Having abandoned my coat, for the first time this year, on Monday, the weather today, in London, made for a "great to be alive" day, so I took every opportunity to walk in the sunshine between meetings!

Last week, Graham Kennedy, of Alexoria, caught the tail-end of my presentation at the Socitm/ Intellect Supplier Forum, and subsequently asked to interview me for research he's undertaking on the role of ICT in a downturn. As Graham agreed to present the results to Socitm Futures, I gladly agreed and we met, this morning, back at the Intellect offices.

I went on to the Church House Conference Centre, in Westminster, for a Microsoft Agreement Project Board meeting. Subject to resolution of final negotiating points, details of the proposals should be made available to members of the CIO Councils, which next meet at the beginning of April, for approval and the commencement of the sign-off process.

Then on to the CIPFA IT Panel, near Charing Cross. I joined the meeting during an OGC Presentation of the Gateway Review process. The Panel agreed to promote the approach, and the service for Local Government run by 4ps, and invited Socitm to join with it in this endeavour. I agreed, subject to board approval, and thought that it would be good to bolster resources available through the involvement of Local Government ICT colleagues as peer reviewers.

Through the rest of the meeting there were a number of areas of prospective collaboration. The IT panel agreed to endorse Socitm Insight's report - What's in a name? The practicalities of being a public sector CIO - and also to join with us in the initiative we're developing with SOLACE. There was an overview of CIPFA's online information resource, which includes guidance on ICT Management, which I expressed interest in reviewing with a view to endorsement.

There was some discussion of future areas of work, which revolved around performance management, procurement and contract management, especially in the light of the economic situation and the possibility of increased out-sourcing. It appeared we should seriously consider establishing something akin to the highly successful Socitm/ CIPFA Competition Advisory Service that existed in the days of Compulsory Competitive Tendering.

My final meeting was with Adrian at the Charing Cross Hotel. We finalised the short-list for the Head of Policy role, and agreed to organise an interview panel for a day of interviews - hopefully Friday 17th April.

We plan to invite short-listed candidates for a social dinner on the evening before to get to know one another. Provided these arrangements can be confirmed, we'll be writing to all candidates with decisions/ arrangements by Friday.