I attended a SIAG (SOCITM Information Age Government) meeting at Russell Square. The main item was a presentation, led by John Skipper on behalf of the DCSF (Department for Children, Schools & Families) on Employee Authentication.

I think this is developing into possibly the most sensible IT initiative to have emanated from Government to date! It now seems to appropriately accommodate federation to industry standards and existing solutions, combined with a genuine pan-government collaboration avoiding the likelihood of competing solutions.

Recent events (the HMRC data loss) have understandably redoubled concerns about Information Assurance, and the SIAG Implementation Group went on, after lunch, to consider the implications, but I was unable to stay.

I met with Microsoft's Jerry Fishenden, as arranged before Christmas, to exchange views on identity management and authentication. He raised some interesting points that I hadn't considered around liabilities in a federated system. We agreed to stay in-touch.

Jerry's Blog is well worth reading.

I then met HP's Market Development Director, Robert Watt, with other colleagues, to discuss strategy and engagement. We agreed a new programme of performance reviews, benchmarking commitments (initially versus Flex) and management of the Building 1000 programme. A workshop will be held to brainstorm strategic development in the next 3-5 years, followed by quarterly strategic meetings.