Archives for November 19th, 2002

THE CASE FOR ACTIVITY BASED COSTING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Features, PublicNet: 19 November, 2002

By Mike Sherratt The line between the financial management processes in the public sector and commercial businesses is beginning to blur. Activity based costing, which has been used by businesses for almost two decades, is now being developed in the public sector as a driver for service improvements . The author explains what it is and how it is being applied in the quest for Best Value.



IT STAFFING PROBLEMS PREDICTED

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 November, 2002

The latest National Computing Centre Survey of IT Staffing shows a growing demand for IT staff in public services and predicts recruitment and retention problems . Almost 30% of public organizations surveyed reported increased demand for IT staff over the next two years. The highest level of growth, at 18 %, was in health and education, while for local and central government the figure was just under 7%. The view from the Centre is that to fulfil this high growth these services will probably have to be more competitive with other industry sectors, including increasing the salaries offered to staff in-post and new staff.The increasing demand for IT staff for public services contrasts with a marked slowdown in the IT labour market. Salary increases, staff turnover and demand for contractors are all similar to those reported during the recession of the early 1990s. With fewer organisations predicting shortages in the next two years it is unlikely that there will be a return to the rapid increases in salary levels or the late 1990’s

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STAR RATINGS DRIVING UP PERFORMANCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 November, 2002

Awarding star ratings to social services departments of local councils is starting to drive up performance. Since the stars were first awarded in May this year there have been twelve improvements and six reductions. This has increased the number of three star councils by three and two star councils by two. At the bottom end, the number of no star councils has increased from 10 to 12.Three star councils are being given the freedom to spend grant money from the Performance Fund on their priorities for improvement and next year this freedom will be extended to all grants. They will also have less inspection, less form filling and more freedom to develop local public service agreements. Councils with zero, one and two stars will also receive a share of the performance fund, but they will only be allowed to use the money to develop innovative intermediate care services.

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