Headlines: March 7th, 2001

More than a hundred projects from across the public sector have won funding to help pump prime innovation.Central Government Departments, local authorities, police, health authorities and others have been selected for Invest to Save Budget (ISB) money allocated by the Treasury to provide a source of ‘venture capital’ for providers who want to join forces with others to provide better services.

Projects include Police Direct – which will explore the services the police and criminal justice organisations should provide on-line. It will develop a police portal to provide services electronically to the citizen in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Skill Force is a project which brings together MoD with DfEE, Home Office and others to use retired military instructors in schemes to train disaffected 15-16 year olds. Modelled on a successful US scheme the aim is to reduce truancy and exclusion, cut juvenile crime and raise educational attainment.

Tees Health Authority has won money to create a shared, anonymised database to combine the information kept by separate agencies on drug use by individuals. It will provide aggregated information to the drugs action teams and partner agencies to help tackle drug misuse. Analyses will link drug misuse with health, crime, socio-economic and deprivation indices.

The Association of London Government is setting up a fully automated, electronically accessible parking /traffic appeals service. The project will allow people to appeal and pay fines on line, as well as to virtually attend hearings via on-line video links.

Manchester City Council is going to encourage tenants to request repairs via internet access through their televisions. Repair jobs will also be handled by the system, with remote-working maintenance contractors responding to a customer-led appointment system.

This is the third round of the ISB. A fourth round is planned for later in the Spring.

Winning projects have to agree an implementation plan with the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. Each project has to provide six-monthly progress reports.