After the lull over the summer month of August, September has been a very busy month for the iNetwork team. This blog provides a quick roundup from each Stakeholder Engagement Manager about what they have been up to this month.

Shelley Heckman, the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Effective Information Sharing and Security programme provides an update on her activity this month.

Effective Information Sharing & Security Network Leadership Group Q2 Meeting (8 Sept)

The Network Leadership Group (NLG) for the Effective Information Sharing and Security (EISS) programme, chaired by Lesley Bullen (Guinness Housing), met on 8 September. This group agreed to change the pattern for NW WARP quarterly meetings. NW WARP meetings will continue to alternate between in-person meetings and virtual. However, instead of holding them all on Fridays, all virtual meetings for the quarterly sessions will be held on Thursdays, and in-person quarterly meetings will continue to be held on Fridays. This decision was made out of the recognition that working patterns for some members have changed and there are more people working 4 day weeks or taking long weekends.

iNetwork Executive Board Meeting (14 Sept)

The iNetwork Executive Board has agreed to begin the process of advertising for a new Executive Chair for iNetwork. Phil Swan has been the interim Chair since the long-standing Chair stood down in 2022. The Board, through a series of extraordinary meetings, has agreed the role of the Chair position and has ratified the process for recruitment and appointment. The advert for the role of Executive Chair will be released in due course. 

WARgames on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (19 Sept)

Through collaboration with Y&H WARP, iNetwork and its members were invited to participate in the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery training workshop held in Bradford, on 19 September. The session had a great turnout with delegates from councils, Police, Fire and Utilities. This workshop, part of the WARgames series, focused on looking at the difference between Business continuity management (BCM) and disaster recovery (DR) with a focus on how to develop BCM and DR plans.

SAVVI Data Enablers Group Meeting (20 Sept)

The aim of SAVVI Data Enablers Working Group is to bring together Information Governance (IG) professionals and data practitioners together to form a forum where vulnerability data sharing challenges can be raised and considered. The group also provides feedback and quality assurance for the IG related outputs from the SAVVI project. SAVVI stands for Scalable Approach to Vulnerability via Interoperability, and is a Local Digital funded project. 

In this session, chaired by John Curtis, GMCA, delegates were given a quick introduction to SAVVI followed by an introduction to the SAVVI Information Governance (IG) Framework by Paul Davidson, iStandUK. SAVVI Coach, Andrew Humphreys, then gave an overview of two SAVVI projects and how they applied the IG Framework: Wigan Council case study on civil contingencies, and the Scottish case study on Child poverty. A group discussion to reflect on how councils can apply Vulnerability Standards in our own organisations  was facilitated by Shelley Heckman (iNetwork) before the Chair wrapped up the session with next steps for the Group.

Cheshire & Merseyside NHS Cyber Group (21 Sept)

iNetwork was invited to present to the Cheshire & Merseyside NHS Cyber group on 21 September. Shelley Heckman gave a presentation on the benefits of the NW WARP, detailing some of the key topics that the WARP have been looking at this year.

Socitm NW Meeting (22 Sept)

iNetwork was invited to present at the Socitm NW meeting in Lancaster on 22 September. In her presentation, Shelley Heckman reflected on 20 years of collaboration and innovation in the public sector.

iStandUK Q2 Executive Board Meeting (26 Sept) 

The Q2 executive board meeting was chaired by Shelley Heckman; she was standing in for Phil Swan, GMCA who usually chairs these meetings. At the meeting, there was a lively discussion about the needs for standards in case and records management, in Identity authentication and verification, as well as in vulnerability data projects. The Executive board agreed to hold an away day to set the strategic directions for the programme. 

NW WARP Q2 Meeting (29 Sept) 

The NW WARP is a closed and trusted forum for cyber security and IG practitioners to share and exchange knowledge and intelligence. This quarterly meeting covers topics such as Artificial Intelligence, email hygiene, security down the supply chain, and the latest updates from NCSC and the PSN team at CDDO. This meeting is co-chaired by Alan Boardman (Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS FT) and Nadeer Hussain (Oldham Council).

Hannah Gains, the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Connected Procurement & Commissioning programme provides an update on her activity this month.

Connected Procurement & Commissioning Network Leadership Group Q2 Meeting (5th Sept)

On 5th September, the CPC group met for the Q2 NLG, discussing the delivery objectives for the upcoming quarter and providing updates and support within the group. The discussion focused on the challenges around implementing the new procurement regulations and the benefits that have been identified through collaborative procurement. These are both key themes that the CPC programme will be covering in the upcoming months, alongside the use of AI within procurement.

NAFN Roadshow

Hannah Gains and Karys Thompson attended the NAFN Roadshow on 21st September in Manchester. The sessions included a presentation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on how to identify potential bid-rigging behaviours within the tendering process and how to report concerns to the CMA.  This was followed by advice and guidance from the NAFN team around the use of investigatory powers relating to tenancy fraud and the support available to members through NAFN. iNetwork has a strong relationship with the team at NAFN and we are happy to support our members with introductions and queries around their services. 

Tom Hindmarch the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Transforming & Innovating Public Services programme provides an update on his activity this month.

Transforming & Innovating Public Services Network Leadership Group Q2 Meeting (4th Sept)

The TIPS NLG met for the Quarter 2 meeting discussing the TIPS programme objectives. The group were encouraged by the delivery of the programme and welcomed the focus on the topic of AI. Many in the group discussed challenges with regards to cost savings and budget setting, a topic that iNetwork will look to tackle in the future.

Digital Web Managers Meeting (20th Sept)

The group provides the opportunity for like minded professionals to network, share ideas and discuss challenges related to digital web management. In the meeting colleagues discussed intranets, team structure, web advertising and privacy policies. The iNetwork Digital Web Managers Group is open to all iNetwork member organisations, contact Tom for more details.

Power Platform Roundtable (27th Sept)

16 iNetwork members met up to discuss the intricacies of the Microsoft Power Platform, looking specifically at the utilisation of Power Automate and Power BI. iNetwork’s Tom Hindmarch led the discussion, with Rotherham delivering a short presentation on their journey with the Power Platform. Key challenges arose in relation to governance, adoption of the software and licensing of the products. The group will reconvene again in November, a date will be confirmed shortly.

Ongoing work on engagement

Tom is leading on a piece of work reviewing how iNetwork engages with members and the current offer of iNetwork. Tom has written a comprehensive review of engagement as well as a strategy of what more iNetwork could offer. The initial report has been shared with each NLG and was presented to the Executive board on 14th September. The work has been well received, and will be available to view for members in the coming months.

If you have any questions or suggestions for topics or events please don’t hesitate to get in touch at