E-government bulletin
ISSUE 335, 16 May 2011
A Headstar Publication www.headstar.com/egb


The darkening G-Cloud

NEWS: Mix of Tools Needed For Online Activism, Research Finds.

Major generic, proprietary social networking platforms like Facebook are not, by themselves, enough to engineer widespread political mobilisation, and must be complemented by more specialist, tailored platforms for activists, according to the preliminary findings of a new research project from the University of Westminster....

Read full story here, Online activism...

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NEWS: 'Alpha.gov.uk' Launches As 'Experimental Prototype'.

An 'experimental prototype' model for a new single way to access all central government services on the web, 'Alpha.gov.uk', was launched last week for a two-month consultation process....

Read full story here, Alpha.gov.uk launches...

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Daniel Raven-Ellison

NEWS: Winning App Helps Children Launch Cycling Adventures.

An iPhone app which creates live educational 'missions' to encourage children to use bicycle routes to explore and learn is among winners of this year's GeoVation Challenge, a digital mapping and public transport innovation awards project organised by Ordnance Survey....

Read full story here, GeoVation award winners announced...

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Hidden Costs: The outsourcing of ICT services can be hazardous for local authorities, and can end up costing more than keeping the services in-house, warns a new report from the Society of IT management (Socitm). 'Costs of outsourcing' sets out a number of pitfalls that local government IT departments face when outsourcing services, including the loss of in-house expertise and difficulties in checking and challenging the work of the third-party suppliers:

Quick link: Hidden Costs

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International Expertise: 'Innovation in the public services' forms one category within the 2012 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship Scheme - a project awarding grants to individuals wishing to travel to aid their career or studies. The category is seeking applicants who would like to explore public service reform in other countries, with a view to using what they learn to benefit the UK public sector:

Quick link: International Expertise

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Community Data: Six groups taking part in the DataBridge project - a Brighton and Hove-based scheme to help communities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises use open data to benefit their work - have been announced. The groups include The Advice Partnership, which gives free financial and social advice to residents; Amaze, which supports parents of children with special needs and disabilities; and Grassroots Training, which helps communities in working to prevent suicide:

Quick link: Community Data

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Raw data

Conference report:
Councils ‘Must Sweat Their Data Assets’.

Local authorities in the modern era need to “sweat their data assets” to a much greater extent, making use of the data they own and gather to improve the quality and efficiency of their services, Tony Ellis, Chief Information Officer at the London Borough of Brent, told delegates at last week’s Society of IT Management (Socitm) Spring Conference in London. Dan Jellinek reports on findings and suggestions from the conference...

Read full story here,
Maximising data use for councils...

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Editor: Dan Jellinek
Reporter: Tristan Parker
Associate Editors: Derek Parkinson; Mel Poluck
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ISSN 1476-6310