Archives for August 12th, 2003

INSPECTORS PUT PLEDGE INTO PRACTICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 August, 2003

The pledge to cut inspections of local councils was confirmed at a meeting of the Local Services Inspectorate Forum. The plans show that there will be a cut of one third in inspection days in 2003/04 compared to 2002/03. The comparative figure for 2001/02 is a cut of 50%. The Forum is made up of representatives from Social Services Inspectorate, Office for Standards in Education, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Audit Commission, Benefit Fraud Inspectorate, Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate, and the Department for Education and Skills Housing Inspectorate.The Forum has set up working groups to develop a revised framework for the Comprehensive Performance Assessment to come into effect in 2005/06. Their task will be to ensure that all policy needs as well as inspection interests are taken into account in the revised framework. A key feature will be an emphasis on the ‘shared priorities’ of central and local government. The groups will need to devise performance measures for the themes which emerge where there are no suitable current measures.

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HEALTH SERVICE STAFF ATTITUDE SURVEYS TO BE STREAMLINED

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 August, 2003

A range of attitude surveys by Trusts, the Department of Health and the Commission for Health Improvement to find out how health service staff feel about working in the NHS are to be discontinued. They will be replaced by a standard survey issued by the National Survey Advice Centre which operates within the CHI and also conducts patient surveysThe central survey which will go live in October is currently being trialled in five pilot sites. The questionnaire addresses the needs of local Trusts, CHI and the Department. The issues covered in the questionnaire include team working, clear responsibilities, access to and experience of a range of training and development opportunities, working hours, work life balance, job satisfaction, pay, incident reporting, managerial support, communication within the organisation, health and safety, bullying and harassment, violence, quality of patient care, and diversity within the workforce.

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RISK MANAGEMENT IN PFI PROJECTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 12 August, 2003

By Darinka Asenova and Matthias BeckIn Public Finance Initiative transactions the private companies which take on the obligation to build and manage a facility usually provide only a small fraction of the project’s capital requirements. Most of the capital is borrowed from banks and other financial institutions. This poses challenges to financial services providers which often have to retain untypical residual project risks. This article describes the types of risks faced by financial services providers and the strategies they use to cope with these risks. Given the often politically-sensitive nature of PFI projects, the authors suggest that financial institutions should investigate a broader set of parameters than they do at present, which relate directly to the political economy of PFI projects.

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