Articles about Pensions

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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

The regulator Ofcom has decided to force a legal separation of Openreach from BT, after the former broadband monopoly failed to offer voluntary proposals that addressed its competition concerns. Ofcom fell short of recommending a full structural separation earlier this year, citing pensions and properties costs as the main …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016
An angry mob

Fujitsu staffers strike over pay, job security and pensions

Three hundred unionised Fujitsu workers braved the bitter cold on Monday to attend the first of a two-day UK strike over pay, pensions and job security. The brothers downed tools for 24 hours last week in protest of work conditions, and turned out again today, leafleting current and prospective punters in Salford's media city …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 2016

Fujitsu workers to strike in Blighty over pay

Up to 300 workers at Japanese IT godzilla Fujitsu are to strike over pay and pensions next week in Manchester, UK. The Unite union members claim that the company has been cutting pay rates for years, despite healthy profits and increases to senior management pay. The union also accused Fujitsu of failing to address a …
Kat Hall, 28 Oct 2016
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HMRC to create new compliance team focused on 'gig economy' workers

A new compliance team which will address the "risks" associated with the changing nature of employment is to be established within HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Financial secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison confirmed the measure in a letter to Frank Field, the Labour MP who chairs the House of Commons Work and Pensions …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Oct 2016

Euro Patent Office staff demand new rights to deal with terrifying boss

Staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) have asked its administrative council to adopt new guidelines to protect them from the organization's rampaging president. The open letter [PDF] urges the council – which meets this week in Munich – to adopt the same rules for disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 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

Don't let banks fool you, the blockchain really does have other uses

Analysis It is a truth universally acknowledged that executives in the financial sector are capable of making the most exciting innovations boring, and in this respect their approach to the blockchain has been exemplary. During 2008's financial crash, a nine-page paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System [PDF] was …
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Ireland's govt IT: Recession and job cuts forced us to adapt

Ireland was hit hard by the global financial crunch of 2007 and 2008. It was the first of the EU member states to slip into recession immediately following the bursting of the economic bubble. As the economy contracted, banks faced default and government debt increased, with Ireland eventually taking an €67.5bn loan from the …
SA Mathieson, 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 IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

+Comment A homeless IT consultant will learn today whether his challenge to a draconian order, which forces him to tell police in advance if he is going to have sex, will succeed. John O'Neill, 45, must tell the cops 24 hours in advance even if he only plans on “kissing” or engaging in “sexually explicit conversation” – but has never …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Aug 2016

UK govt digi-chief confirms he is standing down after ... 9 months

Stephen Foreshew-Cain, the head of the UK's Government Digital Service, has stepped down from his position after just nine months in the role – amid rumours that GDS is for the chop. In a blog post Foreshew-Cain confirmed that he had handed in his notice to civil service head John Manzoni. "I’ve been fortunate to work with …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2016
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Reasons to be cheerful at Insight: Let's start with bring your dog to work

Forget sales commissions, career progression or job satisfaction, Insight Enterprises has another type of employment glue to ensure staff stick around - and it involves dogs. The reseller’s Ministry of Motivation, perhaps better known as HR, has found "four reasons to work" at the reseller and plastered them on a poster to …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
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Trial to store benefits claimants' personal data on blockchain slammed

A government experiment to store the information of benefits claimants using blockchain tech has been slammed by experts, who have warned it could expose highly sensitive personal data. London-based fintech company GovCoin Systems has partnered with Barclays, RWE npower and University College London to trial blockchain …
Kat Hall, 12 Jul 2016

Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

Exclusive Every CEO knows it's impossible to be universally liked. But when staff start cutting your brakes, maybe it's time to consider moving on. The president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, has already been on the receiving end of an official censure from his board, a series of strikes, several highly …
Kieren McCarthy, 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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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

Moves to shift departments' back office servers and ERP systems into two privately owned shared services centres - which had been touted as set to save the taxpayer £128m - have failed to prove "value for money", according to a report by the National Audit Office. The shared services centres, run separately by IT provider …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2016
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Hewlett Packard Enterprise hiring temps to cover for redundancies - sources

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is hiring temps to cover gaps caused by the exit of hundreds of techies it recently axed, some of whom provided services to clients including the Department for Work and Pensions. This is according to multiple insiders, who told us the picture might have been worse had HPE not halted some of the job …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
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Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

A date has been set to formally decommission the government's online identity Gateway portal by 2018 - a move that raises serious questions as to whether the Verify replacement will provide a fit for purpose alternative. The deal to pull the plug on Gateway - which is most importantly used for self-assessment tax users - has …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
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Ireland handed another $100m by Silicon Valley for startups' handout

The mad money bags at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) have announced they will be throwing an additional $100m at Ireland's Strategic Investment Fund, doubling the bank's involvement in the nation's tech sector. SVB pledged its first $100m, to be paid over a five year period, back in 2012. While not notably different from most …
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Central gov spent £6.3bn on IT. Nearly half handed to just 3 suppliers

Central government splashed £6.3bn with IT suppliers for the year 2014/15 – with 42 per cent going to just three suppliers, according to government data shared with The Register. Sixty-five per cent of the total figure was hoovered up by 10 suppliers, with HP coming top at £1.2bn, followed by Capgemini at £861m, and BT at £ …
Kat Hall, 29 Apr 2016

Can you hear me now – over the picket line? Verizon workers strike

The workers who handle Verizon's wireline services in the Eastern US have gone on strike. At 6:00am local time Wednesday morning, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said that members in districts ranging from Maryland and Delaware up through New York and New England were officially on strike barring failed …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit at high risk of cyber-attack, fraud from the outset

Documents released after a four-year legal battle reveal the extent of the UK government's blithe disregard for the risks faced by Universal Credit. This week, internal reviews of the enormous project in 2011 and 2012 were published by the Department of Work and Pensions under Freedom of Information laws. The dossiers reveal …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2016
South Park's Underpants Gnomes

GDS has no real strategy for £450m budget pot, internal plan reveals

Exclusive Concerns are mounting that the Government Digital Service has no real plan for spending its £450m budget - following a leaked strategy document obtained by The Register. In November GDS was awarded the additional funding in the Spending Review to digitally transform Whitehall over this Parliament. Its previous annual budget …
Kat Hall, 08 Apr 2016
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Cloudera's valuation slashed by Fidelity amid IPO fail fears

Cloudera's estimated valuation was slashed 38 per cent by major capital player Fidelity Investments, reports have said, as Wall Street grows very cool on unicorn public offerings. Fidelity aired its concerns about a potential "startup bubble" by marking down its assessment of privately held Cloudera, monthly holding reports …
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

Universal credit, the proposed one online benefits system to rule them all, has always been Iain Duncan Smith's brainchild – but with his shock departure from the Department for Work and Pensions, will the government finally put a bullet in the troubled project? Announced with great fanfare in 2011, the programme intended to …
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Judge orders Universal Credit internal reviews must be disclosed

Analysis The jury is still out as to whether Britain's Universal Credit will go down as one of the major IT disasters of our time. This is mainly because the UK Department for Work and Pensions tore up the original project, started again and then moved the completion date multiple times. The total lifetime cost of the project has …
Kat Hall, 16 Mar 2016

Staffers in charge of HPE's UK IT outsourcing face redundo in April

Around a quarter of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s current IT Outsourcing staff are expected to be made redundant at end of next month, according to company insiders. As we exclusively revealed on Friday, 780 ITO workers are among 1,000 heads in the UK Enterprise Services division that were told their jobs are at risk. Sources …
Paul Kunert, 10 Mar 2016
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

Buying gov.UK kit via price-comparison digital portal could 'save £10bn'

The government could save up to £10bn per year if it were to create an "Amazon-like" procurement portal for all its purchases, similar to the underused G-Cloud, according to a think tank report. Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe.Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock Er, ID Smith? Your server arrived! Upside …
Kat Hall, 07 Mar 2016

HP Enterprise Services readies deeper cuts in UK: Now 1,000 techies face axe

Exclusive HPE is planning to axe roughly 1,000 Enterprise Services techies in the UK, The Register has learned today. The bulk of the cuts will hit the Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing (ITO) wing: as many as 780 people in that division are now at risk of losing their jobs. Staff in the UK were sent an "internal use only" memo on …
Chris Williams, 04 Mar 2016

Trade union threatens work-to-rule action over HPE Lancashire job cuts

The Public and Commercial Services trade union has - as expected - opened a ballot calling for work-to-rule action over HPE's plans to axe 166 jobs in Lancashire. Staff at HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham who work on public sector contracts, including business for the Department of Work and Pensions, were put at …
Kat Hall, 18 Feb 2016

PCS: We'll ballot Hewlett Packard Enterprise members over job cuts

The Public and Commercial Services union is gearing up to test the appetite for industrial action among services staff at Hewlett Packard Enterprises over the latest round of planned job cuts. Some 166 staff in HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham that work on public sector contracts including the Department of Work …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ditching techies at its Lytham site who provide infrastructure services for public sector clients, including the Department for Work & Pensions. According to the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union, HPE has put 166 employees in the infrastructure technology outsourcing business at risk of …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all

Analysis Universal Credit feels like it has been around since time immemorial. If the programme ever arrives, its implementation will have spanned three Parliaments - outlasting the careers of many MPs. The Department for Work and Pensions has consistently maintained that the programme is on track, which may be true if one ignores the …
Kat Hall, 25 Jan 2016

DWP building a separate ID tool as Verify can’t cut it, whisper sources

The Department for Work and Pensions looks to be developing its own version of an online identity tool intended as a way to ensure a secure transaction with government services, according to several sources. The current mechanism for online identification while securing benefits and tax credits is the Government Gateway, which …
Kat Hall, 14 Jan 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Three-years-late fit-to-work IT tool will cost taxpayers £76m

A delayed IT system developed by the Department for Work and Pensions for its controversial benefits assessment contracts has cost the taxpayer £76m due to benefits assessments having to be done manually, according to a report by the National Audit Office. Outsourcers Capita, Maximus and Atos were awarded the deal for …
Kat Hall, 08 Jan 2016
Bletchley Park

Dr Sue Black among handful of IT Brits getting New Year gongs

Updated Former Bletchley Park board member Dr Sue Black is among just a handful of IT folk on the UK's 2016 New Year honours list. Black, an honorary Senior Research Associate in Computer Science at University College London, was made an OBE for "services to technology". She has been a vocal campaigner for the site, having …
Kat Hall, 31 Dec 2015
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Brits learning from the Continent? Authority, digi gov wheezes and the Autumn Statement

Analysis Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne included several uses of technology in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review. As part of a major expansion, the Government Digital Service will develop a common payment system on gov.uk, so that by 2020 citizens will have the option of paying online for every central …
SA Mathieson, 26 Nov 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Freelance IT workers in the UK have expressed concern about claims that the government plans to force contractors onto the payroll of their clients after just one month of service. It was reported over the weekend that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne would crack down on personal service firms during his spending …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2015
CES 2015 crowds brace for bluster

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Analysis The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been revealed, after seven years of negotiations and following formal approval last month. The text was first published by the government of New Zealand, but was swiftly followed by the United States government, which has uploaded it across a number of websites and in …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Nov 2015

Government Gateway online hack claims 'nonsense', say multiple folk in the know

Claims the Government Gateway online identity portal has been "hacked" have been dismissed as "nonsense" by the man originally responsible for the project and by two government information security experts. Earlier this week the Financial Times (behind paywall) reported that “tens of thousands” of Britons’ identities were …
Kat Hall, 29 Oct 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

So, GDS saved Brits £1.7bn through 'digital transformation'. Sure about that?

Analysis Claims that the Government Digital Services saved the taxpayer £1.7bn during the last Parliament through "digital transformation" have been repeated so frequently of late, it seems the figure will go down as the main business case for the body's existence over the last Parliament. This is particularly true with the exodus of …
Kat Hall, 16 Oct 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

Worstall @ the Weekend So, to set the scene: a couple of weeks ago, when writing in another place, I commented upon a piece in the New York Times. It seems that researchers have shown that we use a certain part of our brain when thinking about valuations of things which we normally think about the valuations of; things that we value and purchase in …
Tim Worstall, 13 Sep 2015
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Whitehall IT running costs creep up again to £4.6bn

Despite government plans to cut expensive contracts, IT running costs across Whitehall crept up by 7 per cent year-on-year to £4.6bn in 2014/15, according to a spend analysis by The Register. The findings are based on official government figures from eight of the largest Whitehall departments. The Ministry of Defence – which …
Kat Hall, 20 Aug 2015
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RSA chief uncans insurance giant's mega IT infrastructure review

Interview Zurich Insurance, Europe’s third-largest insurer with $70bn in revenue and 55,000 staff, hinted last week that it might buy RSA Group. Yet six major acts of M&A have saddled RSA with 15 data centres, managed and run differently and propping up a creaking architecture. Worth £4.5bn and with 19,000 staff and 20 million customers …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Aug 2015
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Informatica goes private – with Microsoft and Salesforce each taking a share

Data management outfit Informatica became a private company on Thursday, in a multibillion-dollar leveraged buyout that included investment from Microsoft and Salesforce.com's venture wing. Investors received $48.75 in cash for each share of Informatica, which previously had traded on the Nasdaq exchange. The total value of …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

The British Government closed a window of opportunity for tax-efficient folk about a year ago that was beneficial to, and widely used by, contractors: the Employee Beneficiary Trust. Only now, though, has HMRC begun chasing those who had employed this shelter. A demand for money on income generated five years ago dropped …
Team Register, 30 Jul 2015
Champagne Not Included

Capita cracks open the bubbly after 10 per cent sales jump

This year's huge Capita spending spree boosted the company's sales by 10 per cent to £2.28bn, according to the outsourcing giant's first-half results for 2015. During that period, the outsourcer splashed a total of £279m on 11 businesses, most recently snapping up Scottish business intel outfit Barrachd. Profits before tax …
Kat Hall, 29 Jul 2015

UK's Crown Commercial Service creams off £72m from frameworks

Government procurement body Crown Commercial Services had a bumper year in 2014/15, increasing its slice of commission and fees from government frameworks by 50 per cent to a cool £72m. During that period the body doubled its staff costs to £44.4m, increased full-time headcount from 430 to 674, and ran a surplus of £2m, which …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Benefits recipients, “non-doms” (those living in Britain treated as foreigners for tax purposes), banks, and landlords weren't the only losers in George Osborne's recent budget. Although they weren’t explicitly mentioned, the chancellor put many contractors, including those working in IT, on his hit list by changing the …
SA Mathieson, 21 Jul 2015
The Shining - blood cascade

Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

The number of Home Office IT staff has been slashed by one third, following the latest round of redundancies at the department, The Register can reveal. Currently the department has an 800-strong IT team, following its recent laying off of 107 staff. However, multiple sources have confirmed this is just the latest in a round …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2015