Archives for April 27th, 2001

AUDITORS FIND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SHAMBLES IN EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2001

The National Audit Office has again heavily criticized the European Commission for its inept financial management. The accounts produced by the Commission are unreliable, the high rate of error has not improved in the past six years and fraud continues unabated. The report authors have drawn on the Annual Report by the European Court of Auditors, which covered the management of the General Budget of the European Union for 1999. The Commission has overall responsibility for implementing the Budget, which totalled 54 billion pounds in 1999.The Commission has begun to implement the strategy for reform which was developed by Commission Vice-President Neil Kinnock following the resignation of the previous Commission in 1999. The key elements of the strategy are strengthening audit, financial management and control. Progress has been patchy and much of the reform strategy is yet to be implemented. One of the main obstacles to be overcome is a culture change which will take time to achieve.

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EMPLOYMENT AND BENEFITS MERGER TO BRING IMPROVED SERVICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2001

The launch of 50 Jobcentre Plus pathfinders will bring together under one roof the services of job finding and benefits claiming. The reason for the merger is that in many cases it is the same person who needs both services. The remaining 1000 offices will be merged next year when it is expected to be clear which merger strategies work best.The new merged service, under its Chief Executive Leigh Lewis, plans to improve services to its job seeker and employer customers. The old job vacancy boards – one of the most enduring images of Jobcentres – are being replaced by easy-to-use, touch-screen kiosks known as Jobpoints. As a result jobseekers will be able to access up-to-date vacancy information, not just for their local area, but for any part of Britain.

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