How to nip IT-unfriendly legislation in the bud

Eurim helps to get the user voice heard in Westminster.

Eurim helps to get the user voice heard in Westminster.

Adjusting IT systems to accommodate new legislation from Whitehall or Brussels is frustrating but could be much worse!

A group of a few hundred users, suppliers, lawyers, consultants, MPs, peers, MEPs and various IT-related organisations identify potential flashpoints and lobby directly into the embryonic stages of upcoming legislation, before positions and ideas harden. They do this through the parliamentary/industry organisation Eurim, which this month celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Lobbyists are usually parliamentary consultants or PR specialists. But thanks to Eurim users do have a voice and it could become even more powerful.

It is a forum for gathering thoughts coming down the line from the EC or Westminster which could end up having significant problems for users, says Alan Shepherd, director of Royal Mail's IT organisation and long-standing Eurim member. "If users can get early warning, they have opportunities through Eurim to kick off political reaction without spending a lot of resources, or they can mobilise their own in-house political machinery."

Eurim, which is chaired by Brian White, MP for Milton Keynes and previously an IT professional at Abbey National, has scored notable successes, grown considerably in influence, and is preparing to achieve even more.

It helped to secure significant changes to the E-Commerce Act, and hastened the progress of the Communications Bill. Current focus is on balancing the needs of industry and law enforcement on e-crime and e-surveillance; facilitating lobbying on broadband introduction issues; influencing the Communications Bill and Ofcom's terms of reference; and monitoring the modernising government agenda, such as the best way of reducing barriers to information sharing. Eurim also has its finger on the pulse of intellectual property rights legislation which is set to be a major, far reaching political issue this autumn.

It helped to secure significant changes to the E-Commerce Act, and hastened the progress of the Communications Bill. Current focus is on balancing the needs of industry and law enforcement on e-crime and e-surveillance; facilitating lobbying on broadband introduction issues; influencing the Communications Bill and Ofcom's terms of reference; and monitoring the modernising government agenda, such as the best way of reducing barriers to information sharing. Eurim also has its finger on the pulse of intellectual property rights legislation which is set to be a major, far reaching political issue this autumn.

For more on Eurim see www.eurim.org.

 

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