Cable and Wireless appointed to deliver Government Connect core infrastructure. The contract – worth £6million – will provide a secure extranet (GCSx) enabling central and local government to exchange data more securely.
Government Connect has appointed Cable and Wireless as its strategic partner to deliver core infrastructure to provide the first stage of the programme.

Angela Smith, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State said,

"I am pleased that the Government Connect vision is becoming a reality. The establishment of GCSx enables central and local government to start the real work of transforming services in a way that makes sense to the citizen. Government Connect is a cornerstone of transformational government and the challenge now is to exploit its potential for the benefit of all.

The challenge facing local authorities now is to work with GC to ensure that they are ready to take advantage of the service as soon as it becomes live."

The establishment of GCSx will provide the starting point for the implementation of a range of other GC Solutions. The building of the engine will now start in earnest and the service will be available by early 2007.

Cable and Wireless Press Announcement

Transformation Under Way as Cable & Wireless Connects Local Government', September 2006

Published in, eGov Monitor, Government Computing, IT Pro and

Cable & Wireless announced today that it has won a contract worth £30 million over five years from Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to provide the Government Connect service.

Government Connect will enable more than one million people who work for the 388 local authorities in England to join an electronic community that includes central government and many other agencies. It creates a platform for new shared services and customer service initiatives that have, so far, been prevented because of security rules.

Cable & Wireless will provide a secure managed network for local government so that local authorities can send messages and information to one another, without the data travelling over the public internet. A directory and authentication solution will make it easy for this vast community to identify each other by name and role.

It will also manage a secure gateway into other services that Cable & Wireless provides for public sector organisations, such as the Government Secure Intranet (GSi), NHSmail and the Criminal Justice Extranet (CJX), so that local authority users become part of the wider "trusted community". Electronic controls and barriers have been built into Government Connect in order to protect it and its partner networks.

Roy Marshall, CIO at DCLG, said: "We wanted a system that would be easy for local authorities to adopt and which was based on existing infrastructure. Cable & Wireless proposed a significant upgrade to the existing GSi – it designed a solution using the principles of ‘applicable, achievable and affordable’. Its combination of cost effective technology and workable controls has made Government Connect a reality."

Jim Marsh, CEO, Cable & Wireless Europe, Asia & USA, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the sharp end of the government transformation plan and to have enabled such a significant step forward in joined-up citizen service delivery. We believe that Government Connect will greatly accelerate progress in identity management and the sharing of sensitive data in areas such as child protection."

28 September 2006