Archives for April 10th, 2002

REDUCING THE PROBLEMS OF BACKBRAKING WORK

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 April, 2002

Some 40 per cent of all workers are in jobs that involve lifting or moving heavy loads for at least a quarter of the time, and about 10 million workers may be at risk. These figures include many in local government and the health service. In the London Borough of Enfield it is estimated that almost 10 per cent of all sickness absence is a result of back or musculoskeletal problems.Because fast recovery of anyone suffering a musculoskeletal (MSI) injury means an earlier return to work and a reduction of absenteeism, a fast-track treatment service has been devised . MMS National Ltd, is a practical solution to a major industrial problem.The service utilises a network of over 2,000 physical therapists nationwide.

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CALL FOR SHARPER ACCOUNTABILITY ACROSS PUBLIC SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 April, 2002

There is agreement across the public sector that improved accountability will result in better services, but there is widespread failure to take a systematic approach to deliver better accountability. This is the conclusion of the Public Services Productivity Panel in its report Accountability for Results. The Panel is sponsored by the Treasury.The Panel found that although the principles are well understood, implementation of accountability is often weak. The complexity of public services aggravates the problem. While organisations are generally very good at producing long-term strategies and plans, there are too many targets and objectives with a lack of prioritisation. This partly results from having more than one principal with different agendas. Chief constables, for example, are accountable to both the local Police Authority and the Home Office.

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TRANSFORMING ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Abstracts, PublicNet: 10 April, 2002

By Tom Christensen and Lois R Wise.Administrative policies and practices may evolve and change slowly and incrementally or they may be transformed intentionally. Intentional efforts to change administrative policy by transforming the structure, processes, or personnel of public sector organizations define an active administrative policy. This article focuses on the fulfilment of preconditions in the three national contexts – Norway, Sweden and the United States of America – in order to determine the relevance of a transformative perspective for understanding the process of administrative change. We examine what impact constraints like polity features, historical-institutional traditions and external pressure, particularly through popular international
administrative doctrines like New Public Management ideas and financial crises, have on the possibilities to enhance an active national administrative policy.

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