Archives for December 17th, 2003

TRUST WANTS CHANGES IN HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE FUNDING

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 December, 2003

More of the money which road users pay in taxation should go only to those authorities providing a safe and well-maintained road network, according to a leading motoring organisation. The call has come from the AA Motoring Trust, which has criticised Britain’s roads and the fact that highway authorities are not properly accountable to road users with councillors elected for short terms making decisions about long term road safety.The Trust says the lack of accountability means hundreds of lives are lost annually and a backlog of billions in road repairs has been built up. It cited figures which showed that Britain’s A-road network has skid resistance standards so poor that one mile in every five fails initial safety checks. Minor roads, it claims, where no independent safety review is carried out, are worse.

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COUNCILS ‘ON TRACK’ FOR E-GOVERNMENT TARGET

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 December, 2003

Two thirds of English local councils expect to be e-enabled by March next year and most authorities are making good progress towards the 2005 target date for electronic enabling of services. Those are the key results of the IEG – Implementing e-Government – Round 3 statements, announced by the Government.Only 35 of the 399 local authorities asked to submit statements, were judged to have made unsatisfactory returns. They are being asked to re-submit by early February. The figures were welcomed by Local e-Government Minister Phil Hope, who said they showed councils were on track to meet the 2005 target. Recent months had seen the real benefits e-government could bring with Pathfinders and Partnerships transforming services across local government.

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COMMERCIAL STYLE ACCOUNTING FOR PUBLIC SECTOR

Abstracts, PublicNet: 17 December, 2003

The Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) programme is being extended from Central Government to councils, NHS Trusts and other public bodies. WGA, which mirrors commercial accounting, will increase the completeness of public sector financial data by providing information on items not currently in existing measures of public finance such as provisions, contingent liabilities and future contract expenditure. The WGA programme aims to progressively increase the amount of audited data included directly in the UK National Accounts. Benefits include providing a source of robust audited financial data for central government to support policy analysis and resource allocation.The data required will be drawn from the information in published accounts, but there will also be a need to collect information on major transaction streams and balances. Dry running of the new style accounts will start in 2004/05 and full implementation will take place in 2006/07.

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