by Richard Steel

One Small Step…

Feb 12, 20092 mins

The PSF’s Ian Cuddy told me he’s had a letter from the Cabinet Office saying that the Central CIO and CTO Council meetings are going, henceforth, to publish the minutes of their meetings.

Great stuff and cheering news following experience reported earlier this week! PSF started a bit of a campaign for transparency, last month, citing Socitm’s stewardship of the Local CIO Council as an exemplar.

Today’s scheduled Government Connect Benefits Realisation Awards Ratification Committee was again postponed.

Philip Littleavon wrote, today, to GC Board members acknowledging that “there has been a fair amount of discussion and concern about the recent batch of letters to local authorities”. As he and Paul Howarth (Head of the DWP Housing Strategy Division) now see it, key issues going forward are:

  1. “Paul & I to agree and communicate a clear documented message with respect to the DWP data access policy defining what authorities should do if they feel they will not achieve compliance by 31 March. Also to describe the position if compliance is achieved by 31 March, but the live configuration process extends beyond this date.
  2. “It is now unlikely further bulk communications will be necessary, but GC will look to work closely with the LGA / Socitm / IDeA to help with authorities we perceive to be at risk or not engaging sufficiently well. It is important that all discussions are closely coordinated with Anna Smith to ensure clarity and coordination.”

The main theme in response to Socitm’s broadcast asking for evidence of inappropriate support from GC was of contradictions between advice provided by the Account Managers and the content of the letters. Authorities have considered the Account Managers their main points of contact, and assumed any information provided to them was shared with the team and that, on the other hand, the Account Managers spoke for the Team, and their advice could be relied upon. This doesn’t seem unreasonable; otherwise why set-up accounts management arrangements?

I hope, therefore, that Philip is communicating these messages to his Account Support people.

Have a good weekend.