Archives for May 12th, 2003

THE POWER OF APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY

Book News, PublicNet: 12 May, 2003

By Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-BloomThe book describes a new approach to organizational change that dramatically improves performance by encouraging people to study, discuss, learn from, and build on what’s working, rather than simply trying to fix what’s not. The authors use examples from many different types of organizations to illustrate Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in action. They explain each step in the AI process using actual events, emphasizing the customized, flexible, almost artistic nature of the process. A how-to book but not a manual, which describes the latest ideas and practices in the field of Appreciative Inquiry since its inception in 1985.

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CIVIL SERVICE UNION CONCERNED ABOUT TWO TIER WORKFORCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 May, 2003

The Public and Commercial Services Union is concerned about the growth of a two tier workforce in central government. While the issue is being addressed in local government the practice of two people doing the same work on different terms and conditions is growing in central government. Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS said it would be unthinkable for the government not to take steps to eradicate the two tiers across the whole of the public sector.The PCS argues that the government has opted for private provision where there have been perfectly good public sector alternatives, or where the weight of specialist opinion was opposed to privatisation. The part privatisation of National Air Traffic Services and the privatisation of the Naval Dockyards are typical examples.

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MOVE TO END POST CODE LOTTERY IN SENTENCING

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 May, 2003

Burglars in Leeds are much more likely to receive an immediate custody sentence than burglars on Teeside. 78% of drivers who drive whilst disqualified in Mid North Essex receive a custody sentence, but only 25% of drivers committing the same offence in North Pembrokeshire go to prison. This inconsistency results from a mish mash of sentencing advisory arrangements which include occasional guidance from the Court of Appeal and the Magistrates Association. A sentencing Advisory Panel also assists the Court of Appeal. Current sentencing practice relies heavily on individual discretion.Home Secretary David Blunkett has announced plans for a radical reform of arrangements which will include setting up a Sentencing Guidelines Council. The Council will have members with current experience of the police, the probation and prison services, of defence and prosecution advocacy and of the interests of victims of crime. The majority of the Council will remain those who sentence in the magistrates’ courts, the crown court and the court of appeal.

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