Issuu on Google+ | VOLUME 9.2



PROCUREMENT The new Payment Card Solutions & Associated Services framework agreement

ACCESSIBILITY Please visit www. government for the latest news and events

The first ever pan-government Centre for eAuctions encourages electronic purchasing

Dear Reader, We are officially out of the longest recession this country has ever experienced since records began. Does this mean we should bring out the champagne and drink to the health of our fearless leaders, or could this result be temporary and next quarter will again see GDP fall? As the economy only grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.1 per cent in the last three months of 2009, I wouldn’t bank on us being out of the woods just yet.

9.2 | Volume

hnolo www.governmenttec




Please visit www. government for the latest news and events

Card Solutions & The new Payment framework agreement Associated Services

The Cabinet Office recently announced savings to the public purse of £3.2 billion annually from 2013/14 through transformations in public sector technology. The government’s ICT Strategy outlines a smarter, cheaper and greener public sector ICT infrastructure. It will bring together government departments, local government and other public sector organisations to remove unnecessary overlaps between departments and avoid duplication of technology, delivering faster and better services for the public. Sounds like a good plan – now we just have to implement it!


onic purchasing ions encourages electr

ment Centre for eAuct

The first ever pan-govern

Enjoy the issue.

Government Technology Online If you would like to subscribe to Government Technology magazine please contact Public Sector Information Limited, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 0208 532 0055, Fax: 0208 532 0066, or visit the Government Technology website at: P NEWS P FEATURES P PROFILES P CASE STUDIES P EVENTS P AND MORE

8 GT MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED 226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 EDITOR Sofie Lidefjard ASSISTANT EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION EDITOR Karl O’Sullivan PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Reiss Malone PRODUCTION DESIGN Jacqueline Grist


ADVERTISEMENT SALES Justine James, Luke Humphries, Nicola Charter Jane Fraser, Sally Brockman PUBLISHER John O’Leary SALES ADMINISTRATION Jackie Carnochan, Martine Carnochan ADMINISTRATION Charlotte Casey, Victoria Leftwich GROUP PUBLISHER Barry Doyle REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

© 2010 Public Sector Information Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the editorial content the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1362 - 2541 THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY


Visit the website to view the categorised product finder


7 NEWS 10 PROCUREMENT The OGC has set up the first ever pangovernment Centre for eAuctions to encourage more purchasing through this route A look at the benefits of using Government Procurement Cards

14 FINANCE Jonathan Holden from Visa Europe investigates how different payment tools can achieve efficiency savings in the public sector

19 UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS We preview UC Expo, the UK’s number one enterprise communications, mobile and collaboration event

21 RISK MANAGEMENT An overview of business continuity and risk management in the public sector

25 DIGITAL BRITAIN Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council has embraced the drive to provide increased public access to digital information An in depth look at the Digital Region project which brought super fast broadband to South Yorkshire

28 ACCESSIBILITY A standard PC, screen and mouse set-up is often the norm in the workplace. But are they always suitable for the end user?

34 BEST PRACTICE Surrey Heath Borough Council discusses how it improved efficiency in its IT support department

37 SECURITY The disposal of confidential data goes beyond physical documents to include information held on computers and storage devices, writes the BSIA

41 EVENTS We preview Technology for Marketing and Advertising, an event that showcases solutions for integrated marketing and advertising campaigns

30 DATA CENTRES We preview Data Centre World, the largest free exhibition and conference for data centre professionals




Government Technology | Volume 9.2

Report urges public sector to embrace social media ailure to harness the social media trend is “tantamount to ignoring the telephone at the end of the 19th century,” according to a report from Socitm. The report looks at the use of social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook within local government, warning that many were failing to see their potential applications. Around 90 per cent of respondents revealed some level of restrictions were in place to prevent employees to access social media in the workplace, with 67 per cent confirming a total ban on its use. The top reason for such a policy is security, with two thirds of


respondents citing it as a concern. The report counters the argument, however, pointing out that whilst security risks do pose a threat “they are as manageable as security risks from any other activity involving access to the internet”. Another major reason to control the use of social media in the workplace is the perceived time-wasting, with 64 per cent airing this as a concern. The report calls for CIOs and heads of ICT to “provoke discussion and inform the debate” about how best to use social media as tools for citizen engagement and reputation management.

Joint procurement to protect digital information n partnership with Buying Solutions, The National Archives is looking for information technology and information management suppliers to take part in a procurement process aimed at protecting government and public sector digital information. It is developing a service that the public sector can use to make sure it can use its business-critical


digital information for as long as it needs to. This will include guidance supported by a framework of technology, services and consultancy. Buying Solutions and The National Archives will create the framework of Digital Continuity service providers and solutions via an OJEU restricted procedure. They aim to post a PQQ in the OJEU in the first quarter of 2010.

Offline adults to get connected with new course housands of offline adults will take their first steps with computers and the internet by learning the basics with a new, free course designed especially for beginners. The Online basics course has been created as part of the government’s response to Baroness Estelle Morris’ Review of ICT User Skills, published in June 2009. The report recommended a single channel to help the 15 million offline adults in the UK get to grips with technology. BIS, Becta and UK online centres have developed Online basics as a response. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who launched the course, said: “Everyone should be a confident user of the internet if they are to participate fully in today’s digital society. Being online brings a range of personal benefits, including financial savings, educational attainment, improved salary prospects and independent living for older people.” Hosted as part of the myguide service


NEWSINBRIEF New look Directgov mobile site goes live The Directgov mobile site has launched a brand new look and feel. The new design is based on extensive user research and testing and includes new features based on public feedback and suggestions. If you’re out and about, or if you don’t have access to a computer, Directgov mobile is a great way to access government information and services, such as finding the nearest Blue Badge parking bays, public toilets or NHS services. To get started, simly text MOBILE to 83377 (all texts are free, standard browsing charges apply). You’ll then be sent a text message containing a link to the site. Alternatively, enter into your phone’s internet browser.

BCS IT qualifications to reach India BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has signed a contract with Brilliant Examination Provider (BEP), based in Delhi, India, to provide greater worldwide access to its IT qualifications. The agreement allows BEP to use its local network of contacts and expertise to deliver the Institute’s qualifications to IT practitioners in India. BEP will offer the Institute’s latest qualification in Green IT as well as Software Testing and Business Analysis certifications, before gradually expanding its offering of the Institute’s qualifications.

Council competition uses text messages for public engagement

– – Online basics includes five key modules covering the basics people need to know to get going online – from keyboard and mouse skills through to e-mail, internet searching, and how to stay safe on the internet. There’s also guidance for people supporting someone to use the course. Over the next three months the course is being piloted in UK online centres in Barnsley, Oldham, Gloucester, Devon, and London to see whether it meets the needs of those people taking their first steps online.

Birmingham City Council has used SMS text messaging as part of a street naming competition, which has helped it record an increased number of entrants. The council confirmed it has been able to reach a wide audience, allowing it to help fulfil part of its mission to “communicate effectively with the public and ensure local community involvement in local projects”. Tammy Palmer, communications officer for transportation and street services at Birmingham City Council, said: “Through offering this medium we have seen a greater level of participation in the competition and it has been commended as one of the most successful campaigns in terms of number of entrants at the council to date. “By using SMS we have seen just how the latest tools can be integrated to enable immediate engagement from a wider audience and create greater interest from the public.”



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EMC2, EMC, EMC SourceOne, and where information lives are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. © Copyright 2009 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Government Technology | Volume 9.2

Online literacy assessment tools for healthcare workers he first sector-specific initial assessment tools for literacy and numeracy have been launched by Skills for Health. The free-to-use online tools are designed specifically for staff working in healthcare and draw on ‘reallife’ scenarios to maximise their relevance to users. Examples include listening to messages from patients, interpreting instructions, tables and charts and calibrating equipment. Another key feature is ‘intelligent’ software that analyses users’ responses and modifies questions according to the level they are working at. Staff who use the tools receive an assessment indicating their literacy and numeracy levels, which can be used to support skills development activities and a route into career progression. The tools can be used as part of induction, a personal development review or as part of training. They can also be used alongside an NVQ/


SVQ or Adult Apprenticeship, and can be carried out on an individual basis or in a group setting. The tools can be accessed at www.

More than 100 MPs use Twitter to talk to voters ore than 100 MPs are using the social networking site Twitter to communicate with voters, a survey suggests. Tweetminster, which monitors politicians’ use of Twitter, found that of 111 MPs tweeting, 65 were Labour, 23 were Liberal Democrats and 16 were Conservatives. Across the UK, London had the highest number of MPs on Twitter – 57


– followed by south-east England, on 40, and south-west England, on 37. Tweetminster found that Labour MPs had 91,061 Twitter followers, Lib Dems 22,754 and Conservatives 19,247. Meanwhile, 226 prospective parliamentary candidates are using Twitter, according to the report. The Conservatives have most, with 78, followed by 63 for Labour and 42 Lib Dems.

NEWSINBRIEF Independently developed child protection IT system wins award A council that turned its back on a £147,000 government grant to develop a child protection IT system, has just seen the system it developed independently scoop a prestigious national e government award. Known as KCics, the system designed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was hailed by the judges at the award ceremony as “breaking the mould”. The controversial decision to reject the government grant was taken in October 2008. Grants were available to all local authorities providing the systems they developed or purchased met a detailed government specification. However, after careful deliberation, Royal Borough child protection and IT experts concluded the spec was just too elaborate. They feared it would add unnecessary cost and was so detailed it would lead to box ticking rather than professionally judged assessments of risk. Feedback from local authorities that bought systems compliant with the government spec strongly suggest the Council’s anxieties were wellfounded, with many reporting them as difficult to use, time consuming and over prescriptive.

London’s youth next to get ID Cards Young people aged 16 to 24 years old who live in London and hold a current or recently expired British passport will be able to apply for a National Identity Card from 8 February. The £30 identity card can be used in place of a passport for travel throughout Europe, or buying age-restricted goods. Launching the identity cards in London, Home Office minister Meg Hillier said: “The National Identity Card will prove an extremely useful tool for young people in London, whether they are opening a bank account, buying age-restricted goods such as computer games or DVDs, entering a nightclub or travelling to Europe.”

A complete management information solution INNULA OPERATES a fully integrated service suite which opens the door to your information. Our solution transforms enormous amounts of data into the real business environment making it accessible to end users for fast analysis and reporting. Critical features include ease of scalability for drastically reduced installation time with rapid deployment tools, without a high initial cost. This solution is powerful when manipulating dispersed data and integrating from multiple sources. The application suite provides reports, multi dimensional analysis, dashboards and the ability to monitor data thresholds and send alerts and automated e-mails. Pinnula has the expertise to integrate with your current systems to provide


a single simple to use end user interface. Pinnula also offers a varied portfolio of applications which help manage and control your information needs, our expertise in application and information integration has helped many organisations achieve their business needs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact: Jeni Steele Tel: 01709 839933 Web: E-mail:



Written by the OGC


LET THE BIDS BEGIN When managed well, eAuctions can deliver competitive pricing and considerable savings. In recognition of this, the OGC has set up the first ever pan-government Centre for eAuctions to encourage more purchasing through this route EAUCTIONS, SOMETIMES CALLED reverse auctions or procurement auctions, allow suppliers to bid against each other online in order to win a contract. They can factor in both price and quality measures to arrive at the most competitive bid and can deliver highly competitive pricing and, often, considerable savings compared to existing contracts. The use of eAuctions by the public and private sectors has been patchy. The public sector has not made much use of eAuctions whilst the private sector enthusiastically adopted eAuctions but, with some unsatisfactory outcomes, is now reluctant to continue.

It is possible, though, to find examples of good practice and evidence that, properly managed, eAuctions can deliver greater efficiencies. There are organisations that have consistently got eAuctions right from private firms running many hundreds of eAuctions every year to the public sector running successful and effective eAuction programmes. The series of OGC IT hardware eAuctions has delivered savings of £50 million for the public sector. KEEPING E-AUCTIONS ON THE AGENDA These successes have maintained a level of interest in eAuctions although participation has varied particularly in the public sector.

There has been renewed interest following the publication of the pan-government eProcurement policy to encourage more procurement to be undertaken electronically. As part of this policy, OGC has taken the lead and set up the first pan-government Centre for eAuctions. The Centre will build on experience and reputation of OGC and be rolled out to other categories of spend to continue to generate measurable cash savings for organisations that collaborate through eAuction. The OGC Centre for eAuctions will provide co-ordination and support for eAuctions across central and local government, particularly where there is scope for increased collaboration. The intent is to build on existing eAuctions and to use the Centre to facilitate planned future eAuctions and to ensure that collaboration occurs at all times. There is a definite emphasis on “value add” in not only delivering a successful eAuction but also in training stakeholders in how to identify and project manage an

A key feature of public sector eAuctions is that the most competitive bid on the day must result in being sourced as the business. OGC has developed a well-defined and engineered implementation process where quality and whole life cost are central



Government Technology | Volume 9.2


eAuction through to competent delivery. The Centre will look to harness greater efficiencies from the existing eAuction programmes across Whitehall and the wider public sector by supporting the co-ordination of resource, establishing a consistent approach and providing a platform for coalitions. It will aim to influence public sector spend of £820 million and help achieve savings of over £250 million by the end of 2010/11. SUPPORTING E-AUCTIONS The Centre of Excellence will build on existing activity and work closely with Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships, Buying Solutions and other Professional Buying Organisations to recruit participants, sponsor the activity and support implementation. This will be in addition to providing the focus and support for public sector eAuction activity more widely. Another significant role of the Centre will be to establish sustainable coalitions of public sector organisations post-eAuction to ensure that all supplier issues are handled by the coalition and thus growing greater supplier awareness and supplier management. The Pro5 group of Professional Buying Organisations is supportive of the OGC’s eAuction programme. Plans for a specific eAuction for local government in ICT hardware is already underway built from a Pro5 framework. This is likely to be the first eAuction managed by the Centre with more to follow. The work programme will be available on the OGC website from early 2010 with details how the public sector and suppliers can get involved. BUILDING ON SUCCESS The OGC has been running a rolling programme of IT hardware eAuctions since September 2005. These are collaborative projects with up to 47 participating organisations at any one time working together to conduct a single procurement. To date 11 eAuctions have

been completed, sourcing products worth £158 million (at pre-auction prices), delivering savings of £50 million (31 per cent). The 11 eAuctions have enabled over 600 public sector organisations to access best in class prices for desktops, laptops, printers and servers. As well as delivering savings, the ICT hardware eAuction programme has created a network of individuals who are experienced in operating the eAuction projects. It has identified organisations that are keen to collaborate with and learn more from each other. eAuctions do need careful preparation and must adhere to EU procurement regulations. A key feature of public sector eAuctions is that the most competitive bid on the day must result in being sourced as the business. OGC has developed a well-defined and engineered implementation process where quality and whole life cost are central. The competitiveness of bids is determined by a combination of quality scores and pricing. Preparation is challenging when eAuctions are run collaboratively. To help this process, OGC has developed a particular capability in the area of collaborative eAuctions. It enables several public sector organisations to combine their requirements and offer large contracts to suppliers. WHAT ARE THE CENTRE’S AIMS? Through the Centre of Excellence, OGC will provide technical expertise to manage the eAuction process to get organisations to the right result. This hands-on element is especially valuable in transferring skills to participating organisations. This philosophy will underpin the Centre for eAuctions as it expands to: • run more eAuctions – the target is two per month in any suitable category of spend. This will go beyond OGC’s initial focus on IT hardware and will deliver greater savings and communicate, both to suppliers and

to taxpayers, the importance of quality and value for money as part of the process • build the public sector’s capability to run eAuctions – OGC has always offered training through hands-on experience and will be broadening this work through formal training programmes and the creation of more substantial and detailed guidance in the practical side of running eAuctions. This will develop the skills within OGC and, as importantly, across the public sector. Adoption of eAuctions can be accelerated rapidly with practical and comprehensive support from OGC. PROCUREMENT GOING ELECTRONIC The announcement of the Centre for eAuctions follows the recent publication of the pangovernment policy on the use of electronic systems to support procurement activity. This new policy requires public sector organisations to make progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in the HM Treasury’s Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) by maximising existing public sector investment in e-procurement systems and tools. The benefits this investment should create include: • increased value for money • improved management information • better visibility of collaborative contracts • increased process efficiency • enhanced operational capacity • prompt payment of suppliers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact OGC service desk and register to get involved with the rolling programme of OGC eAuctions – E-mail: Tel: 0845 000 4999. Download our policy on eProcurement at

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of client input and experience gained from over 170 live operational sites, our solutions offer a well calibrated mix of functionality and purchase knowhow and address the key challenges faced by procurement operations today, namely, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and minimising risk.

We also run 20 eProcurement Portals, including NEPO, Bluelight, NWIEP and London Tenders, which fully integrate with our software and encourage collaboration and aggregation on contracts between Portal members. Our Portals are an effective way of engaging and communicating with the supplier base by providing a single point of contact for buyers and suppliers.

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Government Technology | Volume 9.2


SIMPLIFYING PAYMENTS What are the benefits of using Government Procurement Cards and what affect will the new framework agreement have on the programme? THE NEW PAYMENT CARD SOLUTIONS & Associated Services framework agreement has replaced the well-established Government Procurement Card programme. Unlike GPC, which was contracted exclusively to Visa Europe and a consortium of Visa Member Banks, this new framework agreement has been awarded directly to a wider range of suppliers offering greater choice and flexibility in terms of product and service offering. This approach continues the longstanding and successful relationship that Buying Solutions has with Visa Europe via the card Issuers, and also provides opportunities for greater competition by the inclusion of American Express and MasterCard related services. This new framework agreement has extended its scope and can now offer a

for their activities, supported by management information that provides details of every transaction. A clear audit trail exists for every user and all their transactions. BENEFITS FOR THE ORGANISATION Most organisations purchase goods and services in support of their day-to-day business operations. As buying goods and services involves spending the organisation’s money, there clearly have to be checks and controls in those spending processes. Anything that reduces administration costs, releases money which can be used for improvements in the public service and produces a range of benefits for an organisation cannot be ignored. GPC benefits include: • Significant reduction in purchase order,

GPC provides a cost effective means of buying low value goods and services, typically removing 95 per cent of administrative effort. It enhances the standards of service delivery by making it simpler for employees to buy essential day-to-day items, like travel tickets, and guarantees on-time payment to suppliers. In short, the GPC is convenient, cost-effective, and a valuable contributor to efficiency targets choice of prepayment products (Lot 2) and web-based data integration solutions, Expense Management and associated services including VAT recovery and Data Mining services (Lot 3). It also meets Cabinet Office requirements for secure data handling. WHAT ARE GPCS? Whether utilised as an entry-level eProcurement solution or an efficient method of payment, the GPC is a simple and effective business tool. It provides a cost effective means of buying low value goods and services, typically removing 95 per cent of administrative effort. It enhances the standards of service delivery by making it simpler for employees to buy essential day-to-day items, like travel tickets, and guarantees on-time payment to suppliers. In short, the GPC is convenient, cost-effective, and a valuable contributor to efficiency targets. GPC purchasing cards are issued to those empowered to purchase goods and services. This empowerment comes with accountability



invoice and transaction processing costs • Regular availability of management information which can be used to analyse an negotiate better prices • Prompt payment to suppliers provides opportunities for negotiating price reductions or early settlement discounts • One single consolidated payment to the GPC Visa Bank each month yields major reduction in administration • Opportunities for negotiating reduced banking charges reflecting the lower numbers of transactions • Improved accuracy of transactions (purchaser and supplier in direct contact) and easier reconciliation • Reduction in disputes with suppliers – consumers deal direct with suppliers • Clear and concise audit trails. BENEFITS FOR STAFF People are a valuable asset for any organisation. Anything that can be done to reduce administrative bureaucracy and spend more

time on core activities provides both hard and soft benefits for an organisation. Benefits to staff using GPCs include empowering staff to procure goods and services more efficiently as well as eliminating process delays and backlogs as staff can obtain the goods and services when they need them. The cards allow staff to be more focused on more productive work rather than administration by reducing paperwork and bureaucracy. Meanwhile, mobile staff can be released from the physical restrictions of formal paperwork procedures. It also gives staff greater visibility of expenditure in relation to budgets and staff no longer need to fund and reclaim expenses such as travel. BENEFITS FOR SUPPLIERS The GPC provides a win-win result for organisations and their suppliers in reducing administration costs, improving cash flow, and increasing customer satisfaction. Benefits include: • Suppliers receive payment typically within four working days (the norm is two to three days) • Suppliers have a direct relationship with the end users of the goods and services involved • Suppliers invoicing administration burden is reduced and cash flow significantly improved because late payment and unpaid invoices are virtually eliminated • The GPC can help stimulate the SME marketplace to do more business with more public sector bodies locally. BENEFITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Buying goods and services has some obvious, and some less than obvious impacts on the environment. Anything that can reduce the environmental impact and improve sustainability and save money is something that buyers and suppliers cannot afford to ignore. Using the GPC as opposed to conventional paper based transactions can help lesson an organisation’s carbon footprint. Paperless transaction processing literally saves tons of paper every year (the average is 10 pieces of paper per transaction). And, by linking the GPC with internet based purchasing obviates the proliferation of paper catalogues cluttering up office space. In addition, management information can be translated into purchasing intelligence which can lead to smarter buying, less waste, and reduced impact on the environment. Information taken from the OGC website:

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Government Technology | Volume 9.2


NEW WAYS TO PAY Innovative payment tools can make a significant difference in the government’s search for efficiency savings, says Jonathan Holden from Visa Europe


government’s recent Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) report, there is scope for £15 billion in annual efficiency savings in the areas of back office operations and IT, collaborative procurement, asset management and sales, property and local incentives and empowerment. The more efficient use of payments can form an integral part of these savings. The report has stated that the government has already made significant progress in ensuring adherence to payment terms but much more can be achieved. Securing efficiency and value for money is an ongoing process for the public sector; it is never complete, especially in the current climate of economic turbulence. Visa’s solutions are constantly evolving to meet these changing requirements. If efficiency savings are realised then improvements can still be made to public services; they need not suffer unduly because of the recession. GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT CARD

Government Procurement Card (GPC Visa) is a proven solution in the drive



for efficiency. In 2008 alone, GPC Visa generated annual efficiency savings of £165 million, bringing cumulative savings to £674 million since the solution was launched in 1997. Savings are broadly accrued on a transactional basis, so more transactions result in greater savings, making it especially important for low value purchases. One way existing GPC users can drive further savings is through the use of payment thresholds. This means that value limits are set on payments and diverting as many payments as possible under that limit to GPC Visa. Adopting a threshold policy has several benefits, including decreasing the time spent by accounts departments manually inputting data, and reducing the amount of late payments to manage. GPC Visa cardholders can also access eSolutions tools to manage their transactions online, automatically allocate transactions to costings data, and review and approve individual transactions. The service also allows users to amend, add or split transactional data, and generate reports based on this information.


Following on from the success of GPC, Visa Prepaid has the potential to be a significant payment solution for public sector organisations looking to streamline their processes. It is already used by governments around the world, and has now started to be rolled out more widely in the UK. Prepaid offers benefits for a number of stakeholders. It can be used by employers to distribute salary payments or reimburse expenses to a large number of employees, or make bonus or incentive payments. This is particularly effective for those who work on a temporary or freelance basis. In addition, administrators can use the solution to minimise or even replace petty cash payments, or provide travelling expenses. The area with perhaps the most potential for Prepaid is for the distribution of benefits, helping to foster social inclusion for those who are vulnerable and have limited access to traditional banking services. It can be used to distribute direct payments, child and housing benefits and more. Disposable cards can be used one-off transactions or reloadable cards can be issued to those entitled to ongoing payments. In addition to the flexibility and security offered by this solution, it can reduce administration and cash handling costs, as well as automating processes and introducing electronic controls, bringing significant efficiency benefits. The card also has a complete audit trail and activity reports can be made available to both issuers and cardholders, facilitating supervision and control. NEW INNOVATIONS

In the near future, Visa Prepaid cards could be produced in just two and a half minutes through Visa’s new instant issuance machines. These ATM like kiosks can be placed into benefits offices that provide prepaid cards; helping to speed up and automate the payments process even further. Other emerging innovations include Visa CodeSure; a new type of secure payment card with a built-in numeric screen that is currently being piloted by banks for payments, online banking, and Virtual Private Network access. There is an opportunity to extend this technology beyond financial services, and for government departments this solution for accessing government services, payment of taxes and application processes. This will add another layer of security to existing measures. All these payment tools can make a significant difference in the government’s search for savings. Improved efficiency can form a cornerstone to resurgence.

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We have over 12 years’ invaluable experience in delivering trusted payment solutions to the public sector and Buying Solutions has once again approved us as a framework supplier. Our payment solutions can deliver real efficiency savings to all types of public sector organisations – with ongoing product innovation that ensures the cost savings and efficiencies continue to go from strength to strength. The benefits of public sector payment solutions from us: • Approved Buying Solutions Supplier of GPC Visa for a third consecutive term • Established expertise in the public sector, providing specialist knowledge and understanding • Dedicated public sector team, helping you to get the best from your programme • Strong, independent UK bank, supporting investment and continued payment innovation • A range of solutions for your organisation’s procurement, travel and prepaid needs.

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Together we can deliver more.

Government Technology | Volume 9.2

TEST SECURITY Suzana Lopes, EMEA VP Sales and Marketing at Pearson VUE, explains the need for rigorous exam security, and looks at how it is done today MORE AND MORE EMPHASIS is being placed worldwide upon certification. Increasing numbers of companies and organisations insist on their staff holding the correct, up-to-date, industry recognised qualifications for many reasons. Candidates who are certified to a higher level have proven that they have the competencies and skills to deliver higher-value services for their company. A better, higher qualified workforce gives a company a competitive advantage: training and certification add value to companies and give reward and motivation to employees. The IT sector is a perfect example of this, and it has been leading the way in terms of training and testing of skills. Because of the rapid pace at which technology is evolving, it is vital that people’s knowledge and skills are current. Often, whole careers hinge upon the passing or failing of a high stakes test. If a test or exam is to be truly meaningful, it is of course imperative that the most rigorous security is applied at every stage, to ensure that candidates are who they say they are and thus limit the possibility of cheating by impersonation. The number one threat to test security is test content theft, whereby the test taker memorises as much of the test content as they can and then makes it available, for example by publishing it on the Internet, frequently for commercial gain. This is an important matter for training providers too. If the certification standard is compromised then so too is the value in training for that certification. If it were possible to pass a test via some illicit short cut, then fewer people would pay for training. Thankfully, much technology exists to ensure security for the whole life cycle of a test. From the creation of the items (questions or tasks) and their use in exams, through the delivery at the test centre, to forensic analysis of exam results, there are proven procedures to make sure content does not fall into the wrong hands or risk being misused. SECURE TEST DEVELOPMENT Owing to the complexity of the modern test, many people are involved in creating it. It is not simply a case of one chief examiner deciding what the questions should be: the creation process involves input from many people – from psychometricians, who analyse the reliability and validity of the items and exams, to subject matter experts, who keep a check on the accuracy of content. In addition, the test also needs to be created in such a way that it is suitable for its target audience; i.e. has adequate geographic reach,



is culturally appropriate, measures the skills for a particular role or doesn’t hinder the test candidate in language or tone. Many tests also involve the co-operation of employers and organisations to ensure that certifications are aligned with the job roles they are testing for. Once the appropriate panel of experts has been formed, the creation of the items can begin and each stage of the authoring process can be securely controlled by limiting access to each item. This security procedure can be implemented in a number of ways, for example by using a particular test authoring program. Another important factor to consider is the security of the delivery of your exam, be that on paper or computer. It’s crucial that checks are in place to ensure that only authorised personnel handle the test, in whatever format it is to be delivered in, and that the process of delivery for each location is the same. Streamlining your delivery process is critical to smooth and secure test delivery. GLOBAL IDENTITY MANAGEMENT Frequently, as organisations become more global, their employees often need to take exams on a regular basis throughout their careers. This is particularly prevalent in the IT sector, where IT personnel need to keep their skills current and take regular assessments. To help facilitate this, certain biometric data can be stored and accessed by the test administration system to allow straightforward candidate ID verification. Once the candidate produces their sanctioned ID, a process of matching stored information to the ID can take place and a record of the candidate’s test history and results can be updated. PALM VEIN RECOGNITION For the highest of high-stakes exams, such as those related to a top-level certification, some organisations are choosing to test in centres which feature state-of-the-art test centre technology for candidate identification, one of which is palm vein recognition. With fewer negative cultural connotations than fingerprinting, and greater accuracy, palm vein recognition involves an infrared scanner that examines the unique patterns in the veins of the palm of a candidate’s hand. This streamlines the check-in process and gives each candidate a single record that is virtually impossible to forge or tamper with, thereby eliminating the possibility that multiple people could test under a single identity. How does it work? The palm is scanned, and the information about the individual’s unique vein patterns is stored as an encrypted digital template. After the test is complete,

this template is sent along with the test taker’s results via encrypted transmission to the testing company. Because of its accuracy, ease-ofuse and built-in privacy controls, palm vein technology is increasingly becoming recognised as a valid method of verifying candidate identity in high-stakes testing environments. ITEM BANKING Having verified that each test-taker is the genuine candidate, there is then the consideration of making sure that test content cannot be taken from the test room and passed on to future candidates for cheating purposes, or posted on an online “brain dump” site. This is where the Computer-Based Testing (CBT) concept of item banking comes into its own. A paper-based test form can only be delivered once before the content is considered public knowledge – cheating in subsequent sittings would be easy if that paper were to be re-used. With CBT item banking, however, the testing

Government Technology | Volume 9.2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Suzana Lopes is the commercial director at Pearson VUE (www., a global leader in computer-based testing for information technology, academic, government and professional testing programmes around the world. Pearson VUE provides a full suite of services from test development to data management, and delivers exams through the world’s most comprehensive and secure network of test centres in 165 countries. Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education and the Penguin Group.

Often, whole careers hinge upon the passing or failing of a high stakes test. If a test or exam is to be truly meaningful, it is of course imperative that the most rigorous security is applied at every stage, to ensure that candidates are who they say they are and thus limit the possibility of cheating by impersonation body can select items from a suitably sized computerised item bank and create a new test form each time. Firstly, this means that a number of different tests can be compiled from the same item bank, and that each item can be used more often because the software controls how much exposure each item gets. As long as items do not become stale or over-exposed then candidates will not become able to pass them too easily. Secondly, it means that on any given day,

individual would not stand to gain anything from leaking or selling exam content after their test, as it is highly unlikely that the same content will occur in the same combination in other people’s sittings of the same test. Even with security measures such as the above in place, testing providers must always still monitor all tests to look for any aberrant trends or to detect if the test has been compromised in any way. There are many tools that can do this, both while the test is live and also after the fact. For example, forensic analysis software can detect any unusual patterns in scores, pass rates or other aspects of the test (such as how fast the candidate answers different types of questions, or how well they perform on easy questions compared to difficult ones). This analysis can be performed immediately following each test so that aberrant trends can be quickly identified and action taken to minimise further risk while further investigation or other action takes place. It is thanks to security like this that modern Computer-Based Testing can be trusted as a reliable proof of an individual’s skills and competencies, and those individuals can be confident that their qualifications gained in this way really are valid and meaningful. Article appears by kind permission of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information, contact

every candidate could be sitting a different test, containing a unique mix of items that add up to a test of the same difficulty level as the one being sat by the next candidate. With this model, the test could be available for candidates to sit at their convenience on any day of the year, without every test requiring all-new items to be created, and because every test is different, no candidate can take the shortcut of completing a test from memory of a “past paper”. On top of this, any unscrupulous



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Government Technology | Volume 9.02


UNIFYING COMMUNICATIONS What’s the agenda at UC Expo, 10-11 March, the UK’s number one enterprise communications, mobile and collaboration event? FOR ORGANISATIONS EVERYWHERE, the realities of a complex world where technological change has gained pace and transcended borders has resulted in a fundamental shift in how, where, whom and what we work with. It affects everyone, organisations large and small, business and technical and it demands a new collaboration experience. UC Expo and Mobile 10 offers visitors an exciting look into the business potential and changing delivery models within the Voice, Visual, Mobile, and Collaboration workspaces to ensure your organisation has substantial business benefit and competitive advantage. FREE EDUCATION PROGRAMME UC Expo boasts an unrivalled free education programme with theatres covering all facets of business communication and collaboration. The seminar on ‘Collaboration & Messaging’ covers the latest trends and solutions in collaboration and social computing in the enterprise, demonstrating how to unlock their business potential. The seminar on ‘Infrastructure & Delivery

Management’ guides you through the implementation challenges of software and hardware-based solutions and hosted services. The seminar on ‘Customer and Service Orientated Communications’ shows how to make sure you deliver a homogenous customer experience across multiple channels including the social web. There will also be a seminar on ‘Teleworking’ which looks at the latest technology and devices that deliver nextgeneration solutions to remote workers. NEW FOR 2010 New for 2010 are three dedicated theatres in the mobile arena. ‘Mobile Applications, Platforms & Solutions’ looks at the increasing number of mobile applications, platforms and solutions, illustrating what to choose – and how to avoid vendor lock-in. ‘Mobile Working & Field Services’ focuses on the demands of delivering increasingly complicated applications and solutions to key personnel in the field. ‘Mobile Developer Labs’ examines how to achieve 100 per cent efficiency from mobile applications and widgets rather than the

80 per cent that is commonly accepted. In addition, come to Digium|Asterisk World at UC Expo to discover how Asterisk, can save you money and empower you to create more flexible telephony solutions. KEY SPEAKERS TO LOOK OUT FOR • Jon von Tetzchner, founder of Opera, will speak on the future of mobile applications – the browser vs the OS • Jim Davies, CTO of Mitel Networks, will discuss unifying communications in a virtualised world – challenges and benefits • Nic Newman, head of strategy and european GM at TigerSpike, will speak on mobile applications now and the future – the application of technology • Philip Vanhoutte, EMEA managing director of Plantronics, will present a case study on the evolution to unified communications – the collaboration of business and IT.


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READY FOR ANYTHING Research suggests that complacency in business continuity planning remains a major issue despite wake up calls from incidents as diverse as flooding, power cuts, terrorism and Internet viruses THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN HAS had direct impact on the day-to-day business of government departments and their respective agencies. In recent years government departments and their respective government agencies have experienced drastic cuts in human resources all in the name of streamlining processes and a reliance on Information Technology. The pressures of increased footfall, telephone calls, and e-mails are a reality across government departments and agencies. It is all too evident that inappropriate downsizing to meet public perceptions of overspend is now coming home to haunt decision makers who find themselves having to employ staff to meet the demands of providing a robust

service to the public. The loss of experienced staff due to cost benefit analysis is a factor that will also haunt decision-makers for a long time to come. One wonders if lessons will be learned as a result of ‘expedient’ economic decisions that are ill-thought out and are often the result of knee jerk reactions. A PART OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Risk management and business continuity planning are two strands of the business management process that are here to stay. However, the concept of a ‘business ethic’ is an ingredient lacking in both strands. This is not the place to discuss the benefits of an imbedded business ethic but merely to make the salient point that an ‘ethic’ has a

ABOUT THE IRM Thomas P.J. Bodkin, BA (Hons), CIRM, RRP is a Certificant Member of the Institute of Risk Management. The Institute of Risk Management runs specialist distance learning courses on ‘Public sector risk’ and on ‘Business continuity and crisis management’ as part of its International Diploma in Risk Management. See for details. role to play in business continuity planning. Business organisations that fail to prepare for disasters by not having in place well tested and tried business continuity plans are in danger



Government Technology | Volume 9.2


of contravening their stated Codes of Ethics and Standards of Behaviour, thus failing their stakeholders and may damage their competitive edge in the current volatile market economy. Research studies show that complacency in business continuity planning remains a major issue despite wake up calls from incidents as diverse as flooding, power cuts, terrorism and rapidly spreading internet viruses. ADVERSE WEATHER The extreme weather conditions and falling snow we’ve seen recently almost brought the United Kingdom to a complete standstill. That week saw freak snowstorms that resulted in many people having to take a forced absence from work or school. No doubt many lessons have been learned from that experience and the ‘robustness’ of business continuity plans will have been found to be somewhat wanting. Following that event, managers both in the public and private sectors, wrote memos thanking staff for the great efforts they made in getting to work. In the coming weeks and months we will read reports of how government departments and their respective agencies responded to the adverse weather conditions. The civil servants who are responsible for preparing the reports are essentially men and women of great integrity. They will tell the story as it is and no doubt the masters of spin will ensure that an end product will be acceptable to Parliament and the public. Public and private sector bodies purposely refrain from revealing the whole story on how things really went on the day. All we can genuinely hope for is that the lessons learned will be taken on board and acted upon. That will entail an in depth re-examination of business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning. Embedding the concept of business continuity planning in the minds of all civil servants is and will continue to be a mammoth task. The same holds for the private sector which is all too prone to pay lip service both to business continuity planning and risk management. All we can ask is that government departments and their respective agencies do two things: develop business continuity plans that are intrinsically viable, realistic in content and to test them thoroughly at least twice annually. Not to do is to play with fire and lose the confidence of both the public and wider business community. DEFINING BUSINESS CONTINUITIY The British Standard on Business Continuity Management (BCM), BS 25999, defines BCM as a: “holistic management process that identifies potential threats to an organisation and the impacts to business operations that those threats, if realised, might cause, and which provides a framework for building organisational resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation,



brand and value-creating activities”. Business continuity management is the process through which government departments aim to continue their critical business activities following a disruption and effective recovery afterwards (return to ‘normal’). It is an essential aspect of securing their business. So it is imperative that government departments and agencies have in place robust, up to date, fit for purpose and flexible business continuity plans that are regularly tested and reviewed and supported by competent staff that allow them to maintain, or as soon as possible resume provision of, key products and services in the event of a disruption. Government departments have the key and facility to

be the exemplar par excellence of a strong business continuity management process that provides leadership to other public and private sector organisations; sending a message of reassurance to the public and the business community, and demonstrating to international partners that the United Kingdom is a secure place to trade. It is therefore recommended that government departments and agencies lead the way in continuing to work towards aligning their business continuity arrangements with the British Standard for Business Continuity Management: BS 25999 – which provides a basis for understanding, developing and implementing business continuity within an organisation.

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Government Technology | Volume 9.2


BARNSLEY GOES DIGITAL Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council becomes one of the lead local authorities in South Yorkshire to deploy the first universally accessible superfast broadband network in the UK of-the-art data centre in Barnsley because we see the business opportunities being created as the borough embraces digital technology. This is a pioneering partnership that has attracted much attention from other UK councils who now have the ability to utilise and benefit from the data centre facilities established. For Barnsley, this will help support local skills enhancement, community regeneration as well as the digital agenda to get people online.”

New Barnsley Digital Media Centre

BARNSLEY METROPOLITAN BOROUGH Council (BMBC) positioned itself as one of the leading local authorities to embrace the drive to provide increased public access to digital information. It has achieved this through the recent launch of a number of digital initiatives including Totally Online Barnsley, the Barnsley launch of Digital Region and the opening of the Bull TCL Data Centre. These initiatives have received endorsement from digital inclusion champion, Martha Lane Fox, who launched the Race Online 2012 Programme. As a visitor to the Barnsley national launch of ‘Get Online Day’, Martha Lane Fox commented: “Barnsley really is embracing the digital inclusion agenda with the launch of these initiatives. In the UK one in every four people still don’t use the internet and unfortunately it’s the people facing the toughest times who could actually benefit the most from what technology has to offer – from saving money to finding information that could make their lives easier and cheaper. Barnsley is a fantastic example of how communities can benefit from being online and has clearly demonstrated that through innovation, forward thinking and engaging in good public-private partnerships, the goals of digital inclusion can be achieved.” INCLUDING EVERYONE Totally Online Barnsley is part of a South Yorkshire-wide Making IT Personal project, which is supported by £1.5 million of European funding and £1.5 million from the UK Government. The project has set ambitious targets to get everyone in the borough online and using computers by 2012. “It’s a case of making technology readily

available and educating people so that they understand what the internet can offer them,” explains Phil Coppard, Barnsley Council chief executive. “Plus by providing support and training this will give individuals the confidence and skills needed to help navigate the digital world.” Barnsley recently played host to the official Get Online Day flagship event, which was split across two UK online centre venues – Royston Community Learning Centre and Barnsley Central Library. This was the first of more than 700 other Get Online Day events that will take place at online centres across the UK. NEW DATA CENTRE To support the technology infrastructure requirements of this project, BMBC has worked in partnership with Bull, which has invested in a new state-of-the art data centre, the official opening of which coincided with the Get Online Day. The data centre is one of the outcomes from joint venture company, Bull TCL, which was formed by Barnsley and Bull in 2006 to manage the council’s information technology operations and to compete for IT support contracts in the wider world. The data centre now provides a cost-effective, reliable and secure ICT infrastructure which has laid the foundations for improvements in both council services and further economic development in the borough. To date successes include substantial cost and energy savings under the government’s efficiency agenda as well as the securing of commercial contracts worth several million pounds. Commenting at the launch of the data centre, Didier Lamouche, chairman and CEO of Bull, stated: “Bull has invested in this new, state-

LEAD AUTHORITY The drive for digital inclusion has meant that BMBC is one of the four South Yorkshire lead local authorities in Digital Region in deploying the first universally accessible superfast broadband networks in the UK. It will cover 97 per cent of South Yorkshire’s domestic and business properties, placing it at the forefront of digital technologies. The high speed network is being built by Digital Region in partnership with Thales UK. Digital Region is wholly owned by Yorkshire Forward and the four local authorities of South Yorkshire, and attracted investment of over £90 million, including £30 million from the European Region Development Fund. The high-speed service is seen as vital to developing the region’s economy as the Digital Region network will also attract inward investment and enable the delivery of more effective public services. The network will be available in some areas from early next year and completed in 2012. Once in place the network will bring a broadband service with speeds in the region of 25Mbit/s to 550,000 homes, 40,000 businesses and 1.3 million people in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. BMBC is in the process of recruiting 21 unemployed people to be trained as digital outreach trainers. They will work with their communities to help people get online and maximise the opportunities the digital world offers. Further commenting on these digital initiatives Lane Fox said: “Through the robust infrastructure that has been developed, the local people of Barnsley are already taking advantage of the technology on offer. There are some really inspirational stories here, which just reaffirm the fact that the internet can open up new opportunities that help both individuals and communities. I hope these innovative projects inspire other councils to follow in their footsteps.”




Government Technology | Volume 9.2


NEXT GENERATION BROADBAND David Holt, CEO of Digital Region Ltd, discusses the project which put South Yorkshire right at the centre of digital Britain DIGITAL REGION LTD IS WHOLLY owned by the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward, and the four local authorities of South Yorkshire – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Together these stakeholders represent approximately 1.3m residents and almost 40,000 SME businesses. The Digital Region project was initiated in June 2005, following analysis and initial business planning led by the Yorkshire & Humber Adit. Regional Adits had been set up in 2003 by the OGC (HM Treasury Office of Government Commerce) and DTI (HM Dept. Trade & Industry), as a joint Broadband Task Force to address the government’s stated objective of the UK having the most extensive and competitive broadband market in the G7 by 2005. This developed into the DTI’s Broadband Aggregation Programme (BAP), with specific ADIT objectives to: • Maximise broadband deployment • Maximise value for money in broadband procurement • Offer consultancy services to public sector (Broadband matters). The approach taken at that time, remains largely intact today – the aggregation of public spend on telecoms, and particularly broadband related services. The partners developed a clear vision that could set them ahead of the UK’s digital strategy, based on two overriding principles: • The likelihood of significant and sustained growth of use in broadband applications • The increased purchasing power of aggregating spend. FINDING THE NEXT INDUSTRY This analysis and early planning was being carried out in South Yorkshire at a time when its main industries, manufacturing and mining, were disappearing. There was an urgent requirement to find the next industry for the region – one that brought efficiency, made good use of limited public funds, was sustainable and would create jobs and inward investment. This vision required a new ‘state of the art’ digital infrastructure, a network accessible by all, something that would attract and excite the digital industry, as the core enabler. History showed that the broadband market in the UK came to small parts of South Yorkshire initially, at a time when other regions and leading cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, and Glasgow were being well catered for. It was expected to be some five to seven years after these cities were fully covered with first generation broadband that South Yorkshire had almost full coverage.



In tomorrow’s world, when the analysis was pointing towards a digital economy, South Yorkshire could not wait for the market to catch up, they could not let the rest of the UK and large parts of Europe be so far ahead, at such a critical time. GETTING STARTED The project was initiated in June 2005, with the setting up of a project team, including technical, commercial, procurement, legal, financial, communications, marketing, regulatory and stakeholder management roles. There were four main thrusts of the project from the outset: procurement; state aid approval; business model development, including fundraising; and stakeholder engagement. The procurement was initiated in September 2005, with 70 organisations responding to the ‘Pre-Qualification Questionnaire’ (PQQ). The level of interest shown confirmed our belief in such a far reaching initiative. 17 of those organisations passed through the PQQ stage and were soon shortlisted to six, and then to three who would continue on and develop full scale bids. The three were Thales (Thales Security & Solutions Ltd), BT, and Easynet (Sky). The project team also made a key decision to embark on an early application to the EU Commission for State Aid approval. Again, this proactive decision to complete this aspect in parallel with other key activities proved challenging but brought its own rewards. Not only did Brussels provide much enthusiasm and support for the project, the sharing of information helped Digital Region guide its procurement, and also, we suspect, helped the Commission in their ongoing policy development. After a lengthy period of engagement, including meetings, workshops and document drafting before the final decision process, approval was granted in November 2006. As well as the support this had provided to our procurement process, the approval gave much comfort to the bidders that this really was going to happen. FINANCES Development of the business model had two main themes – a thorough understanding of the costs involved and gaining commitment to funds. The majority of the cost information was developed through the bid process, which also included an independent analysis of market demand. Together, with the inclusion of internal costings, a comprehensive

David Holt

business model was developed, enabling a clear understanding of the funding requirement and the financial risk involved. The main costs of the network are around the actual deployment – the digging of trenches for approximately 700km of new ducting and fibre, equipment deployment at four core nodes and 54 telephone exchanges and installation of almost 1,600 new street cabinets – a total outlay of £96m. The running and management of the network requires substantial systems and resource to enable an efficient 24 hour operation. Digital Region Ltd has a relatively small team to manage the contractual relationships and provide support in generation of demand. A core element of fundraising was South Yorkshires Objective One status, and its ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) provision. Digital Region being a key theme of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES), it was always considered a core element of the ERDF programme. Gaining access to the ERDF funds was through two phases – agreement of the ERDF programme for the region, between Yorkshire Forward and the EU Commission, followed by Digital Regions application as a major project for a significant part of Yorkshire & Humbers allocation. The Commissions work to agree the ERDF programme with its member states took longer than they anticipated leaving the Digital Region project more advanced than its core funding source. The application for major project funding, within the ERDF programme, also brought its own challenges. The new ERDF programme still required agreement on many of the details, and each agreement requiring all member states approval. The outcome from each of the steps required here was then folded into the procurement bid process and the contractual negotiations with Thales, the selected partner. This elapsed time, as ERDF approval was sought, allowed further stakeholder

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engagement. It was critical that awareness and support of this initiative was as broad as possible, particularly across the public sector group. This proactive programme of communication brought dividends when it came to the multiple approval process. With a £30m ERDF commitment, £44m funding from Yorkshire Forward, support from the four local authorities and also our selected partner, Thales, a complete funding package was developed. The complex approval process, including the partners, the Commission was completed by the UK Government through announcement by the Chancellor in the April 2009 budget. Build work commenced in June 2009 and the core network went ‘live’ in November. The network will be available to 97 per cent of South Yorkshire by May 2012 but will be available for use from Q1 2010. BENEFITS Now the network is ‘live’ the many potential benefits can start to be realised. These benefits are provided from the additional capability this Next Generation Broadband network provides. In particular: • Download bandwidth capability of 25Mb/sec and beyond • Greaterupload bandwidth, required to drive enhanced interactive and streaming applications • Guaranteed bandwidth to ensure robustness of applications • Quality of Service across the network to ensure prioritisation of applications at the end user For the community • Telemedicine and social services • Easy access to the many benefits provided by the internet • Home working • World class entertainment • Socialising and networking. For businesses • World class communications • Ease of home working • Access to an expanded market • World wide information and new services • Enhanced capability attracting innovative application developers to South Yorkshire. For service provider • Access to a new market • Provision of new advanced services and applications • High profile test bed For local authorities and the broader public sector • Accessible services for all • Efficiencies and cost savings • Enhanced communications • Online education • Telemedicine and social services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information please got to



Government Technology | Volume 9.2


COMPUTING FOR A DIVERSE WORKFORCE A standard PC, screen and mouse set-up is often the norm in the workplace. But are the needs of the end-user taken into consideration? Carrie Saint Freedman from AbilityNet investigates WHETHER YOU ARE AN EMPLOYEE or a visitor to a library offering computer access, a standard PC, screen and mouse set-up seems to be de rigueur. This formulaic approach to equipment assumes that each individual interacts with the same set-up in the same way resulting in the same levels of comfort and efficiency. In the sophisticated world of IT, this attitude seems rather anachronistic. Whilst we may apply great personal choice and discretion to other essential business items (pens, cars and even chairs), our basic tool – the PC – is selected, in the majority of cases, with absolutely no regard to the user whatsoever. Despite the legal, moral and commercial arguments for doing so, many workplace professionals are unaware of the simple and inexpensive adjustments available to get round mouse and keyboard difficulties, as well as vision problems and other conditions such as dyslexia and ‘RSI’. DDA legislation has been in place for over a decade now and whilst we are well aware of its requirements as far as physical access to buildings is concerned, we may be less alert to its applications in other areas of the workplace. DISABILITY EQUALITY DUTY More recently, since 2006, the Disability Equality Duty (DED) has been framed specifically to cover public sector organisations including hospitals, local and central government, schools and colleges. This amplifies the original wording of the Act to actively promote disability equality as employers as well as service providers. The architects of the DED hoped that it would bring about a shift from a legal framework in which change relies on individual disabled people (whether customers or employees) complaining about discrimination, to one in which the public sector itself becomes an agent of change. There are over 9.8 million disabled people in the UK and a growing representation of older employees in the workforce, for whom associated conditions such as failing eyesight and dexterity problems like arthritis may occur. 40 per cent of the English population is now over 45 – the age at which the incidence of disability begins to increase. A Health and Safety Executive report suggests that Upper Limb Disorder or ‘rsi’ is the most common cause of workplace health problems, totalling in excess of 4.2 million working days lost a year and affecting over half a million employees. A further survey reveals that one in five PC users report some degree of pain or



discomfort related to an input device – i.e. a mouse. And this figure rises steeply depending on the level and intensity of PC-based work in which the individual engages. In fact, a recent study estimates that over half of us could benefit from adjusting our computer in some way to improve our comfort and/or efficiency. NON STANDARD REQUIREMENTS Seemingly ‘invisible’ issues such as dyslexia, eye strain, backache, headaches or hand/arm discomfort are very common. If left unresolved, these can have a huge impact on morale and performance and lead to absence from work. In many cases they can escalate and result in prolonged sick leave and early retirement. For employers, identifying the right solutions for staff with ‘non-standard’ requirements and providing them with the training they require to operate their new equipment often requires outsourced expertise. Specialists like AbilityNet deliver hundreds of face-to-face, in-depth, workplace-based assessments a year enabling staff to increase productivity and comfort, stay in work, return to work or even to get a job for the first time. As a result, employers have been able to fully comply with their legislative obligations. The very nature of this service means that it can be a lengthy, expensive and tiring process for the individual concerned. The relevant member of staff will be unavailable for several hours during which the assessor will try out various combinations of hardware and software with the employee to find the optimum solution. If the staff member in question has a problem which is exacerbated by tiredness such as ‘RSI’, a vision impairment or a degenerative disease like MS, such a protracted period of concentration is also likely to be extremely arduous. REMOTE CONSULTANCY Bearing these issues in mind in tandem with decreasing budgets especially in a recessionary climate, AbilityNet has developed a range of innovative approaches to providing the same levels of expert consultancy at a fraction of the cost. The ‘remote’ model depends on a combination of: • Telephone or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) • Online Remote Assistance (where the consultant accesses the end user’s computer remotely through a broadband internet connection, to make

adjustments to settings as required) • Use of a webcam to see the workstation and observe any mouse or keyboard difficulties • Loan equipment – so the end-user can experiment with a variety of adaptations to check suitability before purchasing • Training using the above technologies This technology enables a ‘barrier free’ approach where neither the location of the assessor nor the client is significant. Avoiding travel reduces environmental impacts as well as saving money and time, whilst the process itself can take place at the pace most appropriate to the individual concerned, taking into account both their condition and their other work commitments. The whole exercise can be broken down into shorter sessions or halted whilst a certain device is ‘test driven’ and assessed for suitability. According to AbilityNet’s own figures, over 90 per cent of assessments are suitable for the remote assessment model. With a loan bank of over 1,000 items AbilityNet’s remote assessment team can even lend clients a laptop if they need to try out a solution which involves pre-loaded software – speech recognition technology for example. Explains Karen Maxwell, AbilityNet’s remote services manager: “The flexibility of our infrastructure and the technology involved is such that we can turn around a remote assessment within a week of a referral being made. “The ‘remote’ nature of the encounter means that both parties can concentrate on what is important and stick to the agenda. Client feedback shows that people find the service convenient, focused and, more importantly, extremely successful.” Remote need not mean cold or distant, the quality of user interaction has led to a 94 per cent+ satisfaction rating amongst users year on year. USER REQUIREMENTS When the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) began a major desktop refresh programme, employees’ specific requirements were high on the agenda. During the rollout of Microsoft’s Vista operating system while simultaneously introducing new laptops to the majority of employees, the impact on disabled staff was considered at the outset. Peter Barber, head of Defra’s business relationship management unit, says that bringing in external expertise was crucial in ensuring the programme progressed

Government Technology | Volume 9.2


smoothly: “The key was to ensure that neither access, productivity nor comfort were compromised during the process,” he says. Adoption of a new system can be stressful for those using non-standard equipment. System and application upgrades can be especially problematic for those using adaptations, as glitches may leave them unable to work at all. AbilityNet worked alongside Defra and its technology partners Microsoft and IBM to ensure that staff with special needs were supported through the transition, identifying the correct adjustments that were needed and providing support for deployment and training. AbilityNet’s Henry Allcock carried out much of the initial ‘telephone screening’ of nearly 140 DEFRA employees who had special computing needs. DEFRA’s project management was delighted to find that around half of these clients’ problems were resolved during the screening process itself saving a lot of time, effort and expense down the line. “Typical scenarios involved cases of vision impairment requiring a simple means to enlarge the contents of the screen, a case of screen glare needing some minor adjustments to screen brightness and positioning, and a user who just needed instructions on how to make changes to accessibility settings in the operating system,” he reports. THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING Training is vital in the context of adaptive technology and organisations have to meet the diverse training needs of staff who are both supporting and using new equipment. Customer-facing, staff servicing the needs of end-users in public facilities like libraries, UK online and Learn Direct centres, are also tasked with bridging the ‘digital divide’. ‘Providers of goods and services’ to the public are obliged under the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act to make the ‘reasonable adjustments’ necessary to

Despite the legal, moral and commercial arguments for doing so, many workplace professionals are unaware of the simple and inexpensive adjustments available to get round mouse and keyboard difficulties, as well as vision problems and other conditions such as dyslexia and ‘RSI’ ensure that their equipment is accessible. Realising the drain on financial resources that training can represent, AbilityNet has developed a low-cost learning platform as a portal to over 50 courses which range in content from software specific tutorials for those using particular packages such as screen reading solutions, to generic disability-based guidance for those with dyslexia, physical problems or vision impairment making use of the standard keyboard, screen and mouse difficult. The materials are provided with the support of manufacturers and accessibility specialists from across the UK and internationally. Many useful introductory courses are free, such as those dealing with some of the Accessibility Options within Windows for example, or basic guidance on healthy computing. Learners can work independently in their own time and with the addition of personal support from an AbilityNet tutor if they require it through voice, text or video in real time. E-learning can be augmented through complementary activities including on-line discussions, forums and ‘webinars’ – the cyber equivalent of a seminar. Here the trainer can reach and interact with widely dispersed groups, even at short notice, broadcasting material via video or desk top and communicating through text, speech or whiteboard.

Designed to facilitate independent learning, the courses can be accessed ‘on-demand’ and are modular in composition, enabling students to build upon prior training and set their own pace. Says AbilityNet development director, David Banes: “The cost of training is a major barrier to full compliance with the DDA and the creation of a truly accessible and inclusive workplace. “Sometimes the expense of teaching an individual to use an adapted computer system may even exceed the investment made in the technology itself; whilst waiting for the required training to take place can be a dispiriting experience when the individual is prevented from doing their job properly in the interim. “This one-stop training solution will provide high quality courses on-demand, help rates of staff retention and hardly dent your training budget.” Looking ahead, Banes believes that innovative approaches towards accessibility developed by specialists such as AbilityNet, combined with ever more sophisticated and user-friendly solutions delivered over the internet, will result in truly inclusive technology in the workplace and beyond.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit or call 0800 269545.

Gain a formal qualification in Telecare HE NEED HAS ARISEN for a formal qualification in telecare; to show competence and understanding, not only of the technology but also, the issues and needs of service users. Just as telecare itself is as much about dignity and independence as it is about equipment and services, this qualification is about supportive and perceptive interaction with users. This valuable Level 2 qualification is validated by City & Guilds – the UK’s largest provider of vocational qualifications and one that is recognised and respected by employers throughout the UK. People in a large variety of job roles would benefit from attending this course. If you


level qualification for new employees taking up roles as front-line support or floating support workers; it is an accreditation opportunity for Telecare teams or as a bolt-on qualification to existing and experienced staff that would benefit from additional learning in this area – or just desire accreditation for knowledge they already have. Contact the Centre for Housing and Support for the course brochure. work within a local authority, healthcare or in housing-related support, you’re likely to be involved in assistive technology and/ or support planning or response. This course can be used as an entrant-

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01905 727273 Fax: 01905 727299 E-mail: Web:



Government Technology | Volume 9.2


NEXT GENERATION DATA CENTRES Data centre professionals will be able to examine the issues surrounding the selection, outsourcing, building and running of a data centre at Data Centre World DATA CENTRE WORLD WAS LAUNCHED in February 2008 as the only free to attend event in the UK for data centre professionals. The number of events aimed at the industry has now grown but so too has the number of visitors to Data Centre World, making it the biggest gathering for the industry in the UK and it’s still the only free to attend event. The third Data Centre World Conference & Expo takes place at the Barbican, London on 23 and 24 February and attracts professionals responsible for the designing, commissioning and running of data centres or server rooms. It’s the only free-to-attend conference that guarantees top speakers discussing the very latest technologies and covers case studies, technical implementation papers, migration issues and scalability. THE CONFERENCE This year the conference will have over 32 sessions and the organisers have introduced different streams so that the programme now offers both technical and strategic sessions. The technical stream includes a session by Keith Clark, head of ICT at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, who will talk about how virtualisation can save millions. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is home to 135,000 and a council workforce of 5,000. The council has slashed its energy bill by a staggering 44 per cent along with its environmental impact, and estimate total project savings in the region of £1.2 million. Intercept has been a tremendous help to have on board. The company’s expertise and experience was vital to the council’s success. Keith Clark is the head of ICT within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, a Unitary Local Authority in Berkshire which is home to Windsor Castle, Eton College, Ascot Racecourse and Legoland. Keith’s role is to manage the delivery of key strategic initiatives aimed at providing value for money services to residents. Keith manages a team of 58 staff delivering ICT services to 5,000 staff including schools, who support 141,000 residents and 4,600 businesses. Keith has over 20 years experience with the Borough including nine years in his current role and has overseen the delivery of many significant projects within the council. CLOUD COMPUTING The strategic sessions include a talk by Trevor Dearing, head of enterprise marketing for Juniper Networks, who will look at whether datacentre security is obscured by the cloud. There are many unanswered questions



relating to what the cloud is and what it is intended to do. This is a critical issue, particularly when readying data centres for the era of cloud computing. The common area where people often lose their focus when it comes to the cloud is how it is all managed from inside the business, such as who manages interactions with the cloud and who is responsible for the security of data shared on the cloud. Additionally, as more companies are moving towards cloud computing, service virtualisation is only going to get more complex as it introduces yet another layer of complexity to manage. Trevor Dearing has worked in the telecoms industry for 27 years in a variety of leading edge roles. He began in R&D developing networking solutions for digital CO voice switches. This included working with newly invented ethernet technology. His career then moved to a predominantly data networking role and involved implementing one of the first PC networks in EMEA. Trevor then spent time working in support,

sales and consultancy in the mainframe environment before moving to product marketing. He then changed to an EMEA role launching one of the first IPSec VPN products. He has been a prime mover in the integration of security within the network and works closely with many alliance partners. Recently he has guided Juniper’s entry into the Ethernet switch market. Other speakers include Lynn Collier, director of file and content solutions services for Hitachi Data Systems, and Roger Bearpark, head of ICT, London Borough Hillingdon. INNOVATIONS An innovation for this year is the introduction of interactive panels where the audience will be invited to pitch their questions to carefully selected experts from the industry which will see some lively debates on key issues affecting the data centre market. This will be an invaluable benefit to delegates and was introduced after the organisers carried out extensive research amongst previous visitors to find out exactly

Sec rity Our PCI-compliant Tier 3 Maidenhead and Tier 4 Milton Keynes sites were designed to meet the highest security standards. Full CCTV coverage, anti-tailgating technology and proximity access control combine with 24/7/365 uniformed on-site security to give you total peace of mind - whatever the circumstances. This is security without compromise. For further information or to arrange a tour of our ISO 9001/27001 accredited facilities, please contact Robin Ellis, Group Commercial Director, via or Matthew Munson, Group Technical Director, via or call either of them on + 44 (0)1628 673131.

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Government Technology | Volume 9.2


what they wanted to see at the event. Back by popular demand is On365 hosting a series of seminars. Interxion and Telehouse are Platinum Sponsors with Equinix the Gold Sponsor. These companies will also be hosting special sessions in the conference. Details will be announced shortly. THE EXHIBITION Vendors also seem to have realised the benefits of attending Data Centre World. The show is almost sold out and has had to extend onto the upper floor of the Barbican. This year will not only see the biggest visitor and delegate audience but will also have the largest number of exhibiting companies. Exhibitor feedback was excellent and extremely positive: “Excellent show, there has been a really good mix of people and enquiries.” Cable Management Warehouse. “The best show we have done for over five years, we haven’t stopped for the past two days.” Marioff. “Brilliant – great potential clients and a surprisingly large amount of decision makers stopping at the stand. We are really pleased and will certainly be attending

again next year.” Data Centre UK. “Data Centre World has been a great show. We have had numerous enquiries and will definitely be back next year.” EDP Europe. With over 100 exhibitors present at Data Centre World visitors will benefit enormously from seeing all the latest technology, solutions and applications. They will be able to meet many of the major suppliers in the industry, some of which will be showcasing launches. For a complete and up to date exhibitor list visit VISITORS Visitors to Data Centre World will also be able to learn from case studies, find out if outsourcing is an option for their organisation, discover how to save on power consumption, gain advice on physical and virtual security, see how costs vary, analyse the fuss about virtualisation and network with their counterparts in other organisations. The event has always proved popular with the public sector and already many from the sector have registered to attend. To see who is planning to visit go to To register for a free ticket visitors and delegates should visit

Protect your data centre against water leaks .A.M. LTD recognise the need for producing reliable and cost effective systems to help in the environmental monitoring of data centres with particular expertise in the field of water leak detection. Modern buildings such as data centres are constructed with raised floors and all services including pipework and electrical cables hidden beneath. Few companies realise the potential disaster they could have. The leak at first may go un-noticed then one or two pieces of hardware start playing up, someone on the floor below may notice a stain appearing on the ceiling, by now there is probably enough water to cause a major problem or even a shutdown. J.A.M. Ltd have had experience with projects worldwide, from government buildings to top blue chip companies. J.A.M’s innovative leak detection systems have a control panel linked to a specially designed cable which displays the location of a leak as a meterage reading, allowing the



appropriate remedial action to take place. Once the detecting cable is dried it is fully re-usable. J.A.M. Ltd can advise from drawings or site surveys the most suitable System, co-ordinate the installation with trained engineers and offer after sales telephone support or preventative maintenance visits to client requirements.

FOR MORE INFORMATION We would welcome any informal talks or a demonstration of our product on our stand No.38 at the Data Centre World exhibition Feb23/24th 2010. Tel 01268 777222 Fax 01268 777221 E-mail: Web:


and complete the online registration form. All sessions are free to attend for pre-registered visitors. For those that do not pre-register there will be a charge of £350+VAT per day to attend the conference sessions. There are still some sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities available at Data Centre World and anyone interested in these should contact Peter on +44 (0) 1923 692 675 or at Data Centre World is organised by Turret Group a media company specialising in exhibitions, magazines and directories. With over 50 years experience in the markets it covers, they have become a leading specialist publisher of magazines and directories as well as gaining a well earned reputation as an organiser of highlysuccessful international and national business conferences and exhibitions. Turret Group also has offices in the Middle East.

FOR MORE INFORMATION To see the full conference programme, session details and speaker biographies visit

Government Technology | Volume 9.2


GREATER EFFICIENCY THROUGH DATA CENTRE CLEANING High levels of contamination in a data centre can result in rising power usage and reduced operating efficiency. Natalie Coleman, senior business development manager at HiTech Cleaning Solutions, looks at how we can overcome these issues THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS UNDER increasing pressure to improve energy efficiency and make the most of IT resources not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to prepare for anticipated spending cuts over the next few years. The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme comes into force in April 2010, which will see organisations financially penalised if they exceed the government-set carbon emissions levels, so there is a massive incentive to drive down energy consumption. Data centres can now represent more than 30 per cent of an organisation’s overall energy usage (in fact, it is estimated that data centres in the UK are responsible for between 2.2 and 3.3 per cent of the country’s total electricity usage). With today’s high density IT equipment emitting vast amounts of heat, the necessary cooling requirements make up as much as 50 per cent of this consumption. Therefore, even a small improvement in a facility’s overall performance will lead to considerable savings. When dirt and particle matter settles on vents and drives, the effectiveness of a cooling system can be reduced, resulting in increased energy consumption to keep IT equipment at the optimum temperature. Furthermore, these contaminants can severely affect technology performance, causing costly corruption, corrosion and damage to hard disks, servers and other sensitive IT equipment. PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS One method of maximising a cooling system’s energy use and protecting valuable technology resources is through cleaning and decontamination, which not only prevents costly efficiency losses, but also helps to avoid unnecessary downtime and a decrease in the usable life of IT equipment. By eliminating contaminants within the data centre environment, organisations can protect assets and ensure that valuable IT Infrastructure remains hazard free, hygienic and operates to maximum efficiency. Some of the most harmful contaminants are often overlooked because they are so small, with most particles less than 10 microns and not visible to the naked eye. It is these particles that can pose the greatest risk to sensitive IT equipment by migrating to areas where they can do damage. Day-to-day movement within a data centre is the single greatest source of contamination. Such activity is not only likely to bring in dust,

dirt and other particles in an otherwise clean room, but also simply walking across the floor is likely to agitate settled contaminants making them airbourne and potentially harmful. Even everyday tasks such as the opening and closing of drawers or hardware panels can produce metal filings, so human activity in a data centre should be kept to a minimum. Regular maintenance involving hardware installation and reconfiguration will involve on-floor and sub-floor activity resulting in increased contamination, whilst cardboard boxes or wooded skids used to store unused equipment and supplies are likely to shed fibres when moved or handled. Meanwhile, many chemicals used in office cleaning including chlorine-based, phosphate-based, petrochemical-based and bleach-enriched products can also damage electronic equipment, with gases from these products or direct contact causing component failure. The cleaning and contaminate removal is not simply a process of sweeping away the dust. Data centre cleaning requires specialised skills and equipment and is not a function that should be carried out by housekeeping or general janitorial staff. A data centre is a live, high liability environment and whilst the direct costs of incorrect cleaning methods and use of equipment could prove staggering, an organisation could also face far greater risks to its reputation and breach its regulatory obligations. For example, it is important that any decontamination team has been trained to clean to a sub-micron level to eliminate problems associated with electrostatic discharge. Furthermore, using tools such as high filtration

vacuumation systems, microfibre technology and anti-static products will ensure that all areas of the data centre are effectively cleaned including sub-floor void, interstitial zone (ceiling void), floor tiles, IT hardware and all high and medium level surfaces. HITECH CLEANING SOLUTIONS HiTech Cleaning Solutions, part of PROtech IT Hygiene, specialises in the cleaning and decontamination of data centres and computer rooms to minimise the risk of downtime and protect return on investment. Whether a substantial IT facility or a small server room, the company provides a cost-effective environmental cleaning programme that meets the precise needs of the customer. In 2009, PROtech IT Hygiene and HiTech Cleaning Solutions combined to create the UK’s largest desktop and data cleaning services provider. This expanded organisation is a specialist cleaning operation within Initial Facilities Services. HiTech Cleaning Solutions will be exhibiting at Data Centre World (stand 138) at the Barbican in London on 23-24 February 2010.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more details call 01689 885 890/ 07834 046 570 or e-mail



Government Technology | Volume 9.2


FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Surrey Heath Borough Council reports efficiency improvements in its IT support department SURREY HEATH BOROUGH COUNCIL is made up of 300 staff and based in Camberley, Surrey. The IT support department consists of three technicians who have a responsibility for maintaining all hardware, ensuring that it operates efficiently and that any problems are resolved within a short time-frame. The success of the department relies on an efficient system of logging IT problems, or calls, keeping an inventory of all hardware and being able to keep both staff and senior management satisfied by meeting service level agreements. The efficiency of this system has a direct effect on the department as a whole. THE CHALLENGE Previously the IT support department used a system, which was about eight years old, however, the IT technicians began to find this system inefficient and inflexible and decided to find a new solution. Andrew Palmer, IT helpdesk supervisor at Surrey Heath Council, comments: “Our old system didn’t give us much information on each call as there wasn’t a reporting functionality. The hardware inventory capabilities were limited and there was no flexibility within the system. I decided to begin looking around for a new system and attended the service desk and IT support show at Earls Court to see what the other options were. “ really stood out to me mainly for its simplicity and the cost was so reasonable when compared to other systems. As a small team, we didn’t want a complex system with lots of complicated functions that we would never get to use. We liked the fact that we could customise the system to suit our requirements, and also add more complex functions only if we needed them. As soon as we had the budget confirmed in May 2009, we purchased 10 licences for Sitehelpdesk-IT for our IT department.” WORKING MORE EFFICIENTLY Surrey Heath Borough Council needed the system to help its team of IT technicians make updates on the status of each call so that if a member of staff is off sick it is easy for another colleague to pick the job up in their absence. The solution also allows the department to carry out its quarterly audits on equipment with ease. Andrew Palmer continues: “Previously a hardware audit would have taken us over a month to do and a lot of work would have been involved in finding out the location and member of staff that is responsible for that piece of equipment. With Sitehelpdesk-IT we can keep on top of this as we go along by assigning a piece of equipment to a specific



user as soon as it is purchased. The drop down menus on Sitehelpdesk-IT allow us to assign it to locations and identify whether a piece of equipment is damaged and diagnose the problem. As a result, the audit now takes a maximum of three weeks, making our lives significantly easier. This also helps us keep up to date with our internal replacement programme where equipment is updated every four years.” BENEFITS Since implementation, the department has seen an improvement in the time it takes to respond to a problem once it has been reported. Staff are now able to log their own calls into the system instead of the previous method of leaving phone messages, e-mailing or reporting the problem in person. Sitehelpdesk-IT will then keep the user updated on the progress via automated e-mails, leaving support staff to concentrate on resolving the IT issue rather than on admin tasks. The department also purchased SLAmonitor, an add-on tool that measures service level agreements. The department’s policy for resolving an IT issue states that the issue should be responded to within one hour and completed in four hours. SLAmonitor will send an e-mail to the helpdesk manager just before any call goes over the one hour response agreement so that it can be looked into. The SLAmonitor tool also allows senior management and council staff to monitor how effectively this policy is being adhered to, something that was previously difficult to judge. Another way of measuring how the IT support department is performing is by surveying 20 per cent of the calls that come in on a

monthly basis to find out how timely the issue was resolved and how satisfied council staff are overall. Sitehelpdesk-IT even allows the department to carry out these surveys more efficiently as the previous method was paper based and it depended on staff returning the completed survey’s to the department. With Sitehelpdesk-IT, the surveys can be completed electronically, vastly improving the rate of return. Andrew Palmer states that they receive between five to ten extra forms a month since the feature has been made electronic. “We have been very impressed with the functionality of Sitehelpdesk-IT. Not only has it has given us increased flexibility in the way we manage our workload and respond to calls, it has also delivered us many other unexpected benefits. As well as all the standard features of Sitehelpdesk-IT such as call logging and hardware inventory, we have also added the monthly survey function and changed some of the fields to adapt to our business needs.” Due to the success of implementing into the IT support department, Surrey Heath Borough Council has since purchased a further five licenses for its IT applications and system teams which respond to technical issues to do with the council’s servers, network infrastructure and complex application support. An additional five licences have also been purchased for the facilities management team which require it to log calls to do with facilities issues or stationary orders.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call 0207 419 5174 or e-mail

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Is your Security Management system  prepared for a crisis?

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18/01/2010 10:58

Government Technology | Volume 9.2


KEEPING DATA OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS The public sector holds vast amounts of sensitive confidential data and keeping it out of the wrong hands is a key element of security, writes Russell Harris, the British Security Industry Association’s Information Destruction Section Chairman light as they go about their daily tasks. Finally, it should be recognised that information failures and security breaches may occur from time to time and organisations need to be able to detect incidents reliably and initiate a prompt, appropriate response to minimise harm .

Google a few key words about information security and the public sector and you will find an alarming number of recent reports about the potential consequences of inadequate controls. They range from the theft of laptops containing confidential data, wholesale data losses and even the sale of a PC on e-Bay, complete with its files of medical records. A common theme running through many of these reports is the lesson that information needs to be protected at every stage, and that includes the way it is disposed of. Failures of this kind are often unlawful as well as careless but prosecutions for breaches of the Data Protection Act generally take place only after the harm has been done. Good data security therefore must aim to anticipate and prevent problems before they occur. ACCESS TO DATA A good starting point is to consider fundamental issues of access to data, including the physical protection of premises, training and computer security. Employees should

only have access to information they need to do their jobs and they should be trained to be wary of attempts to obtain personal information. Shared passwords should not be used and information should be encrypted if its loss or theft will cause damage or distress. Anti-spyware should be considered to protect against software that can look for private information or even give someone else control of your computers. And, of course, computer equipment must never be disposed of until all the personal information has been securely removed, such as by destroying the hard disk. Other effective precautions include assigning ownership of data to a named individual who is responsible for safeguarding the information and making decisions that could affect its security. Risk assessment should also be employed to ensure that protection is applied where it is most needed, along with periodic audits to check that standards are maintained. Members of staff can make a major contribution to this process by being trained to report any threats or inappropriate actions that come to

SECURE DISPOSAL OF DATA The secure disposal of confidential data is an essential element of this work. This extends beyond physical documents to information held on computers and storage devices. Simply deleting files is not an adequate response. Today’s computer criminals are no longer the talented, mischievous teenagers portrayed in 1980s films such as War Games. Many are highly skilled computer experts who know how to manipulate systems and recover deleted information in order to steal identities, conduct fraudulent transactions and even commit blackmail. Crucially, the careless disposal of confidential data often allows them to do this without anyone knowing the information has been compromised. If that happens, it is obviously impossible to take appropriate countermeasures and the fraud is allowed to continue. The volume of crime that occurs in this way is unknown, although by some estimates up to 99 per cent of fraud in the public sector goes undetected and the same may be true of offences resulting from the improper disposal of data. Almost any kind of personal information is valuable to criminals, for example, patients’ records, financial reports, payroll information and personnel data. The unlawful use of such information contributes to an explosion of identity theft crimes that are now estimated to cost almost £2 billion every year. Identity theft allows criminals to obtain goods, credit or services in someone else’s name. Offenders target both public and private sector providers, including the use of stolen identities to fraudulently obtain prescription medicines and state benefits. LEGAL OBLIGATIONS The law therefore imposes legal obligations on any organisation that processes personal information, whether about employees, customers or members of the public. The Data Protection Act essentially does two things: it tells organisations what types of information they may hold and how it must safeguarded. It does so through key principles for data protection, including the need for data to be processed in



Bridging the gap between ICT, the Network, Data Centre and your Physical Security Needs We are pleased to announce that IIPSEC 20ten, Europe's Premier IP based Security Technology event has been re-scheduled and co-located with the UK's No.1 IP infrastructure event IP Expo and moved to London Earls Court 2 on 20 - 21 October 2010 IP Expo is now in its 5th year and attracts over 7,000 IT professionals across all verticals with a particular strength in public sector and finance. IIPSEC has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors, delegates and exhibitors over the past three years to what has become a recognised calendar event in the UK, Europe and beyond. This arrangement will now allow exhibitors, delegates and visitors to both events to move freely between IP EXPO and IIPSEC, engage with one another, enhancing the overall participant experience and further increasing the knowledge base within both sectors. The structure and educational content of IIPSEC will remain as strong as ever and the "spending quality time with quality people" ethos will continue to underpin the event. For exhibitors, the opportunity to present and demonstrate products and services to more that 10,000 potential customers are unparalleled and with the event now located in the prestigious Earls Court Complex in the heart of LONDON, it represents a very positive development for visitors, delegates and exhibitors alike.


Paul Hennings, Event Director commented, “We are all aware of the continued convergence between the physical security, life safety and IT worlds with the IP UserGroup and the IIPSEC team having always been at the cutting edge, so when an opportunity such as this arises we take it very seriously. We all know that for Networked Security and Safety Applications to grow and thrive it is essential that the industry learn to engage with the IT industry as a whole and the IP infrastructure players in particular and this relationship with IP EXPO will provide such a platform. Immediate reaction from exhibitors and visitors has been extremely positive”. Paul added. “I believe that this is a significant move forward helping to increase the awareness and acceptance of new IP based applications across many market areas and I am sure that you will agree, this is an extremely exciting development. Having worked closely with the IP EXPO team over several years we have been able to identify many areas of synergy and are keen to make Earls Court in October the centre of the IP Universe”. IIPSEC’s partners, Imago Communications organisers of IP EXPO are equally excited about the prospect of further growth into "Application Areas" and are committed to delivering a first class technology event.

SEC 20

“We are pleased to be working with Paul and his organisation to facilitate the co-location of the IIPSEC event with our flagship IP Expo event. I have long thought that the next evolution of IP Expo will be built on new network devices and applications which are now leveraging the core IP Network much akin to the addition of voice a decade ago. The co-location and Imago’s relationship with IIPSEC fast-tracks our entry into the Life Safety, Building Systems and Security arena and is an exciting addition to our autumn hub. It is particularly exciting from the audience perspective based on the level of interest we saw this year at IP Expo in CCTV and surveillance seminars. I personally look forward to working with Paul and his team to deliver this event” – Adam Malik, Content Director and General Manager Imago Communications The IIPSEC and IP Expo teams hope that the rescheduling of the event does not cause you any inconvenience and that they can rely upon your continued support. For further details, exhibitor enquiries and visitor registration visit

An Event Focused on Network Centric Security & Life Safety Technology TEN 10 0 2 r e b o t Oc 1 2 The Latest in IP Based Security 0 2 and Safety Technologies . n o Surveillance & CCTV • d n • Access Control, Time & Attendance o L • Intruder Detection & Alarms 2 • Fire Detection & Evacuation t r • Integrated Security/Safety Solutions u Audio, Intercom & Messaging • o C • Biometrics and Visual Content Analysis ls • Transmission & Comms Systems r a Building Management Systems • • Remote Monitoring & Hosted Services tE a W O IIPSEC 20ten at the IP EXPO N co-located with

Earls Court 2, LONDON 20th to 21st October 2010

Enquiries: +44 (0)870 7870 546 - Email

Government Technology | Volume 9.2


line with the rights of the individual and kept secure. The data must be accurate, updated where necessary and kept no longer than needed. These principles also include the use of effective means to prevent misuse by destroying personal information at the point of disposal. Many infringements of the act relate to the way in which data is disposed of. The problem can only be overcome by treating all personal information in the same way as sensitive financial or medical records, by employing a professional information destruction service. Despite the ready availability of this common sense solution, companies and organisations continue to be prosecuted for improper disposal. Many more escape prosecution because their carelessness is never discovered. It is known that only a small fraction of corporate waste paper and data processing products such as hard drives, CDs, memory sticks and DVDs are destroyed annually by professional firms. EVERYDAY WASTE By far the majority of such material continues to be disposed of via municipal refuse collection or waste paper reprocessing. Neither method generally involves any kind of secure handling, yet it is inevitable that much confidential

data is included in this general waste and therefore a major cause of avoidable risk. It is not surprising in these circumstances that the rubbish bin is a regular source of prosecutions under the Act, just as it has long been a core element of the private detective’s trade. The law sets clear rules for the destruction of personal information. It should be carried out by a company which guarantees under contract that processing (destruction) is done securely and effectively. The organisation and its chosen information destruction contractor are then jointly liable for any breaches of the Act when dealing with personal or sensitive data. Liability extends to individual managers and data controllers, who could face personal fines up to £5,000 and the prospect of a criminal record. Another possibility is civil action by a complainant, since anyone who suffers damage as a result of contraventions of the Act is entitled to compensation. Convicted organisations could also be subject to future spot checks to ensure compliance. Significantly, it is a defence to show that all reasonable care has been taken to comply and the BSIA’s Information Destruction Section was formed to enable organisations to meet their legal obligations.

IT infrastructure software solutions INCE 1985, LANDESK, a division of Emerson Network Power, has created innovative technologies and products for enterprise IT management. LANDesk Software provides systems, security, IT service, and process management solutions for desktops, servers and mobile devices across an organisation. LANDesk helps customers streamline operations and maintenance tasks, automate and standardise processes, reduce errors, and transition from a reactive environment to one that’s more proactive and service oriented. This enables organisations to reduce operating costs, simplify management, and increase the availability of critical IT environments 24/7 via integrated, centralised software. LANDesk solutions also enable organisations to discover, manage, update, and protect all the deployed systems via a single, easy-to-use console that integrates


The section’s remit is to assure good practice by operating to the BS 8470 standard for the collection, transportation and destruction of confidential material and the quality management standard ISO 9001:2000. It defines the subject as the secure destruction of information in all its forms, including paper and computer media and hardware. The section’s members collect confidential waste at source and provide a fully trackable service up to the point of destruction. The process consists of waste collection by secure transport, inspection, removal and destruction of rubbish, and the shredding, pulping and recycling or incineration of other material. Members of the Information Destruction Section provide free, no obligation advice to enable potential users to address their specific risks and requirements. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is the professional trade association of the UK security industry. Its members produce over 70 per cent of the country’s security products and services to strict quality standards. For further information, visit The BSIA operates a local rate help line, open during normal business hours on 0845 389 3889.

Thinking of reviewing your IT service management software? OU MAY BE considering an ITIL compatible solution, which will allow you to manage your service desk more proactively. You may be looking to introduce comprehensive reports, which will provide you with all the information you need to help you both increase the quality of your service and deliver substantial cost efficiencies. Chances are you would prefer to work with a vendor who is well established, with a brilliant track record of delivering successful ITSM projects in the public sector. Look no further than Sunrise Software. Consistently in the top 2 service desk software suppliers to local government for the past five years (SOCITM Software Index), Sunrise will work in partnership with you to make sure that your project is a resounding success. Its award winning Sostenuto software can be adopted as part


systems lifecycle management and endpoint security management. The IT user is able to automate patch management and deployment, control and encrypt USB and other devices to prevent data leakage, enforce endpoint security policies for mobile users, and grant network access control to protect against virus outbreaks and unauthorised access. With long-standing partner relationships and solutions successfully deployed in many UK government organisations, LANDesk continues to deliver rapid innovations which help organisations achieve their business objectives.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit or call 01483 744444.

of a phased project, providing a cost effective starting point, with the potential to be extended when you are ready. “The relationship with Sunrise feels more like a partnership than a client/supplier dynamic. They have always responded to our feedback 100 per cent, and gone out of their way to support us in our ISO/IEC 20000 undertaking.” (Tamworth Borough Council.)

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact us for a no-obligations discussion: E-mail: welcome@ or call: 020 8391 9000.



It’s all in the mix The perfect blend for truly integrated marketing & advertising campaigns

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Government Technology | Volume 9.2


TECHNOLOGY FOR MARKETING & ADVERTISING 2010 Enable effective communications with Technology For Marketing & Advertising 2010 AS YOU PLAN YOUR BUSINESS strategies for 2010 and with so many innovative technologies available to enable efficient internal and external communications, the million dollar question is ‘what will be the most effective system in the long term and at an affordable cost?’ Plus, with the current emphasis on digital communications and social media we need to ensure our web platforms and systems are compatible with the numerous emerging trends that both employees and customers alike have started to use. So whether you are looking to purchase a new solution now or are investigating for later in the year, having a huge range of solutions on offer all in one place, for you to compare and contrast, will enable you to be one step ahead with all the research done in one day for when you need it. And for all of these products and technologies to be available alongside a comprehensive free seminar programme demonstrating how these solutions are being used successfully across a number of case study led presentations, sounds like a perfect event. MUST ATTEND EVENT Technology For Marketing & Advertising, taking place 23-24 February at Earls Court 2 in London is a definite must to attend for engaging in face-to-face discussions and participating in live demonstrations to make your purchasing decisions a little easier. This year the event boasts all the solutions you could need for integrated communications with four core areas; digital, data, CRM and direct. Here is how they are relevant for you. With local councils pushing the benefits of the internet to their communities, ‘digital’ has become a hot topic. Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council is leading the way launching a number of digital initiatives and providing increased public access to digital information. Others have been embracing social media with councils such as Kent, Cambridge and Hertfordshire setting up Twitter accounts and ‘tweeting’ traffic and travel updates, local initiatives and weather warnings to the public. Plus, website developments to produce more interactive sites with online forms and two way communications have become essential for many public sector organisations. At TFM&A, you will find the latest digital solutions including; content management systems, web design, SEO, website usability, ecommerce and hosted/managed services as well as three dedicated digital seminar theatres. The Content Management & eCommerce

Theatre, Online Advertising & Social Media Theatre and Digital Marketing Theatre will cover topics such as content management software, ecommerce, digital asset management, web 2.0 and customer conversion. And as the Government’s Digital Economy Bill released a Digital Britain White Paper in June of last year, the event can help you get onboard supporting the government’s plans to maximise the benefits of the digital revolution. LATEST TECHNOLOGIES Looking after your data storage challenges is the ‘data’ area at the event. With the importance of data protection in the public sector and the huge volumes of data records kept by local councils, hospitals, GPs and government, it is important to take advantage of the latest technologies. An efficiently managed database can be achieved through various solutions, which fight back against the data growth trend we continually experience. Suppliers at TFM&A offer the latest data management software, document management, business intelligence, database integration and address management systems to help both short term and long term strategies for providing a better data storage solution. Plus, with a dedicated Data & Marketing Analytics Theatre you can hear first-hand industry peers’ experiences of implementing, cleansing and managing their databases. And even when you have the database sorted, and the benefits they have reaped as a result, managing correspondence to ‘customers’, whether they are patients, residents

or voters, depends largely on your selection of software and systems as well. The CRM area of TFM&A will provide the technology to ensure the right access to data records is readily available while the right communications are sent to the right person at the right time. The move from paper to electronic record management has helped hospitals like St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust to guarantee health record availability when outpatients arrive for consultations improving quality of service to patients. The CRM & Campaign Management Software focused theatre combined with numerous suppliers offer information on mobile CRM, cloud computing, customer analysis and CRM technology at the event. Plus, as the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary, brand new showfloor features have been introduced for 2010. Including: Direct Marketing Zone with a dedicated DM Solutions Theatre and suppliers; Market Research Pavilion offering the latest in survey and research services; and a Partner Theatre with sessions covering email marketing, SEO, social media and user experience testing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Make sure you pop in for a visit as it is a great place to research, buy and learn how to use the latest technologies for the most effective results and is free if you register online in advance. For more information and to register – saving you £20 – visit



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Voice Mobile Visual Collaboration

UNIFYING COMMUNICATIONS For organisations everywhere, the rapid pace of technology change in business IT is shifting how, where, who and what they work with. UC Expo offers a unique glimpse into the business potential of the new Voice, Mobile, Visual and Collaboration arenas, giving you the opportunity to gain a real competitive advantage in an ever evolving world. Get your business really talking


VoIP is the foundation layer for delivering flexible, efficient communications. Voice 10 will show you how to specify, manage and build the infrastructure you need to make your communications vision a reality. Voice 10 focusses on: • The underlying elements and apps critical to VoIP and UC • How to ensure a successful VoIP deployment • Combining VoIP and CRM strategies and processes • The future for VoIP in the connected world

The challenge now is to deliver innovative, real-time applications to mobile workers. Mobile 10 covers the range of options and devices available. Mobile 10 focusses on: • Seamless, integrated solutions for mobile and field service workers • End-to-end UC solutions from the desktop to the mobile • The latest innovations in Mobile UC Platforms, Applications and Services • Integrating and managing mobile business applications in the Cloud



Visual 10 showcases the latest telepresence, video and web conferencing solutions. Visual 10 focusses on: • Unifying the workspace using messaging and voice, video and web conferencing • Deploying Skype as a business tool • Telepresence and the future of video/web conferencing • Using mobile video and UC to transform on-premise and field service operations


Collaboration 10 is all about the next-generation communications that allow businesses to communicate and collaborate flexibily and efficiently across multiple channels in any location. Collaboration 10 focusses on: • Planning, implementing and managing UC infrastructures • Measuring the business value of a UC solution • Integrating UC into business to deliver competitive advantage • Bringing UC to life in the contact centre

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Government Technology Volume 9.2