by Richard Steel

BT’s Italian job

Apr 05, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

Richard Carde and I met with Sean Harney and colleagues from Orange to discuss collaboration linked to Newham’s Telecommunications programme, and 2012.

We agreed to work together strategically, and will develop a Memorandum of Understanding, and Non-Disclosure Agreement, under which we’ll share information, our business case and seek to agree a common roadmap.

Tim Allen hosted a meeting at the LGA’s offices in Smith Square to discuss the Collaborative Government ICT Procurement Strategy being worked-on by the OGC at the behest of the Central CIO Council. Pippa Bass, Director of Procurement Efficiency at the OGC, and Chris Kynaston, who is managing the project, also attended. Chris circulated the paper developed for the CIOC ahead of our meeting, which was agreed as being, on the whole, a reasonable approach to tackling obvious efficiency requirements.

Tim called the meeting to ensure that the wider Local Government community were appropriately consulted, and in order that organisations like the LGA and Socitm can lend appropriate support to the initiative. We agreed to set-up a time-limited team with representation from the LGA, Socitm, Local Government Delivery Council and IDeA to facilitate these requirements.

Concerning the paper, my main concern was that it doesn’t seem adequately to reflect the fact that efficient procurement isn’t just about the least cost, but must facilitate market moving developments – rather than encourage stifling of innovation by encouraging suppliers to bid old technology, sweating their sunk investment, but delaying deployment of technology to benefit the wider public sector and communities it supports.

The fibre outage in Stratford, which resulted from 2012 contractors cutting through BT’s main fibre in the area, didn’t affect Newham’s main network, but feeder services to some small / outlying sites were lost.