Parliamentarians this month called for more input from IT users to help them identify practical delivery issues that are likely to present problems when implementing some of the upcoming IT-related legislation.
At this month's annual House of Lords reception for the Computer Weekly 500 Club for IT directors, the Earl of Erroll, a crossbench hereditary peer who speaks regularly on IT matters, and Margaret Moran MP, chairman of Eurim, both stressed the importance of the input that the user community can give.
The event was held in conjunction with Eurim. which is an IT lobby group working to improve IT input into the parliamentary process.
A large number of IT directors attended the reception, together with the heads of the main IT professional and user organisations, and a number of MPs and peers.
Both the Erroll and Moran stressed the importance of legislators, including input from users into policy formation, rather than only taking advice from suppliers.
It was not enough to rely on the handful of MPs and peers with IT experience to review policy when it reached parliament, they said.
They also highlighted a need for users to be active much earlier in the process, to stop unworkable ideas progressing before they acquired too much momentum, and to promote good ideas that will help to improve the UK's competitiveness.
What is Eurim?
Eurim is an independent, UK based, all-party parliament-industry group funded by its members.ÊIt is both a policy research group, helping set the political agenda, and a route through which IT users and suppliers can rapidly communicate concerns to policy makers. This might involve arguing the case for new initiatives, legislation or regulation, or for reviewing, rationalising or ending existing activities.
Eurim is consulted by government at the pre-legislative stage of Bills and European Directives, and has an excellent record of success in achieving change.
What is the Computer Weekly 500 Club?
The Computer Weekly 500 Club is a forum for senior IT directors in leading UK organisations. Launched in 1993, the club was set up to provide business inspiration and networking opportunities for heads of IT.
Now in its 12th year, the club provides a relaxed forum for face-to-face discussion of important tissues. At regular meetings, leading CIO-level speakers spark off extended discussions about topics of relevance to senior IT management in a confidential and friendly environment. Activities, which include our annual reception in the House of Lords, are free of charge, strictly off-the-record and free from supplier pressure.
Members must be UK-based heads of IT in significant organisations.
The core activity of the club is to run a series of at least 10 meetings a year in which face-to-face discussion is encouraged. Speakers present briefly and without visual aids. At least 40 minutes is reserved for discussion, with at least another two hours for informal discussion over drinks.
Computer Weekly facilitates introductions between members to maximise networking opportunities.
The Computer Weekly 500 Club is supported by CAI Europe and Computacentre.
Benefits for members
Members find meetings present useful opportunities to discuss ideas with their peers and to make contact with IT directors facing similar experiences in non-related industries.
They enjoy the mix of formality and informality in a secure environment. They are also able to tap in to Computer Weekly's wide range of contacts and behind-the-scenes activities to promote user interests.
How to join
Computer Weekly normally invites eligible IT directors to join, but those wishing to apply may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.