Articles about Public Sector

South Korea targeted by cyberspies (again). Kim, got something to say?

The South Korean public sector is once again in the firing line of a sophisticated – and likely government-backed – cyberattack. The campaign was active between November 2016 and January 2017 and relied on exploiting vulnerabilities in a Korean language word processing program and a spoofed document from the Korean Ministry of …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2017
Elon Musk

Elon Musk promises Tesla investors Trump won't send him to Mars

Amid larger than expected losses at Tesla, founder Elon Musk promised he would not be diverted by a mission to Mars and intended to stay at the company "forever". During an investor call Musk was asked if numerous reports suggesting the Trump administration is in favour of accelerating a mission to send humans to Mars could …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
NSA

Former NSA techies raise $8m for their data governance startup

Immuta, a data governance startup run by former US National Security Agency technicians, has announced the conclusion of its Series A funding round, pulling in $8m. The funding round was led by Drive Capital – whose partner Andy Jenks has been given a board seat – with participation from Greycroft Partners and Conversion …
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Cut off: Big government IT wallets snap shut on BT's fingers

BT, which until 1984 was part of the UK public sector, is losing its grip on the public purse. Spending with BT by the Department of Health and its organisations appears to have fallen by nearly two-thirds during the current fiscal year, compared with 2015-16. Data unearthed by The Register has found BT is also rapidly …
SA Mathieson, 07 Feb 2017

Police drones, robo surgeons and chatbot civil servants. What could go wrong?

A think tank is calling for hundred-of-thousands of UK public sector jobs to be automated. Blighty should also take a look at using drones for policing, apparently. The report, Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce [PDF], by centre-right wonkers Reform reckons up to 250,000 state employees in …
Kat Hall, 06 Feb 2017
woman answers phone in the middle of the night. photo by SHutterstock

BT's ball-juggling routine can only go on so long

Analysis Former state monopoly BT is juggling so many regulatory, financial and operational balls it’s a wonder it has a free hand to get on with the day-to-day business. Just some issues facing the telco include: uncertainty over Openreach’s future; continuous declines in business with the public sector; a £9bn ballooning pensions …
Kat Hall, 06 Feb 2017

HPE raises 'at risk' flag over hundreds of Brit services techies

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is bundling hundreds more UK Enterprise Services (ES) staff out of the door ahead of the looming ‘spin merger’ with CSC. Peter Hands, the former exec director of Capita’s IT Services business, now HPE ES UK, Ireland and MEMA cluster leader, has told staff of the latest “Workforce Management” …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2017

As the world quakes over Trump, CGI has dollar signs in its eyes

While most of the world looks on in despair at Trump, Canadian outsourcer CGI is rubbing its hands together at the prospect of some lovely new business. In its first-quarter results, the outsourcing giant said it stands to benefit from increased spend in defence, government, intelligence and tax reform. That is despite it …
Kat Hall, 02 Feb 2017
Still from ABC's video of the Ultranet launch

AU$240m went up in smoke on failed school portal project

The corruption watchdog in the Australian State of Victoria has concluded that the state's failed "Ultranet" project was made vastly more expensive by official, rampant and long-standing corruption. The “Operation Durham” report also highlights just how long people can operate without oversight, if they happen to catch a …
BT Openreach van

BT's profits plunge 37% following Italian Job

Profits at BT plunged by 37 per cent to £526m for its third-quarter, due to the fall-out from the firm’s accounting scandal in Italy. Earlier this week BT issued a profit warning after it emerged the write-down from “improper accounting practices in Italy" would total £530m as opposed to the original estimate £145m. Shares …
Kat Hall, 27 Jan 2017

UK.gov tells freelance techies to slap 20 per cent on fees as IR35 tax hike looms

UK government departments are advising IT contractors to hike their fees by a fifth in order to avert an exodus of self-employed techies that will be hit by a forthcoming tax clampdown, multiple sources have told The Register. Changes by HMRC in April will shift responsibility for compliance with the intermediaries legislation …
Kat Hall, 25 Jan 2017
Woman shrugs. Photo by sHutterstock

Shocked, I tell you. BT to write off £530m over 'improper' Italian accounts practices

BT is to write off £530m following an accounting scandal in its Italian business, saying it was "deeply disappointed" with the improper practices uncovered. The firm had previously expected the sum to be £145m, but has today revised that figure upwards after the investigation began last October. BT said the behaviour in its …
Kat Hall, 24 Jan 2017
Migrating birds in the cloud

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
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Lords slam 'untrammelled' data sharing powers in Digital Economy Bill

A House of Lords committee has slammed the "inappropriate" and "untrammelled" powers laid out in the Digital Economy Bill to share citizen data across the public sector. The Delegated Powers Committee report recommended that the government removes broad powers to share information with a range of "specified persons", which …
Kat Hall, 20 Jan 2017

Ransomware brutes smacked 1 in 3 NHS trusts last year

A third (30 per cent) of NHS trusts have been infected by ransomware, with one – the Imperial College Healthcare in London – suffering 19 attacks in just 12 months. According to results of a Freedom of Information-based study, none of the trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement. All preferred to deal with …
John Leyden, 17 Jan 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

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
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

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

AWS, you crack us up. Rebrands Westminster 'Webminster'

LogoWatch Confused commuters disembarked at Westminster tube this morning to discover the station at the seat of power had been rebranded "Webminster" in a "hilarious" guerilla marketing campaign by Amazon Web Services. The one-day rebrand is part of AWS's re:Start training programme intended to educate folk on the latest software …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017

SCC veterans set to leave the building after two decades

Nigh on 20-year SCC veteran Andy Wright is hanging up his company overalls to take a commercial director role and board seat at reseller XMA, sister company to distributor Westcoast. SCC CEO James Rigby confirmed to El Reg that Wright, who was also his firm’s commercial director, will leave at the beginning of March. “He’s …
Paul Kunert, 11 Jan 2017
A quadcopter drone seized by the Metropolitan Police

Joe Public likes drones and regulations, finds UK.gov 'public dialogue'

The general public is keen on drones of all shapes and sizes but wants their operators to be registered and trained, according to a study carried out by the UK Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence. A joint exercise between the two government departments to encourage "public dialogue on drone use in the UK" …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Jan 2017

Government calls for ideas on how to splash £400m on fibre

The government is asking for ideas on how it should splash £400m earmarked for fibre broadband investment. Its call for evidence document follows the announcement in the Autumn Statement, which aims to invest up to £1bn in digital infrastructure via matched private sector finance. It also intends to fling £700m at 5G - even …
Kat Hall, 29 Dec 2016

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
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Privacy Commissioner, infosec boffins, call for reform of anti-hack Bill

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, together with noted security and privacy professionals, have called for amendments to a Federal Government Bill that would criminalise the identification of Government-issued anonymous data sets claiming it will impinge legitimate research. Federal Attorney-General George …
Darren Pauli, 18 Dec 2016
Angry-looking woman croses her arms and glares. Pic by Shutterstock

Microsoft offers UK cloud customers private pipes

Microsoft is offering private connections to its UK data centres as a means of wooing government customers to its sometimes less-than- resilient cloud. The private connection means faster pipes, less latency and therefore less failover or loss of service. Also, supposedly, greater protection. Until now, Microsoft relied upon …
Kat Hall, 15 Dec 2016
HYDRAstor_node

NEC mentions it has a high-end dedupe disk backup box, stretches, yawns for 40 seconds

Analysis NEC has the biggest, baddest scale-out deduping backup-to-disk array on the planet and we virtually never hear about it. NEC is not a top-six purpose-built backup supplier, according to IDC, being neither a unit ship or revenue leader. Yet there are 1,100 customers and 1,800 installations, around three exabytes under …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2016

It's a ratchet: Old storage guard face incoming tech squeeze

Analysis Squeezed between the giant pressures of hyper-convergence, the public cloud, object storage and software-defined/cheap commodity hardware, the old guard storage suppliers face shrinkage into shadows of their former dominant selves. Ten years ago and before that Dell, EMC, HDS, HPE, IBM and NetApp represented the bulk of on- …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2016
Hospital, photo via Shutterstock

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

The NHS is still running Windows XP en masse, two and a half years after Microsoft stopped delivering bug fixes and security updates. Nearly all of England NHS trusts – 90 per cent – continue to rely on PCs installed with Microsoft’s 15-year-old desktop operating system. Just over half are still unsure as to when they will …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Dec 2016

China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

Feature China and Russia are populous, wealthy nations that the technology industry has long-regarded as exceptional growth prospects. And then along came Edward Snowden, whose suggestions that American vendors were complicit in the United States' surveillance efforts gave governments everywhere a reason to re-think their relationship …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2016
Lady eating a sandwich checking her mobile phone

AWS is coming for UK infrastructure suppliers' lunch – report

Traditional IT infrastructure suppliers had better watch out, as Amazon Web Services (AWS) is coming for their lunch, having already doubled its growth in Blighty over the last year - according to research. During 2015 the outfit posted bumper UK revenue growth, up 45 per cent to £254m, according to TechMarketView's top 20 …
Kat Hall, 05 Dec 2016

It’s Brexploitation! Microsoft punishes UK for Brexit with cloud price-gouging

“My own story would not have been possible but for the democratizing force of Microsoft technology reaching me where I was growing up,” CEO Satya Nadella told shareholders this week. But the price of that “democratizing force” is about to go up, with Britons uniquely singled out. Microsoft has reiterated to Azure customers …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

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

HPE's first standalone year ticks most boxes – except Donald Trump's

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has posted its first full-year results as a discrete entity and says it has ticked most of the boxes it said it would when it spun itself out and then started selling bits of itself off. The headline figures for Q4 aren't brilliant: revenue was US$12.5bn, down 7.7 per cent year on year. GAAP …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2016
whitehall_648

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

Six weeks after first ever profit warning Capita does what Capita does

Those caring souls at Capita have inevitably taken the knife to the business, cutting out an entire layer of management and slicing and dicing the divisional structure, six weeks after its first ever profit warning. The blundering integrator and outsourcing giant said it will fold the current units into six; private and public …
Paul Kunert, 10 Nov 2016

In dire straits after #CensusFail, ABS to axe up to 150 staff

After the collapse of Australia's Census on August 9, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told radio shock-jock Alan Jones “Lots of people are trying to find out who to blame and what heads should roll” at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). And now we know that the first heads to roll will be rank and file staff, at least …

Will the roulette ball fall for WANdisco's spiel?

Analysis How is replication software supplier WANdisco doing after the chairman fired the CEO and then the fired CEO came back and fired the chairman? WANdisco’s main technology is about replicating active data, such that, as potentially huge populations of large transaction files are migrated to the cloud, transactions can …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2016

A sorry Brexcuse! Systemax blames Brexit for car crash Q3 results

Sickly supplier Systemax has blamed Brexit for its latest car crash financials as losses in the UK mounted in the wake of the EU referendum. The once mighty reseller reported falling year-on-year sales at its European Technology Group (ETG) for Q3 ended September, down 6.3 per cent to $226.5m. Trading output across the region …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2016

50 tech jobs to go at AirServices Australia

AirServices Australia is set to axe around 50 jobs across its IT department as part of sweeping cuts that could see 900 positions cut. The cuts are part of the Accelerate program, the ABC reports, and have raised concerns of safety from pilots and AirServices air traffic controllers. AirServices was not immediately available …
Darren Pauli, 31 Oct 2016
HP's forthcoming Elite X3 Windows Phone

Everything you need to know about HP's three-in-one x3 deals

Is HP’s ambitious 3-in-one phablet replacement for PCs for you? Probably not for most of you, you may gather, but it does make for a fascinating proposition, and obvious sense for some workers wrestling with cumbersome old kit. HP explained to us how this week – with more details of how much all this will cost. The idea is to …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2016
man in suit clutches briefcase full of cash. Photo by Shutterstock

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

HMRC IT boss quit £185k job for more cash

HMRC IT chief Mark Dearnley walked away from his £185,000-a-year job because the private sector paid better, MPs heard yesterday. Speaking at a Commons public accounts committee hearing on Wednesday, Jon Thompson, chief executive of the UK tax body, was asked why Dearnley quit his role, which involved overseeing the agency's …
Kat Hall, 27 Oct 2016
Robot as person illustration via Shutterstock

Bloody robots! 860k public sector jobs to be automated by 2030, say researchers

Once upon a time a public sector job was a golden ticket: little actual work, less accountability, and a job for life. Not any longer. According to research by Deloitte, building on its previous work with the University of Oxford about job automation, up to 861,000 public sector jobs could be automated by 2030. In just over a …
Security guard watches footage from hundreds of camera. Photo by Shutterstock

Surveillance by consent: Commissioner launches CCTV strategy for England and Wales

“There is a gap between what exists and what should exist,” according to the UK's commissioner responsible for ensuring that surveillance cameras are protecting members of the public, rather than spying on them. Tony Porter, who sees that public authorities follow the government's rules on operating surveillance cameras, on …
Price rises

Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

Life is to get a lot more expensive for Microsoft customers from the start of next year with currency linked, double-digit price hikes looming for cloud and on-premise software. Software resellers, integrators and cloud service providers were warned about the price rises late on Friday afternoon and told us they expected a …
Paul Kunert, 24 Oct 2016
Privacy image

Gartner's seers pass judgement on storage industry leaders

Gartner has published a distributed file systems and object storage magic quadrant with the top three suppliers being Dell EMC, followed by IBM and Scality. The research consultancy defines distributed file systems and object storage as "software and hardware solutions that offer object and/or scale-out file technology to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2016
I quit

The man running HPE's Microsoft Azure biz says shiz this... after eight months

The director Hewlett Packard Enterprise asked to steer its oh-so important relationship with Microsoft to sell Azure and Hybrid IT is set to leave the business after a relatively short time in situ. John Ansell previously ran the firm’s entire channel organisation that was responsible for 70 per cent of the UK P&L account but …
Paul Kunert, 20 Oct 2016
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Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Further uncertainty over Brexit could hamper Virgin Media's ability to get more broadband investment for the UK from its parent company Liberty Global, chief exec Tom Mockridge has warned. Speaking at the Broadband World Forum event, he said: "We need certainty over the outcome of Brexit," adding that when the business makes …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2016

HPE UK overlord lines up sales generals, gives ra ra speech

The classic management domino affect has reached Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s UK team with new broom Marc Waters naming his sales lieutenants. Changes started in July when EMEA boss Peter Ryan was made global sales head for the Enterprise Group, he was replaced by UK boss Andy Isherwood who was then succeeded by UK EG boss …
Paul Kunert, 17 Oct 2016
holland

Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament. The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2016