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Socitm declares partnership with CCS


President declares aim to work more closely with Crown Commercial Service and National Cyber Security Centre – with plan for a website of products with cyber risk

Public sector IT association Socitm has entered a partnership with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to encourage local government to make more use of its procurement frameworks.

Socitm president Geoff Connell (pictured) announced the arrangement at the organisation’s spring conference yesterday, along with plans to step up the cyber security cooperation between central and local government.

He told UKAuthority: “They reached out to us to create a partnership to better understand the needs of local authorities and reshape their products and services to fit.

“A key part will be around the cyber security effort, with a local authority practitioner group working with CCS and the National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) to challenge the vendors whose products and services are not sufficiently secure.

“We are going to set up a website to say which vendors’ products come with the most security risks.”

He added that the site should be up and running soon, and this will be one of the key features of Socitm’s work over 2017-18.

“Where I can make the most difference this year is to focus on our work with the NCSC and CCS, the type of organisations that can help us better understand each other. Then they can create products and services that fit better for use in local government.”

Contract extension

The partnership will formalise a more informal dialogue that has recently led the CCS to extend the length of the contracts available through G-Cloud from two years to a possible four.

“This is more appropriate for some big local government legacy systems for business areas such as council tax, housing and social care,” Connell said. “They are complex and take a lot of investment in time to implement, and the move will make it easier to use the G-Cloud rather than an OJEU procurement.”

He said that hopefully the next step will the creation of a procurement offering around cyber security products and services.

Connell is just beginning his second year as Socitm’s president. He told the conference that he believes it is possible to get more done than in the first year in the job.

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