Archives for August 19th, 2003

CONSULTATIONS BEGIN ON ANTI-NOISE MEASURES

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 August, 2003

The government is beginning consultations on proposals drawn up by the construction industry to deal with the problem of noise levels generated by neighbours. It follows claims by the industry that new tests for sound insulation in new homes and conversions, announced by the Office of the Deputy prime Minister, would lead to delays and higher costs.Ministers had asked the builders to prove that their alternative – investing in high performance designs with checklists to verify correct construction – would achieve the results needed. Now, following several months of research and development sponsored by the House Builders Federation, the ODPM is inviting comments on whether the industry’s preferred system, known as Robust Standard Details, is an acceptable alternative to the Government’s pre-completion testing approach.

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NEW NHS MESSAGE SYSTEM IN PLACE BY NOVEMBER

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 August, 2003

A newer and more reliable secure messaging service is being rolled out to NHS organisations. The NHS Information Authority says the new system meets Government network communications standards which all public sector bodies have to comply with by 2005.The Data Transfer Service (DTS) is replacing the X.400 messaging system which has been used for application to application messaging between computer systems and which will be phased out by November. The new service is seen as providing a centralised data transfer solution, cutting messaging transfer costs and doing away with the need for NHS organisations to have their own end-site messaging servers to handle incoming encrypted data. All data sent via the new system is fully encrypted ensuring the safety and security of information transfers.

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PATTERNS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 19 August, 2003

The Audit Commission has analysed the results of the first round of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment completed last year and distilled out the critical success factors for the best performing councils. The analysis revealed the importance of political leadership that focuses on change and continuous improvement, and makes – and sticks to – tough decisions, even in politically sensitive areas. Equally important is strong community leadership based on a shared vision for delivering local priorities and joint strategies with partners. The best performing councils had clear frameworks for managing performance that support council priorities and link to planning and budget setting. They also had people management strategies that harness staff energies and skills to deliver council objectives.The CPA process also provides learning for regulators and government that informs the way ahead and the future relationship between central and local government. The analysis will enable the Commission and other regulators to maximise regulatory value for money through Strategic Regulation which aims to promote improvement in public services by focusing regulatory attention where it is most necessary.

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