Eurim to give IT users a voice in Westminster

Following the recent ministerial reshuffle, Parliamentary IT lobby group Eurim aims to put together a group of 30 corporate users...

Following the recent ministerial reshuffle, Parliamentary IT lobby group Eurim aims to put together a group of 30 corporate users to ensure that the industry's views on controversial IT-related topics are heard by ministers.

Stephen Timms and John Healey, who are both Eurim members, were recently promoted to e-commerce minister and economic secretary to the Treasury, respectively.

"Stephen was a longtime Eurim council member, with a strong industry background through Logica and Ovum," said Eurim's secretary general Philip Virgo. "He will be particularly looking for input from users as opposed to suppliers."

Eurim is seeking to reflect user needs on a number of related IT issues. These include the Government's current e-crime policy reviews; fair dealing for users on software licences; and broadband and communications regulation.

"If corporate users don't have their voice heard at an early stage, it is too late when the legislation is in place," warned Brian White, MP for Milton Keynes and chairman of Eurim.

White, a former IT analyst at Abbey National, added, "With the amount of consultation and secondary legislation going on, such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and draft Communications Bill, Eurim has never been more important. However, we cannot function without the industry input and therefore encourage anyone with a view to let us know, especially users, who tend to lose out because they haven't got large PR support behind them."

Virgo said, "We need to take up the new opportunity to feed user input through to ministers such as Stephen Timms for e-commerce, John Healey for financial services regulation and John Denham for inputs into e-crime."

In recent years, corporate users of IT have found it difficult to influence government thinking on topics such as the RIP Act, UK cybercrime law and Microsoft's licensing terms. Meanwhile, high-profile chief executives from suppliers, such as Microsoft's Bill Gates, have been able to meet with ministers and air their views.

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