Archives for September 2000

STARTING TO MODERNISE

Book News, PublicNet: 20 September, 2000

By Geoffrey Filkin.This report commissioned by the New Local Government Network draws on a range of experts from the private and public sector and suggest that a methodology based on intelligent strategic procurement is the appropriate basis for improving performance and delivering the outcome that the public want.

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CONTRACTING OUT LEADS TO LOST FINANCIAL CONTROL

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 September, 2000

A new report by the National Audit provides a timely warning to any public sector unit thinking of contracting out its finance function. The NAO has produced a report on the Public Health Laboratory Service Board Accounts for 1998-99, where financial control broke down after the contract went live in April 1998.The report shows failure, by the contractor CSL Ltd, to perform timely and complete bank reconciliations, inaccurate accounting records for debtors and cash, and poor controls over the making of payments for goods and the creation of creditors on the CSL accounting system. Since then the Board and CSL have taken steps to recover, and earlier this year the Board commissioned an external accounting firm to review all the major financial systems in place at CSL. There is confidence the system is now under control.

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EVIDENCE THAT MODERNISATION IS UNDER WAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 September, 2000

A new Government report praises forty-five examples of modernisation seen to have improved practice. Citizens First, the modernising government annual report produced by the Cabinet Office, attempts to find progress across many sectors.Kirklevington Grange and Holme House prisons, Teesside, are saluted for their enterprising work with prisoners -they have set up a ‘passport’ service to help prisoners collect and complete all the necessary forms they need to put them on a crime-free track on finishing their sentence.

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MORE BEACONS TO LIGHT HEALTH MODERNISATION PATH

Headlines, PublicNet: 18 September, 2000

The award of beacon status to a further 68 NHS Trusts and Primary Care Groups brings the total to 355. The role of the beacons is to show how the principles of the NHS 10 year plan can be put into practice by providing leading edge examples of modernisation and best practice. The new beacons represent all aspects of health care including outpatients, coronary heart disease, human resources and personality disorders.Each beacon receive 15,000 pounds to promote their good practice. This is done in a variety of ways such as providing interactive learning, mentoring, secondment, websites and training packs.

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PUBLIC SECTOR NOT PREPARED FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 18 September, 2000

Electronic service delivery will transform the way the public sector does business. In the next 5 years traditional physical channels for dealing with the public, such as face to face and letters and forms, will be replaced electronic channels. A report by the Performance and Innovation Unit in the Cabinet Office reveals that there are few plans to deal with this wholesale transformation of public services.The report highlights not only the impact of the switch to electronic service delivery, but it also presents a sketch of the competition public bodies will face from the private and voluntary sectors in what it describes as the G2C (government to citizen) market. The competition has already emerged and Publicnet recently reported that Impower now offers a fishing licence service through the Internet and Cityspace provides a facility to renew TV licences through kiosks in high streets.

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EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP OF LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND PERFORMANCE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 18 September, 2000

Connelly M S, Gilbert J A, Zaccaro S J, Threlfall K V, Marks M A, Mumford M D
Leadership Quarterly, (USA), Spring 2000 Vol 11 No 1
Start page: 65, No of pages: 22

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ELECTRONIC TRADING TAKING OFF ACROSS THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 September, 2000

The drive is on towards full electronic trading between public bodies and their suppliers. Targets have been set for 50% of transaction to be procured electronically by December 2001 and 100% by December 2002.Experience in the private sector has shown cost savings of 60% in procuring low value goods and services. A possibly greater motivation for public bodies is believed to be the ability to use the data generated by the on line transactions to analyse the procurement picture in a way that paper based systems do not allow. At the top level the analysis will reveal who is buying what from whom. The Office for Government Commerce knows that central government spends 13 billion pounds annually on procurement, but it does not know what the money is buying. This information will allow the Office to negotiate lower prices with suppliers. There will also be other benefits from analysis in the form of supply management, price accuracy and standard specification.

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LEADERSHIP THAT GETS RESULTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 14 September, 2000

Goleman DHarvard Business Review, (USA), Mar – Apr 2000 Vol 78 No 2

Start page: 78. No of pages: 12

Argues that leaders must match their management style to the situation in order to be effective. Identifies and describes six leadership styles (coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching) and the situations in which each may be effective. Links these styles to the four basic capabilities of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self management, social awareness and social skill), listing the elements which compose them. Suggests that authoritative leadership has the most positive effect on working environment, closely followed by the affiliative, democratic and coaching styles. Advocates the use of a range of styles according to the situation, making an analogy with the correct choice of club by a professional golfer to achieve results.

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MORE SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 September, 2000

Children with emotional or behavioural problems will benefit from an initiative to forge closer links between schools providing for special educational needs and mainstream schools. The initiative is part of the strategy to ensure maximum inclusion in the mainstream system.Special needs schools are being urged to develop their outreach role. Mainstream schools with special needs children are being encouraged to use the experience of staff in special needs schools in developing lessons.

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ELECTRONIC HEALTHCARE

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 September, 2000

The NHS 10 year plan is being put into effect with the take up of electronic systems to provide better support.NHS Direct, the largest telephone health advice service in the world, is to replace three support systems with a new decision support system to be installed by April 2001. The system will help nurses to assess a patient’s symptoms and determine the right level of care. It will also provide other information such as out of hours doctors’ services and ambulances services. The system will be progressively upgraded and by to 2002 nurses will be able to tell callers the location of their nearest pharmacy.

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