The keynote address at today’s government IT conference, Govis, has been cancelled and packaged UK government video material shown instead.
Government appears to be having a major rethink and has decided too much comment from the State Services Commission would be premature.
After discussion among the organising committee, Computerworld’s reporter was refused a pass to sit in on early scheduled sessions unless he paid for a ticket.
These were the keynote by the SSC’s Edwin Bruce on “Let’s not reinvent the wheel” and Stephen Crombie, of the new Government Technology Services (GTS) unit, on “State Sector Interoperability – what is it, how can we do it and why bother?”
Approached in the foyer before his scheduled session, Crombie declined a request for an interview, saying he had to be elsewhere following his speech.
Attendees tweeting from the session reported the absence of Bruce’s keynote and implied that other SSC spekers might not front up.
“SSC didn't let them speak, instead played a British open govt video,” says Nat Torkington at the venue in answer to Computerworld’s questions.
SSC spokesman Jason Ryan says only Bruce’s session was cancelled.
“As the chair of Govis announced at the start of the session, SSC is going through a transition period at the moment,” he says.
“A key part of that transition is working with groups of public service chief executives to develop programmes of work around ICT. While we did have the slot scheduled for a presentation by the commission, we felt that it would be premature to talk about the ongoing work of the [Government] CIO until such time as the work with the chief executives had been completed and the programmes were developed and ready to be implemented,” Ryan says.
Govis09 is the first major Govis conference since the canning of the Government Shared Network project and the subsequent resignation of Government CIO Laurence Millar.
Tweeters at the conference appeared underwhelmed by the remaining content.
“This guy is boring and wrong” was an identical comment from sources at two separate morning sessions.