Archives for April 2009

DRIVE FOR SHARING BACK OFFICE SYSTEMS GETS TEETH

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2009

Sharing back office systems to produce efficiency savings has been on the agenda for many years. But there has been little progress with limited take-up, despite encouragement such as the Audit Commission’s check list to help councils find out where they are on the move towards shared systems, published in autumn 2008. Ministers have now decided that the time for encouragement is over and that arm twisting is both needed and justified given the state of public finances. The pain for failure to respond will be publicity for poor performers and a financial penalty.

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UK COMMUNITY TEXT SERVICE EXPORTED TO AUSTRALIA

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2009

Randwick Council in Australia is now benefiting from a community text service developed in the UK. The service provided by Dialogue Communications gives local residents information on Council services ranging from playing field status, local road works, clean up days and events, instantaneously via the Internet or mobile SMS.

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DELIVERING BETTER SERVICES AT BETTER VALUE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 27 April, 2009

This programme is now available to view on egovtv.tv, the online television channel for public service modernisation. Margaret Eaton, Local Government Association Chair, describes the challenges facing local government as the UK goes through recession and how councils are responding.

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RE-THINK ON DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES EMERGES FROM SEARCH FOR EFFICIENCY SAVINGS

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 April, 2009

The Operational Efficiency programme launched by the Treasury in 2008 has produced a radical re-think on the way services are delivered to the end user. Currently services are organised on a vertical basis with, for example, employment services funded by the DWP, police by the Home Office and health by the DoH. Pilot schemes are to be launched with both a vertical and also a horizontal organisation which brings together all services within an area.

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PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS WILLING TO SPREAD THE PAIN OF JOB CUTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 April, 2009

Workers in the Public Sector are prepared to be flexible if it will stop their colleagues losing their jobs, according to a survey of over 2,500 people by the independent campaign Keep Britain Working.

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BUILDING AN EQUAL SOCIETY

Features, PublicNet: 24 April, 2009

By Angela Mason

This article was first published in Public Management and Policy and is reproduced by permission of the Association. http://www.cipfa.org.uk/pmpa/index.cfm

There is widespread support for the equality laws and direct discrimination against individuals is diminishing. But tackling the root causes of discrimination is challenging and progress is extremely slow. Continuing at this speed will mean that inequality will continue for the next 100 years. The author describes work in progress to help councils embark on a new improvement journey. The performance framework will rely less on process and observing rules and be more focused on equality outcomes.

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FIVE WISE MEN SAY PUBLIC SECTOR CAN CUT MORE COSTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 April, 2009

The public sector has delivered 5 bn pounds of efficiency savings above the target for the last three years and it can exceed this performance. The five advisors commissioned by HM Treasury for the year long programme examining operational spending in the public sector believe there is scope for an additional 15 bn pounds of efficiency savings. The advisors said: “The private sector never stops seeking greater efficiency in the ways that it purchases and provides services, and neither should Government”.

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WATCHDOG CALLS FOR A FIRMER GRIP ON PARTNERSHIP WORKING

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 April, 2009

The Audit Commission has taken an in depth look at how local strategic partnerships are performing in delivering services. It concluded that central government departments and local councils need to give more thought to the problems of governance and resource management when working together in local partnerships.

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FROM SAFETYNET TO SPRINGBOARD

Book News, PublicNet: 23 April, 2009

This report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission about the future of care and support and the role the Commission can play in promoting human rights, equality and good relations, seeks to influence thinking in the run up to the Green Paper.

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SOCIAL NETWORKING BOOST FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 April, 2009

Social Networking Sites have become a global phenomenon, with communities such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo reporting user figures in the hundreds of millions. In the last year some councils and other public bodies have moved into the social media, but the trend has now taken a sharp upward turn with the launch of Tweety Hall. The new service connects the public with local politics through Twitter, blogging and other social media.

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