E-government bulletin
ISSUE 339, 02 August 2011
A Headstar Publication www.headstar.com/egb


Twitter home page

NEWS: Public Bodies Struggling To Cope With Twitter Volume

Public sector bodies are struggling to respond to the volume of public questions and comments they are receiving through Twitter, delegates at the Building Perfect Council Websites conference heard this month...

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NEWS: Key Information ‘Obscured’ On Hospital Websites

Key basic information for patients and carers on NHS hospital websites is often hard to find and obscured by irrelevant corporate information, according to a new survey of nine major English city hospital websites...

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Network connector cables

NEWS: Councils Failing To Monitor Secure Extranet Connection

Some local authorities in England and Wales are failing to retain their computer log files for the period recommended to monitor secure connection to the Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSx), contravening government guidelines, according to new research...

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Rip-Off Recipe: The government's over-reliance on large contractors for its IT has been a “recipe for rip-offs” according to a report by the Public Administration Select Committee. The committee found that as a result IT procurement too often resulted in late, over budget IT systems that are not fit for purpose and recommended four remedies: to improve the information held by government on IT expenditure; to publish more information about IT projects; to widen the supplier base by reducing contract size and simplifying the procurement process; and use more iterative development methods which enable IT programmes to adapt to ever-changing challenges. However the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), representing the cloud computing industry, criticised the new report as backward-looking. “The committee has unfortunately failed to give due attention to how purchasing IT on a modern, flexible, pay-as-you-use basis is revolutionising how organisations access and consume IT,” said forum chair Andy Burton. “While there is a clear and supported argument that the government need to open up the public sector market to more diverse and innovative suppliers, the committee should have prioritised what policies and processes need to be unravelled so that public services can take advantage of technological developments, including but not limited to, cloud computing”:

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Book Spotting: An interactive literary map of Edinburgh has been posted online by the city's libraries team, detailing books which are either set in or inspired by Edinburgh. Launched this week, there are more than 100 books on the map including James Gillespie's High School, famous as the inspiration for the Marcia Blaine Academy in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark; and Leith Central Station, featured in Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting:

Quick link: Book Spotting

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Unlocking Assets: An MSc in information management and knowledge sharing for the public and voluntary sectors has been launched by Kingston University near London, aimed at training up a new breed of chief information officer. The course builds on work developing the Information Management and Knowledge Sharing (IMKS) Forum, a free network for information professionals in the public and voluntary sectors founded in 2009, and a strategic partner to E-Government Bulletin. “Public sector organisations have more information than they know what to do with. Unable to see the wood for the trees, they cannot exploit these precious assets in order to address the years of austerity that lie ahead. Technology doesn't matter — it is the information that is the really valuable asset,” says Kingston University lecturer Chris Head:

Quick link: Unlocking Assets

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Paul Davidson, Local e-Government Standards Body

Open Data ‘Must Be Set In Context’: Conference report

The need for data released by public bodies to be set in a meaningful context was a recurring theme at last month’s Building Perfect Council Websites ‘11 event. Paul Davidson, Head of the Local e-Government Standards Body, told the London conference that open data are only truly valuable if properly contextualised...

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Open data report...

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