HOW WILL PUBLIC BODIES COPE WITH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION?

Features: November 26th, 2004

By Ian Quanstrom In January 2005 the inner workings of public bodies will be open to public gaze: lobby groups, media, campaigners and dissatisfied customers, will be able to scrutinise thinking leading up to a decision. In most organizations the warning has gone out that staff must assume that every e-mail they write will be disclosable. The author looks at the challenge of changing the mindset from one of non-disclosure to total transparency as the masses track what civil servants, council officials and others are doing on their behalf.



EXPERIENCING ETHNICITY: DISCRIMINATION AND SERVICE PROVISION

Features: November 19th, 2004

By Kusminder Chahal and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Much evidence is available to show a persistent lack of recognition of the circumstances of groups and individuals that make up minority ethnic communities and of the way they are often ignored in policy and practice responses. The authors have collated a picture of inappropriate services staffed by very few from the black and ethnic minority communities. They bring together lessons from a wide range of research projects and call for a response from policy-makers, service planners and practitioners.

GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BECOME E-CITIZENS

Features: November 16th, 2004

By Dan Williamson Councils are increasing spending to help them engage with young people. The author describes how the London Borough of Wandsworth put some of their youth services on-line and met the challenge to develop a site which appealed to parents, teachers, Connexions personal advisers, the local police authority, local business and the young people themselves.

TRAINING AWARDS LEVERING CHANGE

Features: November 5th, 2004

By Dr Graeme Hall, Acting Chief Executive, UK Skills Central and local government are setting an example to the private sector on closing the ‘skills gap’. Training awards are playing an increasing role in public sector training strategies. The author charts the growth of awards and shows the practical effects at the sharp end of delivery.

REACHING SOCIALLY EXCLUDED YOUNG PEOPLE

Features: October 29th, 2004

By David Crimmens, Fiona Factor, Tony Jeffs, John Pitts, Carole Pugh, Jean Spence and Penelope Turner The Youth Service is viewed as a key member of Crime Reduction Partnerships and street based youth work is having an impact by reducing the numbers known to be offending and by discouraging anti social behaviour. The authors challenge the rationale for target-driven youth initiatives and time-limited funding for street-based youth work.

DOES CHOICE OF PROVIDER IMPROVE SERVICES?

Features: October 22nd, 2004

By Dan Corry Choice is high on the political agenda and is set to become a predominant feature of public services. The author looks at the different ways in which providers and users can influence outcomes and he sets out the dangers choice can bring. He argues that choice has the potential to improve some services more than others, but what is important is the way choice is given.

THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES IN PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY

Features: October 15th, 2004

Social enterprises have no shareholders and they engage with the community. They are also efficient businesses with a not-for-profit reputation for being open and accountable. The government wants to see more social enterprises competing for public sector contracts. But how do they develop their businesses and where do they see their future? These are some of the questions discussed.

WHAT RELEVANCE DO REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS HAVE TO CHOICE IN SOCIAL CARE?

Features: October 8th, 2004

By Dame Denise Platt, DBE Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Social care in the UK is going through a radical transformation. Thinking is focused on the customer, although all practice has not reached this view yet. The author, who chairs the newly created Commission for Social Care, sets out her vision for moving from doing things for people to including and consulting them. She describes how a regulatory framework will promote choice, innovation and improvement, rather than ensuring compliance with rules.

MARKET ANALYSIS GETS A BETTER FOCUS ON THE COMMUNITY

Features: October 1st, 2004

By James Lennon. Public Sector organisations are increasingly taking the lead from big business to manage themselves more efficiently and cost-effectively. Market analysis is among these imports and a range of market analysis tools are being used to help public bodies find out about the needs of the people they serve. Avon and Somerset Police use them to target resources and Kent and Medway councils are analyzing community needs with them.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF CUSTOMER FOCUS

Features: September 24th, 2004

Moving from a provider driven structure with departments working in silos to a customer focused organisation providing a joined up service is a major challenge. This level of transformation means re-thinking how to meet customer need and re-engineering processes so that the wealth of the organization’s knowledge is brought to the fingertips of the customer advisors. This feature describes how Luton Borough Council is making the transformation.

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