Archives for April 19th, 2005

MANAGING DIVERSITY

Book News, PublicNet: 19 April, 2005

This guide from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development explains what managing diversity is and why it is important. It uses case studies to illustrate the business case for action and suggests practical ways of making progress. Failure to get to grips with managing diversity puts organisations at risk, with legislation placing no limit on how much an employment tribunal may rule an organisation to pay if they are found guilty of discriminating against someone. But the damage caused through a failure to reap the benefits of effective diversity management could cost organisations even more dearly than tribunal payouts.The guide explains that diversity plays an essential role in tackling skills shortages, helping organisations retain knowledge and experience, widening the recruitment base, and providing a better customer service. However, diversity can also cause tensions between people and have a negative impact on organisations by triggering poor performance and lack of motivation, unless diversity is carefully managed. Diversity is about valuing everyone as an individual. Managing diversity is central to good people management and it is relevant to the way organisations do business in all sorts of ways. The challenge is to create a culture in which everyone feels valued so they give their best in their jobs.

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LOCAL E-DEMOCRACY

Abstracts, PublicNet: 19 April, 2005

This survey of local authorities, undertaken by the MORI Social Research Institute on behalf of the Local e-Democracy National Project, revealed that 71% of councils feel that young people are a priority for engagement through e-democracy. The survey is complemented by a literature review carried out by MORI Market Dynamics, which explores the extensive body of e-democracy knowledge now emerging in this country and abroad. The review shows that e-democracy is helping to reinvigorate public interest and engagement where local councils have piloted e-democracy tools. There are particular examples of work amongst young people and other ‘hard-to-reach’ groups.Further findings from the survey, which sampled 178 English local authorities, show that e-democracy is still a relatively new undertaking for many councils. Only one in five (19%) so far have a written e-democracy strategy in place, although a further third (36%) do have plans to draw up a strategy.

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COMMITTEE STUDIES BARRIERS FACED BY DISABLED PEOPLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 April, 2005

Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee will be in Stirling today on the latest leg of a tour of the country to discuss issues surrounding the barriers to participation faced by disabled people. They are hoping to draw up firm proposals in a report to be published next year.Today’s meeting is one of a series of eight designed to bring together groups of disabled people, service providers, employers and key stakeholders across Scotland. Further similar events will take place in Thurso, Stornoway, Dundee and Edinburgh. There have already been events in Melrose, Ayr and Glasgow.

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CALL FOR REBATE OF PFI TENDER COSTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 April, 2005

Companies that are short-listed for PFI contacts should have their costs repaid by the Government according to a major new report on the Private Finance Initiative published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. RICS says the high costs involved in bidding for the deals are a barrier to many firms.The report, “Quantifying Quality”, says small businesses in particular are being put off by the expense of bidding for PFI deals. That, it says, means the client and, indirectly, the public are not getting best value from the full market of ideas and talent. RICS believes repayment of costs would act as an incentive to more companies to put themselves forward.

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