E-gov team moves north as NCC forges alliances

Whitehall's E-Government Unit is to relocate its interoperability team to the National Computing Centre's headquarters in...

Whitehall's E-Government Unit is to relocate its interoperability team to the National Computing Centre's headquarters in Manchester over the next few months as the first step towards greater expansion into the North West.

That was one of a raft of alliances to help boost IT professionalism in the UK announced earlier this month by the NCC at the formal opening of its London offices.

On the move to Manchester, government CIO Ian Watmore said, "This is the first step. We want to expand to the North West because of the many government departments in that area."

Watmore's small standards team will be co-located, probably around May, with the e-Gif Accreditation Authority, a standards certification and accreditation service run for the government by the NCC.

Other initiatives announced by the NCC include collaboration between the NCC and the British Computer Society and provision of best-practice content for the Department of Trade & Industry's Businesslink website for small and medium-sized firms.

The NCC and the BCS plan to collaborate to promote IT professionalism. "The time is ripe to pool our efforts," said Michael Gough, group chief executive at the NCC.

In a joint statement, Gough and BCS chief executive David Clarke pledged to "work together to enhance and develop the reputation of IT as a profession and champion the effective exploitation and use of IT in all areas of commerce and industry".

They said, "The BCS and the NCC agree to work collaboratively in support of their members in the professionalism of all aspects of the provision and operation of IT systems, the development of the IT profession and its attractiveness as a career, and in support of the UK government's aim to be an exemplar of professionalism and best practice."

BCS president David Morriss said, "A vigorous industry needs vigorous representative organisations. I thoroughly underwrite our commitment to work together."

Also at the event, IT minister Mike O'Brien praised the NCC for its focus on getting information from government through to industry and getting industry's views and opinions through to government.

"The government is working to change itself - ensuring that the UK economy gets a boost. We do not try to force changes, but work with the market. That is why organisations like the NCC are so important in ensuring that your messages get to us and hopefully our messages get to you," he said.

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