Ensuring the safety of the UK

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office, recently announced that the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will be launching in October 2016.  Based in London, the NCSC hopes to ensure that citizens, public & private sector organisations and the UK’s critical national infrastructure remains safer online.


Latest Research Paper:

Your Quick Guide to Seizing  
the Information Advantage

Done well, records and information management helps your organisation limit information risk, manage costs and lay the foundation for successful data analytics.

Most organisations have two priorities; the first is managing risk to satisfy regulators and protect against loss or breach, and the second is value extraction. The goal is to find the balance where threats are minimised, legal requirements are observed and information delivers insights that help meet customer and stakeholder expectation.

This balance point is your information advantage. Latest research from PwC and Iron Mountain indicates that very few organisations are able to achieve the information advantage.

Click here to find out more.

Prepare or ‘Meet thy Doom’ from 2018

Socitm suggests that councils should look at the information governance arrangements they currently have in place and prepare for the enforcement of the new regulations that are likely to be in place from 2018.  Supplier organisations should equally be planning for more demanding compliance enquiries from their customers in local public service delivery, and from the citizen/business users of those services too.

Despite the ‘cheers’, there are real fears

The introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) last week will push services caring for our elderly & disabled towards breaking point and a care provider crisis closer to reality without new social care funding being provided, council leaders say.  The LGA said councils support the new NLW – which came into force on 1 April 2016 – but warns it risks destabilising the care provider market by adding a significant cost to the social care system. Councils have already had to close a £5bn funding gap in social care since 2010 and are continuing to struggle with major ongoing pressures.

Helping small businesses ‘tune-up’ their digital skills
Applications are now open for funding to support 10,000 businesses with their digital skills - thanks to a new partnership between Tinder Foundation and Google.   UK online centres can apply for up to £3,500 to help businesses (primarily sole traders & owners/employees of ‘microbusinesses’ with 0-9 employees) develop their digital skills in order to save time & increase turnover, using the Google Digital Garage.

UK online centres:  Funding to support businesses with digital skills

Google Digital Garage

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

What ‘experts’ generated this scheme?

Despite awarding £2.8bn in subsidies to power companies the government’s scheme to ensure a secure energy supply for businesses & households in the UK is failing, according to a new report published by IPPR.   The report says the government’s ‘capacity market’ – an annual auction to guarantee energy supply (which was introduced in 2014) – is providing poor value for money for bill-payers, cuts across plans to reduce carbon emissions and is too focused on large power stations at the expense of more efficient & flexible ‘demand management’ technologies.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
88% of people miss common warning signs of a pensions scam - such as unusually high investment returns, cold calling & offers of free financial advice - despite feeling confident they can spot fraudsters’ tricks.  A new report from Citizens Advice, ‘Too good to be true’, reveals a mismatch between people’s confidence in spotting a scam and their ability to do so. 76% said they are confident they can identify a pension scam but just 12% were actually able to do so when a scam was presented to them.

CAB:  Consumers missing pension scam warning signs

An opportunity to improve the skills & confidence of your staff
Recently the MoD hosted the second annual Partnering with Defence conference.  Attendees were given an overview of how regular employer engagement is making a difference to the ‘defence people’ agenda.  The day focused on the value of military skills and the potential for that talent pool to make a significant contribution to the prosperity of a business. Opportunities for employers in all sectors to work with defence to ensure fair treatment for servicemen and women in the commercial environment were also explored.

MoD:  Partnering with Defence 2016: national employer conference shows growing commitment from employers to defence

DRM: Support for Britain's Reservists & Employers

Check your cover courtesy of Ofcom

People & businesses can check the quality & coverage of mobile & broadband services by postcode, using a powerful new interactive tool from Ofcom.  The Mobile and Broadband Checker uses coverage, availability and speeds data, collected directly by Ofcom from major communications providers. This has not been readily accessible to consumers and businesses before.

The Islanders have made their wishes clear
Argentina has announced a planned expansion of its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 660,000 square miles.  This follows it’s submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in April 2009 to extend the outer limit of its continental shelf.  The CLCS has now concluded its study, although its recommendations are not yet public.  However, the UN’s press release makes it clear that the Rules of Procedure of the CLCS establish that it cannot consider areas where there are overlapping claims as to the continental shelf, or other disputes as to the delimitation of boundaries.
Researched Links...
Editorial Comment:
Even if the Government ‘get the policy(s) right’, poor communication & implementation often limits their success
A selection of Parliamentary Committee reports recently published illustrates the fact that what a government aims to achieve with its policies may start out with ‘good intentions’, but all too frequently end up only being partially successful when it comes to implementation, often because of poor communication.
Patient Safety Alert

Patient Safety Alert issued by NHS England around the prioritisation of general practice home visits.  When a request for a home visit is made, it is vital that general practices have a system in place to assess:

  • whether a home visit is clinically necessary; and
  • the urgency of need for medical attention.

NHS England:  Patient safety alert – prioritisation of general practice home visits


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

IPPR:  New research on EU migrants finds mixed picture on jobs, benefits and housing

DfE:  Nicky Morgan: leaving the EU risks a lost generation

PC&PE:  Government should focus on positive vision for future EU reform


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

The civil service has always prided itself on its mobility - but it has always been a myth, said David Walker on the network last week. Few people from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds come anywhere near the entry points for a Whitehall career, let alone make it to the top, and the man replacing Sir Nick Macpherson (educated at Eton and Oxford) at the Treasury illustrates this pattern.
Meanwhile, unless average earners are prepared to pay higher taxes, the future for public services looks bleak, says Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics. "It is delusional to believe the UK could have significantly higher public expenditure by only taxing the rich or by stopping tax avoidance. The public would have to assent to paying higher income tax, VAT or other big taxes," he says.

On the network
Bin the paper, kill off tick boxes – how to fix civil service appraisals

The favoured few in Whitehall must step aside for the less privileged
To address its social mobility problem, the civil service must accept some hard truths about background and attainment

End the costly, energy-sapping political games over Whitehall procurement

The UK cannot run Sweden’s welfare state with ​US tax levels
Unless average earners are prepared to pay higher taxes, the future for public services looks bleak

I take your 999 calls, but I don't know where you are

Volunteering kept me going but now austerity has killed my museum
I fought to keep my local museum open for the staff, volunteers, community, and children – but my voice was ignored

News in brief
• Children in care homes 'excessively criminalised'
• Manchester sex workers' rights case collapses after five years
• Libraries facing 'greatest crisis' in their history
• National living wage hits services already at breaking point - LGA