When I read this story today, it struck me as something Socitm should be having a look at.

The Local Government Data Handling Guidelines, developed by the LGA (Local Government Association) and Socitm are being launched at a LGA Conference on 22nd September. I'm making a short presentation about information sharing and security, which I drafted this morning, and posted to the Government Connect discussion space, inviting any comments.

After lunch, I attended my first CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) IT Panel. Socitm used to be represented through Peter Ryder, but we had let our representation lapse, of late. I'm glad I went, because there seemed to be lots of scope for co-operation.

[Among the aims I set myself for the second half of my Presidency, was building the relationships with other professional bodies and stakeholders we should be working with to deliver a comprehensive joined-up Government agenda.]

The meeting started with a presentation from Fujitsu of the Flex Framework. Although the Cabinet Office signed its contract last year, the Intelligent Customer Function has only just been set-up.

That, perhaps, explains why we have heard nothing back from the Cabinet Office's Kevin Dougherty, since our meeting on 23rd January (Blog for week ending 25th January) when we provided copious data about Newham's "Per Seat" ICT infrastructure contract arrangement for comparison purposes.

Apart from the Cabinet Office's, three other Government contract have been signed – with the ONS, DIUS & CAFCASS – and another is due to be signed any time now.

Other agenda items included Shared Service for District Councils and "Ten Top Tips for Delivering Efficiency through Technology".

The Group agreed that we should explore co-operation and the Chair, Alan Edwards, of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust, and I were tasked with liaising to decide how to take discussions forward.

For my part, I am particularly keen to discuss how CIPFA can offer guidance to its members on consistent accounting for costs to enable effective benchmarking and accurate determination of services' unit cost through the different delivery channels.

There's scope to link such work into the Customer Access Improvement Service (CAIS) recently launched by Socitm Insight. A number of other possibilities were also discussed.

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