Public Services > Central Government

News in brief - January 15

Neil Merrett Published 15 January 2016

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Board appoints first independent chair, DVLA Share Driving Licence service goes live and AWS awarded FCA cloud hosting contract

 

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) appoints board chairperson

Jayne McGivern has been appointed as the first independent chairperson of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Board in a role that will see her support and challenge its efforts to develop business strategies.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) permanent undersecretary Jon Thompson praised McGivern's appointment as bringing valuable experience from across the property sector to the non-executive role.

"I will be looking to Jayne to bring her wealth of experience to bear in working with Dave Mitchard, the chief executive of DIO, and his leadership team to ensure effective delivery of infrastructure services to DIO's customers, delivery of the footprint strategy and DIO's transformation and efficiency agenda," Thompson said.

Charged with estate management across the MoD, the DIO was included within the latest annual report by Defence Reform Group chairman Lord Levene, who called for some changes to its operations.

As part of concerns raised in the November report, Lord Levene noted disappointment at the DIO failing to have appointed an independent chair to its board of four years after recommendations were made in his initial findings.

"The DIO has not performed well. More fundamentally, however, a simpler arrangement for managing defence infrastructure needs to be introduced with a clearer customer-suppliers relationship," he said.

DVLA Share Driving Licence becomes live service

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has this week announced that the status of its online Share Driving Licence service has switched from beta to live.

Designed to allow third parties including employers, rental companies and driving instructors to check licence details from a database of 45m records, the switch to a live service is not expected to change the overall user experience.

However, the DVLA said the new status did indicate that the 18 standards required to be met for government digital services on GOV.UK had been passed.

"During the nine months of beta we carried out 29 rounds of usability testing, observing users in real life scenarios navigating their way through the service. We also analysed over 69,000 comments from users' feedback," said the DVLA in a blog post.

After launching last June, users trying to access the service had noted some difficulties.

The agency's chief executive Oliver Morley at the time cited "exceptionally high demand" as the reason for the problems, with work underway to try and address the issues.

"We are aware some customers are experiencing issues with the website and we are working very hard to resolve this as quickly as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience," he said.

Financial Conduct Authority awards cloud hosting contract

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has awarded Amazon Web Services a five year contract to provide cloud hosting services.
Under the terms of the agreement, valued between £2.5m and £5m, the company will support new FCA solution demand, while being able to service existing and legacy applications migrated to a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) estate.

"The FCA is seeking to leverage mature cloud IT capabilities in order to improve service value and control risk," said the original tender for the agreement.

"This forms part of the FCA technology strategy where there is a desire to use Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service capabilities (PaaS)."








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