Archives for December 1998

OPEN DOORS TO NHS MEETINGS

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 December, 1998

The National Health Service has been told to hold more meetings in public, as part of moves towards greater openness.Health Secretary Frank Dobson has given guidance to all NHS Trusts and Health Authorities on best practice in opening up board meetings, including changing meeting times so that they are out-of-office hours and inviting local interest groups to take an active part.

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MANAGING IN NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 9 December, 1998

Paul Joyce, Paul Corrigan and Mike Hayes.In what aims to be the first-ever practical guide specifically designed for the thousands of local government managers currently facing an unprecedented pace of change, three expert authors have produced a practical tool-kit style book that will help them to assume new ways of managing. It is a book made all the more necessary by the reforms that the new Labour Government is seeking, which are in turn presenting new challenges and making old ways of managing increasingly redundant.

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TEACHERS NEED WORK EXPERIENCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 8 December, 1998

An OFSTED survey has found that only a quarter of all secondary schools have a quality programme for preparing pupils for the world of work.The Office of Standards in Education, a non-ministerial government department responsible for the inspection of all schools in England, says many pupils are insufficiently prepared to make the important economic decisions that will affect them either as an employee or generally.

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BUSINESS AND PLANNERS TOLD TO TALK

Headlines, PublicNet: 8 December, 1998

A new report de-bunks some of the myths about people in business thinking that Britain’s planning systems are full of unnecessary red tape.”The Economic Consequences of Planning to the Business Sector” finds that businesses accept the planning process as a necessary part of British life, and that it is less of a burden on business than other forms of regulation.

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LONDON BUG CO-ORDINATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 1998

There is to be renewed energy pumped into the measures to ensure London is not crippled by computer failure at the turn of the century.A new London Readiness 2000 Team will take a strategic overview of efforts to ensure the utilities, emergency services, health, transport and local government are prepared for the switch to the new millennium.

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YOUNG OFFENDERS TO APOLOGISE, YOUNG VICTIMS PROTECTED

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 1998

The Government’s Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill sets out how it plans to reduce offending among young people, and to protect witnesses.It contains a new punishment for the courts to award – referral to a youth offender panel whose task is to prevent first offenders re-offending.

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CROSSING THE PUBLIC PRIVATE DIVIDE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 7 December, 1998

Smith DManagement Today, (UK), Aug 1998. Start page: 26. No of pages: 4

Looks at crossing the public-private divide in the UK, citing a number of individuals who have transferred in one direction or the other. Interviews Sir John Whitehead, who moved from being ambassador to Japan to become senior adviser to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and is on the board of Cadbury-Schweppes and British Plasterboard; Neville Bain, who has moved from Coats Viyella to become chairman of the Post Office; and John O’Brien, who used to work for Granada and is now rail franchising director. Talks also to Stephen Bampfylde of head-hunting firm Saxon Bampfylde about the differences in working in the public sector. Notes that one of the main differences is being in the glare of the spotlight. Reports that, under the Labour Government, a number of task forces have been set up, which include many members from the business community. Speculates that, with this policy of breaking down public-private sector divisions, the UK should benefit from better business and better government.

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MODERNISING JUSTICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 December, 1998

The Lord Chancellor has set out his ideas for making justice more accessible to the very poor, and to ‘middle England’. The White Paper, Modernising Justice, sets out the biggest programme of reform in British legal services for at least 50 years, including plans to radically change legal aid and end restrictive practices in the legal professions.In future, two new organisations will replace the Legal Aid Board and purchase legal services on contract from lawyers and other providers with established skills and expertise. At present, any formally qualified lawyer can do legal aid work and then claim fees according to the time taken. New, fixed price contracts are aimed at being an incentive to efficiency and driving up quality by introducing competition.

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TASK FORCE REVIEWS ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 December, 1998

The next job of the Better Regulation Task Force is to see if they can preserve what’s best in Britain’s anti-discrimination at the same time as cutting red tape.Announcing the terms of reference for the review, working group chairman Ram Gidoomal said: “Most small businesses support anti-discrimination laws in principle, but feel that the current legislation places unfair demands on limited resources. We want to see if there is a way of cutting red tape whilst ensuring regulators do genuinely deliver equality and prevent discrimination.

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BPR – A PERNICIOUS PANACEA

Abstracts, PublicNet: 4 December, 1998

Blair H, Taylor S G, Randle KNew Technology, Work & Employment, (UK), Sep 1998 Vol 13 No 2 Start page: 116 No of pages: 13

Argues that business re-engineering is a significant departure from other consultant-driven prescriptions for organizational change because of the upheaval it involves and the damage it can do to the organization and its employees. Asks if these dangers are compensated by the potential of re-engineering to deliver answers to organizational business problems. Summarizes the theories that lie behind re-engineering, pointing to inherent contradictions within it that threaten its effectiveness. Uses two UK case studies – one of an engineering company; the second of a large public sector organization – to study the implementation of re-engineering in practice. Concludes that re-engineering is part of a long tradition of reducing costs by cutting employment.

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