Peter Ryder, Steve Palmer and I teleconferenced about LOLA. The next LOLA meeting is in Glasgow on the 28th & 29th June. Additionally, each year a LOLA Member Conference is designated an international event, and this year it will be Socitm's annual conference to be held in Edinburgh on 11th to 13th October.

Steve will be attending the LOLA Conference as Socitm President (subject to AGM confirmation, of course) and we hope to have a UK third-sector speaker, on social equity. I'm meeting David Clayden on Tuesday, next week, and this will be on my agenda. We are also aiming to create an international stream in the Edinburgh Conference - to be discussed at our Events Group meeting, next Friday.

Later in the morning I was involved in another Teleconference, organised by Philip Littleavon. This involved maybe 20 people - from Local Authorities, the DWP, OGC, Cabinet Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Personally, I think it was stretching the capabilities of audio-conferencing a little, but it was nevertheless an excellent and positive discussion, which moves the prospect of pan-Government Information Assurance and Security Vision on considerably.

Philip is proposing a two-day conference on Ocean/ PSN (Public Sector Network) and common security infrastructure - extending the coverage of the Government Connect brand, which I wholeheartedly endorse, and was broadly supported by other participants in the discussion.

I had to duck-out of the discussion early, but I believe agreement will have been reached to develop the conference format and agenda electronically, and for a workshop then to agree upon objectives and detailed organisation.

I'm glad to say that Local Government was well represented in the discussion, through Steve Palmer, Jos Creese, Dylan Roberts and Vic Freir, as well as me, and we all expressed willingness to play active parts in the planning and organisation.

I was invited to an IRRV (Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation) President's Luncheon, along with about 20 other Society's Presidents at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's. Very nice - and no agenda other than to network and enjoy ourselves!

In fact, I underestimated the time required for this activity, and had booked a 3.00 appointment back at Direct House, so had to leave early. Julie Holden, the IRRV President, also keeps a Blog, and will be publishing photos from the lunch - of us wearing our red noses! Needless to say, I'll link them here.

My appointment was with a representative of OGC Buying Solutions, to discuss the latest pricing proposals from Microsoft but, of course, I'm not allowed to talk about them. Sorry!

I'm now off to a Morgan Grenfell IT staff reunion at "The Windmill" in Tabernacle Street, where we used to hang-out quite a lot, for a drink in memory of Alan Constable.

Have a good weekend.