Archives for March 27th, 2006

JOINT WORKING FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY

Abstracts, PublicNet: 27 March, 2006

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has published guidance for voluntary and community organisations thinking about working in partnership to deliver public services. Because public service contracts are often sizeable, joint delivery can be the only way for small organisations to get involved. Organisations and their service users can benefit from working together to deliver contracts, rather than by competing with each other. The model focuses on the relationship between voluntary organisations rather than partnership between voluntary organisations and public bodies. Case studies illustrate voluntary sector experience of jointly delivering public services.The guidance is available by email from collaborate@ncvo-vol.org.uk Further information is at: www.ncvovol.org.uk/jointprojects

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SCOTTISH COUNCILS COUNTER CRITICISM ON EQUAL PAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 March, 2006

Scottish local authorities have responded to criticism of their failure to deal with the issue of equal pay by pointing to the size and complexity of the task they are facing. The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee is demanding a resolution to the problem within 12 months but the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities says that demand is pointless.The Committee looked at the financial implications of harmonising local authority workers’ terms and conditions, a move known as “Single Status” and at the costs of one-off compensation payments for past pay discrimination. In a report it said that in spite of an agreement on Single Status between local authorities and unions in 1999, it has been implemented in only one of the 32 local authorities.

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GOVERNMENT CONNECT MOVES TO NEXT STAGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 March, 2006

Seventy-six local authorities have stated their interest in becoming early adopters of products developed through Government Connect, the 12 million pound project that aims to provide a common infrastructure allowing local councils to provide secure and effective provision of online services. Now, following its successful first stage, local authority sponsorship of the programme is to switch from Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council to the North West e-Government Group, under the sponsorship of Tameside Council.The Minister for Local e-Government Jim Fitzpatrick, said progress made on the scheme meant it was ready to move to the next stage towards its target of rolling out the services to around 300 local authorities by April 2007 and to all authorities a year later. The first phase had identified opportunities for improvements to service delivery and efficiencies, many of which relied on increased joint working by central and local government.The move to the North West e-Government Group was a reflection of this and there would also be increased involvement from key central Government departments. Mr. Fitzpatrick congratulated Bolton on the work it had done. “The project is now entering a new and exciting phase and we have agreed with all parties that it makes sense to increase its profile with NWeGG leading to develop a regional dimension. NWeGG is an established partnership and we are confident that their work will soon deliver products that will be of real value to local authorities,” he said.

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