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Technology & The Transformation of Frontline Services

ITU UKauthorITy IT in Use May/June 2011

User Experience - Focusing on the customer to deliver digital by default

Minimalist & Digital ITU • May/June 2011

- Government’s e-progress one year on

Simplifying Complexity - ITU Live asks whether technology can simplify public services

Identity & Authentication - No one size will fit all, finds the ITU Live panel PLUS: News Update, The NHS & ICT, Making Sense of Mobile, View on Westminster, Redaction Tips, Product Notes & Contracts Won. Contracts






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May/June 2011 On the Cover One year on - government’s digital progress.

ISSN 2046 7133

See page 10 Editor & Publisher

Helen Olsen E: T: 01273 273941

Contributing Editor

Tim Hampson E: T: 01865 790675

Special Correspondent

Michael Cross E:

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Contents Comment


The future is looking brighter, says Helen Olsen, welcoming Socitm’s local ICT strategy

News Update

UKauthorITy UKauthorITy comprises the online news service, the video news service, the market-leading IT in Use magazine and ITU Live webinars, and the market information newsletter, UKauthorITy Report (formerly the Town Hall newsletter). Our core editorial focus is the use of technology to both improve public service quality and reduce service delivery costs across the UK public sector: Central Government, Local Government, Police, Fire and Health.

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ITU Live: Simplifying Complexity

May/June 2011


Can technology simplify the complex business of government? ITU editor, Helen Olsen, puts the questions to this month’s ITU Live panel.

ITU Live: Identity & Authentication


No one size will fit all, finds the ITU Live panel, when it comes to identity and authentication in online services.

ITU Live: User Experience


How can we address digital exclusion and encourage a mass shift to low cost online services? Helen Olsen reports from ITU Live.

Minimalist & Digital


The shape of public services to come will most definitely be moulded by technology, says Michael Cross in a review on government’s digital progress one year on.

Special Focus: Redaction Hide & Seek


Adobe’s Anke Schnedler provides tips for avoiding redaction errors when releasing sensitive information into the public domain.

Special Focus: Making Sense of Mobile


The consumerisation of technology means that public service designers must put mobile delivery at the top of design priorities, not treat them as an afterthought.

He Never Promised You a Rose Garden


Tim Hampson takes a look at the fallout from May’s elections in England, Scotland and Wales.

Oh Yes They Should...


Michael Cross fears an outbreak of nervousness regarding health sector ICT following the drama of the PAC hearing into NHS IT.

Company & Product Notes Contracts Roundup

To advertise in ITU call Informed Publications: 01983 812623 2


Socitm launches a local ICT strategy; Alphagov goes live; plus round up of the key news, headlines and trends affecting technology in frontline public services.

15 16-18

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Standardise - but stay local The future is public service organisations the territory, with organisations coming looking brighter Frontline should adopt common information assur- together in different localities and using it to ance standards and be required to sign up work out the particular route to their desired


ocitm’s local ICT strategy should rightly be welcomed across the public sector front line - it provides joined up thinking and clarity as to the technology needed, on the ground, to deliver better services for less.

The collaboration across frontline services envisioned could finally put into action the rhetoric of the past decade for cost effective, joined up, citizen focused services. Undoubtedly, the public sector culture must be willing to share, but the current financial impositions mean that the required culture change is happening - what was once an incremental (and oft begrudging) move will become a landslide as necessity breeds action. Collaboration on this scale can only be enabled through ICT - from common, standard and interoperable ICT. Socitm has taken the visionary new government ICT strategy and stuck a stake in the ground for frontline services - let’s just hope everyone takes the time to read the map.

New Socitm president Congratulations, meanwhile, to Glyn Evans, corporate director of business change for Birmingham City Council, who has become the new Socitm president. Speaking soon after taking up the presidency, Evans said that despite the difficulties of operating within a downsizing public sector there was room for optimism: “The list of examples demonstrating how IT can enable fundamental change is growing daily. IT across local public services is radically improving efficiency and effectiveness. Most importantly, public services can change people’s lives for the better and, increasingly, IT plays a key part in that. After a lot of hard work, not least by Socitm, I think we are at or past the tipping point where organisations realise that IT is the enabler for delivery of their objectives.” Socitm also elected a new vice president: Nadira Hussain, transition manager at Tower Hamlets, who joins existing vice presidents Kay Brown, head of ICT at South Lanarkshire, and Steve Halliday, head of ICT at Solihull.

Helen Olsen, Editor

to the proposed Public Service Network, according to an ambitious local ICT strategy published by the local government IT association, Socitm. The strategy, ‘Planting the Flag,’ sets out a vision of “unprecedented levels of collaboration between local authorities, emergency services, health, education and civil society organisations, leading to radical re-design of local public service delivery”. Implementation will cut the cost and improve the performance of public services - “providing local public service leaders commit to the sort of value-driven, cost reducing, organisational change it advocates”. Jos Creese, Socitm’s then president, said that the strategy “sets out a destination and stakes out local public service delivery territory. Our aim is that it provides a compass, a torch and a map to navigate through

destination.” The strategy stresses the need for public services to move towards a common, shared ICT infrastructure, especially to support the secure exchange of “a single version of the truth” about people, assets, finance, service usage and performance. It calls for the adoption of common information assurance approaches and standards, “especially around health services”, and mandating a move to the Public Sector Network. However Socitm rejects the “one size fits all” approach for local public services, and rigid, largescale technology-led programmes driven from Whitehall. Joe Harley, government CIO, welcomed the strategy. “The core themes of ‘Planting the Flag’: sharing and re-using our assets, simplifying and standardising our services and empowering citizens and communities, are also fully aligned with the actions highlighted in our central Government ICT Strategy.”

Alphagov for all... including councils?


prototype of the latest vision of a single UK government website has gone online., developed by a small Cabinet Office team led by Tom Loosemore, demonstrates the possibility of creating a single government website with ‘open and agile’ web techniques. Enthusiasts say that by moving departmental information into one place, the government could save over 50% of the annual £130m web spend. Attempts to create a single UK government site date back to the birth of the web, from a URL directory through to the central editorial direction of and to the federated approach of uk. Alphagov now aims to “trial a selection of new, simple, reusable tools aimed at meeting some of the most prevalent needs people have from government online”. Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, welcomed the prototype: “We inherited hundreds of websites all providing separate government services, which cost a lot and make it incredibly difficult to find what you are looking for. We are trying to change this… This is not the finished article, but an early draft, an opportunity for the public to have a look and tell us what they think.”

Alpha open to local government Local authorities will be able to slash the cost of their websites by hosting them on the government’s new single domain, Chris Chant, then interim executive director for digital at the Cabinet Office, told the Socitm spring UKauthorITy IT in Use

conference. He said that the alphagov website would be available free or at marginal cost to local authorities wanting to host web services there. Chant described the site as “a completely different approach to where the confusion of government websites has led us.” Alphagov will host transactions rather than departmental information, with the emphasis on simplicity. It will also allow citizens to transact with public agencies from private sector and charity websites. He indicated that the ambition to position Directgov as a destination website had been shelved. “It’s been recognised that Google is most people’s home page, not Directgov,” he said. A central portal based on the alpha technology will go live next summer, according to Chant. All central government sites would be put in this domain. “We won’t ask for any money from departments and we’ll still save money,” he said. Local authorities would be invited to use the infrastructure “probably at no cost or marginal cost”. He likened the arrangement to that of football clubs, the vast majority of which do not run their own websites. Following Martha Lane Fox’s report last autumn, a policy of “digital by default” is now in place across central government, driven by a Treasury committee, PexER, he revealed. @alphagov May/June 2011



Hunt names winners in £49m broadband scheme

Ten Commandments for inclusive web design


our poorly-connected parts of England will share a £49m funding boost to connect homes and offices to superfast broadband.

areas have access to the connection speeds more commonly associated with towns and cities.”


Devon and Somerset (£30m), Norfolk (£15m) and Wiltshire (£4m) have been unveiled as the latest trial areas to benefit from a £530m government fund. The announcement will clear the way for local authorities to tender for contractors to upgrade the area’s broadband infrastructure.

North Yorkshire, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Cumbria and the Herefordshire borders were unveiled as superfast broadband pilots last year. Hunt added that every town hall would receive some funding later this year: “This is part of our plan for virtually every community in the UK to have access to superfast broadband.” The deadline is 2015.

Ministers hope the improvements will be in place “within a year” - allowing internet service providers to use these networks to offer affordable services to homes and businesses.

Town halls and private investors are expected to bump up the £50m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) - perhaps by 50%. Jeremy Hunt, culture secretary, said the initiative was designed to deliver superfast broadband to areas that the market alone will not reach. “Broadband is becoming just as essential to homes and businesses as electricity and telephone lines. It is now only a matter of time before people in these rural

BROADBAND NOT SPOTS: According to research released by the Labour party, no fewer than 18 parliamentary constituencies have a majority of the population in low-speed areas. Bottom of the list is the seat of Carlisle, where 64.7% of residents - nearly 26,000 people - face frustration at their computer keyboards. The next worstserved constituencies are West Tyrone (58%), Midlothian (57.6%), Mid Ulster (56.4%), Carmarthen East (56.2%) and South Derbyshire (55.7%). In total, 11.1m people, 18.1% of the population, live in low-speed areas, in more than 5m homes. In contrast, in 17 constituencies, not a single home suffers slow broadband connections. Of those, 13 are in London, with one each in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Leicester.

4G’S 200% CAPACITY GAIN OVER 3G: New Ofcom research reveals that the next generation of mobile technology will deliver more than 200% of the capacity of existing 3G technologies, using the same amount of spectrum – the airwaves that carry information between customers’ mobile handsets and the internet. This increased capacity is essential in meeting the UK’s rapid increase in mobile traffic, fuelled by the growth of smartphones and mobile broadband data services such as video streaming, email, messenger services, mapping services and social networking.

CHILDREN KNOW MORE ABOUT INTERNET THAN PARENTS: Ofcom’s latest media literacy audit reveals that half of parents (48%) with children aged 5-15 who use the internet at home think they know less about the internet than their children do. This rises to 70% of parents of 12-15 year olds. At the same time, there has been increased online activity among children in the past year, including higher usage of mobile and games consoles to go online. Around one fifth (18%) of 5-15 year olds own a smartphone, and 16% go online via a games console.

A mix of technologies will be installed, including mobile, satellite and fibre connections to hubs in the heart of communities.

All police forces to shop online by 2012


n ‘Amazon-style’ electronic marketplace allowing police forces to buy goods and services from approved contracts is the latest attempt to rationalise procurement across England and Wales’ 43 forces. The National Police Procurement Hub, launched by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), links purchase to payment without the need for paper orders and invoices. The hub will save £30m over six years, the agency © Bridget McGill said. Although some forces already have electronic processes in their procurement systems, there is no other system that allows forces to do the whole process of ordering, buying, invoicing and paying online, the agency said. Roll-out to all forces is due to be completed by June 2012. According to the agency, the procurement hub will enable forces to buy together and reduce costs, as well as giving small businesses access to the market. Both are central to the government’s public procurement strategy. The NPIA has agreed to fund the initial set up of the hub, but forces will have to start paying a subscription in 2012/2013. The hub will be based on electronic marketplace technology from ProcServe.


May/June 2011

UKauthorITy IT in Use

overnment and industry accessibility experts have jointly drawn up a list of 10 principles that should be applied by web designers to create beautiful, usable and accessible websites for all. “Inclusive web design enables the creation of beautiful, intuitive and accessible websites for all; broadband is only a part of the vision of an open and inclusive internet,” said communications minister, Ed Vaizey. “Ensuring the UK web industry has the knowledge and skills to deliver inclusive websites is just as important.” e-Accessibility is not just about enabling disabled people to access the internet and the principles aim to provide the tools to build great internet experiences for all. Advice includes providing options for a diverse range of potential visitors, not placing demands or restrictions on website users and providing easy-to-follow instructions to help minimise user error.

LANE FOX’S DIGITAL ARMY ON MARCH: The Government’s Race Online 2012 campaign, aimed at getting millions of Britons on the internet for the first time by 2012, would be supported by an army of volunteers. More than 100,000 have signed up to encourage people to get online. The government digital champion, Martha Lane Fox, wants the volunteers “to engage people with the joys of being on the internet.” It’s not about complicated training but the aim is to “enthuse people and inspire them”. ONLINE TRACKING OF EMPTY HOMES: With thousands of privately owned homes standing empty the government has launched two online tools to track them and get people living in them again. Official figures show more than 300,000 homes empty but the Empty Homes Agency says this could be higher as thousands are left off the list when scheduled for demolition. The geographical information system, Empty Homes Mapping Toolkit, plots long term empty homes in private ownership across the country. The Knowledge Toolkit then gives local authorities, housing associations, owners, landlords and the wider community access to everything they need to know about bringing properties back into use.

EVERYBODY’S DOING IT… AND LOSING IT: A study by Origin Storage reveals that 41% of what should be a security savvy audience are carrying sensitive information on unprotected mobile devices. In fact, 19% revealed that their organisation had suffered a data breach following the loss of a portable device with 54% confessing the device had not been encrypted – an offence under the Data Protection Act.


Get smart with data to cut fraud

Councils trial data matching to cut electoral fraud


own halls have been told to follow the examples of banks and credit card companies by identifying fraudsters through analysis of spending behaviour.


The idea appears in a 10-point plan unveiled by communities secretary, Eric Pickles, designed to save taxpayers £2.1bn a year. Data analytics is increasingly popular in the financial services industry, which analyses withdrawal and spending patterns to identify fraud. Businesses also examine website traffic, to determine which customers are more or less likely to buy a product or service based upon their previous purchase, or viewing, trends.

Now town halls are being urged to use similar methods of analysis, perhaps to stop organised criminals targeting grants, or people wrongly claiming benefits. Pickles said: “It’s time to get tough and take on the fraud cons. Cleaning up fraud could save the taxpayer over £2billion in recovered cash, currently being fraudulently stolen or lost to tax cheats.

“Councils should carry out better credit checks through credit rating agencies before giving over discounts or benefits. They should properly vet staff in key positions and put stricter controls on who can use the council credit card.” Pickles highlighted the fact that the UK’s 2,000 different providers of social housing do not share their data. Fraud is found in housing tenancy, procurement, pay, pensions and recruitment, council tax, and ‘blue badge’ schemes, according to the National Fraud Authority. Pickles has asked the authority to draw up the 10-point action plan, which urges councils to: •

Measure exposure to fraud risk.

• • • •

More aggressively pursue a preventative strategy. Make better use of data analytics and credit reference agency checks to prevent fraud. Adopt tried and tested methods for tackling fraud in risk areas - such as blue badge scheme misuse. Follow best practice to drive down housing tenancy and single person discount fraud. Focus on high risk areas, such as procurement and grant awards. Work in partnership with service providers to tackle organised fraud. Maintain specialist fraud investigative teams. Vet staff to a high standard to stop organised criminals infiltrating key departments. Implement national standards, developed by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

The government’s Counter Fraud Task Force was launched last year, to “develop a new strategic approach to tackling fraud across the public sector with a focus on prevention”. However Pickles recognised that many councils are already tackling fraud and error in housing tenancy claims. SPEED UP FOR INDIVIDUAL VOTER REGISTRATION: A speeded-up timetable for individual registration of voters, with new identity checks, is among the targets to appear in an updated business plan published by the Cabinet Office. The plan reveals that draft legislation enabling registration by indviduals rather than households, with identity cross-checked to prevent fraud, will be published in June. Individual registration was originally proposed by the Labour government in 2009.

UKauthorITy IT in Use

ocal authorities are taking part in a data matching exercise as part of a government pilot to clamp down on election fraud, the government has revealed. Twenty two local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales are taking part in the initiative, aimed at improving rates of electoral registration and tackling electoral fraud. The pilots will enable electoral registration officers (EROs) to match names and addresses on their electoral register with names and addresses on existing public authority databases. Officers will have access to existing databases held by public authorities and will be able to compare names, dates of birth and addresses for the purposes of the pilot only. If names are found to be missing from the register, officers will offer people the opportunity to be added to the list. TIME TO REVIVE E-VOTING: Broadband supplier, Virgin Media Business, is calling for the government to look again at voting by internet as a way of engaging ‘digital native’ 18-24 year-olds in politics. The company cited a YouGov poll, which found that the number of voters backing a digitised ballot card system had jumped from 19% to 43% since 2005. GOVERNMENT’S DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL: Mike Bracken, the Guardian’s head of digital development, is to become the government’s new executive director of digital, responsible for overseeing and improving the move to ‘digital by default’ public services. Bracken will join the Cabinet Office in a role created following Martha Lane Fox’s recommendation to bring all government digital communications into one place. This role combines the former work of Directgov chief executive with the lead of cross-government digital reform and part of the work of the director for digital engagement and transparency.

May/June 2011



Birmingham bites the offshoring bullet


rade unions and other critics of public sector reforms are looking with interest at Service Birmingham’s plan to transfer up to 100 IT jobs to India. Service Birmingham is a joint venture set up in 2006 between the city council and Capita Group under a 10-year service transformation contract. In November last year the two parties agreed to extend and expand the service contract, with the new deal running to March 2021 and being extended to revenue services as well as ICT and contact centre services.

Service Birmingham has now revealed that the contract extension will involve transferring 55 IT back-office jobs to India this year, with another 45 to follow. Capita last year announced plans to employ between 300 and 400 staff at IT facilities in Pune and Mumbai. At the time the India press reported chief executive, Simon Pilling, as finding “good messages coming out of the coalition government”. While the move towards offshoring is not unexpected, it will face stiff opposition from unions. CONSULTANCIES EYE COUNCIL SPEND: Management consultancies are scenting big opportunities in local government following big cuts in Whitehall’s spending on external advice. Spending on management consultancy by central government departments fell by one third in 2010 according to figures from the Management Consultancies Association. However spending by local authorities and other public bodies appears to be rising, partly as a response to overall spending cuts. In 2009 local authorities spent £280m with members of the MCA - the bulk on projects to increase efficiency through the use of IT.

Outsourcing not inevitable


new warning note about the risks of outsourcing IT appears in a briefing from Socitm Insight, the research arm of the public sector IT managers’ association. ‘Costs of Outsourcing - Uncovering the Real Risks’ accepts that there are good reasons for outsourcing, especially for smaller organisations. However, outsourcing a major component of the ICT service, or even the whole service, ‘is a major commitment and fraught with risk’. Socitm’s benchmarking service, which has compared costs and user satisfaction over a decade, shows that, when comparing the costs for any service, most elements will be more expensive if outsourced. The risks associated with benchmarking begin at the tender stage when suppliers will benefit from being experts at the process of negotiating contract terms, in contrast with the local authority that will go to market only rarely for a major outsourcing, the report states. The briefing also counsels avoiding the mistake of outsourcing information assets alongside their technology.

US GOVERNMENT TRUSTS EMAIL TO CLOUD: The US General Services Administration (GSA) has announced a $2.5bn procurement to consolidate federal government email to a virtual environment. Nearly one million email boxes across more than 100 systems will be consolidated by moving to the cloud, the government’s chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, has announced: “The modern economy is powered by data and technology. That’s why we strive to find innovative paths to lower government cost, engage citizens and institute radical transparency to bring them closer to their government and to help move us all forward, together.”

County seconds hundreds of staff to new company


ore than 800 Lancashire County Council staff, most with IT skills, will be seconded to a new organisation as part of £400m deal with BT. The council has agreed a 10-year contract with BT which sees the establishment of a BT subsidiary called One Connect. BT will own 60% of the company, which is tasked with improving service delivery to the area’s residents. The council owns the remainder of the shares. Most of the staff transferring are employed to run information and communications technology for the council and schools along with the back-office services for human resources, payroll, the customer service centre and procurement. BT claims the deal will save the authority some £100m over the lifetime of the partnership. Geoff Driver, council leader - pictured above right with BT’s Tony Chanmugam, said: “By using our combined expertise and technology, we will cut red tape, simplify processes used for carrying out many day-to-day tasks, and provide services far more quickly and efficiently. We will also use our strategic expertise to drive further savings in the future.”


May/June 2011

UKauthorITy IT in Use

Share websites to cut costs


ocal authorities looking to cuts costs by encouraging self-service on the web should be looking to share their websites with other organisations, claims a new report. Self-service and shared services should go hand in hand to improve council websites, the briefing from Socitm Insight concludes. However, ‘Better websites: sharing content, applications and resources,’ notes that few councils are putting the two approaches together in a way that could speed improvement of council websites. “Sharing website content is an obvious solution to the considerable problem of keeping up to date the large number of pages found on a council website,” says report author, Martin Greenwood. The briefing describes how using syndicated content from the three government supersites - Directgov, Businesslink and NHS Choices - is a further means by which local website content can be improved at a time of scarce resource. Sharing applications has just as much potential, states the brief, citing the sharing of applications for seeking and applying for jobs, such as the Hampshire jobs portal and the similar facility that operates in Dorset. The same approach could be adopted for any of the ‘top tasks’ on council websites, it suggests.

CUT THE FACE-TO-FACE APRON STRINGS: A new report from Deloitte has come to the unsurprising conclusion that “the financial pressures currently faced by the public sector are so severe that public bodies are being compelled to shift to lower cost channels of service”. According to the consultants, the public sector needs to emulate the corporate world by driving citizens towards ever cheaper and more efficient ways of doing business. “The time is now right not just to open up new online channels, but to mandate their use and to restrict expensive channels to those people who really need them.” Joel Bellman, public sector director at Deloitte, says that public bodies “must launch new digital services with the intention of permanently cutting the demand citizens make of them, and shifting many citizens away from expensive assisted channels towards cheaper self-service ones”. POLICE TWEET CASE RESULTS: West Midlands police is using Twitter to broadcast results from Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. Users can log on to the micro-blogging site and follow dozens of cases. Many officers across the force region now regularly update their communities via Twitter, blogs and Facebook.


Simplifying Complexity

Glyn Evans, Birmingham CC


he business of government is undeniably complex; the silos are deep, the culture ingrained and the legacy infrastructure sprawling. However, the government’s new ICT strategy focuses on a future that will deliver digital by default, user friendly services, with systems that are fully interoperable and allow for reuse, sharing and scalability across organisational boundaries into local delivery chains. Glyn Evans, Socitm president and corporate director of business change at Birmingham, Peter Bole, director of ICT at Kent, and Alan Banks, managing director of Adobe, joined the ITU Live panel to debate whether technology can simplify public service delivery.

The mistake of the past, says Bole, is that the focus has been too heavily on the technology, rather than on the services that the technology supports: “If we don’t find a way to improve the approach towards those services, and simplify them, we could end up throwing out a lot of technology and failing to resolve the problem.” Banks agrees, “Too often we have this ‘births, deaths and marriages’ approach, but there is little commonality around these events. They are just a convenient grouping for government administration. To drive people to self-service online we have to have much more intuitive groupings of services around life events, such as moving into or out of a borough. Technology is not the problem, it is more the philosophy that technology is used within.” Evans is clear that ripping out systems in the current environment “is just not feasible”. There is much, he says, that can be done that has no cost – around changing working practice for example. However, it is “absolutely fundamental that everything we do now is underpinned by a sound business case. You have to drive efficiencies as well as improve public services these days.”

Helen Olsen, ITU

Peter Bole, Kent CC

transactional services that are the core of cost savings and self-service - is here; there is no need to re-implement the core of back office systems. Technology is not the problem, the approach and the philosophy are.” Self-service is absolutely good for the citizen, however it is not always the answer to the savings needed, says Evans. In social care, he points out, the initial transaction is but a trivial part of the cost of the service provided. “We shouldn’t lose sight of the approach that this is an opportunity to improve quality of service. If we approach it solely from the perspective of cost savings we will make mistakes. We can’t allow costs to be inflated, we must take the savings, but there must be an expectation that moving forward we will be able to deliver services in different ways.” He believes that whilst at the moment we are in a period of having to persuade the public, we will eventually end up having electronic service delivery demanded by that same public. The panel was unanimous in open standards being the key to integrating systems and services. It was also unanimous that the current government procurement process was prohibiting progress – and was favoured neither by the public sector nor its suppliers. Evans pointed out that the European Commission’s viewpoint was perfectly legitimate about creating a fair and open market: “What surprises me is that in the rest of Europe the procurement process is actually much shorter, working to exactly the same regulations.” This, he said, needed investigation. Boles agreed, adding that it was a symptom of the public sector’s “risk-averse nature”.

Rip and replace is “simply not an option,” agrees Boles. He believes that the sector has failed to get maximum return yet for the investments made to date and that “there is still much value to be had from them”.

Boles feels that we are starting from the wrong place: “What we should be looking at is public service and then building a technical architecture to support that. My concern about the national strategy is the lack of visible alignment with wider public policy. I would expect any strategy to build that correlation. As a technical strategy it looks fine. I’m a technologist and that’s okay. As a public servant what I am looking for is, ‘can we evidence why it is good for public services and the customers that use them?’.”

So how does new technology help? Standards, says Banks, are key: “The ability to create transactional services – and it is the

Banks agrees that beginning with the technology is the wrong starting point; rather “it should start with the citizen and work back, UKauthorITy IT in Use

Alan Banks, Adobe

and then see how you drive those process efficiencies”. Evans however welcomed the emphasis on standards, standardisation and commoditisation: “These are very welcome, but it is predominantly a technical strategy.” He points out, however, that it had to be, “as we still haven’t had the Open Public Services white paper which would put the business structure around the delivery of public services”. Socitm, meanwhile, has also launched an ICT strategy, ‘Planting the Flag’, which, says Evans, “Lays down a challenge to public service for IT-enabled public service reform.” This strategy champions joined up services, but clearly identifies that the real value of technology is in its ability to enable the organisation to do things differently - not in the technology itself. Boles says that the Socitm and national ICT strategies combined give frontline services “the complete and holistic view of what it is we need to do”. Banks points out that conversations in the commercial world start in a different place; the business drivers are clear: share prices and sales. “Everything else is subservient to this. The trouble with government is that the environment is just so much more complex than that!” The complexity of public service is undeniable. Culture and process change are inextricably linked and have to be changed together. Technology certainly has a role here, says Boles but warns, “change can be enabled by technology, but it can’t be driven by it”. At the end of the day, it is not about the technology, agrees Banks, “What we do at Adobe is show people the art of the possible”. And yes, he believes that technology can remove complexity - that is part of the art. Evans on the other hand believes that technology can merely manage complexity, “Public service is complex. There is no magic bullet”. But can technology simplify? Yes, says Boles, “Technology can certainly deliver a simplified view for the end user. And it should do so.”

View ITU Live now: May/June 2011



No One Size Fits All Helen Olsen invites the ITU Live panel to discuss how the sector can get authentication right, right now, in order to deliver a successful switch to online services


ast month the Cabinet Office revealed its plans for managing citizens’ online iden tities following the scrapping of Labour’s National Identity Register. As expected, government will rely on a market of accredited identity assurance services, run by “a range of private sector and mutualised suppliers” and a cross-departmental initiative will manage identities for services such as the new Universal Credit, NHS HealthSpace and tax transactions. Announcing this approach, Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, tied the announcement firmly to the government’s ‘digital by default’ policy. “Online services have the potential to make life more convenient for service users as well as delivering cost savings,” he said. However he described present ways of proving identity online as expensive to operate and highly inconvenient. The need to maintain different logins and passwords for government services “acts as a deterrent to people switching to digital channels, hampers the vision of digital being the primary channel for accessing government information and transactions, and provides an opportunity for fraudsters”. The statement made no mention of the Government Gateway, which was originally conceived as a secure sign-on to all public service transactions. Instead, a new system will allow citizens to pick their own provider of a single electronic identity for use across government. Brent has been trialling just such a new concept in identity management - the Mydex citizen data store - along with exploring use of the Government Gateway in online services. Enfield, meanwhile, has implemented a new corporate authentication service with help from Serco and GB Group. Serco business manager, Lee Grafton (formerly commercial manager for the Government Connect Programme at DWP), Dane Wright, IT strategy manager at the London Borough of Brent, and Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European head of government, joined the ITU Live panel to explore the benefits and pitfalls of getting ID and authentication right, right now, in order to deliver a successful switch to online services. Mydex, says Wright, is “quite a different arrangement from before” when it comes to


May/June 2011

Dane Wright, Brent

security, giving the citizen full control of who they share information with. “It offers the potential to interact with a whole range of different systems and added value services. It is not just an authentication mechanism but something that is potentially of greater value to the citizen.” Meanwhile at Enfield, Serco is rolling out a corporate authentication facility that is based on the GB Group identity engine, which, according to Grafton, “is similar to that which mobile phone shops would use – a commercial offering that is being tailored to local government”. Enfield is now using this live for low level security or ‘bronze’ service transactions and working up towards ‘sliver’ (involving financial details) and ‘gold’ (highly sensitive information) services. The citizen can choose to register with the corporate identity store and the individual services can then use this central facility for their own transactional services with the citizen. Wright pointed out that for a large proportion of local government services high levels of security were not necessary – ordering a new bin or a library card, for example. However Brent, he said, “would welcome alternative means of authentication” that could be used for transactions requiring higher levels of security or personal information. The ultimate choice though should be left to the citizen and be “at their convenience”. The lack of a standard identity mechanism in the UK was a complicating factor, said Polin. “Countries such as Belgium, that already had identity cards, found the task of identifying citizens in online services much more easy due to the combination of existing ID card and PIN.” Discussion of identity cards resulted in all panellists agreeing that imposing identification mechanisms on the citizen would not work. However, they felt that popular culture has moved on such that people “don’t think twice” about storing their financial and address details with Amazon and other online retailers. An extension, therefore, of existing identity frameworks to encompass government services is now possible. People now find their own balance between security and privacy, said Polin; the key will be finding the right balance for the citizen. UKauthorITy IT in Use

Helen Olsen, ITU

Lee Grafton, Serco

Gilles Polin, Adobe

“People have a lot of keys on their digital key ring and can choose which one will be suitable for the relevant door.” However, inspiring trust would be difficult, warned Wright. Government does not have a great reputation at the moment and hard-won trust can quickly be lost: “If Amazon regularly lost people’s credit card details, people would cease trading with Amazon, and it will be the same with central and local government.” Choice is a further complicating factor, adds Grafton. It is important that local government always maintain off-line options, but if channel shift is to be achieved new ways of authenticating and securing transactions must be trialled: “Identity is still an evolving market… but as long as we are complying with all the current industry and financial sector standards and are giving people benefit from channel shift” the sector is moving in the right direction. Will private sector solutions be accepted? “As long as solutions work,” Wright is confident that local government “will be happy to accept” private sector identity services. Grafton agrees that highly reliable data sources already exist. Federated identity, he feels, will be the way forward. “Why would the public sector go and reinvent commercial solutions that already work?” he asks. “Government doesn’t have a very good history of doing these sorts of projects; if it is there, buy it off the shelf.” It will be important however, adds Polin, to ensure that the citizen feels comfortable with any commercial arrangements – as the citizen “expects the government to manage the citizen register”. Wright believes that the HMRC data loss gave the impetus to GCSX and did a lot to raise the profile of security in government. “That and the increase in awareness of people themselves of the need to keep their own data safe. This awareness can only grow; and it can only be a good thing.” Grafton agrees that the legacy of Government Connect will be that of raising awareness of the importance of data assurance and security systems. “And that gives government a good platform on which to deliver channel shift,” he says.


Open for All How can we address digital exclusion and encourage the mass channel shift to low cost online service delivery that we all need? Helen Olsen puts the questions to the ITU Live panel.


igital champion Martha Lane Fox’s call for “eRevolution not Evolution” has become enshrined within the new government ICT strategy: government “will work to make citizen-focused transactional services ‘digital by default’ where appropriate” but enable a network of ‘assisted digital’ service providers for those who are unable to access this brave new world. There is, however, much work to do in developing successful online services that are simple and accessible to all. Race Online now has 1,100 partners from all sectors that have pledged to help two million people get online by end of 2012 – and all working age people by 2015. Director, Graham Walker, says that the UK has one of the “highest levels of propensity to transact online – our citizens are not only online but 40 million are happy to transact online too”. The downside, he adds, is that we have “about nine million who have never used the internet. About 60 percent of these are over 65, and about four million are economically and socially disadvantaged.” Hence the huge push to get Race Online partners from all sectors to help. Connect Digitally, says Dr Lorna Peters, led 152 local authorities, in “driving down the cost of service delivery, reducing bureaucracy and making digital the channel for service delivery of free school meals, school application and citizen payments for goods and services”. Indeed, a remarkably successful programme with 55% take up nationally - reaching over 80% in some areas – a true example of a ‘default’ digital service. According to Adobe’s Gilles Polin, the UK is at “the leading edge, not the bleeding edge” across Europe when it comes to accessible services that are actually used by citizens. Which is encouraging indeed, however Walker and Peters are keen that the UK doesn’t rest on its laurels. “It is important to use the benefits to encourage people on board,” says Walker, for whom nothing less than 100% online appears acceptable. “The great thing about digital information and application about schools is that it is a leveller – I’m interested in the benefits to the user, not just the cost saving. We should really focus on the massively improved service possible when we are talking to users.” Peters agrees, “Our research shows that where a household has just one child there is an increase in the likelihood of having

internet access in the household. Even in the lowest demographic about 69 percent have access – the potential is therefore there for them to use internet services. And it is possible to bring these people on board as long as you understand their customer journey and work to do that.” Connect Digitally’s prime focus has been on identifying the benefits, investigating the barriers and how to manage take up of the service. Focus groups and surveys have been a key plank. In the case of free school meals applications they discovered a horror story of a failing and long drawn out paper-based process. The team managed to get three government departments (DWP, HMRC and the Home Office) to work together to provide online eligibility checking, streamlining the process such that processing time fell from three weeks to three days, to an astonishing three minutes – at the same time removing the social stigma that prevented many from claiming. Viewer, Pete Pavan from the Cabinet Office, asked the panel whether current government policy on key factors such as data sharing, security and identity have been obstacles to true seamless user centred design and, if so, “how do you propose that we deal with this?”. Peters’ advice was to be “ruthless about being focused around what the user needs to do. Nothing else is really important. There is no substitute for real life experience and testing, but the more we know about the people off-line the more it helps people look at ways to engage them.”

The panel agreed. Polin also pointed out that the rate of adoption of new technologies is getting exponentially faster, “Each new technology is more quickly adopted,” and keeping up to speed with change will be a challenge for service providers. This was a key point, felt the panel. Peters said that Connect Digitally was always alert to newly developing channels and the implications for services. “For example, free school meals was initially developed online, but we are now moving away from ‘online’ to ‘digital’ by paring down to just the essential elements. We are now working towards full application on a mobile device.” Walker is hopeful that new technologies will make it easier for the older generation to get online. He quotes a recent YouGov poll that identified 20% of iPad purchasers being over 55. “As new ways of accessing internet services come about it will be important for public service providers to think about new channels and how people will want to access services.” Should a focus on user experience be mandated? Peters is unsure that mandating will work: “Encouraging is better. I sense a sea change in the willingness of people in local authorities to focus on the user journey. We need to encourage and raise the profile of user experience.” However Walker is not convinced, “I don’t think a service should go live unless you can prove you have done appropriate user testing. That is an expectation that feels completely reasonable to me.”

Graham Walker, Government Director for UK Digital Champion (Martha Lane Fox)

Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Department for Education and Hertfordshire

Helen Olsen, Editor, ITU &

Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions

View in full now at ITU Live is sponsored by Adobe UK. For more information about Adobe digital technologies, or to discuss your organisation’s requirements, email: UKauthorITy IT in Use

May/June 2011



Minimalist & Digital The shape of public services to come will most definitely be moulded by technology, says Michael Cross, as he reviews government’s digital progress one year on.


emember June 1998? A young and energetic government was celebrating its first year in office. With its mandate to modernise, Tony Blair’s administration was getting to grips with the challenges and opportunities of the information revolution by monitoring the Y2K problem and announcing its intention to appoint an e-envoy. And? Actually, that was about it. Labour’s e-government agenda didn’t begin to crystalise until the Modernising Government green paper of 1999, and the first e-envoy wasn’t in post until the following year. It was a couple more years before Labour’s vision of a public sector IT infrastructure began to coalesce. Against that benchmark, the coalition government’s first year has been a blaze of e-activity, mostly - but by no means all devoted to undoing some of the perceived mistakes of its predecessor. Francis Maude’s team at the Cabinet Office hit the ground running with well-publicised moves to freeze IT contracts and call in major suppliers for cosy chats about the government’s importance as a customer and the possibility of price cuts. There was decisive early action to fulfil manifesto pledges on ‘database state’ systems such as the identity register and the ContactPoint system. The new administration seamlessly absorbed the politically appointed stars of Gordon Brown’s e-team - Martha Lane Fox and Tim Berners-Lee - and gave new impetus to their campaigns for digital inclusion and open data. Both these ideas are now seen as key to tackling the biggest item on the government’s agenda, cutting public spending through ‘digital by default’. All this gives the e-government agenda a far more central position in coalition policy than it enjoyed under Labour. Personality differences aside, it is impossible to imagine Gordon Brown as chancellor delivering the sort of speech that George Osborne made to Google’s Zeitgeist event last month. A frenetic pace has its risks, however. There are already signs of realisation that the government is trying to do too much, too quickly. Creation of the Public Data Corporation, for


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example, has been pushed back to the end of the year from the wildly optimistic original target of April. The ambition of creating a Whitehall-wide shared services infrastructure seems to have slipped, too, though the current team isn’t the first to find this task more tricky in practice than in theory. Overall, though, the pace shows no sign of slackening. The programme to create economies of scale through ‘single customer’ procurement is picking up pace under John Collington, the new procurement supremo and his deputy, David Smith, the DWP’s commercial director. Of course, sooner or later a conflict will arise between centralisation and local autonomy, but so far the drive seems all in one direction. Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office’s updated business plan reveals that a new strategy for digital engagement will appear this summer. This will set out more details of the channel shift to digital - and of shutting down unnecessary websites. In December, publication will begin of a regular status report on IT projects and websites decommissioned. Meanwhile, the open data portal, uk, will get a new front page ‘aimed specifically at the general public’ in July. Much of the activity is happening under the new Government Digital Service, created in April to run central government’s web projects. The centrepiece of the coalition’s digital strategy is the single government domain, unveiled to the commentariat in May as a prototype government portal provisionally named Alphagov. In the newly fashionable spirit of ‘agile’ development it was knocked up in a few weeks by a mixed team of insiders and outside contractors under one of the UK’s web pioneers, Tom Loosemore. If the idea was to make the Directgov portal look bureaucratic cumbersome and costly, it succeeded. (Perhaps by coincidence, Directgov’s former head, Jayne Nickalls, resigned abruptly in December.) However that is only part of the story. The portal’s real purpose is to remove the need entirely for much of central government’s web estate, by enabling essential and popular transactions to be hosted by third parties such as businesses and charities. UKauthorITy IT in Use


The idea has been kicked around by thinktanks (including the Performance and Innovation Unit in Tony Blair’s Downing Street) for the past 10 years. Speaking at Socitim’s spring conference in London, Chris Chant, interim executive director for digital at the Cabinet Office, indicated that it is now about to happen: in effect Whitehall has abandoned its ambition to make Directgov the nation’s home page. Chant revealed that a central portal based on alpha technology will go live next summer, possibly under the Directgov name, though no decision has yet been taken on branding. All central government sites would be put in this domain, Chant said. So, it seems, will local authority sites, if Whitehall has its way. Chant said councils would be invited to use the infrastructure “probably at no cost or marginal cost”. He likened the arrangement to that of football clubs, the vast majority of which do not run their own websites. Also coming this year is a prototype of the long sought-after solution to the problem of authenticating identities online across public services. It’s the aim of a crossdepartmental initiative agreed in March. Again, the government has abandoned the idea that everyone will happily sign up to a central service like the Government Gateway. Instead, citizens will have a choice of logins, along the lines of websites sharing social network logins. In a statement in May, Maude revealed that a prototype will be available by October and the system will be implemented from August 2012. The person charged with making much of this happen is Mike Bracken, poached from The Guardian to take over as executive director of Digital from July 5. The Cabinet Office says that his role combines the former work of the Directgov chief executive with the lead of crossgovernment digital reform and part of the work of the director for digital engagement and transparency. That’s a full workload. It will get fuller as the ‘digital by default’ policy starts to have a direct impact on public services - and on public service jobs.


Redaction Hide & Seek Anke Schnedler, Adobe® Acrobat® marketing manager, provides some tips for avoiding redaction errors when releasing sensitive information into the public domain.


ow you don’t see it; now you do... A number of central government departments made national news headlines recently when badly undertaken redaction in documents released online meant that sensitive and classified information could be seen by anyone. ‘Serious breaches of security,’ were found in documents that the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health, and Communities and Local Government had failed to redact properly, according to a Daily Telegraph investigation. Redaction is essential in order to allow publication of documents of national interest under the Freedom of Information Act whilst at the same time securing sensitive and confidential information from prying eyes. If the right tools are used for the job it is a simple and easy task. However the mistakes uncovered were many, varied and basic: not securing a document - so that redacted information could be edited ‘back’ in to the content; relying only on a marker pen/scanner - so that printing out the document and holding the page up to the light reveals sensitive information; using Photoshop to black out areas - which can subsequently be removed by the reader. Whilst manual checking of documents would be unfeasibly laborious and, as has been demonstrated, prone to error, with the right tools and the right processes in place redaction can be quick, easy and safe. The key is to focus on the process - from start to finish - and then to implement guidelines that help your organisation meet policy and legal requirements whilst remaining confident that it is fulfilling data protection and privacy duties.

Tips for avoiding redaction errors 1.


Use features like the Sanitise Document tool in Acrobat Pro X to automatically detect and remove information that might not be readily visible, like metadata and comments.


Use advanced redaction tools like pattern and batch redaction to quickly remove confidential information from large documents or multiple documents.


Be sure to save the redacted document as a new file to ensure that your redactions are permanent.


Use watermarks, encryption and digital signatures to validate and secure the final redacted file before distribution.


Consider using digital rights management tools, such as LiveCycle Rights Management Server, to give you full control over who reads, prints or copies your organisation’s documents – especially useful if you need to amend or withdraw a document from the public domain.

The only way to permanently remove or hide sensitive information is by using the specialist redaction tools that are available in software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro X. The latest release provides an easy to use interface for managing the redaction process, enabling the same consistent corporate policy to be applied to all printable documents. Indeed, any printable file can be brought into Acrobat and secured – from Microsoft Office files through to GIS, web pages, emails, images and scanned documents. You can also include notes on the redaction itself to explain to the reader why that information has been removed - Acrobat can be configured so that users simply choose the

Ensure that your organisation has the tools in place to redact documents properly - invest in an easy to use, secure and irreversible tool specifically designed to redact confidential information.


Formalise redaction policy in step-by-step guidance for staff redacting documents released by your organisation.


Use automated ‘search and remove text’ to ensure that no sensitive information is inadvertently missed.


relevant section of the FOI Act from a dropdown menu or enter free text to give a reason for the redaction. After redacting and cleansing a document Acrobat Pro X enables additional protection to be added to the final document, such as watermarking or using a security policy to prevent changes to, printing or copying of, the information in a document if so wished. Digital certification tools also enable the document to be digitally signed so that, once protected, if even a letter in the document changes the digital signature will be flagged as invalid. All these tasks can be easily saved as ‘actions’ to automate the redaction process when large batches of documents with sensitive information need to be published. An additional safety net can also be created by using LiveCycle Rights Management Server, which enables the originator to retain full control of the document no matter where in the virtual world it is. If the information changes, or a mistake is found, the central rights management server can switch off a document, replace it or deliver a warning to the reader redirecting them to newer information. The government is rightly encouraging the public sector to publish more information than ever before under the open government and transparency agendas but the desire for openness must be balanced by the risk of inadvertent disclosure. Remember, your information is only as safe as the measures you take to protect it. It is therefore worth taking a little time to explore the latest redaction tools available to find the right one for your organisation - and then taking the time to train staff how to use them properly.

dobe has produced a short, highlevel video overview of redaction and security issues plus a 30 minute Master Class on how to properly redact a document containing sensitive information - covering effective redaction, removal of hidden information, watermarking, encrypting, digitally signing a document and subsequent digital rights management. For further details and links to these two educational videos, email:


UKauthorITy IT in Use

May/June 2011



Making Sense of Mobile The consumerisation of technology means that public service designers must put mobile delivery at the top of design priorities, not treat it as an afterthought, says Prelini Udayan Chiechi, Adobe Systems.


he future is not just digital by default, but also mobile by default. Whether it is the increasingly mobile, digital techsavvy citizen or members of staff for whom standard kit doesn’t just cut the mustard, the rise of mobile is unstoppable.

Customer insight key

The world is mobile

An important first step towards creating an optimised mobile experience in either public or private sector services is customer insight: a full understanding of what information or services people are looking for from that organisation on their mobile devices. What content do they need and where and when do they need it? How can an organisation – any organisation - make it easy for people to do business with them? Do people want to use a website or an app from their mobile? Measurement and analytics technologies can help organisations pinpoint and analyse these kinds of behaviours.

And what’s not to like? For the consumer it is the world at their fingertips, services anytime, anywhere – and increasingly expected to be so. For staff and officers it means working effectively on the go, with access to back office systems and resources wherever their job takes them as their day unfolds. The benefits abound all round, from office rationalisation through to improved quality of life and reducing carbon footprint.

The logical next step is to determine details of the types of devices customers are using, in order to deliver content that’s optimised for the specific phone or tablet to ensure the best experience. For example, applications should be able to interact with a vast range of screen sizes and screen resolutions, be prepared to handle various interaction patterns for touch screens, as well as distinct input sources such as cameras and GPS.

The business world is still grappling with the mobile move, however, and finding that with new opportunities come heavy responsibilities and unforeseen implications: make the user experience seamless and enjoyable and create advocates for your brand and generate return business. On the other hand, fail to deliver and you drive the user to a competitor who is only one touch, one swipe, away.

Since the mobile market changes at lightning speed, information on the types of devices customers are using should be updated at least each quarter with qualitative and quantitative feedback. While this may seem like an overwhelming amount of information to collect and process, there are tools that can automatically provide details about the devices used to access your digital services.

Business is struggling with the need to engender brand loyalty and retain customers, with delivering one experience seamless engagement across multiple touch points. If the experience is fragmented you risk users turning to a competitor. Businesses are fast realising that delivering a seamless and superior experience to the end user is key to differentiating themselves, their brand, in this rapidly shifting mobile landscape.

Solutions like CQ5 from Adobe can provide granular details such as the users’ screen size and whether it is a touch screen or not, allowing organisations to provide the optimal mobile web experience, regardless of the device being used to access the service.

We’ve come a long way since the release of the first IBM Simon smartphone in 1992. Web access is now a standard feature in even the most bare-bones mobile device, and mobile apps are a multi-billion dollar business. And while smartphones remain hot connectivity tools, tablets have made a strong entrance into the market. According to Gartner Inc., by 2013 mobile devices will overtake computers as the most common tool for web access worldwide.*


And just as the consumer should have a seamless experience of commercial services, so should the citizen of public ones.

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When designing for mobile experiences, it is vital to close the gap between all users involved within and outside an organisation. If managing an organisation’s user UKauthorITy IT in Use

© Wackerhausen

experience is cumbersome and complicated, the end product usually suffers and the end user can tell. Conversely, experiences that can be intuitively managed by the business people in charge translate into optimised and engaging experiences for users. Along those lines, employees involved in managing an organisation’s mobile presence should have a baseline that helps them consistently optimise experiences. This workload can be simplified by equipping workers with the right tools. For example, Adobe solutions allow for content repurposing by enabling staff to dragand-drop existing content from websites optimised for desktops to automatically optimise it for mobile devices. Where a mobile or tablet application is required, by creating it using Adobe’s AIR runtime, the same code can be used to create applications for iPhones, iPads, Android devices and the Blackberry Playbook. These solutions also provide accurate previews of how content will appear on various types of devices, eliminating guesswork.

Holistic approach to mobile In order to both make sense and keep control of this mobile world, organisations must take a holistic approach to their mobile strategy. Instead of designing web content with primarily traditional desktop users in mind, realise that emerging mobile, social and cloud-based experiences are equally if not more important today – and ever more so in the future. By creating a consistent, accessible and distinguished mobile experience for the citizen, the public sector can use the consumerisation of IT as a catalyst for the much needed shift to digital by default services. * Gartner 2010 Predictions http://www.gartner. com/it/page.jsp?id=1278413

For more information about Adobe digital technologies visit: To arrange a meeting with Adobe to discuss your organisation’s requirements, email:


He Never Promised You a Rose Garden… Tim Hampson takes a look at the fallout from May’s elections in England, Scotland and Wales. © H. Seymour


hen the dust settled over the results of elections for governments in Scotland and Wales, council seats in England and a referendum on alternative voting, one thing was clear: the Liberal Democrats had had a kicking. Indeed, little happened to cheer the souls of Lib-Dem supporters. One of the prizes from the coalition pact was the holding of a referendum on the alternative vote. But instead of winning the cherished mandate, Lib-Dems suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the prime minister, David Cameron. After a long and largely uninspired campaign - punctuated by acrimonious personal attacks - the UK electorate rejected the Alternative Vote by a thumping majority of 67.9% to 32.1%. Lib-Dem party strategists must now wish that they had argued for the referendum to be held towards the end of the life of the parliament rather than one year in as they took the voters’ blame for government decisions. Scottish Nationalist (SNP) leader Alex Salmond, meanwhile, is a far wilier campaigner. Having guided his party to a historic victory in the fight to form a Scottish Government, he resisted capitalising on the euphoria his victory created to hold an immediate referendum on independence. Instead, he will spend the next few years trying to get all his nationalist ducks in the right order - and attempt to present to the Scottish electorate a stable economy, before giving the voters a choice on rule from Edinburgh or London. But challenges lie ahead for Salmond. He has promised the Scottish voters a lot and much of it will have to be delivered to the backdrop of massive spending cuts to the public sector. The SNP is focused on creating and protecting public sector jobs and benefits while freezing council tax until 2016. Manifesto plans include delivering 25,000 on-the-job apprenticeships for young Scots, protection of the NHS budget and keeping the jobs of 1,000 extra police. If Salmond fails to live up to his promises then his campaign for the referendum might be lost before it even begins. But, for now, he

deserves congratulation for making SNP the biggest winner in May’s elections.

to 124. The party added 49 council seats to its more than 5,500 total across the country.

Labour leader Ed Miliband’s mouth, meanwhile, was pretty down on the ground. The party’s performance in Scotland was abysmal, England was OK and it was only the performance of Labour in Wales that should genuinely bring a smile to his lips.

Labour did well, but not brilliantly, with a strong showing in the north, the midlands and reasonable performance in the south. It gained control of 24 councils, and added an extra 706 seats, far fewer than had been forecast.

The Welsh Labour leader, Carwyn Jones, while not emulating the SNP’s performance in Scotland of an outright victory, won 30 out of the 60 seats up for grabs in the Assembly.

Again, in England, the Lib Dems were well and truly stuffed. They lost control of 10 councils and Clegg saw 675 soul mates lose their seats.

The Welsh Nationalists were given a bit of a pasting. Plaid Cymru lost two seats, as it polled a lot less votes than Labour, which increased its share of the vote to 42%. The Tories didn’t do too badly, winning two seats, increasing their share of the vote to 25%, but because of the vagaries of Wales’ proportional system of voting the party’s leader Nick Bourne managed to lose his seat. The Liberal Democrats just took a hammering. With the principality’s assembly painted red the Welsh can look forward to a national infrastructure planning system for waste, energy and water.

While Cameron popped the champagne corks one blogger wrote “the Conservative Party has done the equivalent of walking on water by taking all the praise of the voters and none of the blame for their austerity policies”.

Labour wants to introduce marine conservation zones and merge the Environment Agency Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales into a single regulatory body.

The government’s Open Public Services White Paper will set out a controversial blueprint for the reform of public services. The government says top-down policy direction is being consigned to the past and replaced by a new localism agenda. The ambition is to shift power away from Whitehall to the local level – to communities, citizens, and independent providers.

And the Welsh party’s manifesto said that it wanted to see community organisations take over social care services currently run for profit. Labour has pledged to increase the use of social investment bonds, which provide start-up cash for social enterprises guaranteed against later results being delivered by the service. It said it would also promote the use of “time-banking”, where people earn time in lieu for services by providing a service for others.

But the road ahead is still pretty rocky. Moves to push changes to the NHS could still stumble on their way through parliament. And widespread reform of the public sector combined with a series of biting budget cuts could see many banana skins strewn in front of government ministers.

Local authorities will have to redesign service provision at speed and, importantly, deliver successful outcomes. Local authority responsibility lies in setting up investment and advisory services to help community projects and organisations have a rigorous business plan, ensuring the system works and is accountable.

Other new legislation will include a Social Services Act for Wales to simplify current laws and “make access to services much easier and more understandable to those who need them”.

One year after the Dave and Nick show in Downing Street’s rose garden the alliance that makes up the coalition is fraying a little and relationships are somewhat fraught.

Of the party leaders, David Cameron had the biggest smile. Academics had forecast a loss of up to 1,000 Tory councillors. Instead election night saw the Tories win control of three extra councils, taking its total across England

Only time will tell if Westminster’s marriage of convenience survives, but the country’s first brush with shared government since the Second World War will likely be more combative henceforth.

UKauthorITy IT in Use

May/June 2011



Oh Yes They Should… Michael Cross fears an outbreak of nervousness regarding technology decisions in the health sector following the drama that was the PAC hearing into NHS IT.


est End audiences this month enjoyed a revival of an old favourite comic drama: a Public Accounts Committee hearing into an NHS IT fiasco. This comedy of errors ran to packed houses for much of the 1990s and late 2000s, but has been off the repertoire for a while. The revival, streamed (presumably) worldwide from the parliamentary website, showed us that the old script still has the power to make us laugh and cry. In the hot seat, senior Department of Health civil servants delivered classic lines like “I do not have the information to hand” in response to questions ranging from the nerdy to the crass to the plain embarrassing from a mainly new cast of MPs. Although the committee had not reported when this edition of ITU went to press, it is safe to assume that its judgement will be searing. It will agree with the National Audit Office’s findings that the electronic care records programme developed under the NHS national programme for IT in England has been dismal value for money. We can also expect demands for stern measures against the two main contractors trying to computerise acute hospitals under the programme, BT and CSC. And we can expect a new outbreak of nervousness among politicians and civil servants about any decision involving digital technology and health services, into the foreseeable future. This would be a tragedy. As Sir David Nicholson, NHS chief executive, tried to tell the committee, the failed scheme to introduce electronic patient records of acute hospitals, is only a small part of the £11bn programme as a whole. The delays and failures to deliver do not mean that electronic patient records are unviable, only that the contractual machinery chosen by the national programme was hopelessly unsuited to the NHS. The new government has already taken steps to end its most disastrous feature, the attempt to impose standard systems across wildly different institutions under contracts whose terms were kept secret from the executives who were supposed to make them work. Whatever the outcome of the current political wrangling over NHS reforms, it is clear


May/June 2011


that acute hospitals will enjoy the freedom to choose their own patient record systems. Thanks in particular to breakthroughs in mobile technology, the market is now ready to deliver systems for those with the money to buy and the will to make them work.

the delivery of high-quality, safe health care. Patients are able to access their own records remotely, communicate with doctors and other clinicians through secure email channels, make appointments online and order repeat prescriptions.”

However linking the whole care system acute, social and primary care - will require continued commitment to a national IT infrastructure. This is exactly what the political fallout from the national programme has thrown into jeopardy.

And, in a nod to the government’s agenda of an “information revolution” in the health service, it points to the value of data in driving up performance.

The IT community, through such fora as the BCS and Intellect, has been making this point for a while. Now, in a series of reports on the future of integrated care, the respected King’s Fund think tank has called attention to the need for an information infrastructure across the health system meaning not just the NHS in its entirety but local authority care, too. In its latest response to the reform consultation process, ‘Where Next for Integrated Care’, the King’s Fund lists “the absence of a single electronic medical record available throughout the NHS” as a fundamental barrier to integrated care. It observes that while “progress has been made in hospitals and, especially, in primary care in the use of information technology”... delays in the national programme mean that the vision of a single system that links hospitals and primary care remains unfulfilled. “The consequence is that patients may be assessed repeatedly, communication between clinicians is inhibited, co-ordination of care may suffer, and quality failures may occur.” It suggests that the NHS is lagging behind other advanced healthcare services. “High-performing integrated systems in other countries have made a major commitment to information technology and have been early and effective implementers of the electronic medical record and clinical decision support systems. The electronic medical record is itself an important means of supporting integration by enabling clinicians to access information about patients wherever they are treated. Likewise, clinical decision support systems facilitate the adoption of best practice guidelines and UKauthorITy IT in Use

“The data captured through information technology can also be used to support comparisons of performance among clinicians and hospitals and as a tool for continuous quality improvement. This is fundamentally important in moving away from the cottage industry model of health care, reducing unwarranted variations in care and promoting greater consistency with recognised standards of care. Measurement and benchmarking can also be used to support informed patient choice and transparent reporting of performance.” The fund recommends that anyone providing or commissioning NHS care should be required as part of their licensing agreement or statutory function to share relevant information with patients and professionals. It also urges a role for the proposed competition watchdog, Monitor, which it says should “include common protocols, data protection policies, data definitions and technology standards to facilitate the sharing of information in its licence”. Information collection and sharing will not happen, however, unless the infrastructure is there. Without that, the risk is that the reforms will create a backward step, towards more fragmentation. However to create the infrastructure of data transparency across the health and care system - and, suitably anonymised, the wider citizenry - will require will and continued funding. Not to mention, in the current political climate, courage. Especially with healthcare IT cast as the pantomime villain.


Cloud monitoring


u r e V i e w Systems’ new Immix Cloud will enable central stations and command centres to deliver the next generation of monitoring services such as event-based video monitoring, remote guard tours, video escorts and unattended deliveries while reducing operational costs. It enables a ‘private cloud’ to be created to deliver customised services through any web browser or mobile device. It provides the flexibility to scale upwards as demands increase and centralises server administration processes to reduce the cost of ownership. Immix Cloud is UL Classified in the USA and BS8418 compliant in Europe.

PUBLIC CLOUD: Government’s shift towards cloud computing is gathering pace following a new agreement with Huddle under which any government body, including central government departments, local government, executive agencies, arms-length bodies and NHS agencies can benefit from government-specific Huddle pricing, training and support. PATIENT MANAGEMENT: Jayex has launched Enlighten Professional, the first complete patient journey management system specifically designed for individual and shared health centres, polyclinics and hospital outpatients. It offers an all-encompassing solution to manage patients from arrival through to discharge. Developed in conjunction with NHS trusts and clinicians, Enlighten Professional intuitively brings together multilingual patient automated arrivals, patient call, way-finding, outcome surveys, integrated and standalone appointment diary, waiting room statistics, patient status and reporting into a single solution – significantly streamlining operations and automating patient flow.

Fleet of app


asternaut has launched a new custom iPhone and Android app solution for its mobile solutions and vehicle tracking clients. Custom built apps can be fully customised - including colours, corporate identity and content - and can include maps showing the live location of vehicles, assets and mobile workers or even pushpins showing ‘today’s jobs’. App users can report problems quickly and easily - such as pot-holes, faulty street lamps or broken pavements. To report a problem, users can enter contact details, select the type of problem, add a description, take a photo and even pinpoint the actual location on the map (or use the phone’s built-in GPS). This empowers users to quickly and easily report problems. A scheduling module allows app users to see an estimated time of arrival to a particular location on the map and, additionally, apps can include links to external web pages, twitter feeds and service updates. Masternaut claims that its web-based, real time vehicle tracking and mobile resource management solutions are helping client local authorities reduce costs to meet the government’s 25% budget cuts.

CADCORP REDESIGN: Cadcorp has unveiled its latest release – Cadcorp SIS 7.1. All the company’s GIS products are now based on the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, with the result that using SIS 7.1 is now a very similar user experience to that of other Microsoft Office products. Cadcorp considers this new user interface to be more intuitive, easier to learn and use and believes that it will deliver substantial productivity gains for users. ONEHOUSING: TechnologyOne has launched OneHousing, a comprehensive end-to-end enterprise housing management solution that provides social organisations with a single and highly functional platform for the management of corporate, operational, stakeholder and strategic management processes. The platform uses a modular approach that includes a tenancy module offering managers a 360 degree view of the client and property, including a full history of all applications, tenancies, rent, repairs, inspections and case files.

Simple app can protect lone workers


housands of council staff who work on their own could find themselves protected by a new mobile phone app. The Lone Worker app from Voice Connect is a low cost entry product for protecting vulnerable workers that runs on the Nokia, Apple and Windows platforms. It allows lone workers to set a remote alarm on their mobile phone so that if they are not out of a meeting or in a location by a pre-planned time, a colleague will be notified. The worker’s movements can also be traced online using a GPS signal sent from their phone. UKauthorITy IT in Use

e-Consultation cloud


dox is developing a new national e-consultation cloud to allow planning process stakeholders to complete both internal and external consultations online, with the aim of filling the void left by the closure of the government’s e-consultation hub last December. Launching in June, Idox’s Consultee Cloud will notify consultees of relevant planning applications, allow the viewing of application details and associated documents and the creation of a response to the planning application including comments and the provision for an attachment - all returned electronically to the local planning authority.

CLOUD GROWTH: The majority of existing cloud service users are set to expand their cloud use over the next year, according to latest findings issued by the Cloud Industry Forum. With almost half (48%) of all organisations in the UK already using cloud computing in some form, 85% of existing users confidently predict further roll out of cloud provisioning across a number of core business applications. Central to this drive is the adoption of email management, data back-up and disaster recovery, storage and webhosting services, closely followed by accounting, service management, CRM, security, and unified communications. DATA IMPORTANCE: Data security is now seen as important as cost savings within the public sector, says Becrypt whose research also confirms that mobile working has increased virtually across the board. Staff are seeking more flexible working arrangements for a variety of reasons including reduced commuting to save time and costs and to meet environmental commitments. May/June 2011



HEALTH BARNET ENFIELD AND HARINGEY MENTAL HEALTH has outsourced its entire IT and communications technology estate to HP. Under the agreement HP will modernise all the trust’s technology bringing together data and voice services. Transfer of responsibility to HP takes place on 6 June and the contract will run for five years. BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL MENTAL HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST has implemented Ascribe’s Go-Live business software. The solution will enable the trust to collate raw data from a broad range of sources and provide information that can be used to improve and develop clinical and managerial services. The trust already uses Ascribe’s Community Care & Mental Health system. GATESHEAD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST has chosen Veeam’s Backup & Replication 5.0 to protect its mission-critical services. The deal means the trust will now be able to back up, test and recover critical virtual infrastructure which services essential IT functions in departments such as Accident & Emergency and Pathology in a fraction of the time previously possible. LEEDS TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS TRUST has selected SRC as its chosen partner to deliver integrated clinical dictation technology. SRC’s solution will transform the trust’s clinical document creation, production and distribution processes, with targeted savings of 10,000 hours per year. The agreement has a value in excess of £1m.

NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE NHS TRUST has selected Updata Infrastructure to build and manage a new region-wide Community of Interest Network connecting an initial 112 NHS sites. The trust will make use of a wide range of networking technologies - including 2 & 10Mbps EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile), ADSL and fibre – to reduce its network costs by approximately £100k per year. It will be able to provision new sites in just 10 days, down from 90; by using EFM connections primarily, it will ensure better network failover; and it will be able to more easily scale up or down the speed of site connections to match site usage. ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND is hosting its online portfolio systems in a secure cloud-based location. The RCS chose the Cloud Computing Centre to host both the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme and the Surgeon’s Portfolio in the Cloud, supported by disaster recovery, data security and business resilience services, and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SHREWSBURY AND TELFORD HOSPITAL NHS TRUST has been working with MedeAnalytics to implement a solution that would enable the trust to make decisions based on evidence rather than subjective information. Since go-live, the trust has been able to identify bottlenecks in the system, redesign services, increase efficiencies. The solution allows the hospital to analyse the tariff components quickly in an easy-to-view format and resolve the query, facilitating payment for services provided.

MAIDSTONE AND TUNBRIDGE WELLS NHS TRUST’S new PFI hospital in Pembury has completed the installation of the first phase of an integrated ICT infrastructure in conjunction with Capita. The contract, worth £3.4m over three years, will give consultants access to clinical applications including PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) images, such as x-rays, MRI and CT scans on wireless devices. The new wireless infrastructure will enable more care to be delivered at the bedside, whilst improving security and patient safety as hospital employees carrying wireless phones will be contactable where ever they are in the hospital. Dr George Noble, consultant physician and clinical director for ICT, said: “Medical staff are delighted to be able to improve the quality and safety of the service provided to patients through enhanced access to clinical information. It is fantastic to see IT coming together with clinical services and patients - this will provide a much improved patient experience that is safer and provide excellent outcomes for all.”

SCOTLAND’S 14 NHS BOARDS are rolling out the FairWarning solution provided by Northgate Managed Services. It will protect the electronic record TRAKcare system by identifying suspicious users in a non-invasive manner. The implementation follows a successful pilot at NHS Lothian. SOUTH LONDON AND MAUDSLEY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST is moving to digital patient records and targeting extra income with the Virgin Media Business network. The trust has designed the network to enable it to offer digital communications resources to other NHS organisations as it plans to use the investment to help drive additional income.

CENTRAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE has signed a five year contract with Accenture for a back office shared business network to support the management of HR, payroll, finance and procurement operations. The network covers HM Courts and Tribunals Service and HM Prison Service as well as the MoJ head office. Accenture is overall systems integrator in a programme which involves installing an Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) application and an ‘infrastructure-as-a-service’ model across the network. The deal is expected to save the ministry £28m a year by 2014. VEHICLE & OPERATOR SERVICES AGENCY is to implement the ProcServe eMarketplace and Purchase-to-Pay service, part of the ProcServe Trading Network, for purchasing goods and service going forward. David Smith, senior commercial manager at VOSA, said, “Implementing the ProcServe eMarketplace is a key step in enhancing VOSA’s commercial performance and ability to deliver best value for money from its purchasing activities. This will improve access to best value contracts and will streamline our purchasing process, increasing transparency and accountability for every pound VOSA spends on goods and services. I believe strongly that the extensive work carried out by the entire VOSA P2P Project Team will pay major dividends when we go live with the service”. SCOTTISH PRISON SERVICE has launched a new website in a bid to improve the flow of information from the organisation and raise awareness of its work. Designed and built by C2 Software, the site will be used by a broad audience including the public, media, politicians and support organisations. C2’s content management software, Activedition, enables non-technical authorised users to contribute content and create, update and publish pages in real time. The site includes sections with information about various aspects of prison life including news, public contracts, recruitment, various publications, guidance on the freedom of information process and monthly expenditure.


May/June 2011

UKauthorITy IT in Use


LOCAL GOVERNMENT BEXLEY and Capita Local Government Services have signed a contract to extend and expand their existing partnership. The new contract, worth £14m, will extend the partnership by three years to June 2019 and will see the council’s financial assessment team transfer to Capita Local Government Services. The breadth of services being delivered to the council includes council tax and business rates administration; cashiering services; benefits administration, and now financial assessment. BLABY DISTRICT COUNCIL has signed a contract with Steria worth £1.3m over five years. The council will join neighbouring councils, the boroughs of Hinckley & Bosworth and Oadby & Wigston, and together are forecast to save just over £200,000 over the duration of the contract. Steria has been providing ICT services to Hinckley and Bosworth since 2006. BRENT COUNCIL has signed a five year contract worth £15m with Capita for the provision of council tax and business rates administration and the supporting IT services. As part of the partnership, Capita will deliver a guaranteed collection rate for council tax and an anticipated £4.6m in savings for the council over the initial contract term. CORNWALL COUNCIL has signed a £7m enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation contract with Capgemini, based on Oracle software. The system will save £20m over the next five years, says Cornwall. The move away from the CHESHIRE EAST and CHESHIRE WEST & CHESTER councils have selected Sysec to secure a common identity and access management solution to facilitate the deployment of a shared service unified communications and collaboration platform. Both local authorities required a standard approach to secure identity and access management to facilitate the deployment of Microsoft Lync Server for unified communications and collaboration. Richard Styles, project delivery manager at Cheshire Shared Services, said, “Councils are under pressure to identify smarter, lower cost and more innovative ways of working. Microsoft’s Lync Server provides a cost-effective and productive way of communicating through a unified communications and collaboration platform, but it does need to be secure. Sysec provided the security expertise to ensure that only fully-authenticated users can access the system and they demonstrated agility and speed in designing and deploying an effective security solution which met our timescales.”

SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL is boosting the efficiency of its street lighting operations by implementing an asset management system supplied by Mayrise Systems that will be integrated with a new central management system supplied by Telensa. This intelligent lighting solution is expected to realise significant energy savings for the local authority, in line with its ‘greenest county’ aspirations, and will improve maintenance of the county’s 55,000 street lights. authority’s largely paper-based processes was first announced in December, with the ERP system set to be delivered over the next 15 months. The authority hopes that it will help to cut duplication, bureaucracy and costs. DARTFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL is implementing an intelligent data capture system from Advanced Business Solutions. The implementation, which will coincide with the council’s upgrade to the latest version of its existing ABS finance system, will speed up the processing of purchase invoices and reduce manual data entry by up to 75%. The expected go-live is September 2011. DENBIGHSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is implementing a budgeting and forecasting system from Advanced Business Solutions. ABS’ budgeting and forecasting system has enabled the creation and real-time monitoring of financial plans and forecasts. The web-based system, which has been tightly integrated into the council’s Infor FMS General Ledger system, has made it quick and easy to input and analyse financial information and produce reports, eliminating the time-consuming consolidation of spreadsheets. EASTBOURNE BOROUGH COUNCIL and WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL will be using a single DEF building control software solution as part of their new shared services partnership. GATESHEAD COUNCIL has extended its existing contract with Civica. The agreement will help the council to streamline and join up key departmental processes as part of a council-wide drive, ‘Fit for Future’, that will promote more flexible working and enhance customer service for the town’s 190,000 residents.


HAVERING LONDON BOROUGH has launched a pilot scheme using National Business Intelligence System from specialist IT and services supplier, Hicom. The product will be used by the Safe and Sound Daytime Group to keep pickpockets and shoplifters out of Romford town centre. Cllr Geoff Starns, cabinet member for community safety, said, “Using NBIS, Romford’s four shopping centres will now be able to remotely access and share information on a local and national basis. They will have the latest intelligence on the worst known shoplifters and other antisocial individuals at their fingertips.” ISLE OF WIGHT COUNCIL has selected Becrypt’s Trusted Client as part of its strategic ICT programme to provide secure remote working to its staff. Trusted Client will be supplied to senior managers, case workers and mobile staff and enable them to access the council’s virtual private network securely from any location. The product is completely isolated from the host operating system and eliminates danger of cross contamination of viruses and other malware, or data leakage (either malicious or accidental). SUTTON is cutting the cost of maintaining its 136 strong municipal vehicle fleet using advanced fleet management software for controlling the cost of spare parts. The intelligent Freeway software gives instant access to critical stock and financial information and produces reports at a touch of a button allowing full visibility of fleet running costs.

HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL has awarded a 15 year Building Schools for the Future contract to HTP LEP for work including computer related services and the installation of telecommunications equipment. The ICT element of the contract will require ICT equipment systems and services to be designed, implemented, serviced and maintained to provide a fully integrated service across all or any of the relevant facilities and services. UKauthorITy IT in Use

May/June 2011



SWANSEA COUNCIL has implemented highways management software from Mayrise Systems following the amalgamation of a range of service delivery areas into a new StreetScene team. The software is facilitating the further development of mobile working and the management of more than 10,000 service requests per year from members of the public. The council has also recently invested in PDA devices to further support mobile working across the highways team with inspectors, gully and road repair crews all using MAYRISE software on handheld units to follow scheduled routes and identify and record defects in a range of standard forms.

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL has contracted Bluesky to supply nearly 4,000 sq km of detailed 3D height data. Covering the whole of Kent the Digital Terrain Model and Digital Elevation Model show heights above sea level and can be used to create 3D visualisations of the earth’s surface and structures that cover it in order to provide real world detail. The council plans to use the data for a range of applications including ‘viewshed’ analysis of major works, feasibility studies, planning applications and site investigations. LEEDS CITY COUNCIL is to implement speech analytics software to help staff to gather information about the patterns and underlying reasons for the 135,000 calls each month to its contact centre. Systems integrator, Sabio, will implement Verint’s Impact 360 Speech Analytics solution with the aim of processing, retaining and mining the entire content of calls, as well as userspecified keywords and phrases. MEDWAY HIGHWAY SERVICES has signed a deal with Pitney Bowes Business Insight for its Traffic Management Act Noticing Module. This is the latest in a series of upgrades within Confirm which Medway has adopted in a bid to control costs and effectively manage the financial and quality performance of its highways contractor. The product’s main objective is to reduce congestion and disruption on the road network, specifically including more effective co-ordination of street works by highway authorities. NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL entered into a five-year contract that will see DEF provide county planning, highways response and road adoption software and also a full suite of online services.


May/June 2011

REDCAR AND CLEVELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL has taken DEF’s planning and building control software as well as a full suite of online services. RUNNYMEDE BOROUGH COUNCIL has bought a new gazetteer management system from GGP Systems, which will provide a range of tools for the day to day management of essential address data together with a range of functionality to integrate with other council systems such as those used in call centres, online and in the delivery of frontline services. SOUTHWARK COUNCIL selected Asset4000 from Real Asset Management (RAM) to control and report on its £3.4bn worth of assets. It will provide the council with an IFRScompliant, centralised asset register with the hierarchical detail required by component accounting and a range of time saving reporting functionality. STRATHCLYDE commuters are to get smart. Travelling on buses, trains and ferries throughout Strathclyde, as well as on Glasgow’s subway, will soon be possible using a single smart card supplied by Ecebs rather than having to buy tickets from different operators. The technology also allows for future inclusion of additional services on to the cards – potentially an e-purse to pay for coffee or newspapers at participating outlets, or even for downloading tickets for events. SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL’S eLibrary can now be used ‘on the go’ with the release of a series of free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. The council is making use of the latest technology to facilitate access to Surrey’s eBooks and eAudiobooks. Once downloaded, the apps allow people to use the online library with their normal login details and access almost 600 titles. As the apps know when a loan period is up and automatically return the download there are no late return fees. SURREY has agreed a deal with RM to provide nearly 400 schools across the county with broadband. The £10.2m contract will run for three years and provide internet speeds of between 10Mbps and 50Mbps, replacing

COMPASS POINT BUSINESS SERVICES, the shared services company comprising East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council in Lincolnshire, has selected Capita Software Services to support the first step of its merged revenues and benefits operation. The five-year contract is worth over £700,000 and the new software will create 20% savings annually. In addition, Capita Software Services has secured a five year contract worth £370,000 to provide an electronic document management solution to Compass Point, to be delivered in partnership with information and workflow management solutions provider, IDOX. the 2Mbps currently provided to primary schools and 10Mbps to secondaries. Surrey has a target of getting 100% broadband coverage across the county by 2013. SUTTON BOROUGH COUNCIL says it will reduce congestion at its Kimpton Park Way Re-use and Recycling centre through the use of MOBOTIX CCTV. The system enables residents to better plan their recycling trips by looking at the council’s website to see how busy the site is. WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL has awarded a four year deal for the management and delivery of contact centre services, including the provision of related technologies, to the Listening Company. The contract, on behalf of the local authority and other councils in the county and organisations that belong to Improvement and Efficiency South East, has an extension option of up to three years. WORCESTERSHIRE and LUTON councils and housing support and care provider, Family Mosaic, have signed contracts with Capita. Through Capita Support, the organisations say they will now be able to guarantee their clients are assessed according to their level of need and matched to the relevant services. The system will hold all clients’ details and help avoid unnecessary duplication of information provision for completion of new forms.

WALSALL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL has signed a three year contract with Updata Infrastructure for a bespoke network which will initially connect 75 of the borough’s 129 secondary, primary and nursery education providers. The council then plans to connect all corporate sites, including libraries, social care and inclusion, children’s services, and other interested public sector stakeholders in a bid to create a regional Public Sector Network.

UKauthorITy IT in Use





MAGNA HOUSING GROUP has chosen Sovereign Business Integration to deliver best practice advice and a proactive improvement programme for its responsive repairs system. The arrangement sees Sovereign repeat its consultancy role, after a successful review of Magna’s income management processes in 2010, which helped the organisation to increase transparency and maximise system efficiency. KINGSTON UNIVERSITY has selected RES Software to manage its physical and virtual desktop infrastructure. RES solutions will be responsible for controlling user workspace settings for over 25,000 students and more than 2,500 university staff and enable the ICT team to control and maintain the mix of desktop platforms and applications used to deliver IT resources to students and staff on and off campus from a single point, supporting roaming user profiles. DARRICK WOOD SCHOOL has selected the Dell KACE K2100 Deployment Appliance to migrate the school’s laptops and desktops from Windows XP to Windows 7 and Office 2010. The specialist academy school says the product will make it easier and faster for the school’s ICT team to provide new applications and customised computing services across its learning environments. In addition to providing support for the school’s migration project, the Dell KACE appliance will provide greater flexibility around the on-going management and provisioning of the school’s IT services.


COLEG MENAI further education college in Bangor has rolled out Dynistics Active Dashboards, allowing the college to provide concise, accurate data and to measure its performance across college departments, subject areas and individual courses against the benchmarks set for all colleges in Wales. Meirion Roberts, performance systems manager, said, “With over ten thousand students in the college and around 580 staff, we have an enormous amount of data to drill down into and cross tabulate in order to provide the information for league tables.” HERTFORD REGIONAL COLLEGE has reduced risk with a Windows 7 upgrade with help from Computacenter. By migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, HRC has been able to provide students and college staff with a stable, future-proofed and environmentally friendly desktop environment that supports increased collaboration. DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD is using SAS to build a better picture of its participants. The SAS reporting system will provide the organisation with valuable insights on award participation numbers; stock; flow of young people’s progression through award programmes and detail on their backgrounds.

POLICE WILTSHIRE POLICE is to cut its communications costs by £500,000 over five years with help from APD Communications to implement enhancements to the CORTEX Software Integrated Communications Control System. The savings will be made by cutting the number of CCI (Communications Control Interface) ports required for its Airwave radio communications system. By allowing the force to pool ports and allocate them as required, APD’s second generation CCI Port Pooling solution has allowed Wiltshire to cut the number of required ports by 22.


WILTSHIRE POLICE has selected Cadcorp to provide corporate GIS. The software will provide sophisticated modelling and analytical capabilities for crime and intelligence analysis, deliver live locational data to the police command and control system, be used for tracking both personnel and vehicles in the force automatic resource location system, and be used in the emergency communications centre in relation to 999 and non-emergency calls.

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IT in Use - May/June 2011 issue  

Frontline services - Local Government, Police, Fire and Health - are leading the way in the public sector towards delivering the quality of...

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