Archives for February 23rd, 2000

PLAN FOR AVERTING IT PROJECT DISASTERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 February, 2000

Following a rise in the failure of major IT projects last year the Central IT Unit in the Cabinet Office launched a review to find ways of preventing disasters such as the failure of the Passport Office system. The Review Team is examining public and private sector projects, as well as international experience to identify the causes of failure and the ingredients of success.Because the findings will not be available for some months, an interim Plan has been published. It addresses the problem facing project managers of the once in a lifetime challenge to manage a project far larger than anything experienced previously and unlikely to be experienced again in the remainder of a career. In future major projects will be subjected to Peer Reviews at the planning stage to provide assurance that the project is safe to go ahead. A system is also being set up to share knowledge about IT projects so everyone can benefit from best practice experience.

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DIVIDENDS FROM EARLY EXCELLENCE CENTRES

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 February, 2000

Research findings published by the Department for Education and Employment show that pilot Early Learning Excellence Centres, providing integrated care and education for children in their early years, are benefiting families and taxpayers.The research, which was carried out by Worcester College found that for every one pound invested in Centres, eight pounds were saved on alternative services such as foster care and counselling. The findings also show that early intervention for children with special needs leads to a greater likelihood of a child being successfully educated in mainstream schools. This produces an additional saving because mainstream education costs 7000 pounds less per child than special school education.

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GETTING THE GROUNDWORK RIGHT

Book News, PublicNet: 23 February, 2000

Report by The Audit CommissionThe report stresses that core financial disciplines are more important than ever in the move from Compulsory Competitive Tendering to Best Value. It describes how local authorities should approach the financial management of trading units under Best Value, highlighting the lessons learnt from the final years of CCT when a number of authorities experienced severe difficulties with their Direct Labour Organisations and Direct Service Organisations. Its main findings include the requirement for annual business plans of trading units to be approved by council members and the key role of Finance Directors.

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