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Time set for framework tasks

ORGANISING IMPLEMENTATION of the Future Framework Presidential Commission's recommendations looks set to be Roger Dobson's pice de rsistance before retiring as ICE Director General & Secretary in July.

Dobson has brought in a wide cross-section of members to work on the project which he has shaped into a highly detailed plan setting out the start and finish times for implementation of every one of the commission's 228 recommendations.

Some, such as keeping the ICE's title, were agreed on 9 September at Council's historic meeting. Other implementation tasks are set to be completed at various dates over three years with the key day for all but one of the jobs to be finished being charted as Wednesday 1 November 2000.

Then only one thing will remain to be rounded off, implementation of the SARTOR (Standards and Routes to Registration) sub-project. That is scheduled to finish just one day later, Thursday 2 November 2000.

'We're in quite good shape now,' Dobson summarised this week. 'We've had the first meeting of the steering group and an excellent response from members.' He added that there had been an '80% hit rate' on requests to those members who had little previous involvement with ICE affairs.

ICT - information and communications technology - is a big feature of the Dobson plan which aims to avoid the bureaucracy of traditional committee meetings with formal minutes. A 'virtual committee' operating primarily by e-mail is being run as a model 'to see what the difficulties are'. The intention is to have a minimum of formal meetings of the three task forces and their working groups while making the maximum use of telecommunications.

'We are trying to use members' time as effectively as possible. Where meetings are required notes will be limited to a list of who attended, decisions made and actions needed.'

A commendably brief 'Model working method' filling less than one A4 page has been issued to all the members involved with the work together with a modus operandi detailing the sequence of working on recommendations and levels of authority for approval of decisions.

Co-ordinator for the project at Great George Street is Paul Wright (tel: (0171) 665 2012) who worked closely with the Presidential Commission during its preparation of recommendations for the future of ICE. MS Project software is being used to keep track and help control the work of the task forces and working groups.

Dobson emphasised the importance of pressing on with job. 'We must make decisions - not seek the perfect product but do what is the best we can in the time.'

Wright is at the centre of the implementation work and tracking the progress with each recommendation. The first issue of a regular newsletter was published two weeks ago and will be sent out as part of all correspondence to members as a way of keeping people informed at minimum cost.

Mike Winney

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