Ian Taylor, Minister for Science and Technology, is to announce the launch of the Electronic and Information Industries Forum (EIIF) - a collaborative initiative between the UK's two main computer industry bodies.
The FEI (Federation of the Electronics Industry) and the CSSA (Computing Services and Software Association)came under pressure from the DTI last year to merge completely, in order to simplify government and corporate links with IT representatives. However, both parties have now declared themselves satisfied with the cross-industry collaboration, which will see two presidents in charge of the EIIF. John Leighfield will represent the CSSA, with Keith Chapple heading the FEI.
CSSA director general Rob Wirscysz stressed that the EIIF is not a merger but a ?platform to meet and discuss common points of interest". He added that having two presidents in charge of a single body would not affect the decision making process.
Keith Chapple, president of the FEI said, ?The information and communications industry is critical to the UK?s competitive position in the future world of global information. The formation of the EIIF represents a major step forward in the effective representation of the sector and is key to the rapid development of the information society within the country.?
The EIIF has chosen to address three major issues immediately - the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), the millennium date problem, and the need for the UK to become a leading information society. The EIIF has produced a positioning paper on PFI, outlining areas of concern, and a guide to help suppliers with the PFI process.
Already, the EIIF is collaborating with user organisations on a database of Year 2000 IT products, guidelines on legal liability for IT suppliers and guidance notes for customers on how to cope with the millennium problem. In addition to developing a code of practice for Year 2000 consultants and service companies, the EEIF is looking at surveying companies to understand the way in which rates for staff with expertise in Year 2000 IT skills will change.
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