Archives for March 16th, 2005

PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGERS RESPONDING TO CHANGE PRESSURES

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 March, 2005

The Gershon efficiency review and the Lyons report on the re-location of Whitehall offices to the provinces are creating new pressures across public service organisations and bringing new challenges for managers. It is being recognised increasingly that unless change management is handled effectively there will be ever increasing people problems and a loss of productivity. All public bodies from major departments to small district councils are committed to collectively make some 20 billion pounds of saving by 2007/08. It is expected that the numbers will be firmed up in the Chancellor’s Budget Statement today.The response of managers to the change pressures has become clear through the publications of sales figures by Video Arts, a leading provider of video based training programmes, which has over 4,500 public sector customers in both central and local government, the health service, police forces and the armed forces. The figures reveal a shift away from equal opportunities and managing absenteeism and towards motivational and behavioural training programmes. Examples include ‘Fish!’ which aims to change people’s perception about the jobs they do, improving teamwork, customer care, and motivation and ‘Straight Talking’ which looks at the art of assertiveness.

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TWO YEARS ON – THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR LOCAL E-GOVERNMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 16 March, 2005

This review by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister looks back at progress in implementing the local e-government strategy published in 2002 and it also looks forward to the next year. It highlights key developments in the sophisticated and complex programme of work designed to support local councils during the delivery stage of their local e-government investment against the background of the changing policy climate and the emerging political debate.In the coming year the local e-government strategy must ensure that the programme outputs deliver impact and provide a sustainable legacy. In terms of efficiency gains, National Projects have already been identified as key levers for achieving savings in corporate services and procurement. The NOMAD National Project on mobile working technology will help facilitate the use of teleconferencing and flexible and home working and make a key contribution to efficiency gains in the area of productive time. Making use of e-recruitment methods will substantially reduce costs of new hiring. The CRM National Project is identified as facilitating corporate service integration, to improve processes and resource efficiency in the area of transactional services. The publication of priority outcomes for local e-government in April 2004 derived from the shared priorities for local government3, has positioned local e-government work in the mainstream of local government modernisation.

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REPORT SIGNALS NEW STRATEGY FOR AN AGEING SOCIETY

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 March, 2005

A renewed focus on tackling isolation and social exclusion among older people will be at the centre of a strategy for an ageing society due to be published shortly. A new report from the Social Exclusion Unit identifies independence, choice, prevention of exclusion and isolation as the key issues the strategy will address.The report finds that while significant progress has been made in tackling pensioner poverty, those on lowest income still experience the greatest exclusion, disadvantage and ill health. It shows the importance of tackling isolation as well as income in order to improve older people’s quality of life. The report reveals that around 30 percent of people over 65 do not see any friends at least once a week, and 1 in 6 people aged 65 and over are affected by depression. 60 per cent of people aged 65 and over have a long standing illness. Although the poorest third of pensioners are £1,900 a year better off in real terms than in 1997, 2.1 million still live on low incomes.

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