Suppliers association to pay for PSN unit support

The trade association for Public Services Network (PSN) suppliers is to pay for a consultant to support a new central resource to help local authorities deal with challenges related to the network.

In February, a drive to launch funds from local authorities was launched to staff a Solutions Advisory Group (SAG) aimed at providing advice and technical support to councils joining PSN.

And yesterday, the Public Services Network Industry Association, PSNGB, revealed that it will pay for independent consultant Phil Gibson to provide services for the new group

PSNGB managing director Mike Thomas told “We are here to promote PSN and the SAG is a tool that will help develop it. We are providing someone independent from industry to provide their time and take issues back to the group and flag issues.”

Gibson is currently a freelance consultant after leaving his role as business development director in the  public sector team at Virgin Media Business at the end of March.

He has been involved with PSN since its inception, chairing the workstream that developed the operating model.

Previously he was head of strategic business at Cable and Wireless Worldwide and head of local government at Energis.

Thomas said that Gibson’s role was yet to be fully defined, but that he would be helping to make the network work better by talking to local authorities about issues they are having, reporting back to the SAG and working on solutions.

Speaking at Socitm’s Spring conference earlier this week, Noelle Godfrey, head of digital infrastructure  at Cambridgeshire County Council said that the initiative to crowdsource funding from local authorities had got off to a successful start.

But she added: “It isn’t enough yet and there needs to be more.”

She asked delegates if payment procedures related to the initiative were providing a barrier to councils wishing to contribute, but a number said that they hadn’t found any issues.

Socitm is asking councils for subscription fees of between £500 and £2,000 to help fund full time staff for the SAG, currently run by volunteers.

Colin Marrs

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