When IT Meets Politics

November 27, 2007  8:55 AM

I blame John Humphries

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

Many of the centralised, top-down projects (doomed to fail before they even start) of recent years result from the need for Ministers to respond to media demands for “something to be done” about the scandal of the day.

Continued »

November 25, 2007  10:24 PM

Doomed from inception

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

Most public sector ‘partnerships’ are doomed before the procurement begins, let alone the implementaton. The exceptions are where service recipients and delivery partners are fully involved in the initial planning.

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November 24, 2007  11:01 AM

Death by Data Protection

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
Consumer confidence, HMRC, Information risk management, Information security

Those who believe in the benefits of the on-line world must act rapidly and effectively to turn the current backlash against its perceived insecurity into well-informed votes of customer confidence in those who practice, not just preach, secure information sharing.

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November 21, 2007  7:35 AM

There but for the grace of God goes your CIO/CFO

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
HMRC, information assurance, Information security

Much will be written about the loss of a couple of CDs of personal data by HMRC. But it is those organisations which track their data and report such losses that are publicly crucified. Those that keep quiet and cover up…

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November 20, 2007  7:17 AM

Trusted, sustainable partnership or cynical manipulation?

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
China, government, Identity management, NCVO, SubPostmasters, Tesco, trust, YiWu

“Who do you trust? The Government, Marmite, Michael Fish .. Tesco .. ? So begins Matthew Gwyther, in a Management Today editorial on corporate trust. Debate over on-line trust is even more surreal.

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November 16, 2007  9:47 AM

Lions led by donkeys: the 1918 Whitehall time-capsule

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
Successful Delivery, Whitehall

Last week, in describing the challenge of moving towards citizen-centric service delivery, Sir David Varney reminded his audience that the current structure of Whitehall dates back to 1918, when Lloyd George’s coalition government decided to organise the post World-War 1 public services in vertical silos, each with its own legislative powers. In order to protect against abuse the agencies were often forbidden to share information except under specific circumstances.

The minutes of the first of the EURIM “Transformational Government Dialogues are now available and help explain why the reform of public service delivery is so important, why it is so difficult and why technology enthusiasts are all too often part of the problem, not the solution,

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November 14, 2007  10:35 AM

A single European Telecoms Market v. The Global Internet

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

Yesterday the European Commission published its plans for a Single European Telecommunications Market . Meanwhile the Internet faced a “Bretton Woods Moment” .

The Bretton Woods Conference, which created the world systems for commercial and financial management was even less well reported in the world press in July 1944 than the

Internet Governance Forum on Rio de Janeiro that is happening this week. But the consequences of the IGF meeting are likely to be at least as profound.

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November 14, 2007  9:30 AM

How resilient is your infrastructure

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
gps, Ofcom, Resilience

Yesterday I received the following “Update” from Ofcom

“New Ofcom notification service – advanced notice of possible interuption to Global Positioning Systems: The Ministry of Defence conduct occasional tests on military systems which may result in some loss of service to civilian users of the Global Positioning System (GPS) including in-car navigation devices and networks which rely on GPS signals. Ofcom has today launched a new email update notification service to give advanced notification of these tests – To sign up for these email updates please register here: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/subscribe/select_list.htm

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November 13, 2007  11:15 AM

Who should be reponsible for on-line security?

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
information assurance, Internet security

Yesterday the Cabinet Office Mnister, Gillian Merron MP presided over the launch of the annual Get Safe On-line security awareness campaign. The GSOL website now includes material on business, as well as consumer protection and every customer-facing website should have a hot-link. And if you think the material needs improving, join up and help improve it.

Those at the launch event heard the usual barrage of statistics, this time from a survey of 2000 adults conducted by ICM in October. Three hit home.

– 88% of end users (and 99% of SMEs) now have some form of Internet Security software,

– 73% believe some-one else should have prime responsbility for their on-line security, usually those who want them to transact on-line (i.e. only 27% beleive they themselves should have prime responsbility)

– 36% will not bank on-line (and 21% will not even shop on-line).

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November 11, 2007  5:20 PM

Funding for high level ICT skills updating slashed

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo
ICT skills

Do you agree with the decision by the new Department for Innovation Universities and Skills to withdraw funding for ICT skills updating programmes, including the MSc conversion programmes that are our main source of high level security skills.

If so, do nothing.

If not read the HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) consultation on the Withdrawal of funding for equivalent or lower qualfications and reply before the 7th December.

The Conservative Government similarly withdrew funding for MSc Conversion Courses twenty years ago, helping exacerbate the then IT skills crisis and triggering the start of the trend towards offshoring..

The effect of this short-sighted action will be to hasten the demise of what is left – because the “exemptions” for critical skills in short supply do not currently include those needed to produce reliable, secure ICT systems, network or content. Such skills need continual updating – and MSc Conversion courses are one of the main sources.

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