Archives for January 31st, 2001

THE LEARNING ORGANISATION – DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY AT WORK

Book News, PublicNet: 31 January, 2001

Bob GarrattThis is a revised edition of a book published in 1986 that was one of the first to try to put learning ideas at the top of the management agenda. The author is a leading authority on the subject.

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MORE COUNCIL STAFF TO TAKE COMPUTER DRIVING TEST

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 January, 2001

Staff in about one third of councils in the UK will be able to take a computer driving test before the end of the year. The European Computer Driving Licence is the first pan-European Union qualification in personal computing skills. Originating in Scandinavia and launched in the UK in 1998, it is designed specifically for those who wish to gain a basic qualification in computing to help them with their current job,or to help them grow their skills and enhance career prospects.A survey of councils by the Society of Information Technology Management revealed that one of the major challenges to the successful implementation of e-government is lack of proper training for professional and clerical staff using the new computer technology. It also revealed that some councils already make use of the European Computer Driving Licence and others plan to do so.

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OPEN GOVERNMENT CULTURE CHANGE STARTS TODAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 January, 2001

The Freedom of Information Act, which came into effect today, will radically alter the relationship between those who provide public services and the public at large. The Act applies to all public bodies including Government departments, local authorities, NHS bodies which embraces hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, schools colleges, universities and the police.The fundamental change resulting from the Act is that all public bodies must disclose virtually any information to anyone who demands it. The exceptions relate to such things as advice to ministers and matters concerning the security services. This wide sweeping disclosure requirement contrasts with the Data Protection Act under which only individuals could obtain information about themselves. See Publicnet Briefing 24 January 2001 about the way the Channel Four political satirist Mark Thomas put in a standard ‘subject access’ request to the DTI and received a batch of more or less abusive emails revealing officials had attempted to “starve him of information”.

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