Archives for November 2002

EXPERTS GET TOGETHER TO LOOK AT EFECTIVE E-GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 November, 2002

Leading information technology and computing practitioners from central and local government will be brought together today to look at the best ways of delivering effective e-Government.They will join representatives from various agencies and NGOs as well as experts from the private sector at a two-day conference which will look at a range of subjects including streamlining the flow of information.

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RESEARCHERS SAY TENANTS GROUPS ‘OUTPERFORM’ COUNCILS ON HOUSING SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 November, 2002

Council tenants who take over managing their own housing estates can achieve high quality services at reasonable costs, according to an independent report.Research by a team from Oxford Brookes University, carried out for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, found that more than half of Tenant Management Organisations also make a big contribution to regenerating the areas in which they live.

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FREEDOM FROM FAILURE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 25 November, 2002

By Conor RyanThe pamphlet recognizes recent improvements in education but highlights weaknesses. A quarter of children are unable to read and write adequately, there are problems with much teacher training, vocational education is still poor and there are still too many poor schools. Addressing the failure of schools requires radical reform and concrete change. Among the reform measures advocated in the pamphlet are investment in a rapid expansion of the Graduate Teaching Programme so that in-school training becomes the norm, rather than the exception. Radical reform of vocational education with apprenticeships starting at age 14 with programmes designed by employers. Schools not reaching exam performance targets in 2005 and 2006 should be closed. The private and voluntary sector should be encouraged to get involved.

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EVENT EXAMINES CULTURAL FLAWS IN SERVICE REFORM

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 November, 2002

A series of speakers will today examine the idea that plans for the reform of public services may be undermined by Britain’s cultural climate which sees fewer people wanting to become involved in service to others.The event in London has been organized by the Royal Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce, under the title “Reform of Public Services; a cultural problem?”

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NEW MEASURES PUT NHS EMPHASIS ON PREVENTION

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 November, 2002

A new funding formula for local health services to balance areas of high cost and high need will be introduced as part of a campaign to switch the emphasis in the National Health Service to prevention rather than cure.The Government’s Cross Cutting Review of Health Inequalities includes a series of measures which it is hoped will reduce the numbers of unnecessary deaths through ill-health to reduce health inequalities.

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POLICY MAKING IN THE GLOBAL COMMONS

Features, PublicNet: 22 November, 2002

By Geoff Mulgan. Reproduced by permission of the Centre for Management and Policy Studies. Governments, from early civilizations onwards, have looked across frontiers for ideas about how to govern better. This global trade in policy reached new heights in recent years. From the perspective of Director of the Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office, Geoff Mulgan looks at the global trade and other drivers of policy innovation including what works in practice and comparisons between organizations.

PRIMARY CARE PLAN SETS OUT DAUNTING MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 November, 2002

The three year primary care plan, Liberating the Talents, launched by Health Minister John Hutton, sets out a vision of a totally reformed service. Delivery of the plan will require managers at all levels to set about changing the culture and to re-think the way things are done now. The essence of the plan is about removing frontiers between health and social services and particularly between professional groups within primary health care.The plan describes the one service approach to ensure that organizational and professional boundaries do not get in the way of delivering a patient centred service. It envisages professionals being brought together in multi agency teams to provide integrated services. It calls for a questioning of professional and organizational boundaries. It also urges that frontline health staff should be involved in Local Strategic Partnerships.

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WATCHDOG CALLS FOR WIDER BENEFIT FROM INVESTMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 November, 2002

The National Audit Office is concerned that the taxpayer is not getting sufficient benefit from projects funded by the Treasury’s Invest to Save budget. Some 88 million pounds has been allocated to projects to deliver improvements in health, education, transport and tackling crime. A similar amount is being spent on delivering local improvements in public service delivery mainly through better use of IT. The projects span across central departments, local government, health authorities, voluntary bodies and the police.The projects are expected to deliver two pounds for every pound spent, either in terms of improved services or increased efficiency. The NAO is concerned that project sponsors are taking a narrow view of benefit and not recognizing that publishing findings about what worked and what did not work would bring substantial benefits to the wider public sector. Key lessons that would bring external value to the projects include the way innovative activities have been managed and the need for all those involved with a project to have the same agreed objectives. Failure to share this information raises the risk of duplication of effort and additional costs.

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BROADBAND IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – A SNAPSHOT IN 2002

Abstracts, PublicNet: 21 November, 2002

This report commissioned by the DTI and produced by the Society of Information Technology Management, provides a snapshot of progress being made by local authorities in the implementation of broadband across the UK. The report also provides information on the likely speed of future developments. Almost 80% of the larger authorities will be committed to a strategic approach to broadband across all networks by September 2004, but only 30% of shire districts will be. The key drivers for broadband implementation are the National Grid for Learning and the People’s Network, while 93% of smaller district councils see e-government as the driving force. The most frequently cited barrier to broadband take up is lack of funding, and the complexity of accessing the funding that is available. The report concludes that in general local authorities have a positive view of the need to adopt broadband.The report is available free of charge to Socitm Insight subscribers and 125 pounds to others. It can be ordered from http://www.socitm.gov.uk

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FROM THE NORTH SEA TO THE SOUTH ATLANTIC

Headlines, PublicNet: 21 November, 2002

Chris Simpkins, 50, is taking the skills he has developed as Chief Executive of South Holland District Council in Lincolnshire to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, some 300 miles from the South American mainland. His salary as Chief Executive will be almost 100 thousand pounds plus a gratuity of 25%. He will also be eligible for lower tax rates.He is leaving a unique landscape bordering on the Wash, which has been drained to create the most fertile farmland in Britain for one of the world’s most unspoilt environments with more sunshine hours than Southern England and less rainfall than the UK average. There are, of course, winds.

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