New resource aimed at easing PSN compliance

Local government is to get a new resource to resolve issues and share best practice relating to public services network compliance, it emerged today.

Nick Roberts, outgoing president of Socitm, the representative body for ICT professionals announced that the new PSN Solutions venture would be launching shortly.

The initiative is being paid for by funds raised through a crowdsourcing venture launched by Socitm last year to provide a resource to help councils seeking to comply with PSN requirements. 

Roberts, speaking at today’s Socitm Spring Conference in London, said: “PSN Solutions will be aimed at facilitating knowledge, producing case studies, disseminating practice to regions, and helping to resolve issues.

“The crowdfunding will enable us to bring in experts in specific areas to work with the board and the regions, and where capacity allows, individual councils with particularly sticky issues.”

Roberts said that the environment in which PSN compliance is being enforced by the Cabinet Office is more positive than it had been at first.

He said: “At first, we were trying to navigate PSN in a no tolerance environment that didn’t understand our sectors needs and requirements and wasn’t fit for purpose. We needed to change that.”

He said that relations between councils and central government had been helped by central government’s PSN team moving into the Government Digital Service.

“We had a different dialogue then, where they really engaged and asked us what we needed.”

Roberts, who was recently appointed head of ICT at London Borough of Croydon, said that Socitm had seen a 35% rise in membership since April 2014.

He also announced that Socitm would be launching a new leadership academy, which is aimed at spreading training opportunities currently provided to a small number of ICT leaders through the Top Talent programme, which now has 102 graduates.

He said: “We want to make this more accessible. The leadership academy will run a leadership forum for the public sector, professional coaching, plus regular events and workshops.”

Colin Marrs

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