Archives for January 20th, 2005

BENEFIT INSPECTIONS TO FOCUS ON POORLY PERFORMING COUNCILS

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 January, 2005

Local authorities have been warned that they will face investigation by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate if they fail to measure up to certain standards in administering benefit payments. Anti-Fraud Minister Chris Pond has announced that the BFI is to concentrate its efforts on councils who perform poorly in three specific areas.Inspections will be carried out in authorities that take much longer than the target of 36 days to process new claims, those that are seen to be weak in countering fraud and councils where there is evidence of a poor record of administering overpayments.

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FRAGMENTED MOVES TOWARDS BETTER GOVERNANCE OF PUBLIC BODIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 January, 2005

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has looked back to find out how effective its ten years of work has been. It found that more needs to be done to restore public trust in those appointed to public office and that arrangements for dealing with complaints about local councillors need radical reform.The publication of its report follows closely on the launch of the Good Governance Standards by the Independent Commission, but neither have acknowledged the work of the other. Both bodies have worked on parallel tracks to an almost identical timescale and their work has considerable areas of overlap. Sir Alistair Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Standards said: There are no plans to share in the programme of conferences planned to promote the Good Governance Standards.

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THE MODERNISERS’ TALE

Book News, PublicNet: 20 January, 2005

By Dan Corry and Ian ParkerThis report from the New Local Government Network sets out a manifesto on a range of issues currently impacting upon local government. It focuses on the themes of transforming public services, revitalising local political leadership, empowering local communities and New Localism. It argues that a window of opportunity exists to make a lasting difference to the running of Britain’s localities and communities – and by extension the country as a whole. It questions how long that window will remain open and urges that local government modernisation should carry on at a pace.

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