Archives for March 24th, 2005

MILLION POUND SCHEME FOR LIBRARY SERVICES IN WALES

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

A million pound scheme has been launched in Wales to improve access to library services and to promote partnership working between different kinds of library services. The project is designed to put libraries at the heart of the community. The news comes only two days after a report from the Tavistock Institute detailed the impact that ICT training for library staff could have on the future of library services.The Welsh scheme includes plans to make library catalogues available online so that both users and staff can locate books and other resources held by libraries throughout Wales. This would also mean giving the public direct access to resources held in other libraries.

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SECURING BETTER OUTCOMES: DEVELOPING A NEW PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK

Book News, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

This discussion paper published jointly by ODPM and the Treasury is an essential part of the ‘Local Vision’ which is taking a long view of where local government is going. It examines the development of a more effective and flexible performance framework to secure public services that are better focused on the needs of local people. It is intended to stimulate debate around developing a more devolved approach to improving outcomes across local government. It emphasises opportunities for users and local people to influence local priorities and the design and delivery of services.The paper presents a vision of reduced bureaucracy through a more coherent approach to managing performance, more flexibility to enable faster and better tailored responses to local circumstances with greater potential for developing an increasingly area based approach between councils and their partners. It also stresses the importance of strategic, integrated relationship management through Government Offices to tailor negotiations, co-ordinate engagement, and challenge and respond to significant under-performance.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS OFFERED CHANCE TO SHAPE FUTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

Community and voluntary organisations are being offered a chance to shape the future of local government. They have been urged to use their position to drive forward decision making at a local level and help ensure the effective delivery of services.The call has come from Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford in urging groups to contribute to the Local Vision debate – the Government-led discussion on a ten year strategy for the future for local government. It is looking into issues such as the role of local authorities in community leadership and how involvement and participation in neighbourhoods can be increased.

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PUBLIC SECTOR FEARS OVER IT COMPLIANCE – BUT GPs BREAK NEW GROUND

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

Almost three-quarters of public sector IT managers are concerned that their organisations may not be complying fully with relevant legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, according to research commissioned by Dell. Six out of ten of those questioned said the steep increase in the amount of legislation was the main reason for their lack of confidence over compliance.Other factors cited by the IT managers were lack of awareness, lack of time and lack of understanding. The research shows the problem exists across the public sector, including government departments, education and health. The results come as the Department for Health announced that the National Programme for IT will become an agency of the Department of Health from April and will be re-named Connecting for Health. Family doctors are also to get a greater choice of computer systems.

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