Headlines: June 1st, 2009

The Society of IT Managers says the appointment of its first Head of Policy is an indication that it intends to extend its influence on public sector policy around ICT, efficiency and information management. The job has gone to Martin Ferguson, a former Assistant Director, e-government, at the Improvement and Development Agency.

In the role Mr. Ferguson will lead the development and promotion of the Society’s response to issues including the collection and management of personal data, agencies sharing information, opportunities for savings through sharing services, partnerships and outsourcing as well as security.

The job will also see him engaging with stakeholders in both central and local government, the Third Sector and private business. In that capacity he will strengthen Socitm’s existing relationships with bodies like the LGA, SOLACE, and IDeA, as well as the Cabinet Office. Following Socitm’s merger with the Charity IT Resource Alliance he will also look at increasing activity across the Third Sector.

Socitm said the policy role had been shaped by its immediate past president, Richard Steel, during his 12 months on secondment from Newham where he is the Borough’s ICT Director. In that time the Society had played a leading role in drawing up local government’s response to the Data Handling Review, representing the sector’s interest to the Government Connect programme, and forming the Local Government CIO Council.

Socitm President Steve Palmer said: “Given the extreme financial challenges to be faced by public sector organisations over the next few years, it’s never been more important for us to have our thinking absolutely straight on key issues like data security, information sharing, partnership working and customer access to services.”