Editor looks back at previous ‘crystal ball’ security items published in WGPlus

Our sympathy goes to those public sector ICT staff (especially in the NHS) who will have been ‘slaving away’ over the weekend to repair the damage done by the recent mass hack attack.

We would like to remind readers to check out our ‘ICT and Data Management / Security’ section weekly and to that registered readers can also consult our database for past items on such subjects as ‘hacking’.  There they will find links to press releases, guidance & White Papers from ‘expert sources’ such as Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB CMG (Former Head of GCHQ), the ICO and others.

Over the weekend, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance on how to protect IT systems from the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware.
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Ransomware: Guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre

The Hacker Hardened Public Sector Enterprise: Practical Steps to Real Cyber Security

NHS 2020 Case Study: Balancing Digitising Whilst Repelling IT Attacks

Meeting the Challenge of GPG13 Compliance – Latest Brief on Achieving NCSC Requirements

White paper – The Business of Hacking

Constant threat is the new norm for digital organisations; even charities!

Online retailer left customers’ financial details vulnerable to cyber attack

Directors’ personal data is gold dust for cyber criminals

MP Ed Vaizey to present at BCS Hackfe5t event in Oxford

It’s like an ‘perpetual state of war’ where individual ‘battles’ may be won but one knows there will always be others to be ‘fought’

You may not even realise you have been hacked

National Crime Agency statement on international cyber crime incident

ScotGov:  Update on NHS cyber attacks

ScotGov:  Statement on reported NHS cyber attacks

NCSC:  Latest statement on international ransomware cyber attack


Last Friday’s ‘WannaCry’ ransonware attack on the NHS clearly demonstrates that cyber criminals will stop at nothing in their efforts to breach government and public sector security.

This latest WiredGov subscriber survey has been designed to measure the levels of cyber risk awareness, preparation and mitigation currently in place for when the inevitable attack happens.

Seeking your feedback, we have teamed up with Government cyber security specialists Ascot Barclay who have advised on the 12 quickfire questions, your response to which will provide the basis for a full survey report including expert analysis and commentary from a panel of former military, GCHQ, senior government and risk management advisors.

All survey respondents will be sent a copy of the report and 3 lucky prize draw winners will share over £200 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Click here to take our 2-minute cyber security survey.

The first ‘give’ in EU’s negotiating stance?

The EU and the UK government should negotiate a deal on the situation & rights of citizens as a matter of urgency and before starting the other Brexit talks, MEPs say.

In a joint hearing organised by the committees of Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions, most MEPs underlined the “moral duty” to end the uncertainty created for both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU since the June referendum. 

The EU should let go of the principle that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ in negotiations, because a quick solution for citizens’ rights is a matter of priority. ‘Let´s do this first’, they concurred.  Parliament´s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the House might adopt a resolution on this issue, probably after the summer recess.
Researched Links:

Brexit: MEPs want EU and UK to take care of citizens’ rights first

EU News:  Speech by Michel Barnier in Dublin

Return service; the EU pots call the UK kettle ‘black’

Editorial Commentary: Who would take the blame if UK citizens not given same treatment

Hypocrisy of EU as it blames UK for its own ‘intransigence to negotiate’

Address staffing, immigration and research concerns to protect UK universities

Government must act now to safeguard rights of EU citizens in UK

PX:  Immigration & Integration After Brexit

What do we know about British people living in the EU?

Brexit: agriculture report published

As usual, ‘one size does not fit all’

Hunger in the classroom is linked to lower attainment, poor behaviour, and worse health outcomes.  In the last few years, UK policymakers have tried to reduce the number of children with poor nutrition by expanding school food initiatives, including providing free school meals to all children in Reception through Year 2 in English schools.

The Labour Party has promised to extend this free meal entitlement to children in Years 3 to 6 (ages 7-11) in England in order to ‘benefit the educational attainment and health of all children’.

Universal free school meals can improve attainment in some circumstances.  A 2012 pilot study by IFS researchers and others found that Year 6 students in Newham and Durham, where all primary children were offered free school lunches, made around two months’ additional progress over a two-year period compared to similar children in other areas.  In this observation we argue that extending the policy nationwide would come at a significant cost and might not lead to similar gains.

Other policies, such as offering free breakfast clubs (as is the case in Wales and as trialled in England) might be a cheaper and more effective way to improve both education and health outcomes.
Researched Links:

IFS:  Free school meals for all primary pupils: Projections from a pilot

IEA:  Extending free school meals won’t help families most in need

One year of free school meals

New funding to boost schools facilities and healthy lifestyles

Social Mobility Commission:  Drop in poor children's progress at secondary school

JRF:  ‘Life chances postcode lottery’ - analysis shows parts of country where children fall behind by age 5

WAG:  Attainment gap for those on free school meals closes again

IPPR North: ‘Secondary school set back’ could cost the northern economy £29bn in lost productivity

Ofqual:  What causes variability in school-level GCSE results year-on-year?

IFS:  School spending focused more on poorest schools over past 20 years; even more radical reforms over next decade

"Shocking fall" in GCSE performance for pupils on free school meals in Reading

LGA:  2,500 academies yet to sign up to healthy school meal standards

IFS:  No magic bullet in London schools' success. Just years of steady improvements in quality

ScotGov:  Protecting free school meals and early learning & childcare

Pupils enjoying free school meals

New school meals standards must be mandatory, says LGA

DfE:  New data shows 1.3m more infants eating free school meals

LGA - Councils forced to divert money to pay for free school meals, new research shows

‘Food for thought’

Devolving power in England as alternative to Federal UK?

England’s Mayors — which from 5 May 2017 will govern a third of England’s citizensmust unite to demand fresh devolved powers over education, health & employment, with strong local checks-and-balances, so as to improve public services, IPPR North says.

It adds that these Mayors can be vital players in “Team GB” post-Brexit, in attracting investment and forging trade links, as Britain is set to seek new trade deals.
Researched Links:

IPPR North:  England’s new Metro Mayors must unite with Sadiq Khan to demand fresh powers

JRF:  Challenge for new metro mayors to ensure everyone benefits from economic growth

 techUK Congratulates the New Metropolitan Mayors on their Election

JRF:  Liverpool City Region mayor: Prosperity must reach all boroughs after May's election

JRF:  Tees Valley mayor: Tackling poverty can help region’s economy thrive

Big ‘City’, Big Issues

CBI: Productivity prize unveiled ahead of mayoral hustings

New businesses back the Northern Powerhouse

JRF:  RSA Inclusive Growth Commission - Time for mayors, city leaders & Government to ensure everyone benefits from growth

IPPR:  Mayors ‘best placed to solve social care crisis’

Greater Manchester and London handed new disability powers

IPPR:  The state of the North 2016: Building northern resilience in an era of global uncertainty

CBI/CBRE: London firms want Mayor to play key Brexit role

Tees Valley receives multi-million pound devo deal boost

Northern Powerhouse needs proper fiscal devolution to match Scotland & Wales – IPPR North on Spending Review

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. 

One would expect nothing else given reductions in central government funding
Local government leaders are calling on all political parties to commit to a 10-point plan to boost vital local services, build homes, create school places, close skills gaps and drive economic growth.
Researched Links:

LGA:  10 point plan to boost local services – local government sets out key manifesto asks – (LGA - Councils face £2bn funding gap to support vulnerable children by 2020

NLGN:   A Change-making vision for local government

WAG:  “Let’s keep up the pace on local government reform” – Mark Drakeford

Statement in debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement

Communities Secretary confirms funding certainty for councils

LGA Analysis: Council tax rises will not fix local government funding crisis

Cuts to public health risks widening health inequalities

Historic opportunity for councils to shape their financial future

LGA responds to DCLG savings agreement ahead of the spending review

LGA:  Councils could face £3.3bn funding reduction in 2016/17

Financial sustainability of police forces in England and Wales

Highlighting one particular related issue

Yet another ‘Tipping Point’ to fund!

It is not just a question of funding; more likely one of leadership & management

The issue gets more urgent (& costly) every year

If NHS needs +£8bn, what do LA’s need for social care?

Cinderella needs a Fairy Godmother urgently

While the debate on zero-hour contracts is still on-going, there is no excuse for this practice!

Half of people on zero-hours contracts and 40% of people on temporary contracts wrongly believe they are not entitled to paid holidays, Citizens Advice reveals.  The charity is calling on the next government to ensure workers are aware of, and are able to take, the paid holiday that they are entitled to.

Citizens Advice found that while some employers are misleading employees about holiday entitlement due to bosses’ ignorance, others are deliberately flouting the law and are exploiting workers’ confusion.

One man Citizens Advice helped has worked in a care home for over 5 years, working 48 hours a week.  His employer had previously told him that ‘night workers are not entitled to paid holiday’, and he had never questioned this until recently.  When he visited Citizens Advice, it was calculated that he has incorrectly missed out on paid holiday of £8,900.

A woman, who worked in the sales sector, was told she could only take holiday if she met her sales targets, which is unlawful.
Researched Links:

Citizens Advice:  Half of people on zero hours contracts think they’re not entitled to paid holiday

We need a legally defined & enforceable ‘litmus test’ to prevent employer abuse of 'self-employment'

Workers given just 48 hours notice of shifts starting, changing or being cancelled, says Citizens Advice

4.5m people in insecure work, reveals Citizens Advice

New proposals to restrict zero hour contracts to improve quality of social care

New law to reform regulation and inspection of social care in Wales passed

CAB:  Line managers need better understanding of flexible work entitlements

CAB:  Workers struggling at ‘sharp end’ of insecure jobs

Help for tech companies with going global

techUK, in association with GTM Global, will be running two free 3-hour mentoring workshops, as it looks to widen its support to mid-sized technology focused businesses.  They will take place in London on 18 & 19 May, will provide advice & guidance to tech organisations seeking to expand internationally and looking for critical advice & guidance on how to go to market globally.

The workshops are part of techUK’s aim to connect with and support the technology-based firms within the 30,000 high-growth, entrepreneurial and ambitious mid-market businesses. This sector accounts for only 1.5% of all UK companies but one-third (£1.2 trillion) of all UK turnover and a recent report shows commensurate tech company growth up 23% in value since 2014.
Researched Links:

techUK Announces Mentoring Series for Mid-Size Businesses

Could raise cost of flights?
An air carrier which is unable to prove that a passenger was informed of the cancellation of his flight more than two weeks before the scheduled time of departure is required to pay compensation to that passenger.

EU News:  CJEU: Air carriers have to be able to prove passengers informed of flight cancellations 2 weeks before departure

CJEU ‘throws spanner’ in Uber’s business model
According to Advocate General Szpunar, the Uber electronic platform, whilst innovative, falls within the field of transport.  Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licences & authorisations under national law.   Uber cannot claim the benefit of the principle of the freedom to provide services guaranteed by EU law for information society services

EU News:  CJEU: Uber can be required to obtain the necessary transport licences & authorisations under national law


 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:

Open Europe:  Germany welcomes President Macron with caution

RUSI:  Britain’s General Elections and Brexit - First Salvoes or Just Firing Blanks?

EU News:  Speech by Michel Barnier in Dublin

EU News:   Brexit: protecting the rights of millions of EU citizens living in the UK

FDA:  A successful Brexit needs more than strong leadership - it needs a strong civil service

Brexit: MEPs want EU and UK to take care of citizens’ rights first

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

With the UK general election just weeks away, we asked professionals working across public services what they think are the biggest problems in their sector at the moment, and what they want to see from the UK's major political parties.
"Give staff a pay rise, even if only at the level of CPI inflation," said one local government lawyer. "Five more years of pay freezes will force many talented members of staff to permanently leave the sector." Meanwhile a police officer called for funding to recruit more detectives and a vast improvement in rehab programmes to prevent re-offending, and a homeless charity worker hopes for a more compassionate government.
You can read a selection of the responses here.

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• Council cuts hit charitable sector
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