Citra could be in the hub after consortium talks

Citra may yet be involved in delivering part of the Home Office's ICT hub programme, after its meeting with the ICT Consortium last month appeared to make progress.

At the first meeting between the two groups since consultant David Carrington published his damning report about the ICT hub problems (Third Sector, 16 March), the two parties agreed there might be potential for Citra to focus on helping organisations with a turnover of more than £1m, leaving the ICT Consortium to concentrate on expanding the ICT capacity of smaller charities.

It represents the first concession the consortium has made to Citra, although nothing has been agreed beyond the general principle. "It is just an idea that has been thrown up - how it will work in practice is still up for debate," said Citra chair John Tate. "The ICT Consortium admitted it has some gaps in its business plan and said that, if we wish, we can apply for funding where gaps exist."

Citra member William Hoyle of the Charity Technology Trust is to meet members of the consortium soon to explore how the idea can be progressed.

Although relations between the two groups seem to have thawed, there appears little sign that the consortium is ready to welcome Citra as a full member. The consortium is still refusing to release its business plan, and it took a month for the two sides to agree a statement outlining the progress made at the meeting.

The consortium's plan was one of three hub business plans deemed unsatisfactory by the Home Office last month.

The governance hub was the first to get the official go-ahead last week.

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