OGC (Office of Government Commerce) Buying Solutions has asked Socitm to provide input to its Team that is to negotiate a new Microsoft licensing agreement for the Public Sector, advising, particularly, on Local Government requirements, which we have gladly agreed to do.

Adrian & I met in Starbucks, near Kings Cross Station, in Euston Road, for last minute discussion of issues pertaining to today's Socitm Board Meeting - then went on to the Committee Room booked for the purpose, in Camden Town Hall in good time for the 10.00 start.

The meeting again had a packed agenda, reflecting the present pace and scale of development in the Society. I'll include a full report and other news since our last meeting, which I plan to publish on the web-site and circulate to our membership next Wednesday. I'm afraid this is a little later than intended because I'm on holiday from tomorrow – back on Tuesday. "Wot – again", you say?

Yes, but apart from one day for a wedding in August, this should be the last until the end of November. In fact, this year is the first (that I can remember) when I've ever taken or booked my entire leave entitlement, and certainly the first time that's happened so early in the year – partly reflecting the overseas socialising on behalf of the Society!

A few points that I think may be of interest, from today's meeting are:

  • • Shey Cobley, last year's Graham Williamson Challenge Award winner, attended for the first time as an adviser to the Board. When asked to reflect her impressions at the end of the meeting, one of her comments suggested a continuing need to achieve greater transparency and clarity in financial matters, which also suggests the chief priority for our next meeting! Shey, who does some lecturing for Oxford Brookes University, also made some very pertinent observations about the opportunities for engaging with higher education in areas like research, and also mentioned the Oxford Internet Institute in this connection.
  • • The Board agreed to appoint Adrian Hancock to a three-year contract as Managing Director; this is subject to an appraisal, as soon as we can arrange it, which will include a number of performance objectives, to which some of the remuneration will be linked. Rose (as holder of the HR Portfolio on behalf of the Board) and I will conduct the appraisal.
  • • David Houston presented his last report on behalf of the Affiliates, proposing a structure with separate Membership and Commercial divisions, which was agreed (with some amendments relating to developments such as the CIO Council and Socitm Futures).
  • • The Board also agreed to appoint David Houston as an Interim Executive Director. David will mainly be focussing on developing our financial systems and sustainability, developing the commercial arm of the business, and helping to firm-up the new Membership model. We anticipate that David will also assist with the recruitment of his permanent replacement, in due course. In appointing the second Executive Director, a requirement will be for the appointee to be London-based.

Back on Tuesday...