News in brief

Short takes from this week's news.

Short takes from this week's news

NHS Scotland rolls out ePharmacy programme

NHS Scotland is rolling out its ePharmacy programme to connect community pharmacies to the NHSNet network and develop electronic delivery of pharmaceutical care services. Atos Origin and PA Consulting are managing the roll-out, which replaces a paper-based system. Once in place, all general practitioners and community pharmacists will be connected to NHS Scotland's central message store and registration and payments system.

DWP system leaves jobless unanswered

A third of calls made by jobless people claiming their first benefit payment went unanswered between April and September as a result of problems with the Department for Work and Pensions' CMS system, run by EDS. Kevin Bone, chief information officer at the DWP, told a Commons select committee earlier this month that the department was engaged in a "top to bottom review of telephony right across the organisation".

Barclays appoints senior technology officer

Dennis Millsaps has been named senior technology officer at Barclays, working on UK banking strategic programmes. The appointment of Millsaps, who joins from Washington Mutual, is the fourth high-profile IT signing by Barclays in recent months, following the appointment of Don Trotta from Citigroup as CIO in August.

City of Westminster extends Wi-Fi coverage

City of Westminister Council is extending its Wi-Fi network from next week to cover the whole of Soho, along with a housing estate on the Marylebone Road and one in Pimlico. The roll-out, which involves putting wireless access points on the city's lampposts, will also allow the council to extend CCTV coverage at a fifth of the cost of traditional CCTV.

E-government ministers agree joint declaration

Ministers for e-government from across Europe have agreed a joint declaration of aims to drive the use of IT to improve public services and boost the economy. The declaration was made at the EU conference on transforming public services in Manchester last week. It sets out four key challenges for EU governments, including working together on secure electronic identification for access to public services.

Revenue signs £560m services deal with SCC

HM Revenue and Customs has signed a new contract for IT equipment and services worth up to £560m with SCC. The deal will run alongside the HMRC's current contracts with Capgemini and Fujitsu.

London Fire Authority streamlines purchasing

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has installed SSA's Financial Management software to improve its procurement and purchasing. The package will help users make savings through improved pricing, faster and more accurate purchasing, tighter inventory control and real-time visibility of expenditure and buying patterns.

Faith Footwear deploys iAnywhere Afaria

UK footwear retailer Faith Footwear has set up iAnywhere Afaria across its head office, 75 stores and more than 100 concessions to provide remote back-office management. The software is being used to transfer information between the sites, including sales figures, inventory details, stock ordering and customer service information.

Commission for Rural Communities gets mobile

The Commission for Rural Communities has deployed Sirenic's MobilePA system. Staff will be able to use e-mail on the move, manage their diaries, view related information from the Commission's CRM system and receive regular news. Combined with IBM's Websphere Everyplace Connection Manager, the software will provide a secure connection for moving data between the enterprise and mobile users.

FBI warns firms of fast spreading Sober worm

The FBI has alerted businesses to a fast-spreading worm, which masquerades as an e-mail from the FBI or the CIA. The worm, a variant of the Sober virus, disables the security settings of infected PCs, and mails copies of itself to the PC address list.

NIreland Policing Board installs records system

The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) has installed a new electronic document and records management system to handle freedom of information and other enquiries more effectively. Tower Software installed the Trim Context 5 system at NIPB's Belfast site.

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