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Digital Accessibility and Software QA: Leadership Seminar in Partnership with Deque

12 November, 2019
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.

Front cover of gov brochure

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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.

Chris Johnston Government Digital Service, The Cabinet Office

Senior Technology Advisor

Chris is a senior IT professional with more than 25 years’ experience working with government and private
industry clients within large scale and complex national and global programmes and projects. Since
moving to the UK in 2001, he has worked extensively on a number of high-profile, enterprise initiatives
within UK government for Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, British Council and leading global
companies Unilever, Christie’s and Bupa.

He has worked in senior management roles developing and leading major transformation and transition in
infrastructure (WAN/LAN), digital services, telephony, video and security including extensive major
procurement, commercial and service management activity.

In 2016, Chris joined Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service) as a Senior Technology Advisor in the
Standards Assurance Team and was responsible for review and assurance of government technology and
digital programmes and projects on spend controls. He was the lead senior technology advisor for HMRC
and provided assurance for several departments including Crown Commercial Service and Ministry of

Currently he is the lead Senior Technology Advisor for Department of Business, Energy and Industry
Strategy (BEIS) and Department of International Trade (DIT) and is heavily engaged in assurance and
consultation for digital and technology spend on these departments’ EU Exit programmes, projects and
services and is a standing member of the Cabinet Office EU Exit Joint Departmental Team for BEIS.

Matt Villion UK Home Office

Head of Cyber Security Engagement

Matt Villion is a cyber security professional who has a lifetime of technology and over twelve years’ experience consulting to large UK government departments and private organisations.  He has consulted to the Ministry of Justice, Metropolitan Police, Hitachi Consulting and more recently the Home Office where he is the Head of Cyber Security engagement.  He bought his first computer 35 years ago, the ZX81, and was hooked immediately.  He is passionate about security, but not paranoid.  His core beliefs revolve around information risk management where security is the enabler for business exploitation.  His firm belief that one of the primary concerns in information risk management is compliance with law has caused him to write several pieces of software around risk governance.  Often referred to as Matt with the Hat because of his antipodean background and his love of his Jacaru hat.

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 Information and 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.

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.

Jonathon Wright Intellectual Property Office

IT Engineering - QA and Test

Jonathon Wright is a strategic thought leader and distinguished technology evangelist. He specializes in emerging technologies, intelligent automation and cognitive adoption (deep learning), and has more than 20 years' of international commercial experience within global organizations. He is currently the Data Therapist  for IPO based in Newport, advocacy board director for various non for profit such as and is a representative of the European Commission on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Jonathon combines his practical experience and leadership with real-world insights behind the core principles and practices underpinning Enterprise AI, Smart Cities (IoT / C2X & I2X) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Thus, he is frequently in demand as a keynote speaker at international conferences such as TED, Gartner, Oracle, AISummit, Unicom, EuroSTAR, STAREast, and STARWest. Jonathon is the author of several award-winning books.


Micah Osawe The British Library

Test Team Leader

Micah Osawe heads up the test team at The British Library based in Boston Spa and St Pancras. Micah has a degree in Computer Science with Business Information Systems. Micah has 15 years' testing experience in the public sector, banking and gambling industry, specializing in creating test strategies and automation frameworks in Java, C#, Python, open source frameworks and their implementation. An advocate of exploratory testing, test automation, CI/CD, DevOps and eliminating waste therein. Micah is currently exploring Robotic Process Automation, off the shelf implementation tools and framework creation using Python.

As Test Team Leader at The British Library, Micah’s responsibilities are coaching, mentoring, leading and driving the test team in the direction that delivers for Technology and the technical & non-technical development of testers at The British Library in line with Technology transformation and roadmap.  

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 and QA Vector Research Presentation

Matthew Crabbe, CEO - QA Media 

QA Vector ® Research Presentation: Justyn Trenner - Director, will present key finding from our original research.  


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

Chris Johnston - Senior Technology Advisor - Government Digital Service - The Cabinet Office 


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



Coffee & Networking


The Bank of England’s journey to Agile – Balancing innovation and agile delivery with quality

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

The Bank of England is taking a big step towards Agile delivery of software and is investigating its technology options. But while Agile delivery is taking increasing hold on how firms deliver new systems and systems changes, Agile methods appear to be antithetical with the level of quality that the Bank of England’s business areas are used to, and still demand. Jordan Daniel will explain  the steps the Bank is taking to reconcile possibly contradictory positions.


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: Jonathon Wright, IT Engineering - QA and Test, Intellectual Property Office 


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. 

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


Cocktail Reception

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