Archives for July 1999

WHITEHALL TURNING GREEN

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 July, 1999

Government departments have been given a target of recovering a minimum of 40 per cent of total office waste within two years.

Launching the first Annual Report of ‘Green Ministers’, Environment Minister and chair of the group, Michael Meacher outlined the way in which he and his colleagues are working across Government, and in their own departments. A ‘Green Minister’ has been appointed in each of the main central Government departments.

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SMALL FIRMS AVOID GROWTH TO CUT RED TAPE

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 July, 1999

The Better Regulation Task Force says that small firms are disadvantaged compared to larger businesses when complying with Government regulation.

Their interim report on Small Firms and Regulation suggests there is evidence that firms are deliberately restricting growth in order to stay below the threshold at which regulations apply.

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OFSTED PROGRAMME SUPPORTS INNER CITY INITIATIVE

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 July, 1999

In an example of joint working – OFSTED has announced a programme of inspections that will give maximum support to Government efforts to improve inner city life.

At the Education and Employment Secretary’s request, OFSTED has included in its next tranche of work all those Local Education Authorities participating in the Government’s Excellence in the Cities programme which have not yet been inspected.

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GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE ON-LINE PROFILE

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 July, 1999

Move house next year and you may only have to inform Government departments about it once.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Dr Jack Cunningham has announced that by December, a single electronic ‘gateway’ will be on test, opening up a range of one-stop shop services.

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VARIETIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONVERGENCE

Book News, PublicNet: 29 July, 1999

Maor M, Jones G W
The International Journal of Public Sector Management, (UK), 1999 Vol 12 No 1. Start page: 49. No of pages: 14

Assesses the influence of the new public management paradigm on the convergence process within the organizations of public administration, its practices and the role perceptions of senior civil servants within the European Union. Discusses the concept of convergence at across- and within-systems, observing similarities and differences among administrative systems over policies. Asserts that the challenge of new public management is making the public sector less distinctive as a unit from the private sector, and reducing the extent to which discretionary power is limited by uniform and general rules of procedures. Suggests that, although there is no EU policy to harmonize administrative systems, the European Commission is encouraging similar administrative responses through its KARLUS ‘exchange of officials’ programme. Concludes that while the impact of new public management may be producing more of a convergence between EU administration systems, there is no clear trend towards a common destination.

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MONEY CASCADES TO LOCAL DECISIONMAKERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 July, 1999

Signs have emerged of an easing of the bidding process favoured by the previous Government as a way of ensuring value when making grants to the wider public sector.

The NHS Confederation has hailed an announcement from Health Secretary Frank Dobson that a further forty million pounds is being made available directly to health authorities, to help them deliver some of the tough targets set on service improvements.

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LIFT OFF FOR PLANS TO CYCLE TO AIRPORT

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 July, 1999

Britain’s airports have been told that more of their passengers have got to arrive and depart by public transport.

Glenda Jackson, the Transport Minister, says airports can play a crucial role in the Government’s much-criticised plans for an integrated public transport system.

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THE ‘REPRESENTATIVNESS’ OF COUNCILLORS

Book News, PublicNet: 28 July, 1999

By Alice Brown, Amy Jones and Fiona Mackay

Local Government reform is an important part of the Government’s programme for democratic renewal. This study investigates why certain groups are under represented on councils. Their research raises questions about what should be done to make the membership of councils more closely resemble the communities they serve and what difference a more socially representative system might make. Finally, options for reform are presented.

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JOINED-UP PENSIONS INFORMATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 July, 1999

A new advisory group has been set up to help deliver for the first time a joined up picture of people’s likely pension.

The Pension Forecasting Advisory Group chaired by the DSS, and with members drawn from the pensions industry and employers, will consider how to deliver the Government’s proposals for combined pension forecasts with a minimum burden for employers and pension providers.

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SCHOOLS MILLIONS WILL GO ON MEASUREMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 July, 1999

Schools are to receive 22 million pounds over three years to provide the training and expertise necessary when performance pay is introduced for teachers.

Schools Minister Charles Clarke said the success of performance pay depended on a system that was fair, non-bureaucratic and effective. He stressed the emphasis would be on ‘better communication, not paper overload.’

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