Monday, June 30, 2008

Lisa works for the Ministry of Justice

Yeah so you had better watch out, I know people who know people....well not really. Though you must admit it sounds quite impressive, working under the honorary (hmmm) Jack Straw. Mr Straw is the UK Secretary of State for Justice, so he is in charge of prisons, civil and criminal courts (all courts really), civil reform, data sharing, freedom of information, human rights, youth justice as well as burials, cremations and coroners! And man do the prisons cost them a pretty penny.

Anyway, I am employed under HMCS (Her Majestys Court Services) Change Program, looking after all the management and board reporting for the Libra Change program. Libra is the name of the infrastructure project to put in place to ensure standard IT programs and processes are within all the UK magistrates courts, so that they can all access the same information. This basically means that if a person commits a crime in the UK. all the courts will be able to see the same legal information (documents, previous convictions, summons, fines etc) at a glance, as they all will be linked up with the same programs.

I am also looking after another smaller project called DARTS that involves replacing the court reporters stenograph machines with computers and a program that does the same work. Its a no brainer, but its been on the cards for years it seems.

It's all very interesting, at times quite eye opening, and of course with any new job I am currently dealing with quite a large learning curve. Though for me that is the rush and I am really quite enjoying it. I was hesitant at first, as I actually thought I would be bored as it is about IT projects for the Government, no less - so sorry if half of you are now snoring. Though gradually more and more work has started to come my way and I am finding plenty to do, as I learn more about what is involved in each project.

The best part, I am working oh about 5 minutes away from Buckingham Palace (affectionately known, by me, as Lizzy's Lodge) so we are kinda neighbours and am really looking forward to my lunch invite! I have the Welsh Guards across the road, Scotland Yard around the corner (well protected), Victoria station down the road (decent travel connections and a good shopping mall right there), and best of all St James Park across the way (great for lunchtime summer picnis - if the sun would ever come out for more than 5 minutes at a time).

It only takes me 25 minutes to get to work, which is a dream for most people, though that is with no walking at all involved in my commute - a bus stop out front of the house and tube stop next door to work). So since I will start getting podgy if I don't walk, I am walking half the way, which is basically from Sloane Square (my closest tube - about 15 minutes from my house by bus, but a nice bus ride across Chelsea Bridge) to where I work next to St James Park tube station, and that takes me about 25 minutes to walk. It reminds me of how small London actually is, and how much the tube is relied about to go such short distances.

Anyway I shall post pictures up soon, as I don't currently have any. I am slightly afraid I will get arrested by either the Welsh guards or Scotland Yard Police for doing so, as there are always so many police and army guys hanging around everywhere! Mind you its a tourist haven, so its highly unlikely!!

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