SBC brings forward £100K to fund laptop upgrade

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Scottish Borders Council is dipping into next year’s budget to fund a £143,000 laptop computer upgrade for staff.

Members of the council’s executive agreed on Tuesday to bring forward £97,000 from the 2014/15 budget to help with the purchase of 180 new Windows 7-equipped laptops for staff at St Boswells.

The upgrade will allow council employees to access a new government secure networks, and a report to councillors stated: “The secure government GSX network currently used by Scottish Borders Council to fulfil several of the council’s statutory duties is being replaced by the public services network (PSN).

“Connectivity to PSN requires strict compliance with specific security requirements of the cabinet office which was not enforced through GSX previously. As part of the PSN compliance, SBC needs to roll out Windows 7 to the IT corporate estate by April 2014.”

The local authority currently has over 20 makes and models of computers and laptops, and according to a council press release, the new hardware will allow staff to work more flexibly following a move from a cheaper model of specific docking station to a more expensive generic one.

The government’s introduction of PSN is designed to create a network of networks to increase efficiency and allow greater cross-organisation data sharing.