Public Finance

Articles from November 2006

Alexander Returns to Frontline Scottish Politics
Wendy Alexander, who resigned from Jack McConnell's Cabinet four years ago, has returned to Labours front line as convener of Holyrood's powerful finance committee.She was appointed this week in succession to Des McNulty, who has become deputy minister...
Bell Defends Ofsted Regime as One in 12 Schools 'Fail'
Ministers are prepared to intervene in the 500 English schools deemed 'inadequate' following this week's Ofsted annual report, the country's most senior education official has told Public Finance.David Bell, permanent secretary at the Department for...
Buying Time to Save the Planet
Sustainable procurement promises to make a significant contribution to meeting two of the public sector's greatest challenges: climate change and the demand for efficiency savings. The government's response to Sir Nicholas Stern's Review of the Economics...
Children in Care Denied Good Schools, Say MPs
Children's minister Beverley Hughes this week came under fire from MPs concerned that greater independence for schools undermines the chances of children in care.Labour education and skills select committee acting chair Helen Jones queried why local...
D-Day for Local Government
It is often said by council leaders that a renaissance in English local democracy is dependent on the 'three Ds' - deregulation, decentralisation and devolution.While the local government white paper did not go as far as we would have liked in some areas,...
Funding Fears Could Undermine Fragile Welfare Consensus
Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton must feel it's a case of 'mission accomplished' - for now. His ministerial team's extensive plans to reform the UK's retirement, benefit and child support systems, outlined in the Queen's Speech last week, were...
Gap between Best and Worst Must Close, Says Chief Inspector
The yawning gap between the best and worst performing schools is 'unacceptable', the new chief education inspector Christine Gilbert said this week, as she published Ofsted's annual report.Although almost 60% of schools were rated as good or outstanding...
Local Service Boards Are Wales' Response to Beecham
The Welsh Assembly Government is to create a series of local service boards in an attempt to manage the way public services are delivered more effectively.The proposals, published on November 21, provide for around 22 boards - to match the number of...
Money Down the Tube?
The public-private partnership for the London Underground remains the mother of all such deals. Costing £30bn over 30 years, and with negotiations clocking up £500m in consultancy fees, the PPP was pushed through by the Treasury in 2003.It was supposed...
Nanny Knows Best
Having spent his first two terms trying to avoid the 'nanny state' label, Tony Blair has thrown caution to the wind and let loose the super-nanny state.Dozens of childcare specialists are to be despatched around the country to sort out poor parenting...
NHS Chief Exec Issues Challenge to FDs
The chief executive of the NHS in Wales has called for an end to deficits in the principality's health boards and trusts and challenged finance professionals to exert greater influence and leadership.Ann Lloyd told delegates at the CIPFA in Wales annual...
NHS Head Admits Extra Staff Costs Were Overlooked
The chief executive of the NHS has admitted that the Department of Health did not keep a close enough eye on hospital spending as they rushed to meet targets by 'overshooting' required staffing levels.Giving evidence to the Commons' health select committee...
Not a Black and White Issue
A seismic shift is taking place in community relations within the UK. Britain has long been a strongly multicultural society, especially compared vvitli many of its European neighbours. But times are rapidly changing. Our tradition of tolerant support...
Patient Data 'Can't Be Protected Overseas'
The government cannot guarantee that sensitive patient data will be protected once it is e-mailed out of the UK, the director general of NHS IT has told Public Finance.Richard Granger's comments follow controversy over plans to digitise patient records,...
Review Body Set to Decide Senior Police Pay
Decisions over the pay of senior police officers may be transferred to the body that sets salary levels for top civil servants and army officers, under proposals announced last week.Policing minister Tony McNulty announced a review of the way police...
Top Staff Attack Lack of Consultation
Senior managers at the Revenue and Customs department are furious over the way last week's radical restructuring was handled internally.Meetings between senior-grade staff and R&C directors since the public announcement on November 16 have centred...
Unions Issue Joint Warning on 'Unfair' Pay System
Whitehall's pay system for senior civil servants is unfair, too complicated and 'no longer fit for purpose', two professional-grade trade unions have warned.The usually moderate FDA and Prospect unions seem to he tired of repeating warnings over the...
Voluntary Sector 'Knows Best How to Involve Service Users'
Greater user involvement in services offers the voluntary sector its best opportunity to become involved in public sector reform, according to the chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.Addressing the NCVO's Public Service...
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