I spent all day at the Friends Meeting House in Euston, where Socitm held a PUG (Planning & Urgency Group) meeting in the morning, and a special National Council Workshop in the afternoon. These were to consider the findings of the first phase of the Corporate Services review, by KPMG, and to plan the next steps.

SOCITM's Chief Executive, Kate Mountain, has been planning to move on for a little while and, now that the review is in full swing, felt that this would be a good time to resign to allow the Society to put in-place new management arrangements appropriate to the outcome of the review process.

Her resignation was therefore announced, today, and a press release was issued. Mike Roach, SOCITM's Finance Director, was due to retire on 31st December, but agreed to stay-on to complete the 2007 accounts. Mike will leave, however, on 8th February.

Rose Crozier, the President, and I will lead two main activity streams that comprise phase two of the review. Rose will concentrate on immediate governance requirements, while I consider future direction and strategy. These will encompass a number of principles that were agreed-upon at today's meetings:

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  • The Society, having started-out as a Local Government IT Managers' Society, will represent all IT professionals who work in the public sector
  • It will fully support the Government IT Professionalism agenda, and it's envisaged that it will further develop as a standards and qualifications body
  • The membership model is likely to change. I, personally, favour one based on organisational, rather than individual, membership
  • are committed to greater transparency in all aspects of SOCITM's operations.
  • There will be more streamlined decision-making processes

Other areas that I'll consider, with the support of NC colleagues who offered help, will include matters such as the society's use of technology!

I'm very glad to say that there was quite a buzz at the NC meeting, and members were unanimous in their positive response to the review findings, and in their optimism about the opportunities for the future development of our Society. I came away feeling quite revitalised.