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The chancellor's role in tax system failures
I back your Making the Tax System Work campaign and hope you will have some joy cutting through the usual government smokescreens to get to the truth.
However, I think you have missed a major cause of all these inefficiencies and failings, and that is that Gordon Brown loves to tinker and complicate the tax system. Whether it is to make the taxation system fairer or just to flummox ordinary taxpayers is hard to say. The impact, however, can be seen directly on taxpayers, the tax administration authorities and taxation computer systems.
The system is so complicated that no one really follows it. By the time some people have mastered it, another level of complexity is overlaid with some new legislation.
The chancellor should be in the dock, not the hapless folk at the Inland Revenue, trying to make sense of Brown's taxation gobbledygook, or EDS trying to implement the legislation.
Girls clubs could send out the wrong messages
Having read the Downtime item on computer clubs for girls, (Computer Weekly, 21 June), I sought out the website, www.cc4g.net.
Although I wholeheartedly support assisting those who would venture into the digital world with a view to a career, I cannot support luring young girls into the veiled world of IT with false promises.
There are reports that the number of women in IT is decreasing, at least as a percentage. Look at the CC4G website and decide if those motivated by the content to take an interest in IT are likely to remain or become disillusioned with the reality. It is either misleading or I have failed to grasp the true meaning of IT and should have learned how to "hold a fashion show, play with nail art and make-up and much more".
Enticing individuals with the wrong motivation may be at the expense of others with the right motivation.
Mel Richardson, IT manager, HMC Brauer
NHS 'guardians' need to be aware of their duty
In response to the letter from GP Lisa Silver on the implementation of smartcards in the NHS (Computer Weekly, 7 June), the practice of medicine is changing inexorably as we move into a world in which we have access to information and the power that bestows. It behoves all of us professionals therefore to understand the responsibilities we undertake as guardians of that information.
All colleagues who work in hospitals and primary care trust offices are expected to carry their corporate security card as part of proving their identity, for the benefit of access to the building and to information.
The reason the implementation officer could not accept digitally sent photos and send the cards by post is that the eGif requirement for security and confidentiality requires face-to-face setting of passwords. Our patients expect no less security when we are the guardians of their electronic records than we would expect for our banking data.
The argument that women need to change handbags is frankly no excuse for where your driving licence or your bank card might be if you needed access to those items. Your wallet must switch handbags with you.
I do hope that Silver's partner who doesn't know how to use a mobile phone ensures the burglar alarm is set at the surgery as a minimum.
Gillian Braunold, joint national clinical lead for general practice, Connecting for Health
Alternatives for keeping those hot blades cool
Iain Davie's response (Computer Weekly, 7 June) to the article "Blade datacentres demand cooling and power distribution rethink" (Computer Weekly, 24 May) conveys in its every word the fact that he does not fully understand the true implications the advent of the blade server is having on existing power distribution and cooling systems within many datacentres.
The trend is not stopping here either. Predicted development of the blade shows this worrying trend on power and cooling demands continuing to rise.
I take his non-specific point about setting things up properly but this is just one ingredient in what is a very difficult cake to bake.
The fact is that advancements in blade technology have outstripped the mechanical and electrical design specifications of many existing datacentres that were commissioned prior to the blade market opening up.
With floor space often at a premium, the option of simply spacing things out more is not often viable or cost effective.
It is also fair to say that air-to-air cooling systems are not effective in cooling the high-density blade racks and blade farms that we see today and there comes a point where in order to get the required cooling where you need it, alternative methods, such as liquid cooling, must be considered. Having cool air around the rack is no longer good enough in the brave new world of the blade.
More executive attention and support needs to be given to those who are responsible for managing and running the datacentres.
Ian Jenkins, infrastructure manager, Warwick Delivery Centre, Accenture
About time police were brought up to speed
Through its indecision the Home Office is underestimating the value that a national scheme for IT systems would bring to the police.
With all that Pito has achieved in helping to drive the Bichard Report initiatives forward, it does not make sense for the Home Office to be dragging its heels.
Is the Home Office, or even the forces themselves, aware of the extent to which IT, when applied properly, can help reduce crime?
The sharing of information and access to mission-critical data while on the move means fewer calls to the control rooms, less paperwork and improved response times from police.
With more bobbies on the beat, outside solving crimes rather than inside filling out forms, the public will feel more assured. More up-to-speed systems equals a faster, more responsive police service.
Steve Denison, APD Communications