Archives for December 19th, 2002

PRIVATISATION DISASTER TURNS INTO COUNCIL SUCCESS

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 December, 2002

The outsourcing of Brighton and Hove City Council’s refuse and street service proved disasterous. As well as service failures it resulted in staff doing the same jobs on different terms and conditions, because of contracts signed with different contractors. The council terminated the contract with the final contractor in October 2001 and transferred the service back under direct management.A thoroughgoing review has resulted in a switch in the focus of the waste service from refuse to recycling. The recycling service has been expanded and staff transferred from refuse to recycling collection. The Recycling and Refuse Services have been integrated and managers made jointly responsible for refuse and recycling collection crews.

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GETTING SMARTER IN NEGOTIATING PFI DEALS

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 December, 2002

Managers are moving up the learning curve in negotiating deals with private sector contractors under the public finance initiative. Over 500 PFI deals have been signed so far, but when the earlier deals were negotiated the public sector managers, unlike the contractors, did not understand the complexities of raising finance for the projects. The terms of the contracts were agreed on the basis of the rates of interest charged by the financial backers. Contractors did not reveal their intention to re-finance projects when they reached implementation, because at this point the risk of something going wrong was reduced substantially. Consequently money could be borrowed at a much lower rate.Auditors from the Nation Audit Office discovered what was happening and set up discussions with industry representative to agree a code of conduct that would give the taxpayer a better deal. The Office for Government Commerce launched a voluntary Code in October and it has been widely accepted by PFI contractors. The Code specifies that gains from any re-financing will be split on a 50-50 basis between both parties.

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THE FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM

Book News, PublicNet: 19 December, 2002

By Patrick LencioniThe author describes the ultimate leadership crisis: uniting a team in disarray. This is a gripping tale and serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. This is a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

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