Archives for April 2004

‘BRAVE’ COUNCIL PRAISED FOR PART IN STUDY OF PUPILS’ WELL BEING

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2004

A study published today shows that young people’s well-being drops drastically at secondary school, with significant effects on their personal development. The research was carried out by the think tank The New Economics Foundation in partnership with Nottingham City Council, which has been praised for its part in the survey.The study looked at two measures of well being in over 1,000 youngsters, life satisfaction and personal development. Previous studies have focused only on life satisfaction, but the report’s author, Nic Marks, believes personal development, which is related to being curious and engaging in challenging and absorbing activities, is important for people’s overall ability to cope well with the challenges of life and is directly related to physical health in later life.

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TALKING COP: DISCOURSE OF CHANGE AND POLICING IDENTITIES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 27 April, 2004

By Annette Davies and Robyn Thomas.This paper presents empirical and theoretical analysis of the enactment of New Public Management (NPM) within the UK police service. It draws on material gathered in a two-year study and challenges traditional understandings of policing organization and identities. The paper examines the implications of this for policies that promote community orientated policing (COP) and increased inter-agency partnership. The paper argues that the promotion of a more progressive form of policing, based on community orientation and equality principles, may struggle to gain legitimacy within the current performance regime that legitimizes a competitive masculine subjectivity, with its emphasis on crime fighting.

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PROFESSIONALS AND THE NEW MANAGERIALISM IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Book News, PublicNet: 26 April, 2004

By Mark Exworthy and Susan Halford.The book presents an overview of the restructuring of British personal public service and its implication for professional employees. It focuses on health and social care, reflecting on the recent past and looking at the possible futures.

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PUBLIC SECTOR ATTRACTIVE TO GRADUATES

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 April, 2004

About one third of 2004 graduates are looking for work in the public sector. A survey by GTI found that 65% of those looking at the public sector wanted a job that was ‘worthwhile’ and contributed to society rather than making money. Some 55% saw the public sector as providing greater job stability and 54% rated better work-life balance as an important motivator.The Civil Service came out as most undergraduates’ top choice followed by local government – the latter probably a result of a hard fought awareness raising campaign and the National Graduate Development Programme. Most graduate recruitment literature is still geared towards the private sector, so it’s more difficult to find out about public sector careers. 70% of those surveyed said that university careers services have more information about private sector careers than careers in the public sector. As a result, 64% said it was “easier” to get a job in the private sector.

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WALES LEADS THE WAY IN PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 April, 2004

Public bodies in Wales are on track to save 90 m pounds on procuring goods and services by 2010. This represents an annual saving of 3% on a spend of 3b pounds. The Welsh procurements Initiative, launched by the Welsh Assembly in 2002 is the first public sector body in Europe to address the entire public sector procurement activity of a nation. The WPI received the 2003 public sector central award for procurement excellence by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.In the last year 7.2 m pounds savings have been identified across the whole of the Welsh public sector. This is 1.2 m pounds more than the target. The largest contributor to the savings is a 6.7 m pounds reduction in telecommunications costs. There are also savings by the NHS on the purchase of medical equipment. The WPI has introduced a Welsh Purchasing Card in conjunction with Royal Bank of Scotland and this is now delivering savings.

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From Best Value Review to On-line Housing Service

Features, PublicNet: 23 April, 2004

e-Government is steadily becoming a reality across public services, but the key issue which is emerging is not technology but take-up. This article explains how Doncaster Borough Council has created an electronic housing management service with a range of on-line facilities for its tenants. Although many tenants benefit indirectly because the system is used by staff to respond more rapidly to callers, there has been a slow take-up on line. The Doncaster experience highlights the take-up issue and puts the focus on access and marketing.

PUBLIC SECTOR TRAINING FALLING BEHIND PRIVATE SECTOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 April, 2004

Thirty per cent of public sector training managers reported that their training budget had decreased last year as compared to 27% in the private sector. The disparity between the sectors becomes more pronounced in expectations for next year. In the public sector 26% of managers expect the budget to decrease compared to only 17% in the private sector. Private sector investment in training is being fuelled by fears of skills shortages. These are key findings of the Training and Development Survey 2004 conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.Jessica Rolph, CIPD Learning, Training and Development Adviser, said: “The Government has invested heavily in public services over the last year, and yet training budgets appear to have fallen. As the private sector recovers, competition in the labour market can only increase, so reductions in public sector training budgets are ill advised. It would be ironic if the Government’s investment in public services were to be undermined by a focus on pay rather than training, leading to services suffering because the public sector is failing to equip staff with the skills to do the job.”

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NEW MEASURES STRENGTHEN CRACKDOWN ON ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 April, 2004

Special prosecutors to handle anti social behaviour cases and tougher procedures for collecting fines from people who persistently refuse to pay up for criminal offences such as vandalism, complete the loop of measures to target low level crime. The measures are an important step as they close the circle that starts out on the streets and ends in the courts. See Publicnet 21st April on the success of coalitions of stakeholders and neighbourhood wardens in reducing anti-social behaviour.The prosecutors, stationed across the country, will be responsible to the local community for pursuing anti-social behaviour cases through the courts. Under new laws, they will also be able to apply for Anti Social Behaviour Orders. They will be local experts in the types of powers available to tackle anti-social behaviour and a central contact point for all local agencies dealing with the problem.

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PRIVATE SECTOR SHORTENS QUEUE FOR NHS PATIENTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 April, 2004

Contracts awarded to Nuffield Hospitals and Capio Healthcare UK to perform almost 25,000 hip, knee and other operations for NHS patients will help towards the target of reducing waiting times for operations to six months by 2005. The cost for each operation and associated care is on a par with equivalent NHS prices. Under the contracts around 880 NHS patients in each strategic health authority will start to receive operations within weeks, in 50 independent hospitals all over the country. The service will operate from 15 Capio and 35 Nuffield sites.All staff working on these contracts will be additional to the NHS and represent an increase in capacity. Many of the doctors and nurses will be trained staff who already work in independent hospitals in England. Additional staff will come from Sweden, Ireland and other parts of Europe. All will have to be fully licensed and subject to all required UK clinical standards.

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IT SUPPLIERS FORGE CLOSER LINKS WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 April, 2004

IT companies serving the local government market place have set up the Alliance of eGov Suppliers. Traditionally there has been no industry wide relationship with the local government sector as is the case in central government. The Office for Government Commerce has a Supplier Relations Team which fosters better working relationships and understanding between suppliers and central government. It includes specialists who are responsible for developing closer corporate relationships.The need for an industry-local government relationship first became apparent when the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister co-ordinated the development of the pathfinder projects. This was the first appearance of local government wide programmes. The need for a relationship framework became more acute when the National Projects, such as customer relationship management, were launched by the ODPM in 2003. The supplier community was keen to participate but unsure of how they could offer their products and enjoy the benefits.

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