Dear Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg…

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In the spirit of openness and collaboration, I thought I would share one of the areas of improvement that I have just submitted to the Spending Challenge – It is also supported by a number of colleagues.

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Hello,

I’m very concerned that the Government Connect Code of Connection (CoCo) imposes an unnecessarily high burden on Local Government IT and other resources. I fully appreciate the need to keep sensitive data secure but the costs of meeting the requirements of the CoCo and the security levels it mandates are simply excessive for local government data – particularly in the current climate.

It would seem that a very significant amount of resources have been expended on this project and the result is over engineered. It has become an obstacle to innovation – particularly as a result of the one-size-fits-all way in which it is being applied. It is making difficult or preventing such obvious cost saving opportunities as the use of personal devices (e.g. smartphones) and mobile and home working.

It would seem inappropriate for a Local Government Officer or wider Public Sector worker to have 2 devices (one personal and one work) if the personal device is more than capable but simply the wrong “make” and therefore does not comply with standards set by Government and its advisors. This does not send out the right message in this current financial climate.

Thank you for this opportunity.

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I am aware that this is also a problem for a wide selection of Local Government Colleagues – This process is an opportunity to raise these issues.

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4 thoughts on “Dear Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg…

  1. Good post, Carl! Totally echo everything you’ve said here. IT security is obviously essential, especially for Gov bodies, but GC creates unneccesary shackles and pointless obstacles. The two PC rule is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

  2. Pete Morton

    Its commonly recognised that the only means of dealing with finance cuts in Local Government is by smarter working; and that ICT is the key enabler to smarter working. Government Connect CoCo demands excessive levels of security regardless of the information classification. The public sector simply cannot afford to ingore let alone control consumerisation and consumer devices already owned by employees – and it can’t afford not to take advantage of readily available devices and consumer applications. We need to engage with these “digital natives”, work with them to make their devices, applications and actions meet appropriate levels of security. For example information which is available under an FOI request needs no security rating – it should be published and freely available. The savings and the benfits are huge.

  3. This is a good point – we trust significant data to personal accounts these days, often stored in the cloud, yet the restraints placed on public sector IT all too often force people into finding ways round the restriction in order to just do their jobs! I blog about tech in the police sector (and about other stuff) and I think the main barrier to some of the impressive technologies around are self made by the public sector being too risk averse….

    http://partridgej.wordpress.com/

  4. Dave Mckenna

    I had the idea that mobile phones should be supported along the same lines as cars are.

    Employees / councillors should be required to have their own smartphone and (subject to checks) we would pay a small contribution to running costs for designated users. The way phone packages are these days many things are inclusive and individuals may be able to get better deals. Could be a saving and less admin?

    I’m not ‘in IT’ but I understand it is the security restrictions that stop this from happening.

    If I’ve got this wrong then I’ll get my coat….

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