Archives for February 15th, 1999

COUNCILLORS UNDER ATTACK

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 February, 1999

Health Minister John Hutton criticised councillors for failure to fulfil their role as corporate parents for children in care. He made it clear that society has let these children down in the past and that the failures must not be repeated. Councillors have a duty to give high priority to ensuring that children are looked after and receive the best that society can offer. He called for the development of new and imaginative responses to meeting the needs of vulnerable children.Local authorities are required to submit a Quality Protects Management Action Plan to the Department of Health under the Quality Protects Programme launched by Health Minister Frank Dobson last Autumn. The programme sets out objectives for children’s services which for the first time require clear outcomes for children, and in some instances gave precise targets which local authorities are expected to achieve.

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JOB FINDING GETS EASIER

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 February, 1999

Employment Service Direct is a new telephone service that helps to take the hassle out of finding a job. For the price of a local call jobseekers can ring 0845 6060234 and have access to over 300,000 vacancies across the UK. Callers can ask for local or national vacancies. This a much quicker and more convenient way of finding a job because it cuts out the visit to the job centre and the wait in the queue. Since the launch on 4 January 1999 it has had a steady flow of calls and many satisfied customers.The introduction of the service is part of Tony Blair’s pledge that 25% of government services will be electronic by 2002.

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WASTE NOT WANT NOT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 15 February, 1999

Gosling PAccountancy Age, (UK), Start page: 22 No of pages: 2

Interviews the chairman of the UK Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which reviews public spending and comments on the delivery of government policy. Discusses his intention to focus on the impact of new policies and on value-for-money audits; and his desire to ‘audit public money wherever it goes’, e.g. to contractors. Reports his support for the National Audit Office (NAO) and for a Freedom of Information Act which would give the NAO as well as the general public more access to departmental records. Warns that although there is no conflict between the PAC/NAO and the Welsh Assembly, potential exists for conflict with the Scottish Parliament unless it sets up its own PAC.

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