by Richard Steel

Socitm’s patron

Apr 21, 20093 mins
Security Software

I took a camera to Birmingham, intending to take photos at the Consulting event, but forgot, as I often do.

Chris isn’t very happy, as she is making a scrap-book of my year as Socitm President, but I keep failing to provide her with material!

I remembered the camera as I skirted Parliament Square, today, for an information Assurance Events Advisory Board meeting at One Birdcage Walk, so took a picture of the continuing Tamil demonstration (but then thought better of publishing it!)

There is now a website for the UK’s Information Assurance Community, which includes events information, and a link to IA09, on 6th & 7th July. It’s hoped for a good attendance from Local Government, this year, and we already have two bookings – double last year’s number!

After the IAEAB meeting, I went on to The Adelphi, in John Adam Street, for an “Ocean & PSN Workshop”, chaired by Philip Littleavon, to plan a two day event to promote engagement with the Public Services Network developments by the Local Public Sector. We were joined by representatives of Buying Solutions, the DWP, Cabinet Office, and Vic Freir and Mark Brett on behalf of Socitm.

We decided the event will take place on 15th/ 16th September, probably at the School of Government, in Sunningdale, and target the Local CIO Council and its members’ Heads of Finance to ensure effective financial planning.

Whilst this won’t be a technical event, it’s important we are able to effectively articulate the Public Services Network rationale, and the Ocean Programme’s role.

We’ll undertake further work in this regard, ahead of the event, and it’s important we use the opportunity for the local public sector to influence the PSN specification and requirements – especially in areas like flexible working and digital convergence.

The work planned last Thursday, on pan-Government security vision, and a single Information Governance model for Government, will hopefully play into this work.

They’ll be a high-profile keynote address, and facilitated streams covering topics such as the Business Case, “Thorny Issues”, the Network and Security. The report-back from the Gartner Benchmark study of Government Connect value versus alternatives will (hopefully) support the case for investment.

You may remember that Lord Anthony St John of Bletso last year hosted a Socitm London Branch meeting at the House of Lords on behalf of 2e2 – our sponsor (and is again doing so, this year, on 7th May). This evening I met Lord Anthony with Terry Burt, 2e2’s Managing Director, and Andre Tytheridge, to discuss Socitm patronage. He entertained us to drinks in the Peers’ Guests Room and, I’m delighted to say, has agreed to become our first Patron!

As Socitm’s Patron, Lord Anthony will promote our cause and introduce us to Ministers and Senior Civil Servants when the opportunities arise, when appropriate, will ask questions in the House on our behalf, and host occasional events in the House of Lords. He becomes an honorary member of the Society and will support and facilitate our developing Policy agenda and lobbying for effective Transformational Government Policy.

Lord Anthony is an enthusiastic supporter of ICT as an enabler of efficient Government, and of Community engagement through ICT and, until recently, chaired UK Citizens Online. I’m very grateful to our friends from 2e2 for the introduction.