I attended the Employee Authentication Services Community of Interest Working Group at PA Consulting's offices in Buckingham Palace Road.

Full details of the service have now been updated in the Web Authentication space at GovX, but an EAS site is being created as part of a new DCSF site for Local Government.

Cornwall, Leeds and Hants are involved in a Marketing and Communications Sub-Group. In his update, John Skipper reported encouraging engagement by Local Authorities, and the programme is generally ahead of plan. However, experience has shown that we cannot start too early on the process of accreditation. Alignment of processes from IT, HR and the business is a major factor.

In discussion, we agreed that an important part of the Communications plan is to highlight that EAS is a key part of the solution to issues raised in the Joseph Rowntree Trust report. (Not the problem!)

The DCSF will share its Project Plan for Registration Authorities, which are expected to number about 140.

The DWP is looking-at the opening-up of databases not already accessible by Local Government, such as fraud & debt management, based on use of EAS for access, and there is growing interest from other departments.

Whilst William Barker, from the DCLG, rightly cautioned against over-promising and raising expectations that may not be filled in the short-term, I, as always, wanted to stress the opportunity of presenting pan-Government vision on security and Information Assurance, supported by key components like EAS.

Otherwise, there was much discussion of the economic business case. For larger authorities, say 500+ Users, they are clear, but aggregation, reuse and cost sharing will build-on the business case for smaller Authorities.

I went on to the London CIO Board meeting chaired by Phil Pavitt at TfL's offices in Buckingham Palace Road. The main focus was on gaining buy-in to a London broadband vision (without complicating the message with too much technical detail!)

There were brief updates on all the work-streams, the most significant of which appeared to be an agreement for the Metropolitan Police and TfL to merge their networks creating a fully converged broadband infrastructure linking every borough.

In the evening, Paul Hackett (who assisted me with LGC Awards judging whilst I was on my New Zealand sojourn) attended the LGC Awards dinner, as guests of Northgate, at the Grosvenor Hotel in London's Park Lane. Dara O'Brien compèred brilliantly. Got home late.