Government Business 29.3

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ISSUE 29.3

Business Information for Local and Central Government CLEAN AIR ZONES

MEETING THE CHALLENGE Retrofitting larger vehicles to operate within the zone • Oxford’s Race to Zero

PLUS: FRAMEWORKS | FACILITIES MANAGEMENT | ACTIVE TRAVEL | SMART CITIES


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DESIGN & BUILD DATA MANAGEMENT

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ISSUE 29.3

Business Information for Local and Central Government

A level playing field

CLEAN AIR ZONES

MEETING THE CHALLENGE Retrofitting larger vehicles to operate within the zone • Oxford’s Race to Zero

PLUS: FRAMEWORKS | FACILITIES MANAGEMENT | ACTIVE TRAVEL | SMART CITIES

Among the most technically ambitious of the Government’s planning reforms announced as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is the new Infrastructure Levy, which on the face of it appears to be a quicker, fairer way of funding new infrastructure and could even be useful in helping Local Authorities to finally get a grip of affordable housing. The current S106 mechanism - based loosely on floor space - is open to interpretation and often sees projects held up by contractural biccering. New proposals base the levy on the gross development value of the finished project, so both the authority and the developer know where they stand from the get-go. Also open to interpretation is the language used in the Procurement Bill (see page 29). Rees-Mogg says his post-EU procurement revolution will ’free businesses from straightjackets’ but according to law practice Eversheds Sutherland, the Bills approach to the principles of procurement law appears somewhat unclear. Expect big changes to buying, possibly even by the latter half of 2023. On the road to net zero, this issue takes a look at Clean Air Zones including Oxford CC’s trailblazing ‘ZEZ’ and a retrofit scheme that can help commercial vehicles operate in the zone. Smart City Business summarises fascinating research into smart city lighting projects and how they can be replicated as well as the innovative use of smart tech in UK ports.

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We welcome your feedback. Danny Wright, acting editor

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Contents

Contents Government Business 29.3 07 News

13

Proposed Infrastructure Levy could speed up development; Schools Bill allows LAs to set up Academy Trusts; CCN survey finds Hybrid meetings improve diversity.

13 Human Resources

By promoting inclusion and considering a workforce planning approach to the jobs and skills needed by an organisation, we can ensure it delivers the outcomes needed, says Steve Davies of the PPMA.

17

17 Clean air zones

With a high percentage of HGVs and buses on the roads from pre-2015, many exceed the CAZ limits, but the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) may help, writes Neil Wallis of the Zemo Partnership. GB also talks to Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, about its recently introduced Zero Emissions Zone and the affect this is already having on the City.

25 Frameworks

25

Designed to bring together a range of debt collection and data services into a single commercial agreement, the Crown Commercial Service’s DRS framework RM6226 has been built to provide a more consistent and integrated approach to debt resolution. Plus a look at the The Procurement Bill, which is set to have a profound effect on buying.

33 Facilities management

While remote working offers flexibility, employees still want and need meaningful spaces that support them to do their job to the best of their ability, finds Laura Wright of housing association Abri.

33

37 Building

After much discussion, a cross-industry steering group fronted by The UK Green Buildings Council and representing stakeholders across the built environment have joined together to develop a standard for verifying UK buildings as net zero carbon.

51 IoT

Public sector organisations have the responsibility of ensuring the health, safety, and prosperity of large populations, yet are often bound by limited budgets. The IoT can help address this, writes Dora Mitter, Data Strategy and Insights consultant at Agilisys

53 Data management

When it comes to data, few bodies have greater access than the Government, but there is still far more to do maximise its potential, says Vicki Chauhan of NTT Data UK

57 Cyber security

Public sector organisations are cyberattack targets. But none have to be victims, writes Jonathan Lee, Director of Public Sector, Sophos

62 Smart City News

University of East London partners with Siemens in net zero race; Research reveals ‘highly compelling’ benefits of smart traffic systems; Autonomous buses take to on-road testing in Fife; Glasgow’s innovative Smart Water progress.

65 Smart Ports

A British Ports Association study highlights five smart port technologies changing the way UK ports operate for the better.

71 Smart Lighting

In its latest smart cities paper, researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology explore how smart city lighting projects can be replicated and upscaled successfully.

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39 Conferences & Events

The Meetings Show and its parent company Northstar Travel Group are committing to supporting the net zero goal to inspire change in the travel, meetings and hospitality sectors by introducing the Green Events standard.

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43 Active travel

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Where there is vision and political will, much can be achieved, wrirtes James Cleeton, London Director for Sustrans as he sets out his priorities for building on the city’s active travel achievements so far.

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47 Technology News

Be on the look out for ransomware; Digital Planning moves a step closer; techUK report looks to help shape MoJ strategy; Concerns over privacy as Data Reform Bill drags its heels.

Government Business magazine

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News

LEVELLING UP AND REGENERATION BILL

Proposed Infrastructure Levy could speed up development

Informed by over 40,000 responses to the government’s Planning for the Future White Paper, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill contains sweeping changes which could improve councils’ ability to develop and

regenerate communities. The bill aims to offer every part of England a devolution deal by 2030 and simplify the processes for establishing and amending new and existing combined authorities. A new Infrastructure Levy will be charged on the value of property when it is sold and applied above a minimum threshold, with levy rates and thresholds being set locally by planning authorities. The rates must be set as a percentage of gross development value rather than the current Community Infrastructure Levy, which is based on floorspace. High Street Rental Auctions will enable councils to auction off tenancies in shops that have been vacant for over a year, and councils will also be able to double council tax on empty and second homes. A digitised planning

FIRE SERVICE

NET ZERO

Ambitious changes set out in Fire Reform whitepaper

Passing the Net Zero Test: Tackle incoherent policy making to meet net zero targets, says Institute for Government report

The Government’s Fire Reform White Paper “will be transformative in how firefighters are trained and will enable fire and rescue services to build on their strengths and leadership”, according to the Home Office. Proposals for fire service reform had included an ambition for Police and Crime Commissioners or combined authority mayors to oversee local fire services rather than county councils. However, the paper stipulates that such a transfer of services would not be mandatory. Cllr Tim Oliver, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: ‘The proposals are rightly based on local discretion, albeit, with a clear preference for governance models with a single elected individual having responsibility for the service. We are pleased that one option remains the leader or cabinet member of the upper-tier authority having responsibility” The Fire Brigades Union voiced concerns on neutrality. General secretary Matt Wrack said:“The proposals on governance suggests that we could see more Police Fire and Crime Commissioners. Throwing fire in with police means fire and rescue services do not receive enough scrutiny. They are very different functions and there is a vital need to maintain neutrality.” The changes announced include the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which will make sure all blocks of flats are properly assessed for fire safety risks and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.This builds upon changes following the Grenfell Tower fire and aims to ensuret hat fire and rescue services have the information they need to plan their response to fires in high rise buildings. READ MORE

A report from the Institute for Government highlights a series of decisions where ministers seem to have undermined their own climate objectives, including on the Cumbria coal mine, roadbuilding, cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights and boosting UK oil and gas production. The report Passing the Net Zero Test: How to achieve policy coherence on climate change calls on the government to ensure that any policy decision with a significant impact on its ability to stick to the net zero pathway is subject to collective cabinet committee decision making. It also recommends the creation of an independent body charged with forecasting the emissions impact of policies and other changes in the economy, similar to a model used in Denmark. The IfG says that ‘several’ organisations have called for a ‘net zero test’ but argues that while such a test could be helpful it would not

system aims to make planning applications simpler, while the Bill will also end Section 21 evictions and extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector. Responding to the bill, LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “Turning levelling up from a political slogan to a reality will only be achieved if councils have the powers and funding they need to address regional inequality, tackle concentrations of deprivation and make towns across England attractive places to live, work and visit.” MPs will next consider the Bill at Second House of Commons Reading on 8th June before in enters Committee stage. READ MORE

be sufficient to prevent ministers rationalising away decisions that seem to undermine wider government objectives. IfG senior fellow and report author Jill Rutter said:“Duties and tests have failed to prevent poor policy making in government – indeed they can become a box ticking exercise for ministers and their civil servants seek to game. So while a net zero test would help achieve policy coherence, it is no substitute for clarity on the pathway the government is pursuing which will enable the public and parliament to keep track of how well the government is doing in keeping the UK on course for net zero. Ultimately, however, no process can make up for a lack of political leadership from the top.” Meanwhile, The Independent has revealed that some £241m earmarked for net zero projects was handed back to the Treasury in the last financial year by the business department, despite the Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging governments around the world to drastically raise their climate change investments. It is understood the money had been linked to the green homes grant scheme, set up to boost the energy efficiency of homes. Back in March,MPs on the Public Accounts Committee warned that the government had “no clear plan for how the transition to net zero will be funded”, with vague performance measures and a lack of overall budget. READ MORE

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News

EDUCATION

Schools Bill allows LAs to set up Academy Trusts

Councils are set to be given new powers to apply for maintained schools to become academies under the government’s new Schools Bill. The Department for Education said councils may wish to apply these new

powers for any or all maintained schools in their area, and expects them to be used from September next year. If the schools in question are foundation or voluntaryaided, then councils will need the consent

of trustees and the body responsible for appointing foundation governors. However, it will not need the agreement from the governing body of other maintained community schools before applying for an academy order for them. The government wants all schools in multiacademy trusts by 2030. Research by the Local Government Association found 92 per cent of council-maintained schools were ranked outstanding or good by Ofsted in January 2022, compared with 85 per cent of academies been graded since they converted. READ MORE

CITY STATUS

Eight new cities announced to mark Platinum Jubilee The addition of the eight new cities takes the tally across the UK to 76, with 55 in England, eight in Scotland, seven in Wales and six in Northern Ireland. As part of the Queen’s platinum jubilee, Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster (England), Dunfermline (Scotland), Bangor (Northern Ireland) and Wrexham (Wales) were all named, along with Stanley (Falkland Isles) and Douglas (Isle of Man) - the first time that overseas territories have been given city status. Stanley in the Falklands Islands was awarded the honour for its sustainable practices and civic pride, and coincides with the 40th

anniversary of the end of the Falklands War. Some 40 towns submitted bids, with Bournemouth, Guildford, Medway, Northampton, Oban, Reading, St Andrews and Warwick all missing out. Earlier this year, Southend-on-Sea was granted city status in recognition of its late MP, Sir David Amess, who campaigned tirelessly for the seaside spot. Perth, granted city status in 2012, has seen its local economy expand by 12 percent in the last decade. READ MORE

WELLBEING

Integrate Council leisure services into health systems, says DCN The District Councils Network is recommending the full integration of council leisure and wellbeing services into health systems. Its new research Fit for the Future the District Role in Health Wellbeing shows that engagement of just over 1 million of the inactive population of England in a prescribed leisure services programme could, over a ten

year period, provide a direct saving to the NHS of £314 million for the cost of treatment. Other conclusions from the research find that almost 45,000 diseases could be avoided; 70,000 Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY) could be gained (a year of life in perfect health is equal to one QALY) which has an estimated health value of £1 billion

and economic value of £4.2 billion. The life expectancy gap could also be reduced by 3.7 years, according to the report, which states: “In recent policy proposals, the Government has recognised the need for a wider definition of health and an emphasis on early intervention. The DCN welcomes this. But this approach needs to fully embrace the important role that local government and councils should play. “We’re now calling for the services our members provide to be truly integrated into the health system, in line with the Government’s recent Integration White Paper. “More needs to be done to ensure that the contribution DCN councils make in our places is acknowledged. Our leisure and wellbeing services can form the backbone of a comprehensive social prescription programme.” READ MORE

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Indoor environments are being encouraged to seek better indoor air quality in the wake of the recent pandemic The good news is, benefits can exceed the vital need of controlling the virus with studies showing potential advantages to include lower healthcare costs, reduced sick leave of occupants, improved performance in work and lower cost of building maintenance. For nearly forty years Purified Air have been operating out of the heart of Essex delivering clean air. We started filtering the air in pubs and restaurants back when it was permissible to smoke indoors. Since then we’ve delivered specialised Air Filtration to the Ministry of Defence, Houses of Parliament, the NHS, shopping malls, gyms, offices and airports around the world. Our adaptable range of indoor air quality products incorporating Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Technology offers up to 99.9 per cent efficiency and up to 99.999 per cent deactivation rate for many viruses and bacteria. Our systems have been independently tested by Kent University / Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and have been shown to filter the air, removing particulate matter, virus and bacteria down to 0.01 microns. When it comes to improving the Indoor Air Quality within schools we have various products, some being: portable plug and play

devices, wall-mounted, standalone recirculating units, ceiling mounted, in-line ducted systems and fan coil units to complement existing ventilation capacities. This diverse range of capabilities enables us to look at each situation afresh and provide a bespoke service to ensure the end user is receiving the maximum benefits at minimum cost. Quality and continuity of care is also at the heart of what we do – delivering over 16,000 service visits each year with our highly professional team of engineers, we can be relied upon to maintain and ensure any Air Filtration units are functioning to their optimum capacity. As a UK manufacturer, we can assist in the design, supply and servicing of products to help you with the best system for your organization. We hold product for stock and produce it to the highest quality so why not take the opportunity to increase the integrity of your building and protect your occupants against harmful airborne pathogens such as the common cold, Covid-19 and mould spores. Independently tested and globally trusted we’re confident we can deliver contaminantfree environments and return the spaces you love to one of safety and convenience. L

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News

COMMUNICATION

Hybrid meetings improve diversity, says CCN survey In the survey, answered by 479 councillors, respondents said that hybrid meetings could improve local accountability, engagement with residents, and reduce carbon emissions and costs for councils. n total, 87 per cent of respondents agreed that they would like their council to be able to adopt a hybrid set up. Cllr Julian German, Rural Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said: “One of the most defining features of first lockdown was the rise of video conferencing and virtual meetings.Whilst councillors will always want the ability to meet in person, when reflecting on the lessons learned from the last two years, there is a clear consensus that hybrid meetings could open the door to attracting a younger, more diverse set of councillors.”

Holding some council meetings online and some in-person would improve diversity, according to respondents of a new County Councils Network survey. In the report A Hybrid Future, 72 percent of councillors

surveyed said that moving to a hybrid model where some meetings are held online and some are held in-person could attract more younger people, ethnic minorities, and women to stand in local elections.

TRANSPORT

REGULATION

Ban pavement parking to boost walking & biking says Sustrans

NAO report shows Post-Brexit roles are causing staffing issues for regulators

A Sustans survey of more than 24,000 people from 18 cities found that banning pavement parking could encourage walking and cycling. When asked what would help people shift from driving to walking, 70 per cent of respondents said fewer cars on the pavement, with wider pavements mentioned by 72 per cent. Currently only prohibited in London, the Government is condering extending the ban across England, but no details were announced in the Queen’s Speech. The recently released Walking and Cycling Index 2021 assesses walking, wheeling and cycling in urban areas in the UK and Ireland. In terms of switching to cycling, 69 per cent said that more traffic-free cycle routes would help, and 65 per cent want cycle tracks that are physically protected from traffic. Cllr David Renard, Local Government Association transport spokesperson, said: “We have long-called for councils across the whole country to be able to take individual local decisions about whether to introduce a ban on pavement parking. It was disappointing the Queen’s Speech did not give councils the powers they need to tackle the scourge of pavement parking, which presents a danger to pedestrians and vulnerable people.” READ MORE

Three key UK regulators are struggling to recruit and train enough staff to implement their expanded post-Brexit roles, a National Audit Office report has revealed. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are all experiencing difficulties. Regulators have also suffered from losing access to data and information sharing arrangements with EU regulators. Expanded responsibilities mean the HSE is now the main regulator for chemicals in the UK, while the FSA has additional responsibility for assessing food and animal feed safety risks. The CMA has established the Office for the Internal Market and is setting up a unit to provide advice to public bodies on state subsidies. The HSE has estimated it would take “a further four years” to put enough staff in place to ensure it can deliver its post-Brexit responsibilities. Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: “EU Exit has had a major impact on many UK regulators. They need to overcome

READ MORE

many challenges if they are to manage the transition successfully, including recruiting the right specialist skills. It is essential that regulators and policy-makers develop their future strategies as soon as possible to avoid wasting effort on short-term work and to ensure the decisions they make now meet their longer-term goals.” Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer Stronger Communities Board, Nesil Caliskan, said:“With the expansion of capacity needed in national regulators, there is an increased risk that council’s regulatory services, which are already stretched, will be damaged further as the local professional workforce is recruited into national roles,” she said. Now that there is greater clarity about their capacity and workload, the NAO recommends that regulators should review the plans they developed before EU Exit and ‘test the realism of their plans’. READ MORE

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Connecting people and places to make the world work better

PEOPLE MAKE PLACES


Human Resources

Growth, Sustainability Inclusion By promoting inclusion and considering a workforce planning approach to the jobs and skills needed by an organisation, we can ensure it achieves growth and delivers the services and outcomes needed by communities, writes Steve Davies of the Public Services People Managers Association (PPMA) In the last two years we’ve seen the best of our individual staff members; from an organisational perspective, or; from a wider societal basis. Human Resources/Organisational Development From an HR/OD professionals viewpoint, we profession in supporting our organisations to have little control over what might manage and overcome the challenges happen in wider society but the thrown at us by the Covid 19 public service organisations pandemic. We have found We we support and the leaders innovative ways to engage a lso nee in charge of them do our workforces and d to be m have the possibility of keep them focussed on i n d ful of suppor influencing and shaping producing and delivering and we ting health the way in which citizens, in support of the l l b e communities and society communities and people i n g right w are supported, but more of that, as public service ay to enin the sure this later. organisations, we serve. staff ca n As we move forward, we their begive A growth mindset and must get used to living with st learning organisation COVID-19 and our leaders Supporting individual staff in are starting to look beyond growth, sustainability and inclusion safeguarding lives and livelihoods aspects can be done by stimulating a growth to set their sights on a more profound mindset and learning organisation. People with challenge - bettering them. We need to build on a growth mindset seek opportunities to learn, what we have already achieved and focus on gain new skills, and enhance their existing skills. enabling our organisations to achieve growth, Learning organisations enhance opportunities sustainability and inclusion. for employee involvement in the organisation These three elements can be considered and this empowers them to make relevant from different perspectives. In relation to

decisions. Learning organisations have strong cultures that promote openness, creativity and experimentation. Setting this up will enhance sustainability but we also need to give staff the right information, skills and workplace systems/ tools to do their jobs effectively, and we also need to be mindful of supporting their health and wellbeing in the right way to ensure they can give their best. Finally, it is extremely important to consider and appreciate individuals for themselves and therefore ensuring a culture of inclusion is promoted so that individuals feel a sense of belonging for who they are and what contribution they can make regardless of background, experience, skills or personal characteristics. From an organisational perspective it is obviously important to consider the whole workforce and what the organisation does to achieve and deliver for the communities and people we serve. So, creating a growth mindset and learning organisation needs to be focussed on developing the skills that the organisation needs going forward and ensuring performance outputs/outcomes are measured, monitored and assessed. E Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Growth

Sustainability

Inclusion

Individual

Growth mindset – nurturing learning and development Learning organisation Performance management

Supporting individuals to perform by focussing on giving them the skills and workplace tools to produce but also focussing on their wellbeing

Stimulating Values and culture focussed on equality, equity and diversity

Organisational

Learning organisation Roles and skills identified Performance outputs/ outcomes measured

Workforce planning Talent pathways Agile/ flexible working

Equality, Diversity, Equity Values Staff support groups

Societal

Economy Jobs

Infrastructure Healthy living Environmental sustainability

Narrowing inequalities among gender, age, ethnicity, disability etc Health and wellbeing Opportunities for work/ development

 Workforce planning We know that the world of work is constantly changing and that digital innovations mean that the nature of many jobs and roles will change or disappear, and we know that many people will need to develop new skills if they are to remain employed and engaged, so we need to consider sustainability of our workforce through proper workforce planning based on data and evidence to identify the organisational skills and jobs and structures needed for delivery. The pipelines for recruitment, progression and development need to be thought about to maintain and support the workforce. Also, the way in which work is organised taking account of recent approaches to agile/flexible/hybrid working where our organisations have embraced a stronger emphasis on work-life balance and different approaches to how, when and where work is done based on individual/team/ service approaches to get the most effective and productive work, as opposed to applying a one size fits all approach to the organisation of work is equally as important. Interwoven with these key organisational props must be a focus on inclusion so that we

Human Resources

Simple strategy model – Growth, Sustainability, Inclusion by Individual, Organisational, Societal elements

“As we move forward, our leaders are starting to look beyond safeguarding lives and livelihoods to set their sights on a more profound challenge - bettering them” are promoting understanding and appreciation of difference and finding ways to address inequality through equitable opportunity and development and stimulation of inclusive cultures. By promoting inclusion and considering a workforce planning approach to the jobs and skills needed by the organisation, we can ensure it achieves growth and delivers the services and outcomes needed by the communities we serve and therefore promotes the sustainability of the organisation. Wider Societal Drivers Finally, it is possible to broaden out these concepts of growth, sustainability and inclusion into wider societal drivers that focus on growth of economies and jobs, providing sustainable systems of infrastructure, housing, transport etc. that support healthy living and environmental sustainability; and inclusion through the narrowing of inequalities among genders,

ages, ethnicities, family backgrounds by health, living standards and opportunities for work/ development. L About the author Steve Davies has been a member of the PPMA since the early 2000’s and became the Chair for London in 2013. He was a key member of the PPMA board for many years and as President from 2020-2022. Steve’s professional role is Head of London Regional Employers’ Organisation, which supports London Boroughs in improving public services through delivery, commissioning and sharing best practice. He has held senior HR positions for many years including director level HR management positions in two London boroughs. FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.ppma.org.uk

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Clean Air Zones

Meeting the challenge of operating vehicles in clean air zones Air pollution features strongly alongside the climate change agenda in the 2021 Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The introduction of Clean Air Zones in cities is expected to bring pollution levels down significantly, but with a high percentage of HGVs and buses on the road dating from 2015 or earlier, a large number exceed the CAZ limits. To help tackle this challenge, Zemo Partnership and Energy Saving Trust has developed the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), writes Neil Wallis. Air pollution, of course, is not confined to Traffic is the problem the UK. Measures to improve air quality have Air pollution problems are most challenging been driven by European regulations and the in densely populated areas and are strongly World Health Organisation, latterly enshrined affected by traffic levels. As the dominant source in UK law post-Brexit through the Air Quality of several key pollutants, measures to tackle Standards Regulation. vehicle emissions have focused, in particular, on general improvements in vehicle engine These regulations set and aftertreatment technology and legally binding limits for on limiting where more polluting concentrations in outdoor Negotia tions technologies are allowed to air of major pollutants about th operate. The first EC emissions that impact public health standard e standards were introduced such as particulate for cars in 1970. Since 1992 matter (PM10 and applied s to be EU regulations (now also PM2.5) and nitrogen planned for Euro 7, enshrined in UK law) have dioxide (NO2). for intro duction in 2025 been imposed on all new cars The limits require a , have b sold (Euro 1 to 6) with the significant reduction of e d e layed en aim of improving air quality air pollution in towns - meaning a car has to meet a and cities across the UK certain Euro emissions standard which exceed pollution limits, when it is manufactured. Standards particularly for nitrogen dioxide, for the emissions produced by trucks and which is linked to thousands of buses were introduced from 1988 and have deaths across the country. The UK is a signatory been periodically strengthened too. to a number of international agreements including the Gothenburg Protocol, and is Negotiations about the standards to be bound to meet its international obligations applied for Euro 7 (planned for introduction in post-Brexit so any weakening of the required 2025) have been delayed but are now expected standards isn’t expected. to be announced this summer.

It’s tempting, perhaps, to suggest that the revolution to electrify transport (that’s now well under way in the UK and elsewhere) will solve the air pollution problem in quick time. However, the latest projections suggest that 100 million new combustion engine cars are likely to be sold in Europe between 2025 and 2035 and, even here in the UK with the most ambitious phase-out targets, road vehicles with polluting emissions can still be sold in some categories until 2040, meaning that, unchecked, the air quality challenge could be with us for many years to come. In the zone At the local level, measures to limit air pollution have been spearheaded by the creation of zones where polluting emissions from traffic and other sources are controlled and closely monitored. These are variously known as Clean Air Zones, Low – or Ultra Low - Emission Zones or, in Oxford, as a Zero Emissions Zone. There are currently four operational clean air zones in England: London (called the ULEZ), Birmingham, Bath, and Portsmouth (CAZs) with Oxford the first city to introduce a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in a small pilot area. Different charges apply depending on vehicle type and E Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Digital projects stacking up... but resource stretched to the limit?

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Clean Air Zones

 size in each zone categorized into four bands (A to D) with those in Band D (such as London and Birmingham) applying the most comprehensive regulations, affecting almost all types of vehicles. Band A zones include only buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles. (Other cities – like York – have introduced more limited regulations, targeted at diesel buses.) All zones adopt the same classification of vehicle emission standards (Euro 4/IV petrol and Euro 6/VI diesel). Radical approach Oxford has adopted the most radical approach so far; a pilot scheme charges all polluting vehicles - such as petrol, diesel, and even any hybrid cars – for entering the city centre with only zero emission vehicles, like fully electric cars, able to enter the zone for free. A large number of other zones across the whole UK are set to be introduced or are currently under discussion, though some have been delayed or are under review as a result of the Covid pandemic. Lockdowns, of course, dramatically cut traffic levels and policymakers in several areas are reviewing the new traffic and related, modelled emissions situation in their localities in the wake of that large disruption to ‘normal’ travel behaviours. Other important cities are expected to introduce charging zones this year, including Bradford and Bristol. The extensive Greater Manchester zone is currently under review while Sheffield, Newcastle and other centres are likely to follow. The Scottish Government is introducing similar policies with Low Emission Zones (LEZs) set to be introduced this year across Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh with Glasgow’s current bus-only LEZ to be extended to all vehicles. Fewer choices for vans and buses There is wide public and policy support for these zones and the cleaner air they bring, so it’s imperative that operators of commercial fleets are able to comply with the growing array of air quality regulations in the UK while continuing to be able to operate effectively. There’s already a wide and growing range of new electric vehicles available to car, van and bus fleet operators when it comes to vehicle replacement. However, larger van, truck and coach operators typically have fewer electric or zero emission choices. These heavier vehicles with requirements for longer range combined with operations in clean air zones, tend to be expensive to replace and may have bespoke bodies or equipment fitted, creating a challenge for their owners in many situations. To operate in clean air zones introduced (or to be introduced) in the UK, all petrol vehicles need to be accredited to Euro 4 and Euro 6/VI for diesels. This applies to all CAZs, the London ULEZ and LEZs in Scotland. However, as noted earlier, there are differences in terms of the range of vehicles targeted and charged in (or excluded from) each zone. This is decided by the implementing authority and depends on the severity – and main causes - of the local air pollution problem. Of course, any vehicle sold in the last six years (or 16 in the case of petrol vehicles) meets these criteria, but with over 50 per cent of HGVs and 75 per cent of buses on the road dating from 2015 or earlier, there remain a large number of vehicles exceeding the CAZ limits.

“Road vehicles with polluting emissions can still be sold in some categories until 2040, meaning that, unchecked, the air quality challenge could be with us for many years to come. ” To help tackle this challenge for operators, Zemo Partnership and Energy Saving Trust developed the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). Introduced in 2019 the initiative now has 24 accredited retrofit systems listed on the CVRAS-Register. The scheme includes a certification process to approve technologies that can be retrofitted to diesel vehicles to reduce regulated emissions and achieve Euro 6 / VI equivalent standards. The scheme covers black taxis, some vans, trucks, buses and refuse collection vehicles. Technologies already accredited include exhaust aftertreatment technologies (SCR and DPF), engine replacement for battery electric powertrains, re-power and conversion to LPG and re-power with a Euro VI engine. The CVRAS database The CVRAS scheme is recognised by authorities responsible for clean air zones in England and Wales plus London’s ULEZ and Scotland’s LEZs and accredited vehicles are automatically exempted via their inclusion in the national CVRAS database, operated by EST. To date, over 9,500 vehicles are recorded as having been retrofitted on the CVRAS database, the majority with SCR and/or DPF exhaust systems installed. Vehicles operating with these systems on-board have been shown to cut emissions of nitrogen dioxide by over 80 per cent and fine particles by 90 per cent or more in real world operations. Companies including HJS, Eminox, Proventia and Driveline are providers of exhaust retrofit solutions listed on the CVRAS Register. Solutions are available for a wide range of heavy goods vehicles, vans and buses. Re-power Cummins and Millbrook offer accredited Euro VI engine re-power options for several

buses and some trucks, while Magtec has an electric re-power service for double and single-deck buses, a selection of HGVs and refuse collection vehicles. VRS, meanwhile, has completed 400 re-power and LPG conversions of black cabs. Zemo Partnership and Energy Saving Trust are now regularly monitoring and reporting on the in-service performance of vehicles which have been retrofitted under the CVRAS Scheme as well as continuing to support the development of test procedures and the accreditation of new systems as they come on to the market. Whether or not retrofitting is the best option, in any case depends on an operator’s circumstances. Some may find they are able to reorganise fleet operations such that their Euro 6/VI accredited vehicles are able to work in clean air zones, while non-compliant vehicles operate in unregulated areas until planned replacement dates. Where zero emission (or Euro 6/VI compliant) products are available, bringing forward replacement cycles may be the best solution in a growing number of circumstances as more and more vehicles serving a wider range of uses come on to the market. To support the CVRAS scheme, Zemo Partnership has updated the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Technology Guide which explains the retrofit technologies available and their application in different vehicle segments, with supporting vehicle operator case studies, an outline of how they are accredited as well as outlining the UK air policy framework which is driving the uptake of retrofit solutions. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://tinyurl.com/ycxujmxm https://www.zemopartnership.org

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Advertisement Feature

ESPO launches framework hub for local authorities As one of the country’s largest Public Sector Buying Organisations (PBO), ESPO has been supporting local authority customers with their procurement needs for over 40 years. They have provided expert support as organisations juggle complex procurement rules and regulations with the need to work with increasingly tight budgets, timescales and workforces

Local authorities continue to face many challenges in the wake of the pandemic. With changes in everything from working patterns and environments to budgets and recovery planning. ESPO is committed to ensuring that they can provide quick, simple and efficient access to a wide range of relevant goods and services for this sector. Local Authorities hub ESPO has over 120 frameworks in total that have been designed to provide a helpful and effective way for the public sector to buy goods and services. They have recently tailored their offering towards local authorities using a newly launched hub. Acting as a central page for over 15 of the most popular, significant frameworks already used by similar organisations, the hub provides an overview of the frameworks’ features and links to further information. The scope of local authorities’ responsibilities is enormous and reflects on their procurement needs – they might be looking for flexible caterers to supply to care homes, reliable road workers to keep streets safe or even expert HR advice, so it’s no wonder that sourcing goods can be a time-consuming task. To create a clear and swift procurement process, ESPO’s local authorities hub has been split into seven categories: Buildings, Documents and IT, Energy, Fleet and Highways, Food and Catering, People and Professional Services and Waste and Environment. More about the framework categories Each category has been determined based on the features of its allocated frameworks. The Buildings category is designed to assist with the running of an organisation and includes frameworks such as Total Facilities Management (676), which provides a huge scope of services including electrical works, landscaping or tree surgery. Offering the collection and delivery of letters and parcels, audits, and niche consultancy, Postal Goods, Services and Solutions (RM6017) is a great example of how frameworks within the Documents and IT category can ease the load of administration tasks for public sector organisations. The Energy category provides

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a competitive route to the energy and gas market and customers can make arrangements based on metered or unmetered usage. The Fleet and Highways category focuses on road and vehicle procurement solutions including Specialist Vehicles (215). Tower Hamlet’s Council, a current local authority customer, says: “The Specialist Vehicles framework allowed the council to access the market leaders for a range of vehicles used to provide waste management services. The staff at ESPO were helpful and knowledgeable, and using the framework sources vehicles at a competitive price, whilst ensuring compliance with procurement regulations.” Frameworks in the Food and Catering category deliver reliable, trusted suppliers that can tailor their solutions to specific requirements; Catering Services (704) is a popular option that distributes to education, social care and corporate sectors. For assistance with advertising and human resources, the People and Professional Services category includes frameworks such as Strategic HR (3S), offering services in areas such as mutirole recruitment and assessment/testing services. Waste and Environment is a particularly important category as government advice emphasises the responsibility of local authorities to keep waste to a minimum by doing everything they reasonably can to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste. Refuse and Recycling Products (860) can provide solutions such as the supply of wheeled bins, supply of food waste containers or supply of kerbside recycling bags. Hear from the team Charlotte Springthorpe, ESPO Customer Relationship Manager, explains how the hub is a great way for local authorities to find everything they need in one place:

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“When designing the hub, we have utilised our years of experience as a team to identify the frameworks that ESPO believe will be most beneficial to local authorities. Our aim is to provide products and services that will help organisations to operate in the most efficient manner and this hub presents the outcome of this in one concise and easy-to-access page.” Gain access to ESPO’s Frameworks for local authorities hub at espo.org/ frameworks-for-local-authorities. About ESPO ESPO is a public sector owned professional buying organisation (PBO), specialising in providing a wide range of goods and services to the public sector for over 40 years. Offering over 25,000 catalogue products, 120 frameworks and bespoke procurement services, all with free support and advice available from expert teams, it is a comprehensive, one-stop shop for all procurement solutions. About ESPO’s Frameworks A simple way to think of ESPO’s frameworks is as agreements between an organisation, ESPO and external suppliers. By using their frameworks, which are free to access, businesses are able to connect with a variety of preapproved suppliers that have been assessed on a variety of factors including financial stability, track record, professional ability and social value. ESPO’s dedicated team work hard to ensure that all of their offerings are in line with UK procurement regulations. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.espo.org/frameworksfor-local-authorities


GB talks to Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, about its recently introduced Zero Emissions Zone and the affect this is already having on the City GB: Oxford launched Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone in February. What affect did the announcement of the scheme have on local businesses and residents last year? And what impact do you think the ‘go live’ will have this year? Tom Hayes: The Zero Emission Zone was first announced in 2018 and has been developed over the past five years in partnership with businesses and residents within the zone. When necessary, we have updated the proposals timelines in response to what is best for businesses. This is one reasons why we introduced a part-time Zero Emission Zone from 7am to 7pm, and have applied a charge for non-compliant vehicles rather than banning them completely. As part of the pilot scheme, vehicles registered to an individual business in the zone are eligible for a 90 per cent discount for a maximum of 10 vehicles until 2025. Registration to apply for the scheme opened in December in order to allow businesses at least six weeks to register their vehicles. In addition to ensuring that the charging schedule was reasonable and proportional for business affected, we have provided businesses with advice and support on how to transition to zero emission vehicles assisted by the Energy Saving Trust, ahead of the zone’s implementation. We are continuing with this support for the pilot and as we prepare for the wider scheme roll out.

Oxford is not alone in introducing an emission based scheme – Birmingham, Bath, and Portsmouth have all introduced Clean Air Zones, and London has expanded its Low Emission Zone. Businesses across the country are adapting to similar schemes and changing their practices to help clean up our air. We have seen several companies moving to electric in Oxford ahead of the Zero Emission Zone launch, this includes our own wholly owned company, ODS which has purchased several electric vehicles including an electric refuse collection truck. With the start of the pilot zone, we hope to see all deliveries made within the zone using a zero emission delivery. There are a number of zero emission delivery companies already operating in Oxford and we hope that this market will develop to accommodate deliveries within the zone.

Clean Air Zones

A stengthened definition of net zero from our Scientific Advisor, Professor Nick Eyre and the emerging consensus is that Net Zero can be achieved by working to reduce emissions as far to zero as possible, relying on offsets only as a last resort to deal with any residual emissions. We always said that we would act in listen to the science and act in line with what the experts are saying, so that our public can have confidence in our plans and join us in decarbonising. The strengthened definition means that we now have a more accurate description of our existing plans, rather than a changing our current level of ambition. We will be continuing to reduce our emissions by 526tCO2 each year through replacing our gas boilers, decarbonising our fleet vehicles, and looking for opportunities to support local renewable projects.

GB: Oxford is seeking to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in GB: Having first declared a road transport by 2030. Can Climate Emergency in 2019, the local action, building on council recently revealed behaviour changes it was pursuing a during the pandemic, strengthened “We prove sustainable definition of Net are close without renewed Zero. How will this to complet government improve efforts to investment? reach zero carbon project w ing a large hich is a across operations iming to reduc Tom Hayes: In order by 2030? at our C e emissions to achieve a zero carbon oun transport network in Tom Hayes: We adopted leisure c cil owned the city by 2040, we are a strengthened definition entres” wanting to reduce vehicle E of Net Zero following advice

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Clean Air Zones

 usage by 30 per cent by 2040, and as part of this journey we want to achieve a 25 per cent reduction by 2030. In order to achieve this we need to cycling, walking, home-working, car sharing and car clubbing across the city. The pandemic saw a sudden shift in how we move, and here it Oxford was no different. During the first lockdown, we saw a 60 per cent reduction in NO2 levels in Oxford due to the significant reduction in fossil fuel traffic – this is the lowest level recorded in the city since we first starting monitoring air quality in 1996. Alongside this, data from Oxfordshire County Council found that between 23rd March to 31st December 2020, traffic levels reduced by 35 per cent in Oxford’s city centre. Coming out of the pandemic we’ve been working to build back better to help encourage and support this transition. In order to do this, we need a strong public transport network, as well as support for cyclists and pedestrians. We are working with the County Council to create a sustainable and reliable transport system which includes a city wide workplace parking levy, traffic filters and a wider zero emission zone, together with improved public transport and cycle routes. Buses are vital for us to achieve this goal, and we have seen in recent months the need to support our buses which are still recovering from the pandemic. In order to achieve this, the Government needs to make long-term commitments to funding and protect our local communities, our economy and our jobs, which depend on bus travel. One, full, double-decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road, which means fewer private cars, less congestion, quicker and more reliable journeys, and a low carbon transport network.

“In order to achieve a zero carbon transport network in the city by 2040, we are wanting to reduce vehicle usage by 30 per cent by 2040, and as part of this journey we want to achieve a 25 per cent reduction by 2030. ” GB What is the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership? Tom Hayes: The Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership is a group of major businesses and organisations that support the ambition of achieving net zero carbon emissions as a city by 2040. The partnership replaces the Low Carbon Oxford partnership which was established a decade ago and shifts the focus more strongly towards organisations working collaboratively to achieve net zero by 2040. The work of the partnership is informed by the Zero Carbon Oxford roadmap, which was published in July 2021, and develops a comprehensive action plan covering all of the city’s major sources of emissions – most prominently transport and buildings. Over the past few months the Steering Group has been working on several Sprint Groups looking at key areas where rapid progress is necessary including building retrofit and active travel. In November the partnership wrote the Government, welcoming the start of the COP26 summit and highlighting the need for concentrated action from Government. In February in partnership met in person for the first time since its creation, and it was wonderful moment to have everyone together. I am excited to see how it will progress over the coming months and years.

GB: Aiming for an average yearly cut in its carbon emissions of 10 per cent, every year until 2030, how important is a rapid switch to decarbonising power for heating systems across Oxford’s buildings? Tom Hayes: In order to reach our target of becoming a net Zero Carbon Council by 2030 we know that we need to reduce our carbon emissions by 10 per cent each year. Reducing emissions from our heating systems is key to achieving this, and one of our largest areas of action is our leisure centres. We are close to completing a large project which is aiming to significantly reduce carbon emissions at our Council owned leisure centres. Our leisure centres currently account for 40 per cent of our carbon emissions of our emissions. We are looking to replace our gas boilers with heat pumps that transfer heat from the air or water. Once complete the work will cut our overall carbon emissions as a Council by around 21 per cent, which is vital as we work towards a zero carbon council, and a zero carbon Oxford. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.zerocarbonoxford.com

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Frameworks

Framework focus on Debt Resolution Services Designed to bring together a range of debt collection and data services into a single commercial agreement, the Crown Commercial Service’s DRS framework RM6226 has been built to provide a more consistent and integrated approach to debt resolution, and is aligned with the cross-government debt management strategy Levels of debt in the United Kingdom are charities. It is for delivery primarily within the expected to rise. The market expects the UK with some limited requirements overseas. number of citizens and businesses in problem It brings together a range of expert debt to increase, and therefore a surge in suppliers from each area of the market demand for services and advice. to deliver private sector debt services, For many public sector generating much-needed income, organisations, this is set but in a fair and affordable At against a backdrop of way, aiming to deliver value a very declining revenues for money and tangible basic le from tax and social value. business rates while This framework will run the serv vel, the repayment of for four years, replacing simplify ices will overpaid benefits Debt Management Services engage ment (RM6208) which expires in for citiz and unpaid fines has en also stagnated. June, and the now-expired busines s and Introduced in Debt Market Integrator ses. December last year, framework. The agreement has the Debt Resolution 20 lots, each providing a different Services framework is type of service (see panel on the available for use by central follwing page). government departments and their armsMatthew Hooper, CCS’s senior category length bodies and agencies, as well as the lead for revenue, recoveries, analytics and wider public sector and third sector including data, described the framework as having local government, health, education, police, been “designed to be forward-looking with fire and rescue, housing associations and innovation at its heart”.

Financial Technology Hooper told Government Fintech that this had been achieved in various ways, including the introduction of Lot 3 - Affordability, Assessment and and Monitoring Applications. This area will see suppliers capitalising on the possibilities of financial technology to “provide solutions to the public sector to help them understand more about citizens’ and businesses’ specific and individual circumstances”. “Through combinations of open banking and credit reference agency data, public authorities will be able to better identify potential vulnerability and find affordable and sustainable solutions, delivering value-formoney for the UK taxpayer, and fair outcomes for individual citizens and businesses.” “Suppliers can offer open banking to citizens and businesses directly as an accurate, and efficient way to complete income and expenditure forms. “Alternatively, open banking providers can work with public sector customers directly, helping them understand consumer E Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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FURTHER INFORMATION Full list of DRS Suppliers https://tinyurl.com/bdhj5v56

DRS RM6226 - The Lots Lot 1: Managed Collection Services Provides access to two Managed Service Providers (MSP). Each MSP will manage a panel of Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) who are FCA authorised and regulated. The DCAs offer desk based collection services, contacting customers directly to arrange repayment of outstanding debts. Lot 2: Data Solutions Provides a range of data, report, search, and alert services to maximise debt collection and help to prevent fraud and error. Also used for risk analysis and intelligence purposes. Lot 3: Affordability, Assessment and Monitoring Applications Access automated data analytic tools to assess and validate personal financial circumstances, income and expenditure. Incorporates a mix of multi - credit reference agency (CRA) data, openbanking, and automation software. Lot 4: Fraud, Error and Debt (FED) Advisory Provides fraud, error, and debt advisory and consultancy services from subject matter experts to support the review and improvement of existing fraud, error and debt processes and services. Lot 5: Enforcement Services Access a panel of enforcement agencies and bailiff services. The agencies have the capacity and capability to work both internationally and nationally and have strong controls in place to make sure everyone follows all legal processes. Lots 6 & 7: Litigation Services Access a panel of legal firms who will use their expert knowledge and relevant data to recommend and provide the most effective litigation strategy. Lot 6: Litigation Services (England and Wales); Lot 7: Litigation Services (Scotland) Lots 8-13: Auctioneers Services Regional auctioneers who can support with recovering legitimate funds by helping to sell goods. The auctioneers are able to provide all relevant services such as collecting and transporting the goods. Lot 8: Auctioneers Services (London); Lot 9: Auctioneers Services (South of England); Lot 10: Auctioneers Services (Midlands); Lot 11: Auctioneers Services (North); Lot 12: Auctioneers Services (Wales); Lot 13: Auctioneers Services (Northern Ireland) Lot 14: Process Servers Access a panel of suppliers for the physical delivery of legal documents, which could include but is not limited to: Statutory Demands; Bankruptcy Petitions; Winding Up Petitions

Lot 15: Spend Analytics and Recovery Services (Accounts Payable Review) Provides access to spend analysis and recovery services (SARS). This is provided on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only pay a percentage of the amount of money that is recovered. This no recovery, no fee structure makes it zero risk for the public sector. Suppliers will also provide recommendations on systems and processes for future savings and to ensure compliance.

Frameworks

 affordability and potential vulnerability. We expect suppliers on the framework to offer citizens and businesses the open banking payment option in the near future.” “The services will support the public sector in a number of ways. At a very basic level, the services will simplify engagement for citizens and businesses. They will offer improved accessibility, digital options, including increased and improved self-service solutions.” “They will also help public sector creditors to better understand customer circumstances – supporting fair treatment of citizens and businesses and fair outcomes for customers, for the public sector and for taxpayers. By understanding more about citizens and businesses, the public sector will be able to meet individual needs with bespoke solutions. For example, the public sector will be able to ensure that any debt repayment plans are affordable and sustainable. They will also be able to identify potential signs of vulnerability so that those individuals can be directed to appropriate support.” Matthew Hooper concluded: “In summary, the framework will offer high-quality, value-formoney private-sector solutions for the public sector. Suppliers will work in partnership with public-sector clients, both using best practice to drive improvement in outcomes.” Stephen Coppard, formerly Deputy Director for the Government Debt Management Function and now Group Director of Debt Policy and Strategy at collections technology specialist Arum, was heavily involved in the development of the framework, having managed the introduction of the now-expired Debt Market Integrator. He stated:“I can’t begin to articulate what a fantastic job the team over at Crown Commercial Service has done to land this.” “DRS is a huge step forward for government debt frameworks. It has the scope to provide an end-to-end process with the necessary ancillary services to make it as effective and efficient as possible. It delivers something for everyone, minimising cross-government procurement costs while leaving room for choice if desired.” L

Lot 16: Spend Analytics and Recovery Services (Contract Compliance General Review) Provides access to spend analysis and recovery services (SARS) to access contract compliance services where suppliers will review customer contracts for goods and services and recover any overpayments or under-recovered balances. Lot 17: Spend Analytics and Recovery Services (Utilities Spend Recovery Review) Access specialist contract compliance reviews, where suppliers will identify, report and recover utility spend that has been overpaid, overcharged or made in error. This includes, but is not limited to: tariff analysis; climate change levy; distribution charges Lot 18: Spend Analytics and Recovery Services (Telecommunications Spend Recovery Review) Where suppliers will identify, report and recover spend on telecommunications that has been overpaid, overcharged or made in error. This includes, but is not limited to: analysis of call plans; leased line services; maintenance charges. Suppliers will also provide recommendations on systems and processes for future savings Lot 19: Spend Analytics and Recovery Services (Specialist VAT Review) Where subject matter experts use their detailed understanding of VAT legislation to identify, report and recover VAT payments that have been overpaid, overcharged or made in error. This includes: input and output VAT; VAT rates; VAT exemption calculations Lot 20: Managed Enforcement Agency Services Access multiple managed service providers (MSPs) who can provide management of panels of enforcement agencies. Each MSP will proactively manage a panel of enforcement agents to help achieve the best commercial and individual outcomes. They distribute workloads to the best performing agencies based on quality and collection rates aligned to requirements and strategies in an ethical manner.

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Frameworks

Procurement Reboot: Your flexible friend? The Procurement Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, is set to regulate the way frameworks operate and will have a profound effect on the way all public sector organisations approach their buying

Standing in for the Queen, Prince Charles apply to the UK, and the Government view is announced the government’s rebooted plans to that leaving the EU presents an opportunity for reform public sector procurement: substantial reform – to create a procurement “Government will continue to seize the regime that is tailored to the UK’s needs. opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union to support economic Green Paper response growth. Regulations on businesses will be The Government published the results of its repealed and reformed. A bill will enable law consultation Green Paper: Transforming public inherited from the European Union to procurement in December last year, be more easily amended. Public which included the news of over sector procurement will be 500 stakeholders from central A simplified to provide new and local government, learning opportunities for small the education and a develop nd businesses.” health sectors, SMEs, large corporations, The bill was also program ment m charities, academics and announced in last year’s e w rolled o procurement lawyers. Queen’s Speech. Public ut to m ill be eet the varying Respondents recognised procurement accounts ne that there was a need for around a third of all stakeho eds of for stronger regulatory public expenditure every lders oversight of public year (approximately £300bn) procurement. Some argued and is the largest area of public that such a unit could replace spending. Current UK procurement or strengthen the existing Public rules largely mirror EU procurement Procurement Review Service (PPRS), and have law, with some UK-specific rules. Since Brexit, a role in upskilling more generally, improving changes to EU procurement law no longer

standards and ensuring greater consistency. And so, the consultation review announced the formation of The Procurement Review Unit (PRU), a part of the Cabinet Office which will work on addressing systemic or institutional breaches of the procurement regulations. This was supported by 52 per cent of respondents to the consultation. The PRU will comprise of a small team of civil servants and is expected to be operational by 2023. Monumental changes The Bill will introduce some significant changes to current legislation and practice, including the introduction of three procurement procedures to replace seven existing ones. The Bill includes a change of evaluation methodology from MEAT to MAT. Evaluating tenders via MAT (Most Advantageous Tender), as opposed to MEAT (Most Economically Advantageous Tender) will allow public sector bodies to include consideration of benefits other than direct cost, such as social value, environmental, or community-based benefits where appropriate. The Procurement Bill will introduce a new ‘flexible competitive procedure’ that gives E Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Learning and development The Green Paper acknowledged that the changes proposed to the regulatory framework would not in themselves deliver faster and more effective procurement, without contracting authorities also having the capability and capacity to realise the benefits. Many respondents raised the importance of training and guidance to support implementation of the new regime, flagging that there was a need for behaviour change, rather than just knowledge transfer. Although not yet available, a learning and development programme, operated by the Government Commercial College (GCC) will be rolled out across the public sector to meet the varying needs of stakeholders. It aims to provide ‘knowledge drop’ and ‘deep dive’ webinars, along with self-guided e-learning. Communities of practice will be established to support individuals by allowing them to reflect on, discuss and embed their learning on the regime change. Comment from the experts Peter Cudlip, head of public and social sector at advisory firm Mazars, told Supply Management: “In the context of Brexit, this Bill provides the opportunity to consolidate over 300 EU regulations and aims to make procurement more innovative and agile for the private sector.

“It therefore has implications for public sector organisations in how they procure services including the review and update to their own procedures, training of staff involved in procurement alongside communicating and training prospective suppliers engaged on any new rules, particularly with changes outlined in the green paper.” Rebecca Rees, a partner and head of public procurement at law firm Trowers & Hamlins, said the proposals would make frameworks “more flexible and able to meet the demands of the market” but warned that “good commercial outcomes remain the preserve of the client and cannot be guaranteed’by the new law. Rees also pointed out that proposals to debar particular contractors from winning work included grounds such as ‘modern slavery in the supply chain, poor performance and insolvency’. She said: “Debarment is seen by government as a last resort and care needs to be taken that enough bidders remain in the room to ensure competitiveness.” Regulatory divergence David Jinks, head of consumer research at couriers ParcelHero, expressed concern about regulatory divergence from the EU: “It is fine in principle that the new bill ‘will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended. However, where that means significant divergence from EU law for products, packaging or online services, businesses will not want to have to meet two different sets of regulations. “Nor do UK companies want to face a raft of new domestic sales and infrastructure requirements simply because this is now

possible. This could end up in increasing costs, which would then be passed on as price rises for Britain’s beleaguered shoppers.”

Frameworks

 buyers the freedom to negotiate and innovate to get the best from the private, charity and social enterprise sectors; an ‘open procedure’ that buyers can use for simpler, ‘off the shelf’ competitions, and a ‘limited tendering procedure’ that buyers can use in certain circumstances, such extreme urgency.

Open frameworks Global Law Practice Eversheds Sutherland: “We largely welcomed the Government’s consultation response, as it demonstrated that in key areas the Government had listened to the feedback and showed an ambitious and welcome set of proposals for change. It’s therefore perhaps unexpected that some of the apparently settled positions included in the consultation response appear to have been changed in the Bill. The reasons for this change of policy direction are unclear and may emerge during debates on the Bill.” “The proposed rules on ‘open frameworks’, which were the subject of heated debate through the consultation process, don’t appear to offer any silver bullets. Whilst the open framework does appear in the Bill, it essentially seems to be a series of frameworks where existing providers are in practice required to rebid if they want to keep their place. Get ready The Procurement Bill is currently on its second reading in the House of Lords. The expectation is a period of nine months to Royal Assent. Cabinet Office has then promised a six month implementation period, meaning the new rules could be applied to new procurements from as soon as August 2023. L FURTHER INFORMATION View the bill: https://tinyurl.com/2p9byy5c

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Advertisement Feature Written by Phil Byrne, head of Public Accounts, Integral

Lessons from the pandemic: Building back better Covid-19 has demonstrated the critical need for transparent, robust and resilient supply chains. The crisis put public sector managers under significant strain, creating staffing challenges, cashflow problems and threatened to decimate trust between supply chain partners. So, what lessons have we learned and how can organisations reinforce trust and transparency in the supply chain? As we go through 2022, public sector organisations want their supply chains to help drive efficiency, but supply chain partners can also be instrumental in other key objectives such supporting well-being, delivering social value, and striving for net zero As the UK settles into life after Covid-19, there is an unshakable feeling that the world has changed forever. In the public sector, both central and local governments have had to make decisions for which there were no precedents. But now that two years of lockdown restrictions are finally over, we have an opportunity to learn from the crisis and apply those lessons in the recovery. For many, the post-Covid recovery is about ‘building back better’. Numerous groups have adopted the slogan, from the UK government and the NHS to independent campaigners that see this period as an opportunity to create better public services and drive more investment into local communities. It’s no surprise then that environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals are so high on both the corporate and public sector agenda. As part of JLL, we are committed to a 2040 net zero transition, enabling healthy people and environments, and creating a fair, inclusive and resilient society. Growing popular and legislative pressure is also forcing the public sector to commit to sustainability initiatives, including net zero and social value targets, in record numbers. But central and local governments cannot achieve these objectives on their own. One critical lesson from the pandemic is that stronger partnerships between public sector organisations and their suppliers, driven by shared purpose and values, can deliver far better outcomes. Rebuilding the supply chain Covid-19 put unprecedented pressure on local and global supply chains. No sooner than Brexit forced organisations to evaluate how the changes to trade and employment law would impact their operations, the pandemic created new supply chain disruption, staffing shortages and cashflow issues. An EY survey of senior-level supply chain executives in late 2020 found that only two per cent were fully prepared for the pandemic, while nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) reported that it harmed their company. As a building services engineering company, we understand these challenges as well as anyone. Our engineering and cleaning teams worked throughout the pandemic to ensure that organisations continued running with as little disruption as possible, and public sector organisations could continue delivering essential services to the rest of the country. In that position, we decided to survey several of our Tier 1 supply chain partners at the height of lockdown in 2021. We wanted to gain a

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better understanding of their most significant challenges and priorities during the crisis as well as how their outlook had changed. Respondents in our Supply Chain Pulse said that managing expectations and communicating their difficulties had been among their toughest challenges during this period while they struggled to deliver services, meet demand, and keep customers and supply chain partners happy. So, the pandemic has highlighted the need for qualities such as empathy and understanding in supply chain partnerships. And though these sound like intangibles, there is research to suggest so-called ‘softer skills’ including communication, planning, initiative and negotiation are becoming far dominant within supply chain management. Partnerships with purpose ESG offers public sector organisations an ideal foundation from which to build stronger, goalorientated partnerships with their suppliers. At COP26 the UK government took its ‘green industrial revolution’ global with a pledge to help developing countries take advantage of green technologies and grow their economies sustainably. As a result, central and local government will play an increasingly vital role in net zero targets and other ESG goals, putting more emphasis on ESG focused procurement practices in the process. Some of that is already happening. In January 2021, the Cabinet Office published its Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20 in which it declared all firms bidding for major government contracts must commit to net zero by 2050. Meanwhile, the PPN states that social value must be evaluated in all central government tenders, with a 10 per cent minimum weighting given to social value in every decision. The Cabinet Office’s ‘Social Value Model’ comprises five priorities. The first is ‘Covid-19 recovery’, helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of the pandemic through employment opportunities, training and improving workplace conditions. The second is ‘tackling economic inequality’, including creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills and increasing supply chain resilience and capacity. The third is ‘fighting climate change’ through effective stewardship of the environment, including net zero targets and reducing plastic waste. The fourth is ‘driving equal opportunity, such as tackling workforce inequality (e.g., reducing modern slavery and the disability employment gap. And finally,

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there is ‘well-being’ — improving health, well-being, and community integration. The return to work The government’s social value priorities, especially the focus on the Covid-19 response and well-being, will consider the return to work in the coming months. Many civil servants have worked from since the pandemic began and although the government is keen to set an example by encouraging public sector employees back to the office, it has admitted that hybrid working is likely to become the norm. As they adapt to this new reality, public sector organisations need the support of their supply chain partners, from property and facility management to IT, to guide them through the change by reshaping their systems, processes and strategies for more flexible and remote-based working. They will also need these suppliers to help them become more agile, resilient, and responsive to similar future threats. Make it count Of course, all this change is also happening against backdrop of growing economic threats. In recent weeks, global geopolitical events have caused sharp increases in energy and fuel prices while inflation continues to rise. The government has recently pledged to cut ‘wasteful’ public spending to tackle these threats, but this must not put pressure on public sector organisations to cut sustainability and social value initiatives if the UK is serious about ESG. Despite the buzz surrounding concepts such as net zero, research shows that we risk paying lip service to these ideals. A recent YouGov survey found that fewer than one in three organisations currently have a net zero strategy in line with the government’s 2050 target. If that doesn’t change, the public sector is in danger of returning to the race to the bottom while learning none of the lessons from Covid-19. L Phil Byrne

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Facilities Management

The office isn’t dead... It’s just changing While remote working offers flexibility, employees still want and need meaningful connections and spaces that support them to do their job to the best of their ability, finds Laura Wright, head of workplace solutions at Abri It won’t be news to anyone connected to facilities management and workplace solutions that we all need to work harder to fulfil the changing needs of businesses and employees. Gone are the days where you would rely on having a site that would be fully occupied from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday. The pandemic really forced many businesses’ hands in this area, it meant that office based employees could work from home and it showed us that other possibilities were available. And truthfully, even before the pandemic began, most sites I have worked at over the last ten years had been under-utilised. Sometimes significantly. The new normal? Here at Abri, one of the south’s largest housing associations, our occupancy of desks was around the 40 per cent maximum mark just before March 2020. Interestingly, the anecdotal evidence from our 1500 colleagues was that the offices were full to bursting. And yes, they were full to bursting, with desks placed against each other and a huge amount of paperwork. We’ve heard more and more buzz words around this “new normal” and “great reset”, often implying that the office is no longer the place to

be. Whilst it’s true that many employees have embraced the benefits of remote working and the flexibility of how and where they work, the idea that offices aren’t needed and that everything can happen remotely is unrealistic for many businesses. It certainly is for us at Abri. Not only do we have a significant number of front-line colleagues, such as Trades who need to be in customers’ homes to fix them, we also have teams that have benefited from coming in to the offices alongside remote working.

That’s not to say that much more can and should be done remotely. Remote working has many benefits; it is better for equity and inclusion as it allows employees who have struggled with the traditional office-centric outlook to bring their knowledge and experience into businesses, and it opens the door for a better balance between work and home life. A more digital first approach should see new asynchronous working practices increasing, rather than trying to recreate the old office set up but just online. Please, someone save me from back-to-back Teams calls.

Development opportunities These are particular benefits to specific teams The office isn’t dead or projects, such as our customer experience it’s just changed call centres where many entry level colleagues So, my stake in the ground is the office isn’t have been able to receive support and learn dead, it’s changed. Since we realised our offices from one another. Our development teams have were underutilised and following significant also been able to visit the offices to discuss growth of the business, we began talking to new development opportunities, which colleagues constantly about how they often involves large physical plans, were working, how they wanted to Even and colleagues working on our work, what they wanted from single systems project have the offices, what they enjoyed before found that being together and what they didn’t. the pan face to face has improved Some of this was already d e mic, began, their ability to plan ahead. happening, but it E mo

st have w orked asites I t over the las have bet ten years en u utilised nder-

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Facilities Management

 became much more focussed during the initial stages of the pandemic and continues now. And what do our colleagues want, surely the classic things when you ask people the magic wand question about the offices: free food, gyms on site, somewhere to play pool and nap pods? Here, I should note that we’re a nonprofit social housing provider with strong values and a culture that places value in the community and everything we do is customer-centred. But no, our colleagues don’t want a pool table, they want meaningful connections and spaces that support them to do their job to the best of their ability. We have found that more and more people want to be together, collaborating and socialising. They want exposure to other roles and teams, and Abri wants that too. We want great talent retention and progression into different areas so that Abri can continue to be a great place to work. We want to learn from one another, and our leaders to be visible. But we also want more as many of the benefits that we can get from more remote working too. I can’t speak for every business, the balance and tension between all these points will be specific to the needs of each organisation, but there are things we’ve learnt. Align changes to the overall strategy Look to the strategy: it seems obvious, but make sure you are always aligning changes to the overall business strategy. Get comfortable questioning whether decisions being made help the goals of your business, and let colleagues know that you’ve considered the overall strategy. Make sure you understand key departmental strategies alongside this. Without understanding our trade and housing functional strategies, we would be completely out of step with their needs. Get a great sponsor: make sure you have a senior sponsor who understands that you need to feed into the Executive Board or C- Suite. Your business goals, like ours, may not be facilities and workplace focussed so you must build trust and demonstrate value for the attention placed in the department. Talk to your colleagues: everyone and anyone who will speak to you. Directors to cleaners, HR to Health and Safety, plumbers to developers. This is something Facilities Managers are used

“Whilst it’s true that many employees have embraced the benefits of remote working and the flexibility of how and where they work, the idea that offices aren’t needed and that everything can happen remotely is unrealistic for many businesses.” to, but never underestimate great relationships throughout the business as people will help support any changes and will come to you with issues before they become problematic. Don’t be afraid to explain the balance of needs across the business and empower your team to do the same. Data is key Make sure you have data: there’s probably a lot you already have, or that is available in other parts of the business, so make sure it’s collated in a way that’s useable for you. Think about utilisation studies, operational costs, departmental headcount, desks bookings, employee engagement data, business and employee geography. Use technology already in place: before going out to the market, think about what you already have and work closely with IT to make sure it’s user friendly. Our in-house IT team were able to build a desk booking and parking app that was already compatible with all our systems and didn’t cost us anything. Changes that matter Make changes that matter to people: if something won’t have a high impact, don’t do it. Why order free fruit for everyone when you have horrible toilets that get regular complaints? Facilities management has always loved a big bang project. Send everyone out of the buildings, implement a massive change and bring everyone back for an impressive experience. But sometimes you can’t do that. Especially for businesses with a need to focus on value for money, there is a benefit to making small iterative changes that substantively support your colleagues. It might not be as

good as a show, but your colleagues working experience will still be improved. Make changes that matter for your business and your colleagues, not for a technology giant with an incredible budget that you can only dream of. There is value in improving workplaces for all businesses, not just those who can afford to make grand changes and then spend the money again if an experiment doesn’t work out the way they expected. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://abri.com https://www.zemopartnership.org

Laura Wright is head of workplace solutions at Abri, one of the south east’s largest housing associations reposnsible for 35,000 homers and 80,000 residents. Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Building

Setting the standard for net zero buildings After much discussion, a cross-industry steering group representing stakeholders across the built environment has formed to develop a standard for verifying UK buildings as net zero carbon The UK Green Buildings Council’s (UKGBC) Whole Life Carbon Roadmap demonstrates that buildings are directly responsible for around a quarter of carbon emitted by the UK. Without tackling emissions associated with the construction and operation of our buildings, there is no credible pathway to net zero for the UK economy. Whilst significant progress has been made in defining what ‘net zero’ means for buildings in the UK, a process of market analysis showed a clear demand for a single, agreed methodology. The UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will enable industry to robustly prove their built assets are net zero carbon and in line with UK climate targets. Leading industry organisations BBP, BRE, the Carbon Trust, CIBSE, IStructE, LETI, RIBA, RICS, and UKGBC have joined forces to champion this initiative. Transparency Currently, built environment stakeholders can “achieve net zero carbon in line with UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework” for their buildings by publicly disclosing information and ensuring third-party verification against UKGBC’s minimum reporting template. This approach is intended to encourage a culture of transparency in the industry and to openly share the approaches used, to drive the uptake of net zero carbon buildings. However, it is not a “certification scheme” or “verification standard” and UKGBC has recognised that this remains a gap in the market. The Standard will cover both new and existing buildings and will set out performance targets addressing operational energy and embodied carbon emissions to align with the UK’s 2035 and 2050 emissions targets (78 per cent reduction and net zero respectively). It will also cover the procurement of renewable energy and the treatment of residual emissions, including carbon offsetting. It will be for anyone who wants to fund, procure, design, specify, or occupy a net zero carbon building and anyone wanting to demonstrate that their building is net zeroaligned with an industry-agreed standard. The group are seeking support from stakeholders across the industry to deliver elements of the Standard. Dr Shamir Ghumra, Head of Building Performance Services, BRE said: “The pace of change needed in the built environment on this issue is getting more significant by the day. This leading group of organisations from across the spectrum of our sector coming together to collaborate in this way, is testament to the sense of urgency we all have. Building consensus on this topic is going

to bring together all stakeholders and supply chain organisations in a common consistent framework, which will itself generate greater efficiencies in the marketplace.” Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO of BBP said: “A UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will be critical for asset owners and managers to evidence that their buildings are built and operating in line with climate science. An industry wide Standard will enable stakeholders including investors and occupiers to differentiate between assets that are ‘net zero’ and those that are not. It will take radical collaboration to deliver this project. We look forward to contributing the insights of the BBP’s members and working with other organisations to create a standard around which the industry can coalesce.” Addressing the energy demand Dominic Burbridge, Director at the Carbon Trust said: “We look forward to contributing to the development of this highly impactful standard, which will be instrumental in guiding the UK real estate industry, the construction sector and the wider built environment, in the rapid and urgent transition towards net zero. Addressing the energy demand of the built environment and the associated emissions is a key driver in accelerating the move to a sustainable, decarbonised future and we are excited to be supporting such an important and pioneering initiative.” Kevin Mitchell, CIBSE President and Mott McDonald Global Practice Leader, Building Services Engineering said: “CIBSE is delighted to be contributing our expertise to support this important initiative on Net Zero. It is urgently needed to deliver a clear standard to demonstrate real outcomes and give trust to clients, owners and occupiers. We look forward to working with the wide range of parties committed to deliver the standard.” RIBA President, Simon Allford, said: “This is a really exciting and timely initiative that will help the entire industry to move forward in its efforts

to reach net zero carbon. Working together we will address current ambiguities around the much-used term and develop a common understanding, based on clear performance targets, to support all those involved in the procurement, design, construction and operation of buildings.” Big step towards net zero Richard Collins, Interim CEO of RICS said: “Measurement and analysis play a fundamental role in progressing sustainability initiatives against targets. The UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will provide independent verification that a new or existing building that claims to be net zero, stands up to that claim. It will provide essential data for a range of decision makers. This is a big step forward to net zero and RICS and its members look forward to providing this key data that will support the UK’s transition to a decarbonised economy.” Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of UKGBC “The Standard will leverage the invaluable data behind UKGBC’s Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built Environment to establish performance targets which are aligned with science-based trajectories as a vital step towards our industry’s transition to net zero. UKGBC looks forward to working with industry on the development of this Standard to underpin the credibility of all future net zero carbon building claims.” L The launch webinar for the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard takes place on May 25. Individuals or organisations who wish to contribute should submit an application by 6th June. The group intends to consult on work at various stages of its development, with work commencing in July. FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.nzcbuildings.co.uk

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Conferences & Events

A commitment from the tourism industry towards sustainability 700 venues & hotels across the UK are already using the Green Tourism standard to provide reassurance to their procurement teams. The Meetings Show and its parent company Northstar Travel Group are committing to supporting the net zero goal to inspire change in the travel, meetings and hospitality sectors The awards certification programme run by Second nature to business Green Tourism recognises the commitment of Greener Tourism seeks to create an environment tourism businesses which are actively working where acting responsibly becomes second to become more sustainable. Bronze, Silver nature to businesses in the tourism and and Gold awards are acknowledged meetings and event industry, and becoming worldwide as an indicator of a member of Green Tourism is a good environmentally-friendly brilliant first step to getting In signin practice, and are a great way greener. When businesses the Net g of progressing on a green devote some time and journey as well as acting energy to contribute to Carbon Zero Events as a hallmark of ‘green local people, it becomes Pledge, The Me quality’, attracting custom part of investing in a truly etings show m from increasing numbers sustainable and ethical of eco-minded visitors. mindset. By encouraging carbon ust reduce emis Public and corporate staff and individuals to play 50 per c sion by sector venues onboard their part in a business’s en include: Olympia London, green journey, they will feel by 2030 t Manchester International respected and valued; as well Conference Centre, Edinburgh as ensuring a happy and ecoInternational Conference Centre, aware workforce. Manchester United, Leeds University, BMA Living and operating sustainably is House, Central Hall Westminster, Glaziers Hall, a process that involves promoting and caring and the QEII Centre. for the natural environment, helping conserve

the local area and its economy and supporting local suppliers of ethically-produced, seasonallygrown food and drink. Greener Tourism encourages members to actively introduce guests or consumers to genuine experiences, both in the great outdoors and those involving arts, craft and culture. The organisation is committed to a low carbon future and finding new ways to reduce the industry’s footprint. Greener Tourism aims to inform and inspire participating businesses about the circular economy, ecological and cultural diversity and ensuring efficient use of our planet’s resources. Having launched in 2021, the Green Meetings standard is achieved at Gold, Silver or Bronze, and is assessed online against a strict three-pillar sustainability criteria through Green Tourism’s GreenCheck™ platform. The criteria, which focuses on people, places and planet, allow venues and event organisers to easily identify and measure sustainable practices and will be examined by independent assessors. Driving best sustainable practice, the elements within E

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Conferences & Events

 this criteria are all-encompassing, ranging from energy, water, and waste through to catering, procurement and travel, as well as awareness, communication and community involvement. Catalyst Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of the mia, said of the standard: “We are moving into a new era of business meetings and events. Covid-19 has been a catalyst in focussing the industry on what is important, and sustainability will play a vital role in supporting the sector’s road to recovery. While it has been a focus for the mia in recent years, after a comprehensive review of the market to further evolve our sustainability member offering, we are pleased to announce this ground-breaking partnership for the sector. This significant step will also boost client confidence as mia members will display the Green Meetings standard, showing their commitment to people, places, and our planet.” The Meetings Show The Meetings Show has pledged to reach net zero by 2050, cutting carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, in signing the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge. Working with strategic partner isla, The Meetings Show and its parent company Northstar Travel Group are committing to supporting the net zero goal to inspire change in the travel, meetings and hospitality sectors and champion future sustainable growth. Before the end of 2023, the show will publish its pathway to achieving net zero by 2050 with

“Covid-19 has been a catalyst in focussing the industry on what is important, and sustainability will play a vital role in supporting the sector’s road to recovery. .” an interim target that is in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Putting the commitment into practice the show will, this year, measure and track GHG emissions according to industry best practice. The data outcomes will inform future decisionmaking and support the show to drive more effective collaboration with partners and suppliers to reduce emissions, as well as use the learnings to facilitate and encourage positive change among its supply chain and exhibitors. Progress will be reported. The Meetings Show is also committed to educating other events professionals to influence and shape sustainable change through its thought-provoking educational content as well as its Complete Sustainable Events Course, which was successfully launched last year in partnership with isla. The second series of the course will be opening in September. Jack Marczewski, event director of The Meetings Show, said: “It is vital that the events industry works together to achieve the net zero goal. As The Meetings Show is part of Northstar Travel Group, it is important for us to not

only champion best practice but demonstrate our commitment through improving our own sustainability performance.” Make Venues Make Venues has introduced Sustainability Champions across its venues with the aim of integrating the businesses sustainability objectives into every level of the company. The appointments form part of the group’s sustainability strategy and will play a critical role in helping to deliver its environmental promises and aspirations. Three ambassadors, one at each of Make Venue’s three venues, will work in partnership with the senior management team both within the venue and at group level, ensuring that sustainability isn’t just led from the top, but has support and involvement at every level of the business. As part of the role, each individual acts as an enabler to not only oversee sustainability processes but also suggest changes that may improve Make Venues’ sustainability credentials further. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.green-tourism.com

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Advertisement Feature

Rubb Buildings Ltd talks salt storage with Gateshead Council Eleven years after its construction, Rubb returned to Gateshead Council’s salt storage facility to catch up with Interim Street Scene Director, Philip Hindmarsh What are the main needs or challenges that the salt barn has helped the council meet or solve? The quality of the salt is better and that is why we are looking at another salt shed for our other salt pile. It is very difficult to cover the salt and protect it from the elements outside, so a salt barn is a much better solution. It also provides a better working environment for staff and the drivers when loading up the gritters. How would you rate the overall performance of your Rubb building to date? It’s great; it’s done its job. It has stood the test of time for 11 years with minimal repairs. It has performed well, despite facing the prevailing wind.

The structure itself is a custom designed salt barn, sitting on top of a 3m high concrete supporting wall. The salt storage structure measures 30m wide x 30m long, with a tapered leg height of 5m. The overall height of the storage facility is 13m. We sat down with Mr Hindmarsh to hear how his Rubb structure has served the borough over the years. How has the building performed over its eleven-year history? It has performed well. There have been some repairs, the only maintenance we have had over the 11 years. The building faces the prevailing wind and has stood up to the corrosive environment over time to protect the salt.

over the summer. In February and March of 2017 our salt supplies were really hammered, and we used a large proportion of our stock. In 2010 we used the full 20,000 tonnes and had to purchase more from Peru. Many councils now take part in the government’s salt sharing scheme. As clients, what would you say are the benefits of such a structure? It protects the salt from the elements. When salt gets wet it doesn’t perform as well. It forms into clumps and can cause problems with the gritters by clogging the treadmill. It is more cost effective to have dry salt as it can be distributed more effectively and efficiently.

What has it been used for? Storage of salt. We usually buy in around 5,000 tonnes of salt per year, which means this building has stored around 55,000 tonnes over its lifetime. This facility supports the rural areas in the west of Gateshead, some of which are on higher ground. In the winter months we run a permanent night shift. If the weather is bad, then the gritters will be on the roads 24/7, with minimum downtime. Of 600 miles of road, we grit around 323 primary and secondary roads to keep everything moving. How often is the building used? 24/7, all year round. We bring the salt in

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What does the future hold for Gateshead Council and future winter planning? We will continue to bring the salt in over the summer so it’s ready for the winter. We will be investing in an additional salt barn in the future. We work closely with a meteorology company to help us make more accurate seasonal predictions. We currently have a five-day weather forecast which flags up any significant weather to help us plan ahead, and we have a more accurate three day forecast to help inform decisions. We will continue to have staff working closely with the weather forecasters and people working through the night in winter. This means that we can get out and get those roads gritted when needed. L

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Active Travel

Building on London’s great progress in cycling, walking and wheeling The nation’s capital has seen a transformation in cycling and walking infrastructure during the past two decades, showing what can be done when there is vision and political will both within City Hall and the boroughs. James Cleeton, London Director for Sustrans sets out his priorities for building on the city’s active travel achievements so far To say I’m new in post is a bit of a misnomer Before 2020 there were 76 School Streets in as I held it on an interim basis for six months the capital. Since then, Transport for London’s beforehand, and have been with Sustrans Healthy Streets Officers (HSOs) programme since 2012, so have seen at first hand the delivered by Sustrans and London Boroughs has difference that active travel can make to helped increase this collectively to over communities in London and beyond. 500, with our HSO team working Sustran The city is ever evolving, not on 318 of them. has sup s just in its skyline but also School Streets help on the ground with former children and families several ported industrial stretches of walk, wheel, scoot and London projects in riverside path opening up cycle. They tackle the past tw during the for walking and cycling, congestion, poor air o years due to redevelopment. quality and road safety that show th But as the pandemic concerns that many e b e nefits of activ lockdowns showed, change schools experience by e travel can also come quickly. temporarily restricting for

everyon e

motor traffic at the school gates, generally at drop-off and pick-up times. Helping schools implement longer-term switchable trips – swapping car journeys for active travel like walking, wheeling and cycling – is also part of the programme. This contributes to TfL’s STARs programme for (Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe), which since starting in 2007 has replaced more than 22 million kilometres of car journeys with active travel. London’s children already experience E

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Next Generation Cyber Security

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The Inclusive Cycle Hub at Inwood Park, Hounslow  pollution levels above World Health Organisation recommended limits, and they are particularly vulnerable to air pollution as their lungs develop. Reducing nitrogen dioxide levels Studies have shown that School Streets reduce nitrogen dioxide by up to 23 per cent during morning drop-off, and 18 per cent of parents reported that they drove to school less as a result of the programme. A further 90 per cent of parents and residents say they would support regular traffic-free streets outside schools. TfL’s finances were hit hard by the pandemic lockdowns, with their resultant drop in fares. The financial challenges faced by TfL are substantial and well documented, but as traffic congestion continues to cost London’s economy £5.1 billion a year, or £1,211 per driver, measures to facilitate walking, and cycling remain vital to help make neighbourhoods healthier and happier. This is why working with London Boroughs to build on the achievements of the Healthy Streets Officers programme, and offering continued support to them is my first priority as London Director of Sustrans. School Streets ambitions In an ideal world, we’d like to see double the number of School Streets, and double the length of separated cycleways and filtered streets, as part of an ambitious walking, wheeling and cycling programme for the most disadvantaged residents of the capital. This would include spending 20-30 per cent of regional and local government walking, wheeling and cycling budgets on enabling people with the skills, confidence, equipment and information they need to walk, wheel and cycle. The Mayor of London has an ambitious transport strategy, which sets the target for 80 per cent of all trips to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041. This will take a major, long-term step change in how as a society we view getting from A to B within a world city. It is an opportunity for more and more people to experience the benefits of active travel. But people only change how they get about when it feels safe, comfortable, convenient and easy.

Initiatives to show people how active travel can transform and improve their surroundings, such as School Streets, are an essential introduction to changing assumptions about having to live with constant traffic and pollution. In the longer term our public realm and streets can be reimagined to prioritise people over traffic flow. And then we need to support people to take the first steps towards active travel for their local journeys. Needless to say, change like this is not easy. But when we make active travel possible for everyone, we can tackle climate change, air pollution and the huge health crisis. And by doing so we also make neighbourhoods places that people want to live and work. In the meantime, however, there are plenty of challenges facing existing cycling and walking infrastructure in London. Barriers on cycle paths may have been put up years ago by local authorities and other landowners, sometimes as a condition of planning permission, and often with the intention of keeping motorcyclists or 4x4s out. The reality today is that they can prevent easy access to the path by people who use trikes, trailers, tandems, cargo bikes, prams, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters, and in some

Active Travel

cases exclude them entirely. Ideally you’d just like to go out there with an angle grinder and take them all out, but as with the reasons for their installation in the first place, it’s never that simple. Ultimately, it’s about making sure active travel in London is for everyone – this is another of my key priorities. Volunteer network Sustrans has a network of volunteers to audit barriers on the National Cycle Network (NCN) in London, with a view to removing them. When we have taken away barriers for trial periods elsewhere in the country, there were no examples of motorcyclists or 4x4s taking advantage. Sustrans has supported several great projects in London during the past two years that show the practical benefits of active travel for everyone, such as e-cargo bikes for charities like the King’s Church food redistribution centre in Catford, Lewisham, which conducts food bank deliveries. The Inclusive Cycle Hub at Inwood Park, Hounslow, provides adapted bikes, safety wear and sessions with instructors for residents with learning and physical disabilities aged 10 and over. Many participants had experienced long periods of isolation, with poor mental health, or shielding, and would not have normally had access to side-by-side cycles, tricycles, or ones with wheelchair platforms attached. All report back how much healthier and happier this experience of active travel makes them feel. Smaller scale initiatives like these can not only improve people’s quality of life locally, but taken together across London can add up to making a significant difference for communities. These are another priority for me. The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown the need to make London’s streets better for walking, cycling, and wheeling so everyone can move around safely. I look forward to leading Sustrans in London and to using our charitable resources for the benefit of those who need them most. FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.sustrans.org.uk

Ripple Greenway in Barking, Dagenham

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Technology News

CYBER SECURITY

Ransomware threat to UK economy highlighted as Costa Rica goes to war with RaaS hacker gang Conti Addressing the recent CyberUK conference, The Rt Hon Steve Barclay majored on the increasing threat that Ransomware attacks pose to the UK economy and infrastructure. Adressing the conferdnce in Wales, he said: “The greatest cyber threat to the UK – one now deemed severe enough to pose a national security threat – is from ransomware attacks.” Barclay mentioned recent attacks on Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure: “Their impact has been felt across Europe, in disrupted access to online services and even in the operation of wind farms. Should the UK face an attack on the scale previously inflicted on Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure sites, businesses and the public should not expect to receive advance warning. Preparedness is therefore essential” Advisory guidance Back in April, alongside agencies in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the National Cyber Security Centre published advisory guidance on actions that organisations should take when the cyber threat is heightended. Among the advice, ransomware protection measures include the adoption of multifactor authentication, the immediate application of updates and security patches and regular cybersecurity tests on networks. The advisory also includes details on Russian-aligned cyber criminal groups, some of which have recently pledged support for the Russian state and have threatened to conduct malicious operations in retaliation

against countries providing support to Ukraine. Lindy Cameron, NCSC CEO, said: “It is vital that all organisations accelerate plans to raise their overall cyber resilience, particularly those defending our most critical assets.” Using Russian software Ian Levy, the NCSC’s Technical Director, advised organisations including those in the public sector and those providing services related to critical national infrastructure to consider the risk of Russian-controlled parts of their supply chain. Levy wrote: “You may choose to remove Russian products and services proactively, wait until your contract expires (or your next tech refresh), or do it in response to some geopolitical event. Alternatively, you may choose to live with the risk. Whatever you choose, remember that cyber security, even in a time of global unrest, remains a balance of different risks. Rushing to change a product that’s deeply embedded in your enterprise could end up causing the very damage you’re trying to prevent.” Costa Rica ‘at war’ with RaaS group Conti Recently appointed Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves has said his country is “at war” with the Conti ransomware gang. Chaves said that his country’s public sector has “not been able to collect taxes for the traditional tax system” and that the payment of salaries to public sector staff has also been affected. Conti is a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) group, which allows other groups to rent

access to its infrastructure to launch attacks. Experts say Conti is based in Russia and may have ties to Russian intelligence. Conti has urged the citizens of Costa Rica to pressure the government into paying the ransom, which the group doubled from an initial $10 million to $20 million. The group warned: “We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power.” Back in May last year, it was claimed Conti was responsible for a ‘significant’ case of cybercrime against the Irish State. Taoiseach Micheál Martin ruled out paying the ransom, saying “We’re very clear we will not be paying any ransom or engaging in any of that sort of stuff.” READ MORE

DATA REFORM BILL

Concerns over privacy and ICO as Data Reform Bill drags its heels

Proposed changes to Britain’s GDPR rules, announced in the recent Queen’s speech, must not put the flow of data between the EU and the UK at risk, according to BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT. The draught Data Reform bill is expected to be released later this summer and follows the consultation “Data: A New Direction’ launched last year. At the time, the Law Society voiced concerns that the proposed reforms could impact how effective the UK’s data privacy regime continues to be and that any unnecessary change to the current data protection framework

could cause unwelcome uncertainty and additional cost. While it is unknown unknown exactly how far the Government will de-regulate, in the Queen’s speech it said it was keen to replace “highly complex” data protection laws inherited from the EU. Dr Sam De Silva, Chair of BCS’ Law Specialist Group and a technology and data partner at international law firm CMS said: “What was in the Queen’s Speech in relation to the reform of data protection was not surprising, because it generally follows the principles outlined in the Consultation. However, of course the devil will be in the detail - which we do not have sight of yet. Any material deviation the UK adopts in relation to data protection does risk its adequacy status so I hope there will be a detailed and objective analysis undertaken to assess whether the benefits from UK’s data reform outweigh the risks of not continuing to have an adequacy status.” It is expected that web cookie consent banners that appear when visiting a website

could be scrapped as part of the reforms. De Silva added: “Whilst that appears radical, organisations would still be required to comply with the UK GDPR principles on lawfulness, fairness and transparency when using cookies or similar technologies.” Specifically mentioned in the Queen’s Speech were changes to the ICO, which could see the body brought under direct government control. This could include making appointment of the ICO chief executive within the gift of government, and giving the secretary of state power to approve the ICO’s Guidance and Codes of Conduct. A spokesperson for Law firm Addleshaw Goddard said: “These proposals create the possibility of external interference in the operations of the ICO and could significantly impact its ability scrutinise governmental and public sector use (or abuse) of personal data.” READ MORE

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Advertisement Feature

Equipping the government sector with flexible workspaces While we’re nearing its end, the pandemic of the past two years showed the world and the UK just how many institutions were not fully prepared to tackle new challenges swiftly. It also demonstrated that the inventory of governmental institutions was not up-to-date enough to face and overcome new problems such as transitioning to WFH for their entire staff or setting up video-conference and flexible workspaces for their employees The new paradigm shift caused by the pandemic showed that working from home can be productive and beneficial for the workers. With the dramatic increase and wide adoption of WFH practices, it is easy to imagine that the current ‘office’ environment will definitely change in the near future. In the UK, many local government institutions and city councils are already transforming their IT inventory to tackle these challenges. Philips monitors is ready for the next step to help these institutions make this transition. Innovative solutions presented by Philips monitors, such as the 24” Full HD Philips 243B9H monitor with a built-in webcam, is a great example. The benefit of video conferences is not limited to unforeseen consequences such as the pandemic. While the 2 MP FHD webcam with microphone enables government employees to have large-scale, thought-provoking conferences with other institutions around the UK, the webcam also adds a security layer. Thanks to the Windows 10 Hello facial recognition feature of the built-in webcam, users can login to their computer instantly and without leaving a trace of their password by typing on their keyboard, crucial for government institutions with sensitive data. The 243B9H also features a USB-C input, which means employees can work on their laptops in the field or at home, and connect it to the monitor with a single USB-C cable to have access to a larger, comfortable working space with full-sized keyboard and mouse connected to the monitor’s USB hub. The USB-C connection can transfer the display signal to the monitor, while charging the laptop and giving access to other USB devices to ensure a clutter-free, productive environment. Furthermore, the versatile 24” Philips 243B1JH extends this functionality even more. This monitor features an extensive USB-C docking station including a RJ-45 Ethernet input, with backwards compatibility for sharing screens from older laptops with USB-A ports by employing the DisplayLink technology. With the included RJ-45 input, this means when employees connect their laptops, they can access to the local network on the premises instantly, securely and without the limitations of Wi-Fi. And thanks to the USB-A connectivity, the monitor can serve both legacy and modern laptops to ensure coverage for the whole staff.

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The 27” sibling of the above model, the Philips 276B1JH features a QHD resolution for a sharper image and more screen real estate thanks to increased size and resolution. Both the 243B1JH and 276B1JH are also equipped with a DC-output to power small form factor / miniPCs such as an Intel NUC. This option makes a future upgrade of the IT infrastructure from aging tower-style PCs to sleek, lowpower miniPCs easy and manageable, solving two major problems – sustainability and compatibility with older inventory – at once. Furthermore, both monitors also feature a DisplayPort output to enable daisy-chaining multiple monitors. This means, current single monitor desktop setups at government institutions can still be used and transformed to multi-monitor setups easily and clutterfree. In this instance, a work laptop can be connected with a single cable to the 243B1JH or 276B1JH via USB-C or USB-A with DisplayLlink technology, while the Philips monitors can route the display signal to a second other monitor thanks to its DisplayPort output. With this feature, the older displays can still be employed together with the Philips displays, increasing productivity thanks to multi-monitor opportunities, reducing clutter by eliminating the need to connect a further DisplayPort cable from the PC case. And, it will improve employees’ productivity by adding new features such as the webcam with facial recognition, fast RJ-45 connectivity, and USB hub to connect external devices as well. Truly versatile.

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Don’t overlook anything When securing information in the IT world, visual hacking – a low tech but hard to prevent hacking method – is often overlooked. Even if enterprise security solutions are employed, while a real person is accessing and viewing sensitive data, all it takes to compromise this highlevel security is an unauthorised person looking at the same display. The Philips 242B1V monitor is just the perfect tool to eliminate these shortcomings, thanks to its dedicated Privacy Mode. The 23.8” IPS monitor 242B1V features Full HD resolution and is perfectly suitable for any office work, and supports wide viewing angles for increased viewing comfort. However, with a convenient single switch, the Privacy Mode can be activated, which will darken the image from 350 cd/m² to 180 cd/m² brightness and restrict horizontal viewing angles from 178° to 90° so that only the direct onlookers can view the display. Ultimately With the innovative technologies Philips monitors, the government sector can set their employees up for maximum productivity, safety and working comfort – wherever they are working from.fuels.”L FURTHER INFORMATION www.philips.com/monitors


Technology News

LEVELLING UP AND REGENERATION BILL

Digital Planning moves a step closer - slowly

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill in the Queen’s speech includes several proposals which should speed up the digitisation of the planning process in England. The Bill sets out measures to increase the use of

high-quality data and digital services in the planning process – including powers to require compliance with data standards and to make planning data publicly available through an open licence. The Bill also includes

a new power to prescribe the use of specific types of planning data software. According to law practice Pinsent Masons, this is the first time planning legislation has ever referred to software. Changes to planning procedures will begin to take place from 2024, once the Bill has Royal Assent and associated regulations and changes to national policy are in place. Many planning professionals will be frustrated this won’t be implemented sooner. A policy paper issued with Bill refers to software and engagement tools coming in the future. READ MORE

OPEN DATA

ODI looks to stimulate innovation across the water sector The Open Data Institute is working with a consortium of UK water companies led by Northumbrian Water on a new project to transform customer services through data sharing. The Stream project will see the development of a new open data-sharing platform which will eventually facilitate data sharing between UK water companies, other utilities companies, and the wider public. It is hoped that the platform will provide those within and beyond the sector with better insights. The ODI will provide strategic oversight and specific advice regarding developing user personas, designing technical

architecture and mapping the wider water data ecosystem in the UK Partners in the Stream project include: Anglian Water, Dwr Cymru, Scottish Water, SES Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, South West Water, Thames Water, United Utilities, Yorkshire Water, Aiimi, Costain, and Sia Partners. The funding was awarded through the Water Breakthrough Challenge, an innovation competition ran by water regulator Ofwat and innovation foundation Nesta. READ MORE

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Digitising Justice: techUK report looks to help shape MoJ strategy In a report calling for digital reform of the criminal justice system, trade association techUK has detailed 25 recommendations to improve access, join up services and enhance processes. ‘Digitising Justice: Putting data at the centre’ by techUK’s Digital Justice Working group states: “With multiple agencies capturing important data on

disparate systems, data sharing can become difficult and in parallel so does providing the appropriate support. Without adequate data it is not possible for the MoJ or members of the public to know whether CJS departments are operating effectively.” Among the recommendations is the idea that a victim should only be required to ‘tell

their story once’ without having to repeat it to a number of agencies, and needs to be carefully considered when designing data systems, collecting and analysing data. Considerations also should be made relating to digital skills passports for prisoners and prison leavers where data on that individual can be stored and is easily accessible for support agencies. The MoJ Digital Strategy 2025, released by the Government in April, sets out a three year plan. Gina Gill, MoJ Chief Digital and Information Officer, said: “As policies change, our large, complex systems present challenges and hinder change at pace. This leads to frustration for users who often have to try and manage their way through unintuitive, outdated systems and for the department with improvements or new processes taking too long to implement.” READ MORE

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IoT

The Internet of Things: providing maximum benefit to citizens Public sector organisations have the responsibility of ensuring the health, safety, and prosperity of large populations, yet are often bound by limited budgets. The IoT can help address this, writes Dora Mitter, Data Strategy and Insights consultant at Agilisys We are leaving behind a radically transformative time for the public sector. Not that long ago, pen and paper remained the primary means of recording information. However, since the onset of the pandemic, many public sector organisations have accelerated their digital transformation programmes and achieved significant improvements in the maturity of organisational capabilities for digital and data. These are exciting times. Over the coming months and years, we expect more public sector organisations to harness the potential of these enhanced capabilities and work with some of the most advanced technologies and analytical techniques to transform service provision and improve the lives of citizens. Helping citizens Surely, the biggest data and analytics trend right now and one that will continue for years to come is the Internet of Things (IoT). And for good reason. The IoT enables organisations to collect and integrate data from various internet connected devices, or “things” with sensors, and automatically apply analytics to them. Because IoT platforms can pinpoint exactly what information is useful and what can safely be ignored, it negates the need for human intervention. This can reduce time to action and improving understanding of what interventions will help citizens. The IoT can be used to detect patterns, make recommendations, and detect possible problems before they occur. The move towards an interconnected IoT is staggering. IoT Analytics expects the global number of connected IoT devices to grow 18 per cent, to 14.5 billion active endpoints this year. IoT technology has penetrated in each and every field of the public sector, from healthcare to public safety. Local authorities are even using IoT devices to reduce

the loss suffered from various natural disasters, such as floods and fires, by predicting the threat before it occurs. The global public sector IoT market continues to rise and was expected to reach 17.4 billion US Dollars last year; buoyed by usage of the technology within outdoor surveillance, traffic management and city asset tracking among others.

is best placed to support her, and what in-home technology solutions to assist in her care. With limited budgets, public sector organisations need to think about how technology can help effectively optimise the entire value chain. Through the power of the IoT, data is coming to the fore. Real-time monitoring systems and connected devices can be leveraged to gather extensive data. In many ways, it is safety in numbers. The more data the organisations has, the more effective its decision making. Underpinned by AI (Artificial Intelligence), the IoT is revolutionising citizen services and minimising errors. Plus, it is improving functional efficiency and benefitting outcomes.

A key opportunity Data is king Continuing the adult social care example, With the IoT, data comes to the fore. Here, data through the IoT an authority can theoretically is king. Public sector organisations can use this reduce the number of adult social care workers. real-time data to render immediate services With sensors, IoT, video technology and and track resources – such as staff and assets – automation transforming work, the skills needed throughout their authority. It is a paradigm shift. in teams will shift dramatically. I see this as a Whilst the IoT may seem more suited to younger key opportunity. It’s very hard to get hold of citizens, this is a misnomer. In fact, some of good social care staff, but if these can the most interesting use cases are for be replaced by data specialists and elderly citizens. For example, the home tech specialists, it shifts the IoT can be used to ensure Data br narrative and can deal with elderly citizens can continue in a wider range of challenges to receive their care in intellige gs n such as isolation, dementia the comfort of their own c e . Through etc. home. The fact that t h e IoT, public s Public sector organisations IoT allows a constant ec have the responsibility of tracking of their health leaders tor digital h a v ensuring the health, safety, conditions without any e m informa and prosperity of large major disturbance to tion ava ore populations, yet are often their daily life is a big plus than ev ilable er. bound by limited budgets and for them. a small supply of personnel. The Data brings intelligence. IoT can bring them the panacea Through the IoT, digital leaders they are hoping for. The public sector in the public sector have more can use the technology to ensure the smooth information available to them than ever functioning of routine everyday activities, whilst before. Think of adult social care. By using focusing on long-term, demanding projects that data, and working as part of an integrated care will have maximum benefit to citizens. L system, healthcare professionals can understand what the demand is going to be for each and every patient. They can better know who ‘Molly’ FURTHER INFORMATION is, when she’s likely to hit the system and what https://tinyurl.com/t7a2s75 support she’ll need. They can also ascertain who

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Data Management

How can the Government make better use of data to tackle tomorrow’s challenges? When it comes to data, few bodies have greater access to this asset than the Government. While we are seeing greater use of data with each passing year, there is still far more we can do to maximise its potential, increase efficiency and deliver better public services, says Vicki Chauhan, Head of Public Sector at NTT DATA UK Data is one of the greatest assets that an organisation has in its arsenal. It allows us to better identify issues, streamline processes, and fuel innovation. While we are seeing greater use of data with each passing year, there is still far more we can do to maximise its potential, increase efficiency and deliver better public services. Putting data at the heart of everything the government does helps improve policy and decision making, and ultimately leads to greater innovation within the public sector. The government has recognised this, with the National Data Strategy demonstrating its ambition to make even more progress in this area. But as with every industry, there is always more we can do to improve how we manage the vast amounts of data we have at our disposal. That is why NTT DATA UK, the Cabinet Office, the Global Government Forum and the Office for National Statistics collaborated to create the Civil Service Data Challenge (CSDC).

against climate change. There is one issue, however. The UK’s peatlands are currently drying out, emitting around 20 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Blocking moorland drains can reverse this process – but locating them on the ground is a difficult and labour-intensive process. The winning group of the CSDC came up with the idea to deploy innovative ‘Generative Adversarial Networks’ to rapidly identify drains using aerial photography, much reducing the cost of protecting these important environments. This idea was selected for its potential to help lock more carbon into the ground, reduce flooding risk, and aid the government in achieving its The CS carbon emissions target of net saw hu DC n zero by 2050. The project also d r e d s of civil has potential to be scaled s propos ervants for application worldwide; a first version of the solution innovat e new and i v can be deployed within a e w a ys for the gov little as three months. E er

The competition, which had a format similar to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, saw hundreds of civil servants propose new and innovative ways for the government to improve its use of data. As a judge for the competition, I can testify to the quality of the proposals and the immense difficulties in selecting a shortlist for the final – let alone deciding a winner. The challenge revealed how empowering civil servants can help incite change within the Civil Service, as well as how much potential there is to revolutionise the way public services make use of data: bringing innovative solutions to longstanding societal problems. AI’s ‘eye in the sky’ over the peatlands Peatlands cover 10 per cent of our country’s land surface, just under three million hectares. Their ability to capture carbon makes them vital in the fight

improv nment to e its of data use

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Data Management

 The team behind the peatlands restoration project received technical advice from NTT DATA UK to the value of £50,000, as well as ongoing support moving forward to help bring the idea to life, taking its total investment in the project to £250,000. The other shortlisted concepts Statistics that could keep us safe abroad A second group devised another way to collect and use data effectively. They suggested using data held across Government and opensource databases to create a live data model: showing the number of UK nationals living, working, and travelling all over the world. This data could be used to support activity across Government. Hosted on the ONS integrated data platform, which is accessible to all Government departments, this would foster cross-industry data corridors and get the different public sector organisations working with, and talking to, one another. In 2017, there were 784,900 British citizens living in the EU alone. That is a staggering number of individuals to keep track of manually and it puts a devastating strain on the services that try to. This group saw the potential to harness unused data sources to support these agencies in consular service development, emergency planning, and disaster response work. Revolutionising prisoner rehabilitation Another proposal demonstrated how data can benefit everybody within the Prison Service, from the prison staff to the Government, the public, and even the prisoners themselves: allowing targeted interventions, improved welfare, strategic oversight of isolation, and overall leading to fewer victims of crime. We know for a fact that prisoners who maintain close family ties during their sentences are nearly 40% less likely to reoffend. We also know that one of the key purposes of the UK’s criminal justice system is to reduce reoffending rates. This third group went all the way to the final by finding a way to use data to bring the criminal justice sector closer to its goals. Records on prisoners’ social contacts is currently dispersed and of variable quality. Bringing this data together and improving its collection would allow prisons to plan additional support for prisoners suffering from a lack of social contact, helping to lower reoffending rates. Reducing benefit fraud and error in the construction industry The final idea from the Civil Service Data Challenge final proposed linking together existing datasets, so departments could reduce their losses to fraud and error – for example, identifying individuals who are underreporting their income. Throughout the pandemic, fraud and error relating to universal credit increased greatly from £1.7billion in 2020 to £5.5billion in 2021. Universal credit is reliant on claimants selfreporting so there is much room for error or deliberate under reporting of income. When

“Systems such as DWP’s Customer Information System and HMRC’s Construction Industry Scheme provide real opportunities to greatly enhance the identification of potential fraud and reduce the financial impacts upon both government and the citizens” looking at the causes of overpayment of universal credit, self-employed earnings cause the greatest problem, with the construction industry accounting for a large proportion. This idea suggested that systems, such as DWP’s Customer Information System and HMRC’s Construction Industry Scheme, provide real opportunities to greatly enhance the identification of potential fraud and reduce the financial impacts upon both government and the citizens. Not only would this integration of datasets act as a deterrent for fraud, but it was estimated that it has the potential to save between £12-£100million per year. Moving on, scaling up Data is, as we know, crucial to the operation of everyday life in all fields, and the public sector is no exception. If governments are to make the best use of their data, then welcoming these type of lateral, forward-thinking solutions, offered by frontline civil servants at the Civil Service Data Challenge is required. The Challenge demonstrated that there is a real desire for digital transformation, not only long-term strategists and decision makers within the public sector, but from their

employees too. There were nearly 200 original ideas about collecting and using data put forward in the challenge. The eight longlisted ideas, and the four that made it to the final were deemed the most viable, and the most likely to offer return on investment for the Civil Service. But they are far from the only ideas out there. Continued investment and exploration into the potential of effectively using data in the public sector is essential to its success. This is why the Civil Service Data Challenge was created. By providing the winner a platform to realise their vision, we can encourage the enhancement of data within government – helping it to reach its goals in innovative and tangible ways. L

Vicki Chauhan has over 20 years’ experience in the Public Sector. Prior to joining NTT DATA UK, Vicki most recently held the role of Director, Central Government at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.datachallenge.uk

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Cyber Security

A moving target is harder to cyberattack By their ‘connected’ nature all public sector organisations are cyberattack targets. But none have to be victims, writes Jonathan Lee, Director of Public Sector, Sophos As the world looks to bounce back from Threat surface change the global pandemic, the role of public To compound the problem, the threat surface services has never been so important. It’s has changed due to the increasing popularity of largely for this reason, and the sensitive hybrid working. Digitisation has also massively data that these services hold, that they’re accelerated since the start of the pandemic with becoming increasingly valuable targets cybersecurity unable to match the rapid for cybercriminals. In the Sophos pace of change that has been forced State of Ransomware in on organisations everywhere. Assume Government 2021 report, Security which wasn’t baked you wil 40 per cent of central in during the rush to get government and NDBP up to speed with the new hit. It’s b l be e organisations and 34 per digital benchmark now t t e r be prep to cent of local government has to be attended to a red and avoid a organisations were hit retrospectively, providing c by ransomware in the another unwelcome cost breach ostly security rather t last year. It’s a massive at a difficult time. ha the oth problem and a costly one Despite the cost of er way n too. The average bill for prevention, it’s crucial that round. putting things right after a the public sector recognizes ransomware attack, including this threat and puts the necessary downtime, labour, technology measures in place to protect itself. 21 and paid ransoms was £1.02 million per cent of those in central government and for central government and NDPB and £1.22 28 per cent in local government still believe they million for local government organisations. are not a target of ransomware.

Understanding the threat To successfully protect themselves, organisations have to be proactive rather than reactive, understanding the threats quickly and prioritizing the steps needed to be taken. That’s not as easy as it sounds with the nature of these threats changing all the time. Rather than viruses, malware and ransomware still existing in isolation, these threats have merged, leading to the emergence of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS). This new development gives criminals who lack the time or skill to develop their own ransomware the opportunity to buy it off the shelf and use it straight away. There is a real requirement for senior people who understand cybersecurity to be appointed on boards to champion the need for action. The NHS is typical in the sense that IT leaders have found it difficult to argue for funds to take proactive measures when there hasn’t been a high-profile attack like WannaCry for a while. Addressing the skills shortage The current skills shortage is a particular problem at a local level. In a recent survey within the public sector, over half of the respondents (54 per cent) admitted that cyberattacks have now become too advanced for their current IT team to deal with on their own. Smaller organisations tend not to have big teams or round-the-clock protection, and it doesn’t help that some of these have a false sense of security believing that an anti-ransomware tool will be up to the latest challenges. The fact is, even though advanced and automated technologies are essential elements of an effective anti-ransomware defence, preventing attacks also requires the constant attention of skilled professionals. Whether it’s E

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Cyber Security

 in-house staff or outsourced support, human experts are uniquely able to identify many of the tell-tale signs that ransomware attackers are making a move. Where human resources are light, the need for Managed Threat Response (MTR) is greater and this service, offering 24-hour threat hunting, detection and response delivered by a managed team, is already starting to gain traction in certain sectors. Adopting a zero-trust approach One of the specific problems for public sector organisations is their connected nature, which makes them particularly attractive to cyber attackers. Recently, thousands of schoolchildren were sent home due to a ransomware attack which became more severe as the victim was a multi-academy trust and all the learning centres were connected and affected by the one security breach. This will likely be a major issue for the NHS with a network of local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), trusts and integrated care systems (ICSs) all connected on the same network. Slowly the public sector is waking up to this threat with some organisations already well ahead of the curve. Third party and supply chain attacks are a real worry for board members, and already we are seeing organisations start to vet their suppliers and establish best practice zero trust models more stringently. Best practice measures So, how can the public sector counter this evergrowing threat? First and foremost, assume you will be hit. It’s better to be prepared and avoid a costly security breach rather than the other way round. One London borough has a committee meeting every fortnight to discuss risks to their area and they are now giving cyber threat the same level of attention as flood risk. A good example of an organization more interested in preventing security breaches than just ticking the boxes with outdated anti-ransomware technology.

“One of the specific problems for public sector organisations is their connected nature, which makes them particularly attractive to cyber attackers.” Keep making backups as this is the best way of recovering data after an attack, try to deploy layered protection to block attackers at as many points as possible, and always combine human experts with anti-ransomware technology for the best defence. Last, but by no means least, avoid paying ransoms. On average, organisations that paid the ransom got back just 65 per cent of their data, leaving over one third inaccessible. L

About the author Jonathan is a cybersecurity specialist responsible for representing Sophos’s public profile across the UK healthcare, central government, local government, defence, police, fire and housing sectors. FURTHER INFORMATION https://tinyurl.com/y6h995u8

What is ransomware? The Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from accessing your computer (or the data that is stored on it). The computer itself may become locked, or the data on it might be stolen, deleted or encrypted. Some ransomware will also try to spread to other machines on the network, such as the Wannacry malware that impacted the NHS in May 2017. Usually you’re asked to contact the attacker via an anonymous email address or follow instructions on an anonymous web page, to make payment. The payment is invariably demanded in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, in order to unlock your computer, or access your data.

However, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will get access to your computer, or your files.

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Millions of people are at risk of the deadly consequences of conflict in Ukraine. People are fleeing their homes and families are being separated. Many are going without food or clean water. We must get critical support to those who need it most, in Ukraine and its bordering countries.

Please donate to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, if you can.

redcross.org.uk/shelter or text SHELTER to 70141 to Visit

make a £10 donation. By texting, you consent to future telephone and SMS marketing contact from British Red Cross. Text SHELTER NO to 70141 to give £10 without consenting to calls and texts.*

Keeping in touch Your support makes a life-changing difference to people in crisis. We write to our supporters to update you about the work of the British Red Cross, and how you can help and donate in other ways. You can change the way we contact you at any time by visiting redcross.org.uk/keepingintouch or calling Freephone 0800 2800 491. Privacy statement The British Red Cross is committed to privacy and will use personal data for the purpose it was collected or other legitimate purposes we tell you about: for example, to provide goods, services or information you have requested or to administer donations or services we provide. We may also analyse data we collect to better understand the people who support us or those who use or deliver our services. Sometimes this means us combining that data with information from reliable public sources. Our research allows us to tailor communications and services in a more focused and cost-effective way, as well as better meeting your needs and the needs of others like you. However, we will never do this in a way that intrudes on personal privacy and will not use your data for a purpose that conflicts with previously expressed privacy preferences. For full details about how we use personal data, our legal basis for doing so and your privacy rights, please see our privacy notice online at redcross.org.uk/privacy. The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world. For more information visit https://donate. redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund *Texts cost £10 +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile, must be 16+. The British Red Cross Society, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered in England and Wales (220949), Scotland of THE Man FUTURE (0752) and| Jersey (430). BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR(SC037738), THE CITIESIsleOF www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

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We need your help


May 2022

SMART CITY LIGHTING

WORK SMARTER Exploring how smart city lighting projects can be replicated and upscaled successfully

SMART PORTS

BRINGING SMART PORTS TO LIFE The British Ports Association highlights efficiency improvements that benefit the economy

PLUS: PROJECT CAVFORTH | SMART WATER IN GLASGOW | UEL’S LIVING LAB


News RENEWABLE ENERGY

University of East London partners with Siemens in net zero race energy technology – including solar panels installed on rooftops and in car parks, ground source or water source heat pumps fed by the Thames and electric vehicle charging solutions. During the second phase, Siemens will support UEL in its creation of an innovation hub for local green energy enterprises, giving students the opportunity to engage with the latest green technologies whilst on campus. UEL will also provide the opportunity for students to further strengthen their industry skills through mentoring and internships with Siemens. The third workstream of the partnership will see the development of a ‘Living Lab’, to make the data captured across the campuses available to students and researchers. The University and Siemens will also explore pragmatic ways of introducing local-scale energy projects that make an immediate difference.

The University of East London has partnered with Siemens to drive the shift to renewable energy and transform its campuses in Docklands and Stratford. The plan aims to make UEL’s urban sites reach net zero by 2030 through the roll-out of intelligent technology. There are four focus areas for UEL’s campuses: introducing renewable energy sources to campuses and reducing overall energy consumption; supporting sustainable

enterprise; leveraging real-time energy data through a ‘Living Lab’ and nurturing a strong talent pipeline. The first phase will immediately cut 10 per cent of the University’s carbon emissions and reduce operational costs by installing LED lighting in all buildings and upgrading the University’s building management systems. A second workstream will focus on engineering the design of sustainable

SMART WATER SYSTEMS

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Glasgow Smart Water system reduces flood risk

Research reveals ‘highly compelling’ benefits of smart traffic systems

READ MORE

Smart Grey Water systems recently installed at two new-build nursery schools in Glasgow are being linked to a Smart Water Management Hub which uses predictive weather technology to reduce the likelihood of localised flood risk ahead of a storm event. In the same way as Glasgow’s award-winning Smart Canal operates - when the control hub forecasts heavy rainfall in the area, a signal will be sent to the nursery school triggering tanks to pump out any previously collected rainwater to maximise the capacity of underground storage ahead of a storm. The work to reduce the likelihood of flooding in the areas around Broomhill and Govanhill (Cuthbertson) Nursery Schools, is part of a larger programme that will see green technologies incorporated into four brand-new Early Years establishments, designed by Glasgow’s Property and Consultancy Services team, to help mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

READ MORE

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Smart traffic management systems are forecast to provide global savings in CO2 emissions of 205 million metric tons by 2027, according to a new report by Juniper Research. This represents a growth of 41 per cent, up from just 145.7 MMT in 2022, and almost twice the CO2 emissions arising from UK domestic transport in 2019. The new research, Smart Management: Use Cases, Regional Analysis & Forecast 2022-2027, identified environmental benefits from smart

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

traffic management systems as being ‘highly compelling’, including significant reductions in congestion, and prioritising greener transport modes. The report identified smart intersections as responsible for driving reductions, with hours of time spent in traffic set to decrease by 36 hours on average per annum per motorist globally by 2027. READ MORE


News

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Project CAVForth on-road testing gets underway in Fife

The UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus will take to the roads of Scotland for the first time as live testing begins for project CAVForth. Stagecoach, in partnership with Fusion Processing, Alexander Dennis and Transport Scotland, will be carrying out on-road testing of the autonomous bus over the next two weeks in preparation for the launch of the CAVForth pilot service in late summer. The Project CAVForth pilot, jointly funded by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the project partners Fusion Processing, ADL, Stagecoach and Transport Scotland will see five single-deck autonomous buses operating at SAE Level 4 over the Forth Road Bridge between Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange. The buses are fitted with Fusion Processing’s sensor and control technology, CAVstar, that enables them to run on pre-selected roads without the safety driver having to intervene or take control. The buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 36 passengers over the 14 miles across the bridge, with capacity for over 10,000 passengers a week.

The on-road testing in Scotland follows successful depot-based trials, track testing and virtual simulation where the buses have been put through their paces to fine tune the autonomous drive systems. To help support the delivery of Project CAVForth, Transport Scotland recently opened a section of Actively Managed Hard Shoulder for all buses on the M8 eastbound. It will help to reduce journey times and improve journey time reliability for all buses of 24 seats or more on approach to Edinburgh. As part of project CAVForth, around 500 members of the public have helped with the implementation of the new autonomous bus service on it, providing feedback on what would make them feel comfortable and confident in travelling. Built on the feedback received, the partners have developed a vision for the new autonomous vehicles, which includes making sure future autonomous bus services still have a member of staff on board. In a further positive step forward in the project, over 20 specially trained ‘Autonomous Bus Professionals’ are soon to be recruited

by Stagecoach from across its East Scotland business. When the service goes live, these experienced bus drivers will monitor the autonomous system alongside a bus ‘Captain’ who will move around the saloon, talking to passengers about the service and answering any questions they may have, demonstrating what a future service might feel like when the staff member is able to leave the cab while the computer does the driving. Sam Greer, Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland, said: “Stagecoach is continuing to look for ways to improve the service it offers to customers, including through major investment in new technology, such as the CAVForth pilot. “This is a hugely exciting project for Scotland and we are pleased to be starting live testing on roads today. This is a major step forward in our journey to fully launch the UK’s first fullsized autonomous bus service and will provide easy access to a brand-new bus route in the heart of East Scotland.” Chris Gall, ADL Group Engineering Director, said: “The start of on-route testing is a milestone for our autonomous bus project. In partnership with Stagecoach, Fusion Processing and Transport Scotland, Project CAVForth helps us to explore new technologies that will make buses even safer and even more efficient. As we move towards passenger services later in the year, the project will be a landmark demonstration of future technologies in transport.” Jim Hutchinson, Fusion Processing CEO, said: “We are delighted to be leading the world’s most complex and ambitious autonomous vehicle programme. CAVForth will provide a useful service to local people as well as being a great demonstration of Fusion’s automated vehicle technology. The buses are fitted with CAVstar, our automated driving system which combines our own hardware and software to create, safe, full-size buses, operating at SAE Level 4. On road testing is an exciting milestone in the development of autonomous commercial vehicles and we look forward to welcoming passengers onboard in a few months’ time.” READ MORE

SMART CITY LIGHTING

Collaboration provides real time analytics in smart street lighting Smart City lighting provider CitiLight has announced its collaboration with Semtech. CitiLight says more than 1 million street lights have been automated with its smart lighting solution, which have collectively saved up to 1.29 billion kilowatt-hours of energy in more than 100 cities. Semtech’s VELOCITi LMS system is able to keep street lights connected and monitored in real time without any dependence on field personnel. Any command given to the street

lights, like change of lighting schedule or change in intensity, are executed as the system offers less than five second command latency and 0.5-1 per cent accuracy on metered data. Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard complement the street light system as the technology can support larger data packets based on a city’s needs and communication over a long range. “Real-time analytics are aiding in the growth of smart cities,” said Marc Pégulu at Semtech.

READ MORE

SMART CITY BUSINESS | MAY 2022

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Advertisement Feature

Decarbonising the UK & beyond Letaq UK and the Trent Group join forces to bring a zero emisions power pack to market which it believes will be a significant answer to the UK’s decarbonising strategies and plans.

Net Zero by 2050 may be seen as a real challenge and a tall order by some. Investments are already committed and the clock is now ticking with some real meaning and purpose. The call to arms is underway, with a variety of solutions and ideas to decarbonise the UK and our planet. Letaq UK and the Trent Group have joined forces to bring to market what it believes to be a significant answer to the UK’s decarbonising strategies and plans. The strategy involves Ammonia NH3 as the sole fuel to power a specially adapted Internal Combustion Engine, which combines with a battery pack to create a zero-emission power pack for port cranes and other mobile equipment. It features transferrable technology that can be easily applied to marine, road, rail, generator sets and even EV charging stations.

With international patents in hand for the worlds first Letaq Power Solutions ‘ammonia cracker unit’, and an engine that runs solely on NH3, Trent Letaq will provide clients with a true zero emission energy source for the UK and beyond. The company’s scientists and technical experts have been working in the field of Battery, Hydrogen and Ammonia for the last 30 years, publishing 40 papers, covering subjects such as Power Electronics, Electric Car and High-Speed Automation as well as books on Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The work spans back to 1990, when lead UK scientist Ron Hodkinson worked with Robert Larson, Chairman of the EPA in California and were both Co-Chairs for the ISATA Clean Fuels Conference. This abundance of deep technical insight, skill, expertise and global experience has allowed Trent Letaq to reach a position where it is ready to play its part in decarbonising many transportation sectors, including the Port Industry, Road, Rail, Marine, Power Generation etc, using the patented Letaq Power Solutions UK, Zero Emission NH3 Power pack. Trent Letaq’s ambitions will be achieved through a comprehensive forward thinking Global Franchise network focused on

solutions above and beyond just equipment and zero emission NH3 powerpacks. When it comes to decarbonisation, changing the world must include a marriage of both zero emission solutions and the most advanced technologies available today. Therefore, Trent Letaq will be focused on showcasing and delivering the following: New Remote Control / Autonomous Ship to Shore (STS) Port Cranes; New Zero Emission Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) Cranes (automated & manual); New Zero Emission Rail Tyred Gantry (RMG) Cranes (automated & manual); New Zero Emission Straddle Carriers; New Zero Emission Reachstackers; New Zero Emission Empty Container Handlers; New Zero Emission Forklifts ; New Zero Emission Terminal Tractors; New Zero Emission Power Generation Solutions for Road, Rail and Marine; Zero Emission RTG Powerpack retrofits and upgrade; NH3 strategies regarding creation of Green NH3 from renewable energy (Examples today: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Oxfordshire, England & Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute in Japan); NH3 strategies regarding country distribution and management; NH3 storage and distribution strategies for ports, rail, road, and marine; Digital e-Marketplace for all Trent Letaq spare parts; Advanced Ai driven, autonomous, automated equipment solutions; Remote control crane and mobile equipment solutions; Ai Failure Prediction Solution for Cranes and Mobile Equipment; Ai Terminal / Business Operational Solutions and Equipment Integration; Full Contract Maintenance Management Contracts; Full dry & wet lease options for Mobile Equipment; Full lease options for Cranes; Full lease options for NH3 Powerpacks; Life Cycle Assessment, Analysis & Management; Asset Management ISO55000 development and implementation. Trent Letaq believes that to achieve ambitious goals related to climate and decarbonisation, the solution cannot be single focused and must include a holistic approach that goes far beyond just a product. Evidence amassed today shows that advanced technologies in operations and onboard equipment play their part in positively impacting energy consumption as well as material consumption. It is this holistic approach and understanding that will allow Trent Letaq to stand apart from the rest and deliver on decarbonisation pledges. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.trent-global.com

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BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk


Smart Ports

The smart technologies changing port operations A Smart Port is a port that uses automation and innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) to improve its performance. Evolution in ports is needed to meet with the changing demands of global trade: ships are getting bigger; goods are moving faster; and geopolitical issues are creating new challenges for ports. In December last year, a British Ports Association study highlighted the five smart port technologies changing the way UK ports operate for the better Published in collaboration with Royal HaskoningDHV and the Connected Places Catapult, the Smarter UK Ports paper summarises five examples from ports that were explored last year, including a constantly learning digital twin, remote infrastructure and asset monitoring, and upstreaming of border administration. The intention for the British Ports Association (BPA) was to explore how new technology use cases can be better shared across the industry in 2022. Mark Simmonds, BPA Director of Policy, said: “The whole concept of ‘smart ports’ can be a bit confusing to some, but these use cases highlight how new and existing technology can be put to use in innovative ways to increase port resilience and efficiency. We are constantly looking for new ways to share stories like these and are exploring how we can better collect these sorts of interesting use cases in the new year.” The themes for the studies were based on real port challenges, collaboratively defined with five partner ports from across the UK, including:

Stimulating foreign investment Much attention is given to the trade and tariff allowances and tax benefits associated with freeports, but the opportunities associated Background with freeport status go far beyond this, Freeports are hubs for business and enterprise particularly in relation to their potential to for both manufacturing and services trade, stimulate foreign direct investment in port reducing costs and bureaucracy, whilst communities. For example, UK freeports are encouraging manufacturing businesses to set split across discrete ‘virtual’ sites, which will up or re-shore. In 2019, the then Department require goods to be tracked and monitored, for International Trade announced that the first obliging freeports to employ digital solutions new Freeports would be established after the UK for improved supply chain integration. left the EU, to turbocharge growth and ensure The British Ports Association says that, towns and cities across the UK benefit from through establishing a clear, globally Brexit trade opportunities. Liz Truss, relevant investment prospectus who headed the department at that based on regional and These time, said that a newly formed national strengths, there use case Freeports Advisory Panel would is significant potential to s highligh be established to advise the attract investment to fuel new an t how government on the creation innovative initiatives and of up to 10 freeports. contribute to regional technolo d existing gy can b In February the following economies through u e se in inn put to year, the government new jobs and wealth ovative ways to increase outlined the benefits of the creation. Innovation port r 2020 Freeports model as will not be confined to and effi esilience including: goods brought into freeports, where benefits ciency. a Freeport not attracting tariffs will be felt across the whole until they leave the Freeport and maritime sector and the UK enter the domestic market; no duty economy. is payable if they are re-exported; when raw materials are imported and processed into Portsmouth International Port: a final good, duties are only paid on the final Connected Logistics good; freeports could be located inland as well The Connected Places Catapult has recently as adjacent to ports. The latter point has the completed a Phase 1 project with Portsmouth potential to reduce relocation or investment International Port based on the connected costs for existing manufacturing sites near ports; logistics theme discussed in the ANPR preand a full customs declaration would not be clearance use case. The ‘SpacePort’ feasibility required to move goods into a Freeport. This project, funded by the Geospatial Commission saves businesses time and makes it easier to in partnership with Innovate UK, successfully import goods. established a novel geospatial solution to E Portsmouth International Port; Shoreham Port; Port of London Authority; Port of Tyne; and Port of Milford Haven.

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Smart Ports

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“The River Thames is a critical artery for leisure and freight traffic. Understanding future behaviour is vital to planners and operators to ensure service resilience is maintained. This project considered the potential value of a reliable and self-learning river level prediction tool for operational decisions, absorbing all the river influence data, and then extrapolated into a climate scenario simulation model – a constantly learning digital twin.”

 streamline port operations, improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of port operations on the city of Portsmouth. This project was a collaboration between MSE International, the Catapult, Portsmouth International Port and Portico, working to show how transferable solutions in port operations can make significant contributions to the UK’s decarbonisation of freight and logistics infrastructure. The project considered the challenges for the port including; the impact of maritime logistics on the city’s air quality; the requirements of the 2050 maritime emissions targets; the congestion in the city centre and surrounding areas and alignment with the city’s transport strategy including the Solent Freeport. The project assessed the diverse geo-spatial and other data resources that could offer solutions as well as undertaking a detailed technical appraisal of available geo-spatial solutions. In addition, the port’s existing logistics systems were reviewed and a detailed use-case mapping exercise conducted to check that all the data resources and positioning and sensing technologies could deliver the functionality required by the port.

can be routinely monitored quickly and safely. Thus, allowing them to quickly prioritise areas for maintenance and plan future maintenance more effectively. Royal HaskoningDHV is continuing to expand its AI-based inspection toolkit for ports to incorporate other extensive structures from quay walls to warehouse roofs.

Shoreham Port: infrastructure condition monitoring In Shoreham, Royal HaskoningDHV has applied its AI-based CREATE platform to identify road and pavement defects in the port. This tool enables inspections of pavements to be undertaken in a lower cost, quicker and safer method, by capturing video images using a camera attached to a vehicle. Images are passed through the Envision engine for defects to be automatically identified and classified. Royal HaskoningDHV is looking at combining this with drone technology so that the condition of large, functional areas of the port

Port of London: Energy Diversity Strategy In the Port of London, Royal HaskoningDHV are working on an Energy Diversity Study for the Thames. The purpose of the study is to model the future energy demand and supply on the tidal Thames as the Port of London Authority (PLA) looks to shape the zero-carbon port for the future. Over the course of the study, researchers assessed the energy solutions (available and emerging) and infrastructure needed to support decarbonisation of the vessels using the Thames, including the PLA’s own fleet and to support

BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

both the PLA and the wider Thames community in making their next steps towards a lower carbon future. Factors considered included the speed of technological change for both the inland and international shipping fleets, future growth, geographic constraints, safety, supply chain, current regulations, and commercial viability. The first phase of the study has highlighted some of the remaining challenges with respect to regulation and safety, but also the opportunities for stakeholders on the Thames as energy supply and demand patterns change. The second phase will consider the feasibility of delivering identified solutions at potential sites, gauging the pros and cons of the best suited options for relevant end users. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://www.britishports.org.uk


Are You Prepared? ISDN / PSTN Switch-Off 2025 Have you considered what exposure or risks the ISDN / PSTN Switch-Off 2025 poses to your organisation? Your telecoms network will have been built historically on these technologies. However, what you are using and where it is located may be an enigma. Voice calls, security, well-being and any equipment reliant on these services will be affected. The longer action is delayed, the more problematic the situation may become. From a completely independent viewpoint, Segmentation Group, with our depth of knowledge in legacy services, can help you gain clarity and remain in control.

Call us on 03300 240480 for a free consultation or email us at info@segmentationgroup.com www.segmentationgroup.com/isdn-/-pstn-switch-off-2025

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Serious games for hybrid working

Hybrid working is new to everyone. Staff are in different places, teams are semidetached, and isolation is a challenge. Group learning is now more important than ever. It is also more difficult. We must bring people together, wherever they are. Games are the perfect solution for hybrid working. They are fun with a serious purpose and clear outcomes. Our games are content-rich, subject-specific, and evidencebased. They help you solve problems, build relationships, and encourage improvement. However you work, our games create a “safe space” for groups to collaborate and learn online, face-to-face or both.

Since 2004 we have developed 100+ games that make training, teaching, and engagement more effective and enjoyable.   Our serious games create engaging learning experiences. Games work with groups and individuals face-toface or remote. No external support and include: CPD & mandatory staff training; diversity & inclusion; and patient and public engagement Our game-based educational tools:Engage, inform and enrich; improve knowledge and confidence; and change thinking and behaviour. L

FURTHER INFORMATION www.FocusGames.com

SMART CITY BUSINESS | MAY 2022

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Well-planned lighting schemes can be influential catalysts to revitalize public spaces and support the growth of towns and cities. By gaining a better understanding of how our public spaces are being connected and may be used, we can think about and plan them in a different way to drive better outcomes.

Let’s get connected Talk to us about making the right connections. Get in touch at logic@urbis-schreder.com


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Lighting up the road to net zero As an increasing number of local authorities declare climate emergencies and join the collective drive to reach net zero emissions, Clare Thomas, Head of Applications and Solutions at Urbis Schréder, looks at the role lighting can play in improving energy efficiency and how, by thinking – and procuring it differently, we can make the connection between good lighting and better outcomes producing significant savings in both energy and CO2 emissions, so we shouldn’t dismiss it, but I think we could be doing even more.

Street lighting accounts for a significant proportion of most local authorities’ overall electricity consumption, especially if assets have not yet been converted to LED. Add to this the fact that outdoor public lighting is also a significant contributor to CO2 emissions, and it’s easy to see the impact poorly planned and managed lighting can have on both the environment and the already-squeezed financial budgets that many local authorities are faced with. It is widely acknowledged that switching from traditional light sources, typically HID, to LED delivers energy savings of 60% or more, and can provide the benefit of reduced maintenance costs. But it’s less well understood that, by taking a different approach to how lighting is procured, it can deliver broader benefits. Lighting can also be a tool for driving town centre recovery, improving mobility and safety and creating adaptable, more engaging public spaces – all of which can contribute to wider improvements. The cost-first approach to procurement The procurement and funding options available to most local authorities are based around whole life ‘value’. Salix funding and other funding mechanisms for LED replacements are all assessed on a whole life payback basis. What does this mean in practical terms? Basically, for large-scale or borough-wide LED replacement projects with public funding, whether undertaken direct or via a maintenance contract, it is a numbers game. The successful bidder will be the one that can work the numbers to deliver as close as possible to the specified lighting class, using the cheapest product that can be deployed as quickly as possible and will consume the smallest amount of energy over the lifetime of the installation. From a practical perspective this means that as an industry, we collectively look at the most efficient way to hit the numbers, including taking a predominantly deskbased approach for the lighting design. That approach has already allowed us to convert several million lanterns to LED,

Thinking differently about procurement to drive better outcomes Over the past few years, our lives – and the way we live them - have changed. We’re now seeing the way people behave and live through a very different lens. We want to see better, more positive outcomes in all aspects of our lives. We want to build stronger relationships and to see more inclusivity in the world, but sustainability and health and safety are also key. So, what has this got to do with procurement? When we procure lighting in a silo, based solely on delivering the light we need in the places we need it at the lowest cost, we risk not seeing the bigger picture. Many of the lighting schemes installed, for both indoor and outdoor applications, seem to focus on tick box compliance against the numbers given within the relevant lighting standards, rather than taking a risk-based approach based on a true understanding of the space and the people using it. I believe this needs to change. Taking a joined-up approach to procurement Lighting has a huge influence on how people think about, and interact with, public spaces. People naturally gravitate towards good lighting and will spend

more time in better lit places. As a result, a well-planned lighting scheme can be an influential catalyst in regenerating public areas and post-Covid, encouraging people back into our town and city centres. But that will only happen if we connect the dots – if the different silos come together and integrate lighting infrastructure into their plans for town centre recovery, or for increasing active mobility or improving safety. Good lighting is a crucial part of the planning process. By gaining a better understanding of how our public spaces are being connected and may be used, we can think about and plan them in a different way. It is time to carefully analyse and explore the potential in each unique location, and to provide lighting solutions that create safe, engaging spaces that people love to be in. By using the right lighting solution, and working together to design, procure and implement it, we can have an instant impact on operational and maintenance costs as well as improving our public spaces, connecting our communities and contributing to the sustainability agenda. So let’s get connected, and make the connection between good lighting and better outcomes. L FURTHER INFORMATION logic@urbis-schreder.com www.urbis-schreder.com

Olympic Way – Wembley Customer Quintain Limited Partner(s) Architect: Dixon Jones Lighting design: Speirs Major Principal contractor: Volker Fitzpatrick

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Waste management and recycling software solutions VWS Software Solutions has been providing end-to-end waste management and recycling software solutions to businesses since 2014. Designed and built from the ground up by a team of experienced professionals from the waste management industry, PurGo is a modular and scalable solution, able to grow with your business and adapt to your changing needs

Initially developed for use in commercial operations, PurGo has now been expanded upon to meet the needs of Local Authorities, especially those striving to make a return on their investment. PurGo represents a fresh approach to Local Authority waste software – with the focus being on streamlining operations for commercial waste collections. Benefits The benefits of the technology and its workflows being cited by users range from huge cost savings, through to streamlined and paperless operations. As the system is live and records and transfers transactions in real time, operators, drivers and system users throughout the business have instant access to powerful business information. Live KPI Round and Customer Profitability reports can be run, along with real time updates on round progress. Such information can help manage and improve customer service and quickly identify trends that are occurring. One waste operator recently quoted an 85 per cent reduction in queries as a result of the improved communication since implementing PurGo! Seamlessly integrated with bin weighing systems from Vehicle Weighing Solutions, real time weight data is recorded in PurGo and enables a fairer billing approach – identifying the weight of the bins collected by customer and charging based on weight. Identification of heavy bins may lead to proactive recommendations to customers to change their waste handling approach,

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in order to reduce their costs or identifying trends that can be addressed to improve operational efficiency. Originally designed for commercial trade waste organisations, PurGo is clearly able to identify in real time those customers who are driving a profit and those who are loss makers. Something often commented on by users of PurGo is that “it is obviously built for commercial waste operators, by people with experience of the industry.” These comments are typically driven by the appreciation of relevant terminology within the software of the workflows that have been specifically built with waste operations in mind - not modifying an alternative solution to be shoe-horned to fit the sector. As well as the native integration with Vehicle Weighing Solutions, other third-party systems can be integrated with PurGo, including accountancy packages. Although PurGo may streamline or replace some processes, existing systems can usually be included. For Local Authorities, management of bulky waste collections and other council related commercial waste operations can all be managed by PurGo. This includes skip hire and household waste recycling centre operations. Recently implemented by Spelthorne Direct Services (SDS), Business Development Manager, Graham Boswell explains: “Other solutions on the market were either expensive for what they offered or were not built for the commercial waste activities that we operate.”

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

He continues: “VWS Software Solutions offers a one stop shop solution and that’s what we needed. “PurGo has a 2-way link with our Sage accounting system, our VWS weighing data and our PurGo CRM so that we can seamlessly generate reports, quotes and manage customers efficiently.” As a customer of Vehicle Weighing Solutions, the SDS vehicles are fitted with EnviroWeigh bin weighing. The data captured from each bin lift is seamlessly integrated into PurGo waste management software and can be used for identifying excess bin weight and charging accordingly. Since implementing the technology, some of the key areas of efficiency noted by Zoey Gingell, Commercial Account Manager at SDS, are the accuracy of the data recorded, due to no manual records and the ease of customer communication. Zoey explains: “With PurGo, we are completely paperless – so much so, that we don’t even own a printer!”. She continues: “The customers can have as much information as they require – it is all there in the system, in real time.” As well as providing information to customers by email or phone, customers are also able to log into their own customer portal to view their account. Duty of care From a duty of care and compliance perspective, PurGo provides a full workshop management module. Zoey explains: “We use PurGo to complete our vehicle checks. The drivers carry out their walk around checks and record any defects on their tablets. Instructions for them to follow are included on the device, so we know that checks are being fully carried out. This information comes straight back into the PurGo back office so we can plan remedial works, if necessary.” Commenting on the features of PurGo and its longevity, Graham Boswell recognises that “It does everything we need and more, and because it is scalable, I don’t think we will ever be able to outgrow it.” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.vwssoftware.com


Smart Lighting

Enhancing the Replication Potential of Smart Lighting Projects In its smart cities paper, researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology explore how smart city lighting projects can be replicated and upscaled successfully To address major threats to the sustainability and quality of life in urban settings, many municipalities have started exploring routes toward smarter cities to, for example, lower their energy consumption and carbon footprint. These explorations, in the form of living labs or other pilot projects, often suffer from major problems in scaling up the initial try-outs. In this study, we identify the mechanisms that facilitate the diffusion of smart city solutions, which are developed with public funds but typically lack dedicated resources to spur the diffusion of these solutions. We introduce the construct of embedded replication potential - the capacity of an original project to be either scaled up locally or replicated elsewhere. Subsequently, empirical findings from a study of smart lighting projects in several municipalities in northwestern Europe serve to develop a checklist-based tool for assessing the embedded replication potential of an initial project and to assess the replication potential of other smart city projects. New innovative products often require substantial upfront investments by adopters to achieve major gains such as improved energy efficiency or enhanced quality of life. As such

To overcome these boundaries, all stakeholders involved have to adopt a “broader” perspective. However, many stakeholders may not be able to invest sufficient resources (e.g., time) to become familiar with the worldview of others. Using Boundary As such, innovation scholars have Objects A demonstrated that knowledge to Enable growin g sharing and collaboration benefit Knowledge numbe from so-called boundary objects, Sharing r o f municip involving abstract or physical A key challenge appreci alities artifacts with the capacity to in smart city bridge perceptual and practical projects is that they potenti ate the a differences among diverse inherently involve l o f an active d actors and thereby promote highly diverse cooperation. Boundary objects actors, representing with re ialogue sidents may include models, graphs, different backgrounds visual representations, tools. Using and institutional settings. a combination of boundary objects More specifically, people improves the effectiveness and efficiency of with highly different backgrounds knowledge transfer. often do not have enough common “language” to effectively engage in conversations about Involving residents collaboration. In this respect, three types of in decision making knowledge boundaries have been identified in Many municipal staff members appear to focus innovation processes: syntactic, semantic and on obtaining a minimum level of stakeholder E pragmatic boundaries. investments are often associated with high costs, the decision to allocate resources may involve numerous factors that can hinder the adoption decision.

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Assessment and Strategy Development We help to develop a scalable strategy and roadmap aligned with your business’s needs. Your strategy will account for data security and integrity, prevent downtime, offer cost savings, and include staff training. Migration Our team of experts will migrate your infrastructure, services and apps to the cloud, allowing you to optimise all shared services and hosting solutions in a more secure and scalable ecosystem. Cloud Resource Optimisation Once in the cloud, our optimisation specialist will identify the most cost-effective way to leverage cloud services. Your enterprise will enjoy cost savings and centralised management–without limiting service availability or accessibility. Capitalise on Cloud Infrastructure with Us RSV Solutions is the perfect partner to organisations ready to migrate to cloud hosting. Our team of cloud infrastructure specialists are adept in all hyperscale cloud provider solutions and multi-cloud models, including Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. We have successfully: Migrated legacy technology including WebSphere, Tivoli, mainframes, AIX, Solaris, W2000+, RHEL3+, and many more; created optimised networks using a range of solutions for running services from the cloud in a significantly faster and more secure way than on-premise; delivered streamlined governance through the creation of tailored business cases, complete security assessments, allowing us to complete migrations in months not years; and built Cloud Landing Zones using our repeatable, script deployable solutions

Experts with Private & Public Sector Experience Our team has gained experience by delivery key projects to the UK Public sector and system integrators, and the finance sector. Infrastructure as Code Capabilities We have a strong focus on infrastructure as code. With Infrastructure as Code, we’re able to automate the delivery of services where possible, including patches, resiliency, provisioning and self-healing. Benefits of implementing IaC include reduce support costs, increasing a client’s network agility, and improved service reliability. Modernise Your Applications with us RSV Solutions is equipped with various tools and methods to move even the oldest applications. Your organisation will benefit from modern, cloud-native services that are elastic, self-aware, self-healing, can auto-scale, can be deployed by script, are evergreen, secure and resilient, and are supported with full health and security 24×7 monitoring. We have a team of expert consultants ready to design a modernisation plan aligned with your business profile and risk appetite. We’re ready to handle even the oldest of applications, and ensure that your organisation doesn’t lose productivity while we help you transition. We’ll help you: Discover and identify the most appropriate treatment; build a Business Case and Roadmap for transformation; transform people (skills, training, experience), processes (cloud-native, CICD, DevOps, SecOps, FinOps) and technology (automation, standardisation, simplification) for this modern way of working; decommission legacy estate and

Gain Control of Your Cloud Network with Us RSV Solutions offers fully managed, comanaged, and interim managed cloud network services. We’re able to manage your networking

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BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

realise full benefits of the cloud; and manage your modernisation project and complete it expediently with zero impact on your operation Create Your Digital Workplace With Us RSV Solutions is the go-to digital transformation partner for public and private sector organisations. We’ve been behind some of the most ambitious projects that have transformed organisations, enabling higher levels of productivity through the use of smart technology. Strategic Solutions Transformation should start at the beginning of your move to the cloud, but we’ve found that it can start anywhere between developing a business case for a digital workplace solution and being in the throes of a roll-out that hasn’t been executed efficiently. Our team of experts is ready to meet you where you are to help develop and implement the right digital workplace solution for your organisation. Our scope of services include: Planning and implementation of digital workplace solutions, backed by strong project management expertise and experience in private and public sector; endto-end managed migrations from your legacy environment to a new greenfield Microsoft tenant; management of Exchange Online, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft security and compliance; a single point of contact for managing and maintaining your Microsoft 365 environment; and we have a number of base and advanced services covering Microsoft 365 end-to-end, including Teams Voice, Device Management and Information Management L FURTHER INFORMATION www.rsvsolutions.co.uk


Smart Lighting

 acceptance. For instance: “They think there are going to be small steps, but at the end it’s going to be a big change in their personal life so their acceptance is very important” (municipality #F); “If we tell the residents that we are going to lower the lights they will really think something and express their opinions… if we don’t tell anything they wouldn’t even notice. So probably it’s better not to tell too much to the residents” (municipality #H); “We want to learn how to work together with the users and other stakeholders like shop owners; sometimes it is very difficult to communicate with them and there is a conflict of interest” (municipality #C). Likewise, municipal representatives acknowledged ample opportunities to collaborate with business owners; for instance: “we’ll be talking with them to develop the proposals … Also, how to communicate with all these stakeholders is important” (municipality #D); “I think we can ask about issues from the people themselves because when you have some regional arguments in different parts of the city it’s the people there who best know what’s going on specifically” (municipality #F). However, the resources and capabilities of the municipalities appear to be an important limiting factor, since several municipalities had major difficulties in facilitating the meaningful inclusion of residents. Our earlier argument about use cases serving as boundary objects is also relevant here: “But I think if we have some sort of solutions to show them [referring to the ones developed within the project], they’re able to tell if this fits with their particular situation” (municipality #F). Similarly, another representative from the same municipality talked about an interest-based (as opposed to geographical) clustering of resident involvement targeting, for example, “cyclists to ask them what the problems are and what the situation is, because we’re thinking about how improve the streets themselves, but it might be an additional part of the solution to help them feel safer by

Once a pilot project nears completion, its momentum tends to slow down; as a result, various participants have little motivation to pursue replication elsewhere, even if the solution appears to be highly appropriate giving them a better lighting situation.” Overall, our data suggest a growing number of municipalities appreciate the potential of an active dialogue with residents as an important driver of adopting smart lighting. Boundary objects serve as knowledge carriers between locations as well as focal points for conversations on adoption. A testament to the efficacy of such boundary objects is that the followercity representatives became fully engaged in exploring how use cases developed elsewhere could be implemented in their own city. Including an Intermediary One key challenge in replicating projects is that some or all implementation roles are fulfilled by different parties. This exchange of partners creates an additional problem around knowledge transfer. In this respect, replication efforts can be reinforced by including an intermediary organisation in the consortium to gather insights from individual projects and disseminates knowledge and network contacts to new initiatives. Strong leadership The existence of a strong leader enables members to move toward a shared vision, to align their investments and to develop mutually supportive roles. The leader also has to mobilise all participants around a strong vision of implementing and scaling up the developed solutions. In an ideal situation, this vision is created at an early (pilot) stage. A

challenge in replicating smart city innovations is that, once a pilot project nears completion, its momentum tends to slow down. As a result, various participants have little motivation to pursue replication elsewhere, even if the solution appears to be highly appropriate. Where commercial firms have a market incentive for replication, public organisations may not. Procuring Standard Solutions Municipalities tend to prefer standardised products, which are perceived as beneficial for at least two reasons. The first reason is costs. With higher economies of scale, standard products typically outcompete fully customised units, even if the integration of the standard product is customised for a specific municipality. The second reason is the expectation of future compatibility and interoperability, in both replacing these units and adding further functionalities. Momentum Once a pilot project nears completion, its momentum tends to slow down; as a result, various participants have little motivation to pursue replication elsewhere, even if the solution appears to be highly appropriate. This problem partially arises from how the principal–agent relationship between the (public) funding body and the consortium is structured. Publicly funded projects typically measure the impact of the innovative solution within the (funded) project duration itself, rather than beyond it, E Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Bacula Systems: experts in data backup and recovery Government Business interviews Frank Barker, CEO of Bacula Systems, in which he shares his thoughts on the security challenges facing government departments unable to recover from attack, resulting in catastrophic damage. Although cyber security tools are used to protect networks and overall attack surfaces in the first instance, it is the backup and recovery system which is relied on to have the ability to quickly restore services to normal levels when all else fails or has failed. However, we have seen many examples of organisations lately that have been hit by ransomware or other threat actors, yet have not been able to quickly, nor easily recover – if at all. Government leaders need to understand why and how these dangers exist, and how supporting their IT departments - in a number of various ways, can make a big difference.

Frank Barker is the CEO of Bacula Systems, which provides advanced backup and recovery solutions to many western government agencies

Why is executive involvement and support in making sure an organisation’s IT systems are secure more necessary than ever before? Frank: The stakes are much higher than before. Ransomware and other types of cyberattacks are more sophisticated and more prevalent now, happening against a backdrop of growing geo-political tensions. That is why government leaders need to be personally involved in ensuring their departments have been protected to the highest levels. Traditionally, government and business leaders have been happy to leave their IT departments to be responsible for data security. That approach is no longer tenable - guidance, support, communication and accountability in both directions is needed between the IT chiefs and the organisations’ directors in order to attain the true levels of security that are needed in today’s world. How can an enterprise backup solution strengthen an organisation’s resilience in the event of a natural disaster or large cyber attack?

The government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that nearly four in ten UK businesses had experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months. How important is it that government leaders fully understand opportunities to improve cyber security, especially in the context of backup and recovery?

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Frank: Backup infrastructure can be considered the last, and I would argue therefore most important, line of defence in situations that involve ransomware and other sophisticated cyber attacks. However, because of this, backup repositories have also become a target themselves by these same threats. If not well protected, backup and recovery systems can also be compromised and a government organisation’s services become

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

Frank: Backup systems exists primarily to get an organisation’s systems up and running again as soon as possible after they go down for whatever reason. When the moment comes that it is needed – and it will be needed – the organisations’ ability to successfully and quickly recover its services represents the ultimate resilience. But there are other ways a good backup system can provide significant defence against attack. For example, being able to immediately identify any suspicious or hostile


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data modifications within any part of the infrastructure and report them automatically. Another example would the ability to translate backed up data into a different format or media, encrypting it and storing it off-site or at other destinations that are clear and separate of the attack or accident. This demonstrates how a backup system can increase an organisation leader’s options dramatically when facing a disaster scenario. Strategy for business continuity inherently involves the decision-makers in an organisation. For example, some government services are more time-critical than others. Other services are more mission critical, but are somewhat tolerant to a limited downtime. Some databases are more critical than others. Government leaders need to be involved in identifying which data, applications and services take the priority in a disaster recovery situation. What other reasons are there to use enterprise backups? Frank: Backup systems are also often used by IT departments to redeploy or replicate systems, but what’s important to government leaders is that these same systems are typically critical for helping to meet the requirements of their organisation’s compliance frameworks. Privacy policies and disclosures related to data protection, for example, or facilitating specific data encryption needs, data retention schedules, breach notifications and forensic examination of systems would be just a few important factors. It’s important to know that, as part of governmental digital transformation programs, improving data governance capacity

is key. Enterprise backup systems often play an important role in enabling the collaborative management of government-wide data, and contribute towards the ability to manage and align various data-related programs and IT infrastructures with public service objectives. But the obvious priority objective would be ensuring continuity of services in the face of a cyber-attack or other disaster. The prime purpose of a ransomware is to get inside a networked system. How can businesses protect backups from ransomware? Frank: There are many ways a government - or any - organisation can protect their backup system from ransomware. I would urge government leaders to check that their organisation is using a backup solution that is modern and up to date, and that their IT team has all the support it needs from the organisation’s directors to be able to execute correctly. Its backup software must be able to conform with best practices, and should really go well beyond the minimum government guidelines. Bacula’s backup system uses an especially resilient architecture that makes it extremely resistant to ransomware. It is used by western military and defence departments, as well as large government research laboratories that need high security backup. I’m proud that my organisation, by modernising governmental departments’ backup systems, has simultaneously brought about a significant reduction in their costs, freeing up funds to invest in other areas. Government leaders can protect their organisations from ransomware

in a wider sense by running through a checklist of sensible precautions. An example of these actions would be identifying all assets that are searchable via online tools and then taking steps to reduce their attack exposure. Developing an organisation-wide culture where each knowledge worker has an awareness of the importance of good security habits is also crucial. There are many aspects where the staff of a government department can significantly contribute to security, such as using caution with email, or choosing and protecting passwords correctly. Working from home networks can introduce further exposure to danger, and everyone in government should be aware of the reasons why. Of course, IT departments typically have additional tools at their disposal to protect and monitor networks, users and infrastructure. Bacula provides a white paper to help government leaders navigate all of these important factors from their own high-level perspective. BaculaSystems’ checklist against ransomware for organisation leaders is available here. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.baculasystems.com

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Recruitment Difficulties Remain at Record Highs - Quarterly Recruitment Outlook 4 out of 5 (78%) firms that attempted to recruit facing difficulties in finding staff. Hospitality, construction, logistics and manufacturing firms most likely to report difficulties (80% or higher) but all sectors have significant issues. Smaller firms reporting increasing wage pressures are making it harder to compete for staff Figures released in late April by the British Chambers of Commerce show the pressure on firms struggling to recruit staff remains at record high levels. The data for the leading business group’s Quarterly Recruitment Outlook survey for Q1 2022 was drawn from a survey of 5,500 businesses.   Attempted recruitment in Q1 was down slightly with 60% looking to recruit staff (64% in Q4 2021). However, the proportion of firms reporting difficulties filling roles remains at a historical high at 78%, dropping just one percentage point from the previous quarter (79%).  The hospitality sector was facing the most challenging recruitment issues, with 85%, reporting difficulties, up from 83% in Q4 2021. This was closely followed by construction on 83%, logistics on 81% and manufacturers at 80%. Retail and wholesale firms were the least likely to report difficulties at 69% but the proportions of firms that cannot find the staff they need remains worryingly high.   Views from business Firms reported a broad range of issues which contributed to the overall recruitment squeeze – this included disruption due to Covid and a drop in the availability of foreign staff. More firms are also reporting that wage competition is proving disruptive. “We are finding it difficult to recruit all levels of staff. Applicants are able to choose between several employers as we are all chasing the same people. They feel we are on the edge of the Midlands but still expect Wolverhampton / Birmingham salaries.” Medium sized professional services firm in Shropshire “We are prepared to pay more for the right people, but there just seems to be no one to employ. If we cannot get staff our service slips drastically because we don’t have enough people to serve our customers.” Micro hospitality firm in Scotland Responding to the findings, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Jane Gratton said:     “It’s now harder than ever for businesses to fill job vacancies and

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there are no signs of improvement. In an increasingly tight labour market, competition for skills is ramping up wage costs, leaving many firms unable to recruit the people they need. “When combined with the escalating price of energy, shipping, raw materials and other costs, it is a precarious situation for businesses. Inevitably, it is the smaller firms, with little in the way of cash reserves after two years of pandemic, who are most exposed to the risk all this presents. “The UK government needs to take concrete action to address labour shortages as they are a key factor in the economy’s stuttering recovery. If firms cannot get the people they need then productivity and revenue are two of the first casualties. “Government must also ensure that people can access rapid retraining

BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

opportunities for in-demand jobs at all skill levels in the workforce. At the same time, where there is clear evidence of national shortages damaging the economy, we need temporary visas for hard working people willing to come to the UK to work in the essential every-day roles that we all rely on. “Businesses are investing more in developing home grown talent - and creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce – but this won’t solve pervasive skills shortages overnight. Right now, the priority has to be to improve access to skills and ease the wider cost pressures facing business.” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.britishchambers.org.uk


Smart Lighting

 which potentially incentivises consortia to focus on immediate implementation instead of long-term impact. One way to avoid a loss of momentum is to plan for significant efforts in coordinating replication activities in the original project. Replication Checklist for Smart Lighting Applications 14 checklist items were developed by synthesizing the findings of the research. An initial test demonstrated that the tool serves to assess the design of a (proposed or ongoing) project; it also appears to facilitate discussions about the scope of the project. Moreover, the tool can be deliberately used as a selfassessment instrument when the project owner and its stakeholders evaluate the incorporation of replication-enhancing strategies into the current state of the project. The outcomes of multiple users assessing a single project may not only facilitate discussions about the project’s design but also help monitor the project’s progress at a later stage. In any case, the tool serves to prevent some activities and strategies that would be completely neglected. The tool may have a significant impact in scrutinising consortia-based applications for (publicly funded) projects. Indeed, gaining followers is key to the success of any original application project—from both an energy-saving and an environmental impact point of view. The checklist can be viewed here. Technology transfer The construct of embedded replication potential and the tool for measuring it may appeal to public funding agencies as a valuable approach for estimating the impact potential of any sustainability project in an urban context. This approach may work both ways. First, funding agencies can request substantial efforts in embedding replication potential in project proposals, especially those aiming to develop and apply novel technologies in use cases; this would make it easier to transfer the technology to other sites. Second, project managers that seek funding for replication activities need to engage in substantial efforts to identify previous projects and their outcomes, to subsequently transfer (some of) that knowledge to reduce the transaction costs of the replication project envisioned. Either way, the tool developed in this paper may inspire funding agencies and project owners to enhance the replication potential of their funded projects and thus make our cities more sustainable. L Extracts published from “Enhancing the Replication Potential of Smart Lighting Projects” by Dr. Madis Talmar, Prof. Dr. Georges Romme, Prof. Rianne Valkenburg. Academic Editor: Pierluigi Siano. Cofunded by the Regional Development Fund under the transnational program Interreg North-West Europe, project number NWE647. The APC was funded by the Eindhoven University of Technology. FURTHER INFORMATION Access the full research: https://tinyurl.com/2p8ktkwt

Issue 29.3 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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ADVERTISERS INDEX Business Information for Local and Central Government

Alert Technology Ltd

34

Jones Lang Lasalle Limited

32

Aryza UK Services

26

Lapsafe Self Service

46

LFS Fire

34

Bacula Systems

8, 74-75

Big Dug

36

Office Furniture

36

BW Legal Services

24

Ogel IT Ltd

50

Calfordseaden LLP

28

Philips Monitors

48

Certes

18

Purified Air

10

Colas Limited

30

Revbits

44

Corporate Government Risk

16

RSV Solutions

72

6

Rubb Buildings

42

Dupree International

ESPO

20

Saville Group

14

EX1 Digital Forensic Services

52

Schneider Electric

54

Fellowes Ltd

22

Segmentation Group

67

Sodexo Motivation Solutions UK Ltd

IFC

Focus Games Ltd

58, 67

Glasdon UK Ltd

34

Thames Barrier

38

Green Estate

38

Trent Port Services

64

4

Urbis Schreder Ltd

68-69

Honeywell Commercial

78

The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service

ISS

12

Jockey Club Racecourses Ltd

40

VWS Software

BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

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Business Information for Local and Central Government

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