Archives for September 1998

AN AWAY MATCH – FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 30 September, 1998

Lee G, Baker A, Beard DPeople Management, (UK), 14 May 98 (4/10)

Start page: 52 No of pages: 4

Describes the recently revamped system used by the UK government department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to recruit staff, showing how the introduction of competency-based selection and a different, less traditional approach to recruitment advertising had the effect of reducing the number of women applying and being selected for the jobs. Examines why this happened, presenting the results of a survey of men and women which showed them the adverts and asked them to give their reactions to the adverts and to rank the competences needed for the jobs. Explains the changes made to the advertisements to make them more attractive to women and to give a more accurate impressions of the skills needed by applicants.

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MARKET CHALLENGE HITS CORPORATE SUPPORT STAFF

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 September, 1998

Policy makers and communicators in local government are being challenged to demonstrate the value for money they provide to the public.Market-testing is routine for direct public services such as the emptying of dustbins and street maintenance, but with the Government’s drive for all of the sector to demonstrate ‘best value’, no service, however remote from day-to-day contact with the public, is free from examination.

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DON’T SHOW ZERO IMAGINATION – SAYS PM

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 September, 1998

The Prime Minister says car crime could be cut by thirty percent through partnership working between Government, car manufacturers and the police.Tony Blair told the Labour Party Conference it was one of the boldest partnerships in fighting crime seen from a Labour government.

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FRAGMENTED CHARTER IS CUSTOMER FRIENDLY

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 September, 1998

Information for people needing to use Britain’s courts system has been reviewed, slimmed down, and made a lot more customer friendly, according to the Lord Chancellor’s Department.A new charter for court users in England and Wales has been produced following extensive – and praised – consultation with consumer groups and court users.

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GEARING UP FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 September, 1998

The Government has announced what it is doing to help Britain increasingly become a ‘knowledge-driven economy’.The implications of the rapid growth of information and communications systems for both the economy and the public sector are set out in a report published by Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.He said: “The convergence of information and communications systems will have a major impact on commerce and society. One of the main consequences of convergence – the internet – is already transforming the way business is done.”The report looks at the issues Government needs to consider to ensure that existing and new industries alike seize the opportunities offered by the new information and communications technologies.

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AUDITORS WORKING TOGETHER FOR BEST VALUE

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 September, 1998

Three North Yorkshire local authorities are setting up a combined internal audit service as part of the latest phase in the government’s best value initiative.Scarborough Borough Council and Ryedale and Selby District Councils will combine their internal auditing teams from April 1999.

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CLOSER WORKING TO MAKE 999 CHALLENGE EASIER

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 September, 1998

The underlying message from the Audit Commission report into Britain’s ambulance services is that closer working between hospitals and all emergency services is the only way to meet increasing demands.The ambulance service is struggling to cope with a forty per cent rise in emergency calls since 1990. In the past all 999 calls have received the same priority. Services are now being required to respond even faster to life-threatening incidents without downgrading the response to less urgent calls.

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CREATIVE MANAGEMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 28 September, 1998

Edited by: Jane HenryIntended for managers and others who wish to increase their capacity to respond creatively to the challenges of the 1990s, this book is written in typical Open University style. The focus of the book is the impact of thought upon action, in particular changing thought creatively so as to bring about creative action. It shows how thinking patterns can limit perceived options and offers a variety of creative approaches to circumventing barriers in the mind. Jane Henry aims to encourage readers to try alternative perspectives and develop more helpful attitudes. She recognizes the place of internal psychological processes and external realities in successful creative ventures. This book is a companion volume to “Innovative Management” edited by Jane Henry and David Walker.

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GRIEVOUS PROCEDURE – STRESS MANAGEMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 26 September, 1998

Merrick NPeople Management, (UK), 30 Apr 98 (4/9)

Start page: 38 No of pages: 3

Profiles the way that the North East Essex Mental Health NHS Trust (UK) approached helping staff to deal with the stress caused by the closure of one of its hospitals. Underlines that stress is common within the health service, reporting research which found that between a quarter and a third of NHS employees were under stress, including a high proportion of managers as well as clinicians. Explains the approach taken by North East Essex Mental Health NHS Trust which included improving communications and encouraging people to talk about their feelings about the closure, including a ‘mourning’ stress management group. Assesses the success of these initiatives, reporting criticisms from the unions that little was fundamentally changed by the initiatives. Looks at the wider picture within the UK National Health Service and finds a mixed approach to the issue of stress, despite widespread acknowledgement of its seriousness for the health service

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BETTER CITIZENS REPORT LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 September, 1998

A new report recommends the teaching of effective citizenship in schools as a way of delivering a generation of people who take moral and social responsibility, get involved in community life, and are politically aware.Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett has given a warm welcome to the report of the Advisory Group on Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools. The cross-party group included politicians like the Rt. Hon Betty Boothroyd, Lord Baker, former education secretary, and people from outside politics like ITN Political Editor Michael Brunson, and the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir Stephen Tumim.

Mr Blunkett said: “Education for citizenship is vital to revive and sustain an active democratic society in the new century. We cannot leave it to chance. It is a key part of the curriculum throughout Europe and in countries like the USA, Australia and Canada. Linking rights and responsibilities and emphasising socially acceptable behaviour to others underpins the development of active citizenship.

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