Archives for March 11th, 2005

PROCUREMENT STRATEGY DELIVERING RESULTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 11 March, 2005

The Nation Procurement Strategy for local government launched in 2003 has secured commitment from council leaders, chief executives, members and officers towards making procurement a top priority. A ‘One Year On’ report from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister emphasises that although the strategy was in place well before the Gershon Efficiency Review, it has become one of the main vehicles for delivering efficiency savings.The report highlights achievements made by councils including better leadership and a higher profile for procurement. In 2000 only 13% of councils reported strong member involvement in procurement. By the end of 2004 70% of councils have a member-level procurement champion. Chief officer champions of the modernisation of procurement have been designated in 86% of councils. Local government procurement is big business with 40 billion pounds spent annually and 87% of councils now have a corporate procurement strategy in place compared to 27% in 2000.

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BOOST FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

Headlines, PublicNet: 11 March, 2005

Plans announced by Home Secretary Charles Clarke will provide every community in the country with its own dedicated neighbourhood policing team by 2008. Some 24,000 police community support officers will be appointed to put the plans into effect. By the Autumn of this year each of the 43 police forces will select one of their Basic Command Units to implement and champion neighbourhood policing and understand the best way of adapting it for their area. It is expected that half the country will have neighbourhood policing by the end of 2007 with full implementation by 2008.The focus on neighbourhood policing represents a shift from policing by consent to policing with co-operation. It is a hard edged strategy that recognises the importance of visible, accessible, responsive and intelligence-led policing to combat all crime, from nuisance neighbours to drug dealers. It relies on actively engaging local people, winning their hearts and minds and responding to their needs and concerns. It has brought success in the United States where cities have focused on low-level acts of disorder, and dealt with them before they create an environment in which the anti-social elements feel in control.

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WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

Features, PublicNet: 11 March, 2005

As more services go online to meet the December 2005 deadline for e government, the risk of potential crisis situations increases. System failures and other unforeseen circumstances could lead to overwhelming call and email volumes. The transitional period will also bring a need to educate and give additional support. These risks are examined in the light of crisis management experience outside the public sector.

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