FM suppliers anger over market testing

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<ul><li><p>Computer Audit Update July 1993 </p><p>"1 am back". The hospital called in Digital to activate security features on the Vax system, and then turned to the SCO to track down the hackers. Instead of repelling further attacks the police, in collaboration with SIP, monitored the intrusions using terminals to record the systems penetrated into and what the hackers did while in them as evidence. Once in the system the hackers dialled out to other systems in Italy and abroad, with the host system picking up the bill. Connections were made with multinational companies, research institutes, banks and national bodies in countries ranging from Singapore to Finland and the USA. The same password was used by a total of 32 hackers, which meant that the whole telecommunications network in Lazio had to be monitored. 32 prosecution cases have been brought so far in Rome, Naples and Milan. The defendants range from an 18 year old female student to a 60 year old Neapolitan sewing machine salesman. </p><p>FM suppliers anger over market testing </p><p>Pressure is mounting on UK ministers and senior civil servants to change the guidelines governing the outsourcing of IT systems, from major outsourcing suppliers, according to a report in Computing. Claims by suppliers that they are being denied room to innovate and the chance to cut costs on contracts has called into question the future of the UK government's 1.2 billion Competing for Quality marketing initiative. Charles Cox, public-sector director of facilities management (FM) supplier Hoskyns, has criticized the government for its management of market testing. The criticisms follows on from months of private lobbying from other suppliers including EDS-Scicon, Computer Services and Sema. Cox has challenged the basis of the Government's market-testing initiatives and proposed an outsourcing policy forum to influence the direction of the initiative. The suppliers argue that the specifications governing the procurement process are too tight, giving very little room for innovative savings to be made. </p><p>Another complaint is that they are expected to cut costs by selling spare capacity on mainframes, but this market is quickly becoming flooded. </p><p>Auditor investigates IBM health site </p><p>An IBM UK health service contract has come under the scrutiny of Government auditors, according to a report in Computing. Warwickshire health authority has asked the district auditor to look into the management of the contract after the hospital information support system built up a 929 000 shortfall since the authority signed the deal with IBM and GTE in April 1991. A report by the acting finance director Tom Jones calculated that the deficit should have been only 39 000. He also noted that project costs had risen by 470 000 and anticipated savings had fallen by an estimated 310 000. The financial shortfall emerged after the former South West Warwickshire health authority, which initially signed the contract with IBM and GTE, merged with North East Warwickshire. </p><p>Moves to stop illegal modem use The Modems Approval Group (MAG) has </p><p>raised the alarm over the number of unapproved modems sold in the UK, according to a report in PC Week. It is estimated that up to 25% of all modems are not BABT approved. MAG, a collection of modem manufacturers, have initiated a campaign to raise awareness of the law. David Shaw, a Conservative MP, has given his support. The group is working with the Department of Trade and Industry and Oftel, the telecommunications watchdog, to harmonize European regulations, however many members of MAG suggest that their best path is to press for a change in the law to make the selling of unapproved modems illegal. France and Sweden currently have laws to this effect. Legal action against transgressors has not been ruled out. "We're hoping to achieve our aims without resorting to the courts, but that's an option," said MAG's chairman Jeremy Hunt. </p><p>18 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd </p></li></ul>


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