Gary McQuade, Managing Director of Spearmint Business Consulting, who is working for the NCC on the promotion and take-up of Accredit UK, met with me at Direct House.

We discussed potential partnership and identified four areas in which we thought we may be able to work together:

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  • A Socitm UK theme around professional development for SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) linked to promotion of support for a public sector “Purchasers’ Charter”,
  • Working through our CIPFA relationship to link the BiP Solutions Accredit approach to financial management,
  • Working through the CIO Council with OGC Buying Solutions,
  • Co-operation on consultancy services.

We’ll set-up a small workshop with key stakeholders to progress the proposals.

I then caught the noon “Highland Chieftain” from Kings Cross to Stirling for my dinner with some members of the Socitm Scotland Committee, and attendance at tomorrow’s regional meeting.

On the way I dealt with some correspondence and calls, including a catch-up on the Government Connect position. I called Philip about letters that went, last week, to Authorities who had not applied for exemption from the April deadline, but had not yet submitted “a sufficiently mature Code of Connection”.

Philip told me 75% of the recipients of these letters have already replied “overwhelmingly positively”. That’s great, but I still have some concerns about the process, which we agreed to discuss early next week.

Discussion at the recent CIO Council was of a far more strategic engagement than we’ve seen hitherto, linking EAS and the Ocean project, and raising hopes that we can actually adopt a joined-up approach rather than perpetuate the government silos with which the Local Public Sector is required to engage.

I’d like the dialogue to reflect that more joined-up, partnership approach. Meantime, sincere thanks to public sector colleagues, including the Government Connect Team, for the commitment and resolve that’s being demonstrated in this project!

David Houston and I had dinner with Alan Kirkwood, Socitm Scotland Chair, and five of his committee colleagues at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel, where we were staying. I learned much about the who’s who, and who’s doing what where in Scottish Government, but discussion also turned to Socitm matters, and how a federal Socitm might work.