Watching over us, so as to ‘make the internet a safer place’

Wired-Gov.net are delighted to be featuring news & insights from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the latest stakeholder channel now available from WiredGov.  The IWF works internationally to help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying & removing online images and videos of their abuse.

They search for child sexual abuse images & videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously.  They then have them removed.  They are a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the EC.

They minimise the availability of online sexual abuse content.  Specifically:

  • Child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world
  • Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK
  • Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK
Researched Links:

IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) channel launch announcement

IWF calls on more in the domain industry to do the right thing

IWF:  Child sexual abuse content increasingly being ‘masked’ online to hide crimes – latest global data

Latest IWF report shows Europe now hosts 60% of child sexual abuse webpages

They know ‘How to’, but many lack judgement/knowledge of the risk & dangers

And here is another area of ‘digital concern’

They should hide their ‘Faces’ in shame

Thursday, 27th April

Prospero House, London Bridge

Simplify, Standardise and Share

Socitm Spring 2017 welcomes professionals from across the ICT sector, local public services and private sector partners; creating new partnerships vital to funding transformation.

This year’s Spring Conference will focus on a Simplify, Standardise and Share theme, helping you develop your knowledge and understanding, while enhancing crucial professional skills. Panels will also be held to explore cyber security, as well as how to redesign working processes to provide better citizen outcomes.

The event focuses on building the business case for service redesign, helping you develop your understanding of the policies and working practices that underpin successful transformation.

Click here to register and find out more.

‘Famous’ Charities fall ‘foul’ of Data Protection law

The ICO has fined 11 charities that breached the Data Protection Act by misusing donors’ personal data

ICO investigations found many of the charities secretly screened millions of donors so they could target them for additional funds.  Some charities traced & targeted new or lapsed donors by piecing together personal information obtained from other sources.  And some traded personal details with other charities creating a large pool of donor data for sale.

Researched Links:

ICO fines 11 more charities

If you take illegal advantage of people’s charitable giving you will be ‘punished’

Charities cannot ‘outsource’ their governance responsibilities

Charity commits to fundraising call best practice

Charity Commission:  New charity investigation: Believe in Magic

Not just GDPR to worry about; Blog posted by: Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy and Engagement at ICO, 06 April 2017

While preparations for the GDPR dominate the headlines, it’s not the only change for the digital economy.  As technology evolves at a phenomenal rate, the laws that govern internet-based services are moving at an equally rapid pace.

The next piece of legislation in line for an overhaul is the European directive that forms the basis of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).  PECR currently set out the rules on electronic communications, including nuisance calls & messages, cookies and the provision of internet or telecoms services.

Earlier this year, the EC published its proposal for the new updated ePrivacy Regulation (ePR), to better protect people’s privacy in the digital age.

This proposal is just the beginning of the process, and the details are likely to change as we move forward.  It will be a tough deadline for EU lawmakers to meet – the ePR is due to come into effect in May 2018 alongside the GDPR.  With only 14 months to go, the next step is for the European Parliament and the European Council to each review the draft and form their own view on what it should say, before coming together around the end of 2017 to negotiate the final text.

As a regulation, it will apply directly within every EU member state.  As with GDPR, the UK government has confirmed it would be implemented in the UK before we leave the EU.
Researched Links:

ICO:  ePrivacy reform: Privacy & electronic communications regulations (PECR) under review

EU News:  Data Privacy Shield: MEPs alarmed at undermining of privacy safeguards in the US

They know who you are and think they know what you want!

Profiling can be a powerful tool for organisations and can benefit individuals, the economy & society generally.  It can help organisations to understand & target audiences more effectively and is used to make decisions about people, but these can have a significant and sometimes detrimental effect on individuals.  The ICO has published their initial thoughts on ‘profiling’ under the GDPR, which introduces stricter provisions to protect individuals from this type of data processing.

People also often don’t know they are being profiled and therefore have no understanding of how their personal data is being used.

The discussion paper highlights the key areas of profiling the ICO feel need further consideration.  This includes subjects like marketing, the right to object & data minimisation – and they want your feedback.  They would like to hear the views of stakeholders and get examples of best practice before 28 April 2017.
Researched Links:

ICO:  Profiling under the GDPR: feedback request

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. 

Cash prizes for bright ideas

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced the launch of the Data Science Challenge (DSC).  The DSC is designed to bring the brightest minds in data science together to solve real-world problems.  The first challenges – detecting & classifying vehicles from aerial imagery and the classification of documents by themes– are now open to entrants, with each challenge boasting a total prize fund of £40,000.

The DSC is part of a wider programme set out in the Defence Innovation Initiative that aims to ‘build an open innovation ‘ecosystem’, harnessing the talents of individuals, academia & industry to develop new approaches to complex problems’.  The DSC is piloting new ways of working including the use of crowdsourcing to engage the data science community to develop cutting edge solutions to Defence & Security problems.  Participants can register up until 11.59pm on 17 May 2017 to develop & submit their solutions.
Researched Links:

Dstl:  Making sense of big data to improve the nation’s defence, security and prosperity

Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) testing

MOD signs £14m contract for lifesaving medical technology

Promoting Our Prosperity

Defence Secretary announces world class innovation panel

Defence industry called to tackle enduring challenges

Defence leads the way on small business engagement

Crowdsourcing Innovative New Defence Technologies

Accelerating Defence Innovation

Changes to the Centre for Defence Enterprise

Innovative technologies sought for aviation security

Royal Navy tests unmanned fleet of the future

MoD and Home Office seeking innovative solutions to defence issues

LOGNET - The Future Defence Logistics Customer

Innovation Initiative to bring future-tech & ideas to the Armed Forces

MoD celebrates innovation in British Defence companies

Defence Secretary announces £800m innovation initiative

Winners of £2m autonomy and big data funding announced

Defence Minister highlights vital role of SMEs in Defence industry

Cautious welcome, with warning of potential issues

Responding to NHS England’s Next steps on the five year forward view, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘We welcome the fact that this plan sets a clear course for the NHS over the next couple of years. We should, though, be under no illusions about how tough the going will be.

Hospitals are now under pressure all year round and so the ambition to improve A&E performance and other key services within the current budget is extremely ambitious.  Putting the onus on the NHS and local authorities to work together to improve social care and free up hospital beds is the right approach.  But with growing pressures on both services, expecting 2,000 to 3,000 hospital beds to be freed up is optimistic.

‘We strongly support the plan’s aim to “make the biggest national move towards integrated care of any major western country”.  This should be done across England rather than being limited to a small number of areas.  NHS England and its partners need to be bolder in supporting NHS organisations and their partners to put in place the population-based health systems which offer the best hope of delivering better outcomes and improving efficiency’.   …… ‘. With almost no growth in the NHS budget from next year, the government will need to revisit the NHS funding settlement to deliver the commitments set out in this plan’.

Researched Links:

Kings Fund:  Welcoming NHS England’s Next steps on the Five Year Forward View

The Patients Association welcomes Next Steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View

LGA responds to NHS delivery plan

NHS Confed.:  We believe the independent sector has a key role in commitments within the NHS England delivery plan

NHS England:  Next steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View: NHS sets out action to deliver NHS care fit for the future

NHS 5 Year Forward View: NHS England takes next steps towards the future of primary care

NHS England:  England’s Chief Nurse announces ‘Nurse First’ to attract the best & brightest graduates to nursing

NHS action to prevent, diagnose & treat cancer means 5,000 more lives to be saved within two years

NHS acts to cut inappropriate out of area placements for children & young people in mental health crisis

Next steps on the Five Year Forward View: New parents in London to benefit from online Redbook

NHS England:  Principia vanguard reduces A&E attendances by 29% for care home residents

Some of those potential issues
The Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS has slammed the 'short sightedness' of successive governments for failing to plan effectively for the long-term future of the health service and adult social care.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Long-term sustainability of NHS and Adult Social Care under threat

LGA responds to CLG Select Committee report into adult social care

Kings Fund:  Social care still needs a sustainable funding settlement

LGA:  Councils respond to Government rules over how to spend extra £2bn social care funding

NHS Confed:  Social care inquiry correct to highlight need for cross-party consensus

Age UK:  NHS 'must work really well for older people' to be successful in future

Lords’ report critical of government ‘short-sightedness’ on NHS welcomed by Unite

Kings Fund:  House of Lords NHS report should be a ‘wake-up’ call to politicians

LGA responds to new House of Lords Select Committee report on sustainability of NHS

NHS Confed. backs call for independent body to assess health spending

IFS:  One in ten councils have cut adult social care spending by more than a quarter

LGA responds to IFS research on social care spending

It wouldn’t be winter without a ‘NHS winter crisis’

We have ‘known’ about the problem for decades, but little ever seems to be achieved

Editorial Commentary - Which would you choose; ‘Your Granny’ on a hospital trolley in A&E / unable to get social care, or a crying unaccompanied refugee child already in a ‘civilised’ EU country?

Where is best practice being shared?

Better spent responding to UK’s NHS & Social Care crisis?

Should we also restrict MPs from earning money outside Parliament?

The back down by NHS bosses on an edict that would have restricted agency staff working in the NHS has been welcomed by Unite, the union.  Unite said it would have been ‘grossly unfair’ that NHS trusts would not have been able to employ existing NHS staff, hit by continued below-inflation pay increases, as agency staff.

NHS Improvement said that it is pausing until further notice the instruction that trusts should ensure that staff engaged through an agency are not substantively employed elsewhere in the NHS.  Normal processes will remain in place.
Researched Links:

Unite:  Back down on NHS agency staff working restrictions welcomed

Reforming as well as punishing

A new frontline service focused on reforming offenders & cutting crime has been launched by Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will have full responsibility for the operational management of offenders in custody and the community, including strengthening security in prisons, building intelligence about criminal gangs and supporting offenders when they are released.

The introduction of the new service coincides with prison governors being given greater control over how they run their establishments – a key commitment in the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.
Researched Links:

MoJ:  Justice Secretary launches HM Prison and Probation Service

RUSI Briefing Paper - An Opportunity to Rebalance the UK’s Military Commitments

With Article 50 now triggered, RUSI experts outline what they will be looking for during the Brexit process

The triggering of Article 50 should see the start of a clear-headed analysis of UK military priorities.  In withdrawing from the EU, the UK MoD can start to acknowledge security Alliances with funded activity at scale, returning attention & focus to NATO and other defence relationships where the UK has formal obligations & responsibilities (the Five Powers Defence Agreement to name but one).  

Many of these commitments have been neglected over the past decade to meet a political requirement for activity around the Common Security & Defence Policy that demonstrated Britain’s leading European military role.  Rebalancing the UK’s military commitments is an opportunity to alter the current disparity between resources & commitments. This happens as the potential constitutional make-up of Britain comes under threat, with very serious implications for the nation’s defence and security.

The impact of negotiations on the UK’s involvement with the European Defence Agency and Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation will also be assessed over this period.  The opportunity for the UK is to be the bridge between the ‘Five Eyes’ world, the Europe of the 27 and a number of bilateral arrangements.
Researched Links:

RUSI:  Article 50 - What Defence and Security Experts Will be Looking Out For

If the defence industry cake is smaller why would we give a slice to an independent Scotland?

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

Keeping our ‘seat at the top table’ cannot be done just with force of arms

Remember how reducing defence forces in the Falklands proved costly in terms of both money and lives

We need a skilled ‘home-grown‘ workforce to trade successfully worldwide after Brexit

The new Institute for Apprenticeships started its first official working day on 3 April 2017.  Independent from government, the institute has been launched to ensure that all apprenticeships are top quality and deliver the skills that employers need.  It will further support the government’s commitment to deliver 3m quality apprenticeships by 2020.

High-quality apprenticeships are an important part of the government’s plan for Britain and the institute marks an important milestone in working with businesses to invest in the home grown-skills our country needs.

To ensure employers are at the heart of every decision, the institute has appointed leading figures in the business world to sit on its board.  This will ensure that employers’ needs are being met and they have the opportunity to review and challenge apprenticeship standards and how apprenticeships are assessed.
Researched Links:

DfE:  Institute for Apprenticeships to ensure quality skills training

HEFCE:  Quality settlement between Ofsted and HEFCE for apprenticeships

TUC: Apprenticeship levy will support better paid jobs and help boost UK productivity

DfE:  New levy to double annual investment in home-grown skills

CBI: "Time to focus on quality" - Apprenticeship Levy

techUK:  A catalogue of missed skills opportunities?

NCFE :  Qualifications & apprenticeships – it’s all about the currency

National Apprenticeship Awards 2017

The 10th National Apprenticeship Week 2017 ends on a high

Huge response to join cyber security apprenticeship scheme

UK apprentices assist in "recycling" a hospital MRI scanner to study the stuff of stars at CERN

Defence Minister launches new Army apprentice awards

techUK Supports National Apprenticeship Week 2017

DfE encourages more businesses to offer apprenticeships

Network established to encourage diversity in apprenticeships

Registration open for online apprenticeship service

IFS:  Target of 3m apprenticeships and new funding system risk poor value for money

Thousands of apprentices set to transform the public sector

New nursing degree apprenticeship

Apprenticeship support and knowledge for schools project launches

First apprentices 'graduate' from revitalised scheme at Daresbury Laboratory

Apprenticeships programme needs stronger focus on quality, says Policy Exchange

Thousands of new degree apprenticeships to be created through new multi-million pound development fund

Helping workless families break the cycle of disadvantage

Research shows the profound impact that parents who are workless, and experiencing a range of associated problems, can have on children’s chances of success.

The new analysis shows children in workless families are almost twice as likely to not reach the expected level at all stages of their education.  Three quarters of children from families where no one works failed to reach the expected level at GCSE, compared to around half of children in lower-income working families.

An estimated 300,000 workless families are potentially affected by conflict between parents.  Research also suggests that children’s emotional, behavioural and educational success are strongly influenced by their parents’ relationship.

Children whose parents are in long-term, unresolved conflict with one another – whether or not their parents are together – are less likely to do well in school and in adulthood.  A child is also more likely to do well if they have a close, supportive relationship with their father and this is made more difficult when separated parents are in conflict.  Only half of children in separated families see their non-resident parent every fortnight or more.

To help address one of these root causes of disadvantage, the government has announced an innovative new programme, backed by £30m, to help parents resolve conflict and improve children’s chances of succeeding in life.
Researched Links:

DWP:  New support to help workless families and improve children’s lives

IPPR:  Close to a million households in Income Crisis every year

JRF:  Social justice needs to go beyond helping workless families

CLG:  Troubled Families Programme annual report published

CSJ:  Troubled Families Keep Troubling Governments

JRF: Welfare reform - Government must press ahead with Universal Credit, but crucial changes needed to support struggling families

ScotGov:  Families with children hardest hit by UK welfare changes

PC&PE:  Government must learn from catastrophic failure of tax credits contract

What the welfare system is intended to ‘tackle’

Just throwing money at the problem doesn’t work; co-ordinated action is what gets results

‘Drowning’ in problems

No mention of the ‘dissenting MPs’ in press release!

The Government should set out what contingency planning is taking place for the risk that there is "no deal" at the end of the Article 50 negotiating period and undertake an economic & legal assessment of such an outcome – in which the UK would fall back on trading under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules – the cross-party (part of) Exiting the EU Committee concluded in its report.

Editorial comment:  Why should we tell the EU negotiators our weak points?  If they don’t see the need to publish a ‘No deal’ report outlining the impact on the EU, why should the UK?  In addition, the press release seems to be ignoring the ‘positive outcome’ reports of many Think tanks.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  'No deal is better than a bad deal' claim unsubstantiated

MPs 'walk out' in protest at 'too gloomy' Brexit report - BBC News

committee Brexit - The Independent

DExEU:  Lord Bridges speech to Alliance of European Metropolitan Chambers

DIT:  Malaysia and Britain - Partners in a post-Brexit world

CBI: Benefits of free trade must feed through to whole UK

TUC: May should accept EU offer of ‘bridge’ to avoid cliff-edge

One notes that the Commonwealth population is over 5 times the size of a post Brexit EU!

Would WTO tariffs really be such a ‘cliff edge’ for Brexit?

A Brexit plan that Parliament can debate without giving away UK ‘negotiating secrets’!

Is this intended to make it easier for businesses or the tax collector?

HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) ambition for most businesses to keep records digitally and send quarterly summary updates moves a step closer with the launch of the Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB) pilot.

As soon as the new service has been tested with the first group of businesses & agents, other customers will be able to join the pilot. These customers will be able to report their income and expenses for the quarter they join as well as any previous quarters.
Researched Links:

HMRC launches a new way to report income and expenses online

Making things easier in troubled times
New rules which guide insolvency practice have come into force.  The modernised & consolidated rules replace the Insolvency Rules 1986 and their 28 subsequent amendments.  The rules have been recast to reflect modern business practice and to make the insolvency process more efficient.

Insolvency Service:  Modernised insolvency rules introduced

12 months working with those at the top of the profession

Applications are now being invited for the 2017 Clinical Fellowship Scheme for practising pharmacists.  The placements will allow 8 clinical fellows to work in an apprenticeship style model for 12 months with the most senior leaders across the NHS and healthcare-related organisations.

The scheme will remain open between April & May for applicants interested in applying. All successful applicants will be appointed to host organisations and take up fellowship roles for 12 months, starting in September 2017.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Chief Pharmaceutical Officer announces third Clinical Fellowship Scheme

Councils can do something about their congested roads

Counties across England can bid for a share of £490m to improve their roads.  The funding, which will be for schemes from 2018 to 2020, is designed to tackle congestion and provide upgrades to local roads to improve journey times.

Bids are encouraged for a wide variety of schemes which will cut congestion, including by making use of technology and by opening up the data held by local councils.  The pot of money is from the National Productivity Investment Fund, which is providing £1.3bn to enhance transport links to boost growth.  The competition will run until 30 June 2017 and councils will be provided with details of how to bid.
Researched Links:

DfT:  Bidding opens for £490m road funding

Good tenants deserve good rental conditions

New rules, now in force, will help crackdown on rogue landlords that flout the rules and improve safety & affordability for renters.  Councils are now able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences.  They will be able to retain all of the income to make sure it is used for private sector housing enforcement purposes.

Rent repayment orders, which can be issued to penalise landlords managing or letting unlicensed properties, have also been extended to cover a wider range of situations.  These include the illegal evictions or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry and the breach of a banning order.

The government also accepts the recommendations of the Client Money Protection working group, to make it mandatory for all agents to protect the client money they handle.  It will consult in due course.
Researched Links:

CLG:  Tougher measures to target rogue landlords

‘Unfit housing’ let by ‘unfit landlords’

A ‘whole’ new problem

English Heritage is calling on the public to join Operation Clothes Moth and help protect its historic furnishings and fabrics from the household pest.  The number of clothes moths recorded at English Heritage sites has doubled in the past 5 years and a new species has appeared on its traps for the first time.  These insects can eat through centuries-old carpets, rare tapestries and period clothes in a matter of months.

Anyone visiting a staffed English Heritage site will be able to collect a FREE clothes moth trap to use in their own home and monitor the presence of clothes moths.  Participants can post their results on their website and the resulting information will map the spread of clothes moths across England.  It will then help the Charity decide where and how to concentrate its conservation efforts.
Researched Links:

English Heritage:  Help Us Protect Our Historic Properties From Clothes Moths

Is that implant ‘safe’
The EC welcomes the adoption of its proposal for two Regulations on medical devices which establish a modernised and more robust EU legislative framework to ensure better protection of public health and patient safety.

New EU rules on medical devices to enhance patient safety and modernise public health

Fair treatment for the same fare
Taxi drivers face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or attempt to charge them extra, in a change to the law that came into force on 6 April 2017.

DfT:  Law change provides equal treatment for disabled taxi users


 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:

DExEU:  Lord Bridges speech to Alliance of European Metropolitan Chambers

DExEU:  PM meeting with Donald Tusk: 6 April 2017

PC&PE:  'No deal is better than a bad deal' claim unsubstantiated

DIT:  Malaysia and Britain - Partners in a post-Brexit world

CBI: Benefits of free trade must feed through to whole UK

TUC: May should accept EU offer of ‘bridge’ to avoid cliff-edge

RUSI:  Article 50 - What Defence and Security Experts Will be Looking Out For

Brexit: MEPs to put people first during the negotiations

Statement by Michel Barnier at the plenary session of the European Parliament

Brexit: MEPs agree on key conditions for approving UK withdrawal agreement


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

WAG:  Year to go - First Welsh Taxes in 800 years to be introduced

ScotGov:  Crown Estate Scotland

ScotGov:  Scottish economy contracts 0.2%


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:

City leaders around the world are looking to make their cities more resilient: able to cope with emergencies and provide a safe, sustainable place for citizens. From floods or fire to corruption and unemployment, different cities face very different challenges; but what can they each learn from one another?
To address this question we are hosting a Q&A Livechat today at 12:30 BST: Where are the world's most resilient cities and who leads them? Please do join us for the online debate. Full details can be found here.

Also on the network
Minecraft in urban planning: how digital natives are shaking up governments

Minecraft in urban planning: how digital natives are shaking up governments
Governments are waking up to the idea that curious citizens can be a powerful digital resource

Desperate people ask for help and all I can do is offer a food parcel

Desperate people ask for help and all I can do is offer a food parcel
More people are turning to Citizens Advice but there are fewer and fewer places I can refer them to and crisis grants from local authorities are disappearing

News in brief
• One in ten councils cut social care spending by a quarter
• Police attempt to change scope of undercover officers inquiry
• Drive to improve Whitehall commercial skills has not reached agencies
• Demos: Whitehall needs to understand the limitations of big data tools
• Revamped prison service starts work
• New Met police chief volunteers to be paid £40,000 less than predecessor
• Ambulance callouts to London police custody suites double in four years