Archives for October 14th, 1999

INFORMATION AGE CHAMPIONS ON THE NET

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 October, 1999

The 30 board level Government officials charged with advancing the use of information technologies to modernise Government and improve public services have unveiled their website. The site gives key information on new initiatives, updates on activities, members and their departments, and working groups. Unlike other sites with working groups addressing particular issues it does not, as yet, publish details of on going discussions. The address is: http://www.iagchampions.gov.ukThe major role of the champions is to help to draw up the Government’s first-ever corporate IT strategy, planned for March 2000. The strategy will address issues such as using cutting edge technology in the form of interactive TV, the internet, call centres, and smart cards to reduce form filling. Income tax, pensions, benefits and national insurance are among the transactions that are likely to be at the front of the queue for electronic delivery.

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SCHOOL ABSENTEE REPORT CRITICISED

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 October, 1999

The Local Government Association has criticised a report by the Audit Commission as misleading and out of date. The Commission’s findings on truancy and exclusion from school are based on research carried out early in 1999 and it is claimed that much has change in more recent months.It is estimated that every day, around 400,000 pupils are not in school. At least 40,000 are absent without school permission, 3,000 pupils are on short exclusions and around 6,000 have been permanently excluded. The report describes Local Education Authorities as poor at collaborating with social services and other agencies and equally poor at internal co-ordination. In many Authorities there is inadequate data to allow preventive work to be targeted or to find out what corrective measures work best.

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MANAGING HORIZONTAL GOVERNMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 14 October, 1999

By Peters B GPublic Administration, (UK), Vol 76 No 2. Start page: 295. No of pages: 17

Sees the pursuit of ‘horizontality’ as being the perennial quest of government to link their departments, which have become differentiated and remote from each other, to prevent policy being unco-ordinated between them. Identifies the reasons that this co-ordination is becoming more difficult and considers how this can be remedied. Lists the mechanisms available which would promote policy co-ordination, assessing the potential of policy networks. Sets out the characteristics of a network, outlining how their co-ordinative capacity can be weakened or strengthened and the factors that affect this.

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