Social Value in Government Procurement – Consultation

Innopsis

The Cabinet Office and DCMS have initiated a consultation on how government should take account of social value in the award of central government contracts.

The Civil Society Strategy committed the government to use its buying power to drive social change. Central government will, in future, take better account of social benefits in the award of its contracts. This will have the effect of levelling the playing field for all types of businesses including small businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises, encouraging employment opportunities, developing skills and improving environmental sustainability.

The overarching objective for the government’s commercial activities will remain achieving the best commercial outcome but it is right that government applies its commissioning to supporting key social outcomes. The public sector must maximise social value effectively and comprehensively through its procurement. It cannot afford not to; a missed opportunity to deliver social value is a cost that has to be absorbed elsewhere in public services.

The approach will apply tests that all bidders, irrespective of their size and type, should be capable of meeting. Our proposed approach will further level the playing field for the UK’s small businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises – they are closest to our communities and will often be well placed to deliver social value through the contract.

Municipal broadband internet: The next public utility?

Smart Cities Dive

Initiatives across the country seem to be gaining steam as cities look to encourage equitable access — but pitfalls around cost and taxpayer risk remain.

As the need for equitable internet access becomes increasingly important to leaders, some cities are taking matters into their own hands and setting up municipally owned and operated networks.

When internet is treated as a public utility like gas, water or electricity, some city leaders say it can help residents find jobs, do homework at home more easily and connect easier to new technology like telehealth.

MHCLG plans IoT cyber security guidance for councils

UK Authority

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working on a project to help local authorities develop cyber resilience around smart city plans.

It is aiming to provide guidance on how they can prioritise security in the procurement of internet of things (IoT) technology.

The ministry has published an open early engagement notice to assess interest from suppliers that could potentially support the initiative. It says it wants to identify the key cyber resilience and security challenges for local government in deploying IoT infrastructure and systems, and to provide guidance on what the sector needs.

Government auditor blasts GOV.UK Verify

UK Authority

The National Audit Office (NAO) has joined the chorus of a criticism of GOV.UK Verify programme with a report that says the continuation of the programme has not been justified.

It says that the identity assurance platform, which has been developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in the Cabinet Office, has performed below the standards initially set and that take-up among the public and government departments has been much lower than expected.

This has created a situation in which potential users do not know what price they will have to pay to verify identities in the future, departments cannot assess their likely costs, and it is not possible to assess future demand for the service.

Poorly regulated 5G tech opens up risk of ‘catastrophic cyber threats’, IoT director warns

Digital Health

Using poorly regulated 5G technology may lead to “potentially catastrophic cyber threats and security breaches”, the director of an IoT company has said.

It comes after GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming called for better cyber-security practices in the telecoms industry amid concerns tech giants like Huawei could pose a security threat.

In the UK several companies are looking into the viability of 5G technology in the healthcare sector, including Internet of Things (IoT) company Pangea Connected are working with Kingston University in London to develop a new 5G-enabled video streaming service that allows A&E doctors to triage patients before they arrive at hospital.

Will 5G be a miracle worker for IoT connectivity?

IT Pro Portal

Thanks to 5G, in the not too distant future, high-speed connectivity will be available for all… except where it isn’t.

With 5G rearing its head and the Internet of Things going from strength-to-strength, everything in the world is becoming connected. Thanks to 5G, in the not too distant future, high-speed connectivity will be available for all… except where it isn’t.

A 5G IoT utopia

5G promises mobile communications with speeds equalling, and in many cases, surpassing those achieved by home broadband. As well as the obvious benefits for mobile users, high-speed connectivity and increased availability will also benefit the IoT, allowing more devices to send and receive more data.

While this sounds like a data utopia, 5G may not have all the answers where the IoT is concerned. For example, what about connectivity between cities and across borders? In this article, we look at what’s needed for truly ubiquitous global IoT coverage and filling the gaps between coverage hotspots.

Calls for New Pre-Brexit Rural Broadband Strategy from UK Gov

ISPreview

The Rural Services Network (RSN) are today leading calls for the UK government to produce an “urgent comprehensive strategy for rural areas” in preparation for Brexit, which among other things demands more investment to boost the “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband roll-out and stronger mobile coverage targets.

According to Ofcom’s most recent report (here), some 94% of the United Kingdom can access a fixed line “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) ISP network, which rises to 97% in urban areas and falls to 74% in rural locations. Similarly geographic 4G mobile coverage in rural areas from all operators is 97% in urban locations, but only 62% for rural areas.

Liam Fox blows £100,000 on ‘vanity project’ podcast heard by just 8,400 people

Mirror

The series cost £12.70 for every single listener

Tory Trade Secretary Liam Fox blew more than £100,000 on a podcast ‘vanity project’ listened to by just 8,398 people.

The online radio series has been branded a “complete waste of money” which should have been spent on public services.

‘Local to Global’, part of the Government’s ‘Exporting is Great’ campaign, was recorded a bid to encourage British firms to export their wares.

It’s a series of interviews by former Apprentice co-host Nick Hewer, speaking to British entrepreneurs to discover the “personal stories and memorable moments” that inspired them to start exporting.

But the government has revealed there have been just 8,398 downloads or listens in total, across the 6 episodes of the podcast, plus a 1 minute preview episode.

[Should have come to Innopsis – we can provide podcasts for third parties!]

Connecting Manchester Local Health and Care

UKAuthority

Manchester Local Care Organisation is taking a technology-enabled approach to delivering person-centred health and social care.

Creation of the Manchester Local Care Organisation (MLCO) post devolution has brought the council’s adult social care operation together with local NHS primary, community and mental health services to work as one team across the organisations’ boundaries delivering health and care to the people of Manchester.

MLCO has a vision to use technology based on three priorities: supporting vulnerable people in living in their own homes; providing an end-to-end approach to care delivery, joining up the contributions of social workers, care providers, NHS staff and others in supporting an individual; and bringing the data from all systems into one place to provide a clear view of the services provided and the factors affecting a supported person.