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In brief …. 24 March 2016



PSN compliance charge dropped

The £999 annual compliance charge to use core services within the Public Services Network (PSN) has been removed.

A Government common technology services blogpost says the payment has been unbundled into individual services, which should make it cheaper for most users. It covers the components of the GSi ConvergenceFramework, such as domain name resolution and email relay, for people using and paying for services over the PSN.

The blog said there are currently more than 700 users, and that the work paid for by the charge – predominantly for completing compliance assessments – will still be carried out with the same rigour.

Environment Agency claims flood service success

The digital flood service handled visits from 4.24 million users in the week of severe flooding up to 27 December, the Environment Agency has reported. It said that 2 million of the visits took place on Boxing Day with no loss of service.

It also claimed user satisfaction ratings, from more than 1,000 feedback reports, of over 70% for the period, and said its operations team is now working on a number of improvements to the service. These include: increasing the frequency of river level data; making information more user-friendly; redesigning the map display; showing more geographically relevant alerts; and introducing five-day flood forecasting data.

Renfrewshire takes myaccount

Renfrewshire Council has begun to use the myaccount service, provided by Scotland's Improvement Service, for residents to carry out more transactions online.

Among the capabilities are viewing council tax balances, registering a change of address, setting up direct debits for council tax and applying for discounts or exemptions for the tax. Benefits, housing and environmental services are due to be added over the next year.

Renfewshire's deputy leader, Councillor Mike Holmes, said: “We’re increasing the number of services available online and encouraging people to take advantage of this, if they can. Together with our new website, myaccount will make it easier for customers to engage with the council at a time and place that suits them and to get the information they need quickly and securely.”

Broadband money for Highlands

Inverness and the Highlands has won funds to develop superfast broadband and mobile 4G connectivity as part of a £315 million UK City Deal.

The money comes from the UK and Scottish Governments, Highland Council, University of the Island and Highlands, and Islands Enterprise. It is aimed at promoting economic growth and has prompted a forecast that it could unlock another £800 million of private money.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Inverness and the Highlands will benefit from superfast broadband which will enable it to be the most digitally connected rural region in Europe.”


Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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