Archives for May 2000

CONCORDAT CLARIFIES TERRITORY

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 May, 2000

The new Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have come to an agreement with local councils about the way forward in tackling the task of improving regional prosperity.A concordat has been signed, agreeing common objectives and joint interests.

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OUTSOURCING PFI DEAL SHOWS THE WAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 May, 2000

The National Audit Office (NAO) has praised the detail of a partnership arrangement in which almost the entire staff of a government department were transferred into the private sector.Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has scrutinised arrangements between National Savings and Siemens Business Services (SBS), following the ground-breaking arrangement.

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SUPPORTING ACTION ZONES – EARLY MESSAGES FUTURE PLANS

Book News, PublicNet: 31 May, 2000

Research findings from the Local Government Association’s Supporting Action Zones initiative reveal innovation and improvement in the zones as well as identifying shortcomings. Three key messages have emerged for all involved in zones including, central government, councils, health authorities, local partnerships and Government Regional Offices. There is too much prescription. The resulting stifling of innovation can be countered by allowing short term experimentation. Secondly, a framework is necessary to co-ordinate local activity, and local strategic partnerships appear to offer the best approach for success. Finally, a core role for the zones should be influencing mainstream programmes. The real lessons from the zones must be what they tell us about using mainstream resources more effectively.Published by LGA Information ISBN 1 84049 164 7. Tel: 020 7664 3131

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ACTION LEARNING

Abstracts, PublicNet: 30 May, 2000

Wilson VCareer Development International, (UK), 1999 Vol 4 No 1

Start page: 5. No of pages: 6

Reports a two-year action learning project, with clinicians and medical directors in a laboratory medical service within the UK National Health Service, recording the progress of the project and assessing its effects. Examines whether the action learning technique enabled the clinicians and medical directors to become more aware of the issues that needed to be sorted out before the management structure, particularly the management roles of the medical consultants, could be made more effective. Also looks at whether the clinicians, et al., were able to examine their own attitudes towards the issue and undertake actions that would improve the situation. Finds that this did happen but only to a limited extent – the technique was most effective when participants worked on specific actions, which were time-limited and formed part of their current workload. Considers the differences between action research and action learning, identifying some overlap between them. Argues that action research should not be seen as being the superior technique.

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AWARD SCHEME HIGHLIGHTS BEST PRACTICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 May, 2000

A new award scheme has highlighted those shopping centres that are adopting the best methods to reduce retail crime and ensure a safe and secure environment for people to shop.The ‘Safer Shopping Awards’ have been initiated by the Home Office’s Retail Crime Reduction Action Team (RCRAT) as part of its 400 million pound crime reduction programme.

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POWERFUL NEW TECHNIQUE TO CHECK DATA

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 May, 2000

The Audit Commission has revealed a powerful new technique for cross-checking data. It has used the technique to uncover 41 million pounds worth of fraud in local authorities and other public bodies.As well as detecting fraud, the system has been able to help claimants for benefits who had been denied payments due to faulty data.

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CUSTOMS LAUNCH E-COMMERCE PILOT

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 May, 2000

Customs and Excise have launched a pilot system for payment of VAT on line. Businesses of all sizes across the UK responded to an invitation to trial the new system which involves on line completion of the VAT return and electronic transfer of funds.The pilot system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users log in to www.hmce.gov.uk/ecom/index.html   and on completion of the input of data the system carries out arithmetic and validation checks and displays an explanation of any errors. An on line acknowledgement confirms acceptance of the data. Larger businesses pay their VAT bill by transferring funds through the Banks Automated Clearing System. Others use on line banking to make the transfer.

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MODEL FOR JOINING UP SERVICES LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 May, 2000

The Local Government Association has launched a model for local strategic partnerships which will allow public sector and voluntary bodies to work together. There is widespread support for joining up to deliver a seamless outcome, but in practice it is proving very difficult. The Performance and Innovation Unit in the Cabinet Office found that there is a lack of co-ordination at national, regional and local levels.The LGA advocates local strategic partnerships to bring diverse organisations together to work from neighbourhood level upwards. The model was developed in response to the views of councils and other bodies that regeneration policies had largely failed to help poor communities in any lasting way.

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THE INSIGHT TRACK

Abstracts, PublicNet: 25 May, 2000

Dixon NPeople Management, (UK), 17 Feb 2000 Vol 6 No 4

Start page: 34. No of pages: 5

Looks at how to take advantage of the knowledge that exists within an organization, discussing how to identify and communicate good practice throughout an organization. Draws on the example of Ford’s Best Practice Replication System to show how it can be done, describing how a specially appointed production engineer acts as a ‘focal point’ with responsibility for entering best practice from the plant he/she works in on to the company’s intranet and retrieving and disseminating best practice from other plants. Details how this system works in practice. Backs this up with description of Lockheed-Martin’s transfer method which is based on benchmarking exercises across the company and setting up a transfer team to make sure that expertise is shared between plants. Within these descriptions, considers the nature of knowledge and the ways in which it can be transferred.

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HEALTH INFORMATION THROUGH DIGITAL TV

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 May, 2000

The NHS plans to expand its role of providing health information by getting in on early developments of digital TV. An advertising campaign has been launched to find potential suppliers to develop pilot projects. A shortlist of companies will be announced in the summer and contracts will be awarded later this year.Possible themes for the pilots include expanding NHS Direct to develop live links between NHS Direct nurses and individuals; providing general health information to schools and workplaces; support for groups of people suffering from chronic conditions and their carers; and developing training and recruitment packages for NHS staff.

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