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The QA Government & Public Sector Forum: London 2018

3 October, 2018
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

The QA Government & Public Sector Forum: London 2018

3 October, 2018 8am-5pm 22-28 Broadway

This is QA Media's first conference for heads of software quality assurance and software risk management designed for the public sector. We are launching at a time when UK government agencies are reviewing their technology partnerships and considering options for future long-term investment in IT.

About the event

Technologies for automation and the digital transition

This is QA Media's first conference for heads of software quality assurance and software risk management designed for the public sector. We are launching at a time when UK government agencies are reviewing their technology partnerships and considering options for future long-term investment in IT.

Delegates will enjoy a day of high-level networking and knowledge-sharing on technologies for continuous integration and deployment of apps. The emphasis will be on automation, including test service virtualization and the application of machine learning to quality assurance.

Also on the agenda:

  • the impact of GDPR
  • benchmarking the quality of code
  • critical decisions around testing in the Cloud.

The event is Chatham House Rule, so speakers will be open with their thoughts and experiences. The venue: the Conrad St. James's Hotel, in the heart of London's government district.


Sunitha Chacko Government Digital Service, The Cabinet Office

Head of Technical Architecture Community

Bio coming soon.

Louise Tarpy HMRC

Digital Relationship Lead- Software

An HMRC ‘lifer’, Louise has progressed through the ranks by undertaking a wide variety of
roles, including debt collection, business analyst and subject matter expert. While each role
was uniquely challenging, it’s her latest role that’s presented her biggest challenge to date,
creating a brand new Digital Relationship Management (DRM) function. The aim of the
function is to work in partnership with the software industry to exploit HMRC’s API first
strategy and facilitate development of ‘best in class’ commercial tax products.
Louise dedicated her first year in post to building the firm foundations on which this new
function could expand, flourish and grow. She’s established a highly-skilled team of account
managers who provide a unique mix of internal HMRC knowledge and external, ‘real world’
experience. Louise and her DRM team are passionate about collaboration and providing
excellent service. They work with the industry to ensure commercial products meet
customer needs and encourage development of new, innovative and personalised products
into the marketplace.

Lee Hawksworth HMRC

Head of Software Developer Collaboration

Lee is a dynamic forward thinking digital professional with a passion for people, music and tech to unite and connect our world. Lee is a certified agile leader with vast experience in leading large Digital and Business Transformation programmes and projects in HM Government. Lee has delivered high profile products across Government that meet user and business needs.

Lee heads up the Software Developer Collaboration teams in HMRC Digital, one of the most transformational environments in government. His teams support the multi hundred million digital transactions which are completed through an Application Programming Interface (API) using a third party software product.

His key responsibilities include;

  1. Overseeing a large portfolio of over 80 API services, HMRC’s ‘API Economy’
  2. Leading the DevOps of HMRC’s APIs and API Developer Hub
  3. Leading the digital customer relationship management for over 600 software developers and intermediaries who provide 100s of digital products that integrate with HMRC via APIs

Lt Col. Dorian Seabrook The British Army Software House

Head of Operations for Information Application Services

Lieutenant Colonel Dorian Seabrook was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1997, and has served in a wide range of Army and Joint units, with operational experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.  Despite being a Royal Engineer he has spent much of the last 14 years in IT roles.  These roles include working as part of the team delivering Bowman the Land Tactical Communication Information System to Defence and within Army Headquarters delivering applications and a hosting environment.  Prior to his current role he was a lead in Joint Force Command managing networks and the requirements for them across Defence Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability.  Dorian is currently serving as Head of Operations for Information Application Services (The British Army Software House), Lieutenant Colonel Seabrook is responsible for over 200 information services across 3 security domains; he is also the lead for security and technical management. Over the last 4 years he has had the honour of delivering Agile and DevOps across culture, people, process and technology within Information Application Services.

Matt Villion UK Home Office

Head of Cyber Security Engagement

Bio coming soon.

Brigid McBride Ofsted

Programme Director, Digital Change

Brigid leads the Digital team in Ofsted, with responsibility for developing a range of digital services that support Ofsted’s ambition to be a “force for improvement”. Services in development include: a registration service for those who provide childcare, a report site that shares information on inspection findings, and new tools to support collaboration within Ofsted.

Brigid previously led the Digital team in HMRC, where her responsibilities included: overseeing a huge digital portfolio of more than 40 current projects, development of HMRCs Multi-Channel Digital Tax Platform that hosts all of HMRC’s digital services, and HMRC’s suite of 60+ digital services, handling around 1.7 billion online transactions a year.

Whilst at HMRC Brigid launched the bold and ambitious API strategy, kick-starting the Department’s journey from a submissions-only service to increasingly sophisticated interactions with tax and business software packages. 

Brigid joined the Civil Service in 1987. Since then she has been instrumental in delivering significant, high profile transformational projects both in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and in HMRC. Many of these initiatives have been at the forefront of changing how government does business with its customers.

Paul Camille Bentz Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ)

Director of Government and Industry Programs

Paul has been running large international IT organisations for more than 30 years, across various financial institutions and multicultural environments. He spent 20 years at Paribas, the investment Bank, being Group CIO when it merged with BNP in 2000 to become BNP Paribas. He then moved to Allianz, the Insurance giant, as Regional CIO to rationalize the merge of three companies and build a strategy in line with the Group guidelines. He was a member of the Group IT Committee. Paul retired in 2007 at the age of 61 to run his own consulting company. He recently moved to a new position of Director of Government and Industry Programs for the Consortium for IT Software Quality in Europe to promote the standards of CISQ with regulators and governing bodies in various industries, with Finance and Healthcare as priority.

Caron Alexander Government of Northern Ireland

Director of Digital Shared Services

Caron has more than 30 years’ experience in the public sector, and is currently Director of Digital Shared Services for NI Government and Head of the NI Civil Service IT profession.  She is responsible for providing ICT shared services to 25,000 staff, for the NI citizen portal and contact centre services, delivering the NI Digital Transformation Programme and driving forward the NI Open Data agenda. Previously Caron held a number of senior technical, programme and change management roles in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Jeffrey Odiase Department for Transport

Head of Development, Digital Services

Bio coming soon.

Craig Thomas UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

Head of QA and Test

Craig is originally from a small south Wales village called Aberfan, and has been working within Software QA and Test for the past 29 years, predominantly within Financial Services, holding ‘almost’ all roles from entry level tester to Head of function.

Craig started his QA & Test career as a Data Inputter back in 1989 and moved to Dublin, Ireland in Feb 1999. He spent the next 18 years working in and around Dublin, with a 2 year stint in Cork, for various major financial institutions.

Craig returned to Aberfan in March 2017 to be nearer his family, joined the UK IPO in February 2018 and is very much looking forward to being part of this Government and Public Sector Forum.

Jordan Daniel Bank of England

Head of Testing and Enterprise Release Management

Jordan has nearly 30 years’ experience as a Test and QA professional, across a number of different organisations in both the public and private sectors. More than 20 years of that time have been in leadership roles, with the last 5 spent at the Bank of England. During that time he has built the Test Practice out across all of the Bank’s business areas and expanded its remit to cover Test Enablement and Release Management.

 In 2017, the focus on this work moved to evolving testing towards QA and driving best practice into the area to meet the specific challenges presented by regulatory change and the ever increasing need for more, better and newer data and data analysis.

Micah Osawe The British Library

Test Team Leader

Bio coming soon.

Damian Burke The British Library

Principal Test Engineer

Damian Burke is a Principal Test Engineer for the British Library based in Boston Spa & St Pancras. He has a master’s in Computing & Information Systems from the University of Ulster. Damian has over 15 years’ experience in the testing and software quality industry working for both large multi-nationals and small start-up companies. He has a keen interest in test automation frameworks, primarily focused on open-sourced automation solutions.

As principal tester in the British Library his responsibility is to ensure that testing is aligned with code development by utilising industry leading tools and practises. He sees automation as a way of involving all project stake-holders and ensuring that the benefits of continuous integration are recognised. Damian believes that widespread test automation is an emerging and fast changing discipline within Quality Assurance and is interested in how the industry utilises new technologies to augment and lead the testing process within the SDLC.



Welcome Address and QA Vector Research Presentation

Matthew Crabbe – CEO – QA Financial

How HMRC Transitioned to the API Era : Building Quality Software for Seamless Integration​

​Among the major UK government ​departments, HMRC has arguably moved furthest and fastest in terms of digital capabilities. This is most evident in its ambitious strategy for developing APIs for third-party tax software that enables HMRC to interface with its customer stakeholders. Lee and Louise will detail how this strategy has been developed and executed.

Speakers: Lee Hawksworth: Head of Software Developer Collaboration and Louise Tarpy: Digital Relationship Lead, Software - HMRC


The Government Digital Service’s Technology Code of Practice: Best Practice for Software Development

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is at the heart of digital transformation within government. Sunitha will share details of the GDS's TCOP (Technology Code of Practice), detailing the best practice for quality software development and giving examples of technological innovation within the GDS.

Speaker: Sunitha Chacko - Head of Technical Architecture Community - The Cabinet Office - Government Digital Service 


The Nature of Truth and how we define Fake Testing

We live in a world of complex and interconnected systems. The software development life cycle goes full steam ahead through agile transformations. Large technology infrastructures seek better ways of assuring quality, scalability and reliability for their platforms. The path is frequently obstructed by the spread of Fake Testing. Iosif will share his thoughts on what constitutes best practice ​and true compliance ​for a regulated entity and what a fake checkboxing excercise is.

Speaker: Iosif Itkin - CEO and Co-Founder - Exactpro


Coffee & Networking


Digital Transformation and Security in the British Army

Dorian will share details of how the British Army has transformed its digital capabilities, and how stringent security requirements have been embedded throughout the Software Development Life Cycle. He will focus on the automation of security testing and also on the challenges that have been involved in revolutionising the culture and processes of software delivery within the department.

Speaker:  Lt Col. Dorian Seabrook: Head of Operations Army Software House - British Army


Panel Discussion: The Changing Role of Third Party Software Vendors and the Public Sector

As public sector organisations are increasingly moving away from working with external partners, what are the key considerations for managing this transition? Our panel of experts will consider new pricing and quality benchmarks for external vendors and SIs, technology strategies for moving towards an in-sourcing model, and how to mitigate software risk through strategic decisions around out-sourcing.


Brigid McBride - Programme Director, Digital Change - Ofsted

Paul Camille Bentz - Director of Government and Industry Programs - Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ)

Matt Villion - Head of Cyber Security Engagement - UK Home Office

Further Panellists TBC


From out-sourcing to in-sourcing: How the Government of Northern Ireland is building an IT Shared Services Organisation

Caron will share details of the journey over the last 11 years to build an organisation of IT shared services across multiple governmental departments in Northern Ireland. She will explain how the software delivery model has been revolutionised, and how the Dept. of Finance, amongst other departments, has transitioned from relying heavily on private sector vendors to focusing more on in-sourcing and shared services.

Speaker:  Caron Alexander, Director of Digital Shared Services, Northern Ireland Government


Lunch & Networking


Panel Discussion: Embedding Data Compliance and Security Requirements in the SDLC.

In an environment of ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny, organisations must ensure that compliance is embedded throughout the SDLC. Our panel of experts will explore how IT risk management is being supervised by regulators and the impact and lessons learned from GDPR. The panel will have particular focus on test data and test environment management.


Jordan Daniel, Head of Testing and Enterprise Release Management, Bank of England

Matt Villion - Head of Cyber Security Engagement - UK Home Office

Jeffrey Odiase - Head of Development, Digital Services - Department for Transport

Further panellists TBC


Transforming the UK IPO QA and Test Function

The UK IPO is transforming its QA and Test function to become a visible and accountable, service oriented and fully audited IT service. Craig will take you through this journey, including focus on the Test Centre of Excellence and how the IPO is building the foundations for Continuous Improvement and Continuous Delivery.

Speaker: Craig Thomas, Head of QA and Test, UK Intellectual Property Office


Coffee & Networking


Integrated Data Taxonomies and Architecture: How Testing is Changing to Meet the Challenge

In an environment of increasing regulatory change, financial firms are under mounting pressure to have more, better and newer data and data analysis. In 2017, the focus on this challenge at the Bank of England led to evolving testing and QA, and driving best practice in these areas.  Jordan will detail how RegTech and XBRL are driving changes in the way that data is collected and published, and the changes that testing is having to make to meet the challenges that this presents.

Speaker: Jordan Daniel, Head of Testing and Enterprise Release Management, Bank of England



Panel Discussion: DevOps and the Latest Automation Technologies

DevOps methodologies are widely viewed as the critical enabler of new technologies, such as test service virtualisation. But public sector organisations face particular cultural and management challenges in implementing DevOps. One of those challenges is building the business case for investment in new technologies, at a time when CTOs are looking for substantial savings from automation and the re-assessment of outsourcing requirements. Our panellists will share their experiences in tackling these conundrums and look forward to the future of DevOps and automation in the public sector. 

Panellists TBC


Quality Assurance and Machine Learning for the Public Sector

Everyone is talking about AI and machine learning - but how will organisations test machine learning systems as they increasingly become a reality? This session will explore these challenges as well as the potential for Machine Learning within government and public sector organisations.

Speaker TBC


Transformation of Test Services at the British Library

The British Library is in the midst of an ambitious digital transformation, in which technologies for test  automation play a key role. Micah and Damien will explain how they are transitioning testing at the British Library from manual to automated across three crucial channels: UI testing, API testing and systems integration testing. They will detail how they are working in an Agile environment and how testing is becoming the shared responsibility of various different stakeholders. 


Speakers: Micah Osawe, Test Team Lead & Damian Burke, Principal Test Engineer at The British Library 

Cocktail Reception

Gold sponsors


Conrad London St. James sits on the doorstep of Westminster, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.


St James' Park Station is positioned just opposite the hotel.

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