Was it worth the wait?
Following Sir John Chilcot's public statement and the publication of the Report of the Iraq Inquiry, the official Iraq Inquiry website provides access to the Executive Summary and the Report, Sir John’s statement in full, all supporting documents, review transcripts & recordings of the original hearings.

Iraq Inquiry Website

Brexit’s Article 50 ‘negotiating period’ will probably not end until at least 4+months of EU GDPR regulation

It’s just a few weeks since the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office set out what guidance organisations could expect & when around a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was on track to come into force in the UK on 25 May 2018.  The result of the referendum on membership of the EU now means that the Government needs to consider the impact on the GDPR.

The ICO has been working hard on producing a set of guidance on GDPR, with an overview of the law being the first substantive part of that.  We still think it will be useful to publish this overview. This is because once implemented in the EU, the GDPR will be relevant for many organisations in the UK – most obviously those operating internationally.

The other main reason is that the GDPR has several new features – for example breach notification and data portability.  Therefore, we thought it would still be useful to familiarise information rights professionals with the GDPR’s main principles & concepts.  With so many businesses & services operating across borders, international consistency around data

Researched Links:

ICO:  GDPR still relevant for the UK

ICO’s Overview of the law

Prepare or ‘Meet thy Doom’ from 2018

Editorial Commentary: Do you know your GDPR from your DPA 1998?


A New Security Approach For Government:

Latest Guide to GDPR Compliance 

In a society of ever changing regulation and compliance one thing is certain; your data is precious.

Everyone desires your data. Foreign governments, bad people pretending to be good people, search engines trying to optimise advertisements. So how do you maintain ownership of your data, and secure citizen trust through a zero-breach policy?

Pressures to modernise IT ecosystems are often exacerbated by budget restrictions… So you’ve moved your data into cloud, but are you sure it meets compliance and regulation standards?

Click here to access and download your copy of ‘A New Security Approach For Government’.

And just last week, the shortlist for Tory party leader became 2 ‘State Educated’ females!
The Government has published its response to the report by the Select Committee on Social Mobility.  A key aim of this government’s ‘one nation’ ideal is to tackle the root causes of our unequal society – to support families, to improve education, to give people the help they need to get into work. This is the best way to improve life chances for all.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Social Mobility - Government response published

Is it just Oxbridge?

Helping people to achieve what they are capable of

Has the coalition government finally ‘cracked’ this crucial social problem?

EHRC Chair calls for pipeline target to increase women on boards

Will they ever learn?  Communication, Communication, Communication
The Local Government Ombudsman has criticised a London council after it did not carry out the remedy it had previously agreed to provide.  An investigation report highlights how London Borough of Lewisham failed to put things right for a complainant, causing her to complain to the LGO for a second time to get her issue resolved.
Researched Links:

Ombudsman highlights inadequate response to remedying complaint

If you don’t ‘complain’ someone else may ‘suffer’ in a similar situation

It is often not the ‘mistake’ that annoys people, but rather the ‘cover-up’ and the reluctance to at least say ‘sorry’

LGO:  Clear information & fair processes essential in Schools Admissions Appeals

LGO:  Planning authorities should act decisively when taking effective enforcement measures

Older people in Solihull could be refunded incorrectly calculated care charges

LGO:  Ombudsman welcomes latest Citizens Advice research

Transparency key to maintaining trust in planning decisions

Proper timescales must be followed when deciding homelessness applications, LGO reminds councils

Adult social care complaints to the Ombudsman on the increase

Ombudsman reveals rise in social housing allocation complaints

We no longer really know our enemy!

Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine have undermined the post-Cold War assumption of a stable Europe in which the military threat to NATO is low, says the Defence Select Committee in its report. The North Atlantic alliance must therefore restore its defences, review its deterrence & reopen its dialogue with the Russian authorities.

However, with relations at an "all time low", the Committee concludes that the UK must urgently boost its cadre of Russian specialists and restore & maintain a high level of expertise for the foreseeable future.  Given the current climate, the Defence Attaché's office in Moscow, for example, must be properly staffed by the end of the year.

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  NATO Warsaw summit must focus on defence, deterrence & dialogue

Chatham House - Russia

RUSI - Russia

Defence Expenditure is no longer just about ‘hardware’

Unfortunately, isolationism will not provide a ‘safe & secure future for the UK

Diplomats not just military intervention must be part of long-term solutions

Art of War QuotesSun Tzu quotes from the book the art of war - If you know your enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.

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. 

Time to trade-in your diesel for an electric, or hybrid car?

Electric vehicle drivers in Milton Keynes can now park for free in 15,000 commuter & charging spaces with a new ‘green parking permit’ thanks to £9m of government funding.  The scheme is the first in a series of nationwide initiatives designed to increase the uptake of electric vehicles.

In January, Milton Keynes was awarded Go Ultra Low City status alongside Bristol, London and Nottingham, securing multi-million pound investment from government. Dundee, Newcastle, York and Oxford have also received funding for specific Go Ultra Low projects. The cities & regions each received a share of £40m funding by proposing exciting & innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car.

Researched Links:

DfT:  Free electric vehicle parking space for thousands in Milton Keynes

Go Ultra Low projects

Poor air quality is not something that you can always ‘see’

£40m to drive green car revolution

£65m funding for ultra-low emission cities & green buses

How did they manage before freezers?
Misconceptions about how to freeze food safely are contributing to food waste in the UK, according to new research by the Food Standards Agency.
Researched Links:

FSA urges public to 'face freezer fears' in a bid to tackle food waste

FSA:  Freeze frame

FSA:  Safe Method: Freezing

NHS Choices:  How to store food safely - Live Well

Top tips on freezing food | BBC Good Food

EU must set ambitious targets to combat waste food

Green is the new black

Recycling ‘blueprint’ still the best option for waste collection

Greater public awareness – less food waste

Make things last & save

Festive food shopping

Good to Go

Food security: demand, consumption and waste report published

EU research turning food waste into feed

Food donations – help the poor and avoid food waste

Securing the basics of life for all

Online for better health

Official figures reveal that over 95% of GP practices are now set up to offer online access to detailed GP records including test results & diagnoses as well as referrals, immunisations, procedures and medications history.  This is up from just 3% of practices in January 2016.

This latest step is part of a raft of online GP services available to patients, which are designed to make their lives easier and more convenient including online appointment booking & ordering of repeat prescriptions.

Offering GP services online has also been shown to be beneficial for GP practices.  For example, ‘no show’ rates for appointments booked online are 35% lower than for appointments booked conventionally, saving significant time and resource for GPs.

Researched Links:

NHS England:  Over 55m patients in England set to benefit from accessing their GP record online

Using technology to improve delivery of health & care services

Major new report on digital technology

Sounds like an advert for a breakfast cereal

The prestigious World Food Prize has this year been awarded to 4 scientists from the DFID-funded international agriculture research organisation, the CGIAR.  They were recognised for their ground-breaking work on biofortified foods, in particular a Vitamin A-enriched sweet potato which has helped millions of people beat malnutrition.

The award-winning team of researchers – which includes 2 African & 2 female scientists – set out not only to create biofortified crops which could dramatically improve nutrition, but also to raise the profile of these nutritious foods in Africa and encourage people to eat them.

More than 2m households in 10 African countries are now planting & consuming the team’s sweet potato. Other crops which have been developed by CGIAR include biofortified beans, rice, wheat, pearl millet, cassava and maize.  An estimated 10m people will avoid malnutrition & disease as a direct result of the researchers’ work on biofortification.

Researched Links:

DIFD:  World Food Prize 2016 awarded to DFID-funded scientists

Biofortification of Staple Food Crops

Biofortification of Staple Food Crops: Six Questions - HarvestPlus

WHO:  Biofortification of staple crops

UK aid poised to wipe out smallholder agriculture - Oakland Institute

90% ‘off’ local sustainable projects

Councils invited to apply for a share of £60m of new funding to support sustainable travel.  The Department for Transport’s green sustainable travel access fund, which has been launched to encourage councils to offer sustainable transport initiatives which can improve access to jobs, skills, training & education.

The cash, which will support projects over 3 years from 2017 to 2020, is part of a wider government fund of over £300m to boost walking & cycling during the current parliament.  Councils are being encouraged to look at opportunities to work together on devising schemes.  The successful authorities will be asked to contribute 10% of their scheme costs.

They are encouraged to work alongside Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), many of whom will be including sustainable transport measures, including walking & cycling investment, proposals to be submitted next month in a further round of Growth Deals where up to £1.8bn will be available.  The closing date for councils to bid for a share of the new fund is Friday 9 September 2016.  Councils across England can apply, excluding London which falls under the jurisdiction of the Mayor.

Researched Links:

DfT launches £60m competition to support sustainable travel

One suspects much of the money is sent abroad asap!

A Public Accounts Committee report says Government must do more to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime.  The Committee's report finds opportunities to impose confiscation orders are still being missed.  It also issues a warning about the amount of money recovered when orders are made.

On the basis of unaudited figures provided by the Home Office, the Committee concludes: "Only £190m of the £1.9bn confiscation order debt can realistically be collected sending the wrong message to taxpayers, victims and criminals - that crime pays."

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government failure on confiscations sends wrong message about crime

NAO:  Confiscation orders: progress review

PC&PE:  Criminals choosing jail rather than pay confiscation orders

Government publishes anti-money laundering assessment and commits to action plan

Appeal launched for £46m of criminal assets

Fraudster and his mother ordered to hand over £multi-million property empire

NCA fully operational in Northern Ireland

Criminal assets no longer safe overseas following landmark judgement

NCA approach to criminal assets

LGA:  Communities deserve to keep all assets and cash seized from criminals

New rules make it easier to confiscate crooks’ assets across the EU

Not always part of a healthy diet
Public Health England is continuing to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157, which may be associated with eating mixed salad leaves.

DH:  Update as E. coli O157 investigation continues

My passwords are as old as I am (almost): a brief reflection on a LinkedIn hack

Jim Baines, CEO of a major US packaging company, recently made a simple mistake which lead to a cyber-attack on his company and left his clients vulnerable to hackers.

Jim discusses his experiences, what he has learned about the importance of cyber resilience and how individuals & organizations need to be better at detecting, responding to and recovering from cyber-attacks.

Researched Links:

AXELOS:  The perils of personal passwords for LinkedIn accounts

A heartless practice which added to their sorrow
The government has published its response to the recent consultation on infant cremations, which sought views on proposals for a number of changes to the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008, and for improving other aspects of cremation practice.

MoJ:  Infant cremations

Viable High Streets are the heart of communities
Minister calls on communities across the country to enter the Great British High Street competition 2016.  The competition celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt & diversify the nation’s high streets and is an opportunity for councils, businesses, community groups & volunteers to learn from the very best.  The deadline for entries is Friday, 9 September 2016.

DCLG:  Launch of Great British High Street competition 2016

Your chance to influence the FSA

Opportunity for stakeholders to join the Regulating our Future programme Expert Advisory Panel.  This is a critical strategic programme for the Food Standards Agency.  It is central to their ability to fulfil their statutory purposes, public expectations in the future and to deliver their strategic plan.

To formalise the important role they expect stakeholders to play in helping them refine the blueprint & designing delivery options, they are establishing an Expert Advisory Panel. This will bring stakeholders from across business, other government departments and regulators together to ensure all points of view are heard & taken account of.  Closing date for expressions of interest is 15 July 2016.

They would like to receive expressions of interest from stakeholders in the following areas:

  • Large business
  • Medium business
  • Small business
  • Consumer organisations
  • Accreditation schemes
  • Local authority
Researched Links:

Can you help the Food Standards Agency shape the future of regulation?


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

UK Government
DfE:  EU referendum result - update

HMT:  Statement from the Chancellor and main British banks and building society on maintaining support for households & businesses

HMT:  Statement from the Chancellor & international investment banks on London as a world leading financial centre

DCMS:  Whitehall must not be the default destination for repatriated EU powers

UKTI:  Lord Price speech at the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

MEPs back plans to pool policing of EU external borders

MEPs back plans to pool policing of EU external borders

New EU rules to fight insider dealing & market manipulation in Europe's financial markets take effect

MEPs call for tax haven blacklist, patent box rules, CCCTB and more

EU News:  Asylum: EU list of safe countries of origin to replace national lists in 3 years

ScotGov:  Protection for EU citizens’ rights

ScotGov:  Reassurance for EU students

ScotGov:  EU food & drink exports

ScotGov:  Reassurance following EU referendum

WAG:  EU students & staff welcome at Welsh Universities

Wales Office:  We live in unusual times - but for Welsh companies, it's business as usual

WO:  Alun Cairns: now is the time to build a confident Wales for life beyond the EU

Think Tanks, etc.:
CBI: Business groups call for clear leadership and action

CBI Scotland statement following First Minister meeting

CBI: After Brexit, put national interest ahead of political interests on infrastructure

TUC: Government must back the Bank’s emergency plans with public investment

techUK President sets out post-Brexit vision for tech

ESRC:  RCUK statement on international collaboration post EU referendum


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

WAG:  Mark Drakeford sets out his plans for Welsh tax powers


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:

For public service contractors the big Brexit question on the morning of 24 June was and remains: does this mean more or less business?
Brexit brings new tougher policies for migration, control of UK borders, passports and internal security – fields where Serco has big contracts, David Walker observes. IT contractors are eyeing HMRC and the prospects of massive post-Brexit changes in VAT administration, but Capita may well be getting out of its translation services business. Now's the time for firms to start emphasising their Britishness, says Walker.

Popular last week

Robot Amelia – a glimpse of the future for local government

Robot Amelia – a glimpse of the future for local government
Enfield council’s decision to recruit an AI to deliver local authority services paves the way for more automation

My grandiose ideas of being a maverick probation officer were short-lived

My grandiose ideas of being a maverick probation officer were short-lived
As a former offender, I thought I could provide uniquely exceptional support, but I don’t always get it right

Investment in transport in the north could reunite England

Investment in transport in the north could reunite England
The EU referendum highlighted deep divisions between north and south, due to decades of underinvestment

News in brief
• Chilcot report released: key points from the Iraq inquiry
• Fears continue of UK civil service paralysis over EU negotiations
• LGA calls for seat for councils on Brexit negotiations
• UK ‘hotspots’ targeted in bid to calm post-Brexit tension
• Councils’ spending hits new low