On Thursday, I took a day's holiday to attend Linda Griffith's funeral. It was "standing room only" at the moving service for this lovely lady who will be sadly missed by many, many people.

Newham colleagues who saw me in the office this week may be reassured to know that this wasn't a figment of your imagination! I'm now officially back with the Council, but taking a little time to get up-to-speed with developments, handover Socitm commitments, and use the luxury of some time to review strategy before I get back into the thick of things.

George. Thanks for your comment. There is comprehensive information about the Microsoft Agreement at OGC's buying solution website . You need to be registered to access the commercially restricted information, but I believe that anyone with a valid public sector address can register.

The site includes a statement about maintaining competitive pricing. There is a cost calculator to enable you to model your own package, and FAQs, which will, no doubt be updated with any, as yet, unasked questions.

Among the questions is "Can I still buy packages in the old format? i.e. MS Desktop Pro." (Yes you can. However, we would encourage you to look at who you are purchasing products for and see if there is a more economic way of selecting your software.)