Archives for June 17th, 2002

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 17 June, 2002

By Robert JonesAs the system of Best Value develops and matures, this article argues that there is a need within the literature for more research into the micro-management processes of public participation within local government. The article presents the findings of a study into the management of ‘friends’ groups as a form of public participation in a Best Value pilot council for parks and grounds maintenance situated in northern England. The conclusion is that this form of innovative community involvement is unlikely to be successful without substantial two-way commitment on the part of both the local council and the community.

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CRIME IS BIG BUSINESS

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 June, 2002

Reform of the criminal justice system is about to move forward with the publication of the White Paper spelling out plans for fighting and reducing crime and putting the care of victims and witnesses at its heart. To allow the Home Office, police services and agencies involved in the criminal justice system to get the ‘big picture’ of crime, the Metropolitan Police Service commissioned a survey to find out what was happening on one day. The snapshot shows the volume and complexity of the issues surrounding the criminal justice system at every stage, including the involvement of victims and witnesses.The findings revealed that on one day more than 16,500 crimes are reported in England and Wales, this is the equivalent of eleven crimes a minute. Four people are arrested every minute. 560 people are received into custody. 21,788 police hours are spent processing arrests. The Probation Service has 200,000 active cases. The Crown Prosecution Service deals with 7,500 cases in court. Victim Support receives 3,000 referrals and sees or speaks to 4,000 victims and witnesses. 30,000 hours of unpaid work are carried out under Community Punishment Orders.

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BETTER RISK MANAGEMENT FOR IT PROCUREMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 June, 2002

Potential suppliers of IT systems to public bodies are to come under greater scrutiny at the initial evaluation stage. The Office for Government Commerce wants a more rigorous risk management approach to be adopted by clients to weed out companies who may have problems delivering the outputs required. This is part of the strategy to change the culture which in the past has often resulted in the award of a contract to the lowest bidder.The OGC has looked at the effect of supplier capability across projects and found that multi-national companies were sometimes not fully aware of commitments in the UK until the project was in difficulty. Frequently the caliber of the implementation teams was below what was needed. It also found that suppliers were often slow to recognize danger signals with the result that skilled resources were brought in too late. In some cases the initial penalty free operational period was treated as extra time to achieve levels of service rather than as a “safety net”.

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