As the Public Services Network (PSN) security measures deadline draws near, organisations not yet compliant risk being cut off from the network.
According to John Stubley, operations direction of the programme at the Cabinet Office, the government is working closely with bodies who have found it difficult to meet the 31st March deadline.
The PSN will be replacing the old GSi/GCSX Government Secure Network Infrastructure by March 2017 when all current contracts will have ended.
Local authorities who do become disconnected may find it difficult to carry out public duties in full.
For example, the PSN is required for services centrally managed or delivered, so a council with no connection would be unable to exchange benefits data with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Stubley revealed at the Local Public Services ICT Summit that 30 organisations had not yet met security regulations, with around 12 of these facing difficulties. He claims some will achieve compliance, but it will be after the deadline.
This is despite one-on-one discussions with CEOs in at risk authorities have been happening to ensure there is a commitment to do the work needed to meet requirements.
“The threat is still there that if these organisations don’t make any progress, then can the rest of the public sector trust them to share information,” claimed Stubley.
“If we find an organisation that won’t engage and has no intention of moving across, effectively they are opting out,” he added.
“We’ve got plans and we know what they’re doing. There are cases where organisations genuinely have contracts and things like that they have to work through,” he said.