Archives for January 2007

PANEL PUTS FIGURE ON COUNCILS’ LICENCE FEE SHORTFALL

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 January, 2007

PANEL PUTS FIGURE ON COUNCILS’ LICENCE FEE SHORTFALL

 

Local authorities have not received enough income from fees to cover the cost to them of implementing the 2003 Licensing Act, according to a report laid before MPs. The findings of the Independent Licensing Fees Review Panel have led to a call for councils to be fully reimbursed.

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Sweating The Assets: Legacy Computer Systems

Features, PublicNet: 26 January, 2007

By Kieran O’Driscoll. Probably some two thirds of transactions in public organizations are performed on legacy computer systems which were custom-built decades ago to perform specific functions. They have been enhanced and optimised over many years and become increasingly complex and extremely expensive to maintain. Replacement can present horrendous risks, but the author describes how St Helens Council created an up to date infrastructure and replaced all mainframe systems.

CHILDREN WANT LIMITS ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT THEM

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 January, 2007

CHILDREN WANT LIMITS ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT THEM

 

Children believe only those professionals who work with them, such as teachers or social workers, should have access to information from the Children’s Index. Youngsters who took part in a study published by the Commission for Social Care Inspection thought their family, friends, teachers, carers and police were most likely to keep them safe, but the children wanted to ensure they were safeguarded and said only those who really needed it should be able to access information about them.

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POLL FINDS NO ROLE FOR POLITICIANS IN NHS DECISIONS ON FUNDING TREATMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 January, 2007

POLL FINDS NO ROLE FOR POLITICIANS IN NHS DECISIONS ON FUNDING TREATMENT

 

National and local politicians should not be involved in decisions about which treatments should be funded by the National Health Service, according to a new poll commissioned by the NHS Confederation. Only 9 per cent of people thought MPs should be part of the process and even fewer wanted local councillors to have a say in the decision making.

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DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES

Book News, PublicNet: 25 January, 2007

By Constance Helfat, Sydney Finkelstein, Will Mitchell, Margaret A Peteraf, Harbir Singh, David J Teece and Sydney G Winter.The book describes the authors’ understanding of strategic change. Creating, adapting to, and exploiting change is inherently entrepreneurial. To survive and prosper under conditions of change, organisations must develop the “dynamic capabilities” to create, extend, and modify the ways in which they operate. The capacity of an organization to modify its resource base in this way is vital.

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‘CLOSER WORKING ACROSS POLICY AREAS IS WAY TO CLOSE HEALTH GAP’ SAYS NEW REPORT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 January, 2007

‘CLOSER WORKING ACROSS POLICY AREAS IS WAY TO CLOSE HEALTH GAP’ SAYS NEW REPORT

 

Closer working in major policy areas including health, education, housing, employment and taxation is the key to tackling the problem of health inequalities in Britain according to a new publication from the ESRC. “Developing the Evidence for Tackling Health Inequalities and Differential Effects,” was published to coincide with a seminar organised jointly with the Department of Health and says that in spite of big advances in health care and an overall improvement in people’s health there is still a yawning gap between different social groups.

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SURVEY SHOWS RISK MANAGEMENT INCREASING IN IMPORTANCE FOR COUNCILS

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 January, 2007

SURVEY SHOWS RISK MANAGEMENT INCREASING IN IMPORTANCE FOR COUNCILS

 

Risk management is continuing to grow in importance within local authorities according to a new survey, which shows a considerable increase in the contribution that risk management is making to the achievement of corporate objectives, delivery of innovative projects, targeting of resources and improvement in service delivery. The Risk Management Benchmarking Survey comes from ALARM, the National Forum for Risk Management in the Public Sector and found that 78 per cent of respondents saw management as clearly embedded in strategic plans and 81 per cent reported that it was explicit in financial planning.

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TRANSFORMATIONAL GOVERNMENT STRATEGY

Abstracts, PublicNet: 24 January, 2007

This report from the Chief Information Officer describes progress made in 18 months on the six-year improvement journey for public services. It charts developments in the main strands of the strategy which are customer-centric services, shared services and professionalism.A better understanding of the customer is vital to developing customer centric services and the Service Design Authority has created tools and techniques to allow public bodies to use what they know about what really matters to citizens and businesses. A Customer Insight Forum has been set up to help with the gathering , analysis and use of information about the needs and preferences of citizens and businesses.

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COUNCILS TO SET EXAMPLE IN ENSURING RESPECT IN COMMUNITIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 January, 2007

COUNCILS TO SET EXAMPLE IN ENSURING RESPECT IN COMMUNITIES

 

Forty local authorities have been named as Respect Areas by the Home Office which said they had earned the right to be exemplars of the Respect programme through their track records in dealing with anti-social behaviour. They will get further backing from the Department for Education and Skills, which is putting 6 million pounds into the areas for parenting classes. The authorities have been praised by council leaders but they also warned that money alone would not lead to the changes in culture needed to challenge poor behaviour.

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‘STOP SELLING PUBLIC SERVICES SHORT’ SAYS TUC

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 January, 2007

‘STOP SELLING PUBLIC SERVICES SHORT’ SAYS TUC

 

Trade unionists are calling on the Government to stop selling public services short. They will underline that message with a lobby of Parliament today when those taking part will call for an end to what they see as the underselling of improvements made since 1997. They also call for the Government to work with staff and service users to bring about changes to improve services further.

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