I have been involved in the database since 2006.
I visited DCB in London as part of the 2006 leadership election. I said that in any competent organisation new enquiries and new members would be contacted by their branch within 24 hours. It was essential therefore that branches be informed promptly by Newton Abbot. DCB said leave it with me. I heard no more.
In November 2010 I agreed with Nigel that we must get Newton Abbot to inform the branches within hours. Everyone who has run a business knows what is needed and John Moran and Nigel totally supported the idea.
Around that time we heard that a new computer system was proposed. I asked if I could go and map out the present system and get involved in selection. This did not happen at the time.
Later Andrew Smith was chosen to select a package.
By December 2011 I was on the NEC and I pointed out ho easy it is to be seduced by wrong software (and so damaging when it happens). I was given permission to take a look.
I allocated the task looking at the software to John Youles.
I gave myself the task of assessing the supplier, Dataware. I liked the size of the company, the people, and the frugal operation. I spent hours explaining to Dataware (in Tilbury) how UKIP works. I offered to take them to lunch, but they said there were no good restaurants within 12 miles of Tilbury. I took up their references, which were absolutely superb. I became a supporter of Dataware and Subscriber.
I noticed that the idea of telling the branches promptly about new members and enquirers was NOT in the spec. Jonathan Arnott and I got it inserted. I raised the money to pay for the extra programming, from myself and Helena Windsor.
I continue to communicate with Dataware and Ralph Gay, etc. I am available to get more deeply involved if our chairman ever decides that he should spend less time on the project.
The NEC has recognised that the main website needs to improve dramatically. An NEC subcommittee has been appointed to tackle this, for which I have volunteered. We have yet to get started.
My gut feel is that we should pour all of UKIPs abilities, including those in Bournemouth, into the one public site, ukip.org. I am therefore slowly raising the question whether all or most of our other public sites should be closed down.
I am of course delighted for the admin sites (ukip.org.uk and myukip.com) to continue.
I am also tending toward the idea that updating different parts of www.ukip.org should fall to different people, the central job being to allocate the task very clearly. The central task is management, as it always is.