Public Finance

Articles from June 2005

Auditors Attack Poor NHS Financial Management
All NHS bodies have been challenged to reassess their financial management arrangements after government auditors this week criticised slipping standards.The National Audit Office and the Audit Commission joined forces to declare the state of financial...
Because They're Worth It?
The Storm raging around the government's plans for education in the inner cities shows no sign of abating. The city academy programme could soon join foundation hospitals on the list of issues guaranteed to provoke Labour MPs to apoplexy.'There's gathering...
Buyout Ends Highlands PFI Airport Contract
The Scottish Executive has approved a buyout deal that will end a controversial £9.6m Private Finance Initiative contract to run an airport terminal in the Highlands.Transport Minister Nicol Stephen has given Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd the go-ahead...
Councils Ahead of Savings Target but Still Face Black Hole
Councils are already ahead of the game on the efficiency drive, according to figures released this week by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.An analysis of plans submitted to the ODPM by all local authorities show they intend to make efficiency...
Counting the Hours
Few commented on the coincidence of timing. But in the week that the government announced plans to introduce 'wraparound' schooling, major cuts to the nation's adult education programme were also unveiled. Press coverage of both was extensive and freguently...
Curtain Falls on Ealing Review
In February, Baling council won a judicial review against the Audit Commission over its 'weak' Comprehensive Performance Assessment rating (The CPA's Achilles heel', Point of Law, March 18-24 2005). Last month, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision.The...
Events
June* JUNE 28CIPFA local authority accounting course - Sorp 2005 and BVACOPSpeakers include: Peter Worth, audit manager, Audit Commission; Vicki Genrich, consolidation specialist, HM TreasuryLondonTel: Trudy Baker020 7543 5600Fax: 020 7543 5792* JUNE...
Good Cop, Bad Cop
The e-mail in my in-box wasn't exactly friendly - the subject box read 'bailiffs'. Its author was fuming because Lambeth council had dared to threaten her with action over nonpayment of council tax. Nothing new in that, you might think - except that...
Help Us to Combat Poverty, World Bank Financier Urges
A senior member of the World Bank has urged the accounting profession to play an increasing role in combating global poverty.Addressing CIPFA delegates on June 16, Tony Hegarty, regional manager for financial management at the World Bank, said his organisation...
Housing Subsidy System 'Is Unsustainable'
Few local government officers or even civil servants would disagree that the housing finance system is over-complex and should probably be reformed.But by throwing down the gauntlet this week and challenging the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to...
Look to the Future, Mulgan Tells Managers
Public sector managers should adopt a more systematic approach to innovation, a former senior adviser to Tony Blair told the CIPFA conference.Geoff Mulgan, director of the Young Foundation and former head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, said the public...
Mandarins Academy Relaunched
Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull this week outlined Whitehall's latest campaign to improve civil service performance, relaunching a national academy that will train mandarins in the art of modern government.Turnbull opened the National School of...
Mental Health 'A Disgrace', Says Neuberger
The NHS has improved markedly over the past few years, but more attention needs to be paid to public health problems such as obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and especially mental health, Baroness Julia Neuberger told the conference.The former...
On-Line Fast Stream Puts off Women
The number of female graduates applying to join the civil service's fast-track scheme for high flyers has fallen dramatically.Cabinet Office statistics published on June 20 show that just 3,343 women applied for the Fast Stream programme in 2004, compared...
Pensioned Off
David Blunkett has never been a man to mince his words. At the Home Office and at education, his reputation for plain-speaking went before him.So it, is entirely in keeping that, seven weeks into the job, the new secretary of state at Work and Pensions...
People
Mark Crisp has been appointed head of the unit responsible for the financial audit of the Common Agricultural Policy at the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg. He was formerly a principal administrator at the court.Steve Hirst has taken on the...
'Pluralism' Key to Regenerating Cities
Liverpool City Council chief executive Sir David Henshaw has urged other public bodies to restore civic pride to the UK by realising ambitious and lasting regeneration schemes.Henshaw, one of the key architects of Liverpool's re-emergence as a thriving...
Round-Up
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has appealed to towns and cities in Scotland to open their doors to more asylum seekers. Cosla is to host an open day this summer to encourage the 32 councils to sign new contracts with the Home Office to...
RSLs Have Met Gershon Target
A move by the Housing Corporation to focus development grants on fewer landlords has led to major savings, according to new research.The corporations so-called partnering approach, introduced 12 months ago, has meant that an average of 9% less public...
Setting out Their Stall
New Labour has finally donned its sheepskin jacket, dodgy medallion and flat cap to set out its market stall. On offer today at good prices are juicy health services and firm, ripe schools and colleges. This is Labour's public services market, a bustling...
There's a Productivity Pot of Gold out There, Hewitt Tells Managers
The NHS will not require large spending increases after 2008 as it sits on a 'potential pot of gold' in productivity savings, Health secretary Patricia Hewitt told the NHS Confederation annual conference in Birmingham.Health service managers had earlier...
Unison Set for Fresh Pensions Fight
Pension reform returned to the top of the political agenda this week, but the government and public sector trade unions remained on a collision course over the issue.Dave Prentis, leader of Britain's largest public sector union, Unison, warned that his...
Wales to Be Given More Law-Making Powers
Plans to give the Welsh Assembly more power to make laws in areas such as education and health were unveiled last week by the I government.Under the proposals, the Assembly would be able to draft legislation and send it to Westminster for fast-track...
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