Archives for May 12th, 2004

AN INQUIRY INTO BALANCED SCORECARDS IN BEST VALUE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 12 May, 2004

By Rodney Mcadam and Timothy WalkerThe aim is of this paper is to conduct an exploratory study into the use of Balanced Scorecards as an approach to implementing Best Value in UK local government. There is a need to critically evaluate approaches to implementing Best Value so that local government can determine how to achieve the service performance levels laid down in the framework. There is a paucity of systematic studies exploring and critiquing the effectiveness of using the Balanced Scorecard in Best Value implementation. The paper describes an exploratory multiple case research study. The findings show that the Balanced Scorecard can play a key role in Best Value implementation. Moreover it is also useful in linking other improvement initiatives. The audit functions of the Business Excellence Model go some way to providing the necessary information.

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BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE BY PHONE

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 May, 2004

The Department of Culture Media and Sport is giving people access to its website through the telephone. The pilot project allows callers to dial 0845 333 0850 at local rate charges and gain voice access to the content of the DCMS website. The trial is being closely watched by other Government departments and agencies. If it is successful it will be a major step in bridging the divide between those who have computers and access to the Internet and those who don’t. It will be particularly helpful to the blind and partially sighted, around 90 per cent of whom do not have computers.Callers who want to use the service have to spend a few minutes getting to grips with the system. Each key on the telephone keypad has a function. For example ‘5’ selects a link. When callers are ready to move on to the home page they hear a voice describing what is on the page. There is a brief description of each link and if that link is required, pressing’5′ will result in a description of the new page. Although navigation is much slower than viewing a screen and clicking on the required link, developing a skill in using the telephone keypad will reduce navigation time. The technology is provided by PhoneAnything – http://www.phoneanything.com .

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT VITAL IN POLICE REFORM

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 May, 2004

A cultural change resulting in significant community engagement is one of the vital changes needed to modernize and reform the police service. A recent public opinion survey showed that 79% of respondents thought that the police in their area should find better ways of finding out what local people think, and 67% said they should have more say in how their local police served them. Home Secretary David Blunkett has called on chief police officers and chairs of police authorities to do their bit by encouraging leadership across the service at all levels, driving through cultural change.People closest to the problems in their own neighbourhoods and areas have the best ideas about how they can be addressed. They should have a genuine opportunity to help shape and to be a part of the solutions. The Home Office is consulting on how this might best be achieved and the ideas will be incorporated in the second phase of the police reform plan to be published later in the year.

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