CESG, the UK government's information assurance body, has approved Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry 7 OS for government use.

This will enable public sector staff to use the latest BlackBerry smartphones available in the UK, which include the BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Torch 9810 and Blackberry Curve 9380.

According to RIM, the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is the only mobile solution that CESG has approved to protect data classified up to 'Restricted' level, which is business Impact Level 3 (IL3).

There are six impact levels, starting from the lowest security level of IL0, to 'Top Secret' at IL6.

Public sector organisations that use BlackBerry smartphones include the Ministry of Defence (MoD), police forces like South Yorkshire Police, NHS and local government authorities.

"BlackBerry smartphones are enabling greater efficiencies and improved citizen service by providing access to data such as patient records, the Police National Computer and other government systems at the point of need," said Stephen Bates, UK managing director of RIM.