Today, former members of the disbanded "Information Age Government Group" met to consider the detailed remit, governance and relationships for its replacement, with the short paper agreed by Policy Development that was agreed by the Board as its starting point.

The name for the new Group was agreed as "Socitm Futures".

The minutes of the meeting will be published in full in the Members' Area of the Socitm web-site. (Incidentally, the minutes of the last Board Meeting will be published today.)

The detailed terms of reference for the Group will be written-up and published shortly.

Having decided on how the Group will operate, we turned our attention to the initial areas for policy development. The highest priorities were considered to be data security, societal engagement through ICT and Green IT, but the full list of initial topics is as follows. Further suggestions from members will be welcomed.

  • Information Assurance/Governance and Compliance The role of Local Government - Support for the well-being agenda.
  • MSA (Mapping Services Agreement) and associated topics.
  • Shared Services front/back office + governance/compliance/procurement etc.
  • LAA issues - Guidance good practice etc.
  • Information Sharing
  • Green ICT + Sustainability
  • Remote/mobile/flexible/home working
  • Public Sector Network interconnects (GCSx/GSI/CJIT/N3/PNN etc) Identity Management and Authentication (Employees and Citizens) Resilience & Continuity.

I chaired today's meeting, but it was agreed that those present would continue to serve on the Group and Glyn Evans (who previously chaired SIAG) would chair future meetings pending confirmation by the National Advisory Council, which I now need to arrange.

I will shortly be writing to invite all nominees for NAC membership to its first meeting (ensuring all Socitm regions and public sector constituencies are represented) to its first meeting. In view of the fact that we're now getting into the holiday period, I plan to make this the end of summer – 23rd September is the date I have in-mind.

There was some discussion of why Socitm should articulate policies, and agreement that this is essential to provide clear direction and advice to our membership. T

he fact that the Society has been extremely active in developing the Information Assurance process, with Government, for four years, but has not developed its own policy, for me, illustrates the requirement.

We must capitalise on all this research and experience to develop policy on behalf of our membership, starting out with the sort of vision and commitments I described in my 4th June blog.

Our activity in this area also serves to illustrate the amount of good work that Socitm undertakes "in the background" – although I think we need to publicise this more! Socitm through SIAG joined the Cabinet Office GIPSI (General Information Assurance Products and Services Group) - a pan-Government Cabinet Office Security group.

This group has become the National Information Assurance Forum.

NIAF has been involved in the drafting of the National Information Assurance Strategy, which has a Local Government delivery approach, drafted after detailed work and consultation with Socitm.

The Data Handling Review has involved Socitm through the LGA (Local Government Association) to work on producing a set of Data Handling guidelines for Local Authorities; these will be published by the end of the summer. We have also been involved with the Department of Health (DoH) working on producing an integrated version of the Information Governance toolkit, The DoH are also reviewing their information strategy around adult social care. Socitm is involved in the work of that group.

We continue to support the National Local Authority Warning, Advice and Reporting Point programme. which is now helping pull all of this work together,