Archives for February 3rd, 2006

EFFICIENCY IS TOP OF THE POLITICAL AGENDA

Features, PublicNet: 3 February, 2006

By Richard Neale The Gershon efficiency report of 2004 was the trigger for setting efficiency targets across public services. One outcome of the renewed drive for efficiency was the quest for better business intelligence to find out how the various parts of the organization are performing. The author looks at the problems of getting the business intelligence act together and gives examples of successful developments. He also suggests ways of approaching the task.



COUNCILS GETTING THEIR PROCUREMENT ACT TOGETHER

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 February, 2006

Improvement in the procurement of goods and services will make a major contribution to the savings local government has to make towards the Gershon efficiency programme. To support councils in getting the best deal, the Regional Centres of Local Government Excellence are compiling a supplier spend analysis which identifies the business that suppliers transact with local government.The analysis will give information on prices being paid on over 1500 commonly purchased commodities and allow councils to see the scale of business other councils are transacting with a supplier so they can decide whether a joined up procurement approach is likely to lever the price downwards. An example of how valuable this service will be can be seen in the case of the small unitary authority in the South East of England which was spending 400,000 pounds a year on stationery and computer consumables. The price benchmarking intelligence indicated a possible saving of 30% was immediately achievable by changing supplier and that a further 30% was achievable by ensuring that staff only ordered from core list products.

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TALKING STARTS ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHAKE-UP

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 February, 2006

Discussion will be held next week on the vision of David Miliband, Minister of Communities and Local Government, for a radically different form of local government where power is moved down from Whitehall to councils and from councils to citizens. Speaking last month he outlined a process for neighbourhoods to create their own Neighbourhood Charters within a National Neighbourhood Framework (see Publicnet 19 January 2006). The charters would set out how public services are delivered to a neighbourhood and the empowerment mechanisms that are available to local people.Radical change on this scale would be difficult to achieve without changes to the organisational structures involving a re-think of county and district council responsibilities. It is understood that no decisions have yet been taken about whether or not to go for reorganisation of the two tier structure.

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