RESOLVING THE DRAMAS OF COLLABORATION

Features: March 26th, 2004

By James W Bryant Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Managing change is difficult at any time. When the change involves partner organizations with a range of cultures and varying agendas the difficulties become more acute. The author sets out an approach for dealing with collaborative change and describes how it was put into effect with a community safety partnership.



DISCOVERING THE REALITY OF BROADBAND

Features: March 19th, 2004

By Ian Mckenzie The Department of Trade and Industry has awarded 17 framework agreements for the supply of broadband services to the public sector. Demand for broadband will be pooled and contracts awarded to providers by regional aggregation bodies. The author describes what broadband can do and what to be wary about when making the switch.

THE SHIFTING LANDSCAPE OF PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT

Features: March 12th, 2004

By Marc Wood The national local government procurement strategy seeks to change the tradition of individual purchasing decisions by individual councils, often buying the same thing. Collective buying power can then be used to negotiate lower prices. The author presents a view from the coalface looking at the concerns of councils and suppliers.

CROSSROADS AFTER 50: IMPROVING CHOICES IN WORK AND RETIREMENT

Features: March 5th, 2004

By Donald Hirsch People are living longer but on average leaving the workforce younger. This has important policy implications for employers and government, both for those in work and retirement. The author looks at the impact on the labour supply, the training and development of older workers, making the most of their talents, flexible working and the importance of bridge jobs. He also highlights the need for communities to become better at using the talents of a wide range of people once they have left career employment.

SWITCHING TO ELECTRONIC DATA HANDLING – A SUCCESS STORY FROM SCOTLAND

Features: February 27th, 2004

A principle raw material of all public bodies is information and for many this means operating a paper handling factory with a range of manual processes. This feature describes the situation before Argyll and Bute Council installed an electronic workflow management system to create a paperless office and the way it is now. It also outlines the benefits of banishing paper, including a payback on the investment within two years.

Empowering Local Communities

Features: February 20th, 2004

By Patrick Abrahams Much is being done by people in power to relate to local communities, but many communities currently feel disaffected by central government and its local representatives. The author looks at the role of the 12,000 parish and town councils in the UK as a conduit for local opinion and feedback. He examines the barriers to them establishing websites and calls for local portals that people can use without knowing who is responsible for what

Devolution in Scotland – A Progress Report

Features: February 13th, 2004

By Ian Doig Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Since devolution was introduced four years ago the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive have had the sole responsibility for running the health service, local government, police, fire, higher and further education, the environment and water. Devolved government has meant divergence from Westminster, including a different approach for securing higher performance from local government. The author looks at the impact of devolution and speculates on the future.

Early Retirement: Money Choice and Control

Features: February 6th, 2004

By Sue Arthur Some people choose to retire early, others have early retirement thrust upon them. The author identified the most vulnerable groups among the early retirerers and the barriers to finding alternative paid employment. She sets out evidence that supports calls for the development of employment policies that allow people to retire at a time and in a way that suits their circumstances.

Public Management – Time for a Re-launch

Features: January 30th, 2004

By Francis Terry Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. The path of public management reform in the last two decades has led through privatization, contracting out, the rise of inspectorates, the decline of professionalism, proliferation of targets and the growth of technology. The author calls for government to make a serious review of how things work in the public services and make an impartial assessment of the instruments at its disposal. He proposes a national initiative to promote training, career development and leadership in public management.

Recruitment and Retention – Will Employee Benefits Help?

Features: January 27th, 2004

By Jill Gardiner Recruiting and retaining staff is high on the agenda of local councils and other public bodies. Private sector employers are able to offer benefits packages including gym discounts, company cars and private medical insurance, which put public sector organizations at a disadvantage. The author describes the benefits of a mutual friendly society, dedicated to the needs of the public sector, which can provide flexible healthcare benefits.

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