has announced a possible expansion to its GigaPower broadband internet service. The company said that it would be looking at plans for bringing its gigabit service to 100 new cities in 21 metropolitan areas around the US. The proposal would include major population hubs such as Los …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2014
flag.Wales

BT scoops up Wales PSN contracts, elbows out Logicalis

BT has pipped Logicalis to be the preferred supplier to provide the Welsh public sector with broadband and other IP services in a contract valued at up to £420m over its lifetime. This is a blow for the Welsh Slough-based Logicalis, which from 2007 built a public sector network (PSN) for Wales - the first in Europe - to provide …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

Number of local council snoopers clipped

The number of local officials who can authorise access to communications records and order surveillance operations will be cut under changes to snooping regulations announced today. The Home Office's move follows repeated controversy over the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by local authorities probing …
Jersey cow

UK's tech capital named: Read it and weep, Tech City startup hipsters

Wokingham is a town that's not famous for anything in particular. But that could be set to change after it was named the unlikely tech capital of Great Britain. A report by accountancy firm KPMG claimed the mundane town boasts a proportion of tech workers which is five times the national average. The municipality, located a …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Oct 2013
Mushroom cloud schematic

Tokyo to TXT warning of incoming Norks nukes

The Japanese government will launch a new service on Tuesday designed to notify users of the country’s three major phone networks if they are facing an imminent inbound missile strike. The new alert system will be co-ordinated by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency and is most likely a response to the threat of attack by …
Phil Muncaster, 31 Mar 2014
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Pirate Party runs aground in European Parliamentary elections

Update Voters have not been entirely kind to The Pirate Party in elections for the European Parliament. Sweden's two Pirate Party European Members of Parliament have not been re-elected, with the local authorities tally suggesting a collapse in the Party's vote to 2.2 per cent, down from 2009's 7.1 per cent. In Finland, where Pirate …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014

Google driver flees after Street View car crashes

A Google Street View car managed to crash into three other vehicles whilst out snapping pictures on the streets of Jakarta last weekend. The Google logo-emblazoned Subaru hatchback was driving through the outskirts of Indonesia's capital when it hit one of the city’s ubiquitous public minibuses, according to AFP. After …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Sep 2013

Capita splashes £80m on network biz Updata

Capita has coughed an eye-watering £80m in cash for fellow Public Services Network (PSN) provider Updata, as El Chan predicted months ago. The pair are already well known to each other: they have an alliance in Scotland and linked arms on contracts including the recent Scottish WAN project valued at £325m over nine years. As …
Paul Kunert, 01 Apr 2014
Mug with our Vulture logo

DON'T BREW THAT CUPPA! Your kettle could be a SPAMBOT

Russian authorities have claimed that household appliances imported from China contain tiny computers that seek out open WiFi networks and then get to work sending spam and distributing malware. St Petersburg news outlet Rosbalt reported last week that local authorities had examined kettles and irons and found “20 to 30 pieces …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Lambeth email sting councillor rejoins local Labour group

A Lambeth councillor has been allowed back into the Labour Party following a controversial email sting operation that left him excluded from the party for the last four months. Kingsley Abrams, a veteran Labour councillor in the South London borough, was first accused of leaking confidential papers to a south London newspaper in …
John Leyden, 17 Sep 2010

FORCE gov.uk suppliers to stick to 'open data principles' – MPs

UK government suppliers should be required to adhere to the same "open data principles" as government departments, a committee of MPs has proposed. The House of Commons' Public Administration Select Committee backed calls from UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, among others, for greater transparency in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Mar 2014

MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

An Ohio man is crying foul after he was detained and interrogated by the feds – because he wore a Google Glass headset in a movie theater. The bloke, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was pulled from a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at the AMC Easton Town Center in Columbus by men who he claims identified …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2014
Screaming kid

Don't be afraid of our e-tool, public sector, CloudStore won't bite

Nearly two years into the CloudStore experiment and the government is still working out ways to motivate more public sector tech procurement heads to actually use the e-tool. As the end of January, a total of £92.6m has been transacted via the web catalogue that now includes an eye-watering 13,000 services from nearly 1,900 …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2014
Speed gun cop

Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data

British cops are abusing the right to snoop on communications data by holding information on innocent people for far too long, a report from the Commissioner for Interception has found. Sir Anthony May, the commissioner, wanted to counteract the "general relatively uninformed fear" that shadowy government agencies were snooping …
Jasper Hamill, 09 Apr 2014

BlackBerry gives Indian spooks BBM and BIS access

BlackBerry has finally given in to demands from the Indian government to access its consumer messaging services, although enterprise communications will remain safe from prying eyes. An internal Department of Telecommunications document seen by Economic Times apparently declared that the “lawful interception system for …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Jul 2013