Public Finance

Articles from April 2005

Ask the Family
There is no doubt that children - and the childcare dilemma - are set to be a central battleground in the forthcoming election.Indeed, with the intervention of TV chef Jamie Oliver (or Sir Jamie, as some would like to see) the cheap and not-so-cheerful...
Audit Code Focuses on the Use of Resources
Public sector auditors will significantly reduce' their scrutiny of specific service areas to focus on organisations' corporate centres, under new principles published this week.The Code of audit, practice, launched by the Audit Commission on April 1,...
Cabinet Office Enhances Checks on Intelligence
The Cabinet Office unit dealing with security issues will be beefed up as part of the government's response to Lord Butler's report on intelligence failings over Iraq.Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on March 23 that an overhaul of Britain's intelligence...
Civil Service Unions Win Big Concessions
Whitehall staff could become the biggest beneficiaries of the government's decision to rethink public sector pension proposals after being promised new talks on pay and job security.A flood of correspondence between senior government staff and Whitehall...
Code Aims to Address Postal Vote Fraud
New guidelines governing postal voting were published by the Electoral Commission this week as fears about possible ballot fraud grew.The commission published a new code of conduct for political parties, candidates and canvassers 'aimed at strengthening...
DoH Plans More Surgical Assistants
More nurses and physiotherapists will be able to perform unsupervised surgery if proposals put forward last week are agreed.The Department of Health and the NHS Modernisation Agency are seeking views on the training such staff would need to qualify as...
Efficiency Driver
Jon Thompson loves rebuilding things. House restoration is a passion and the Thompson family is busy renovating a 1920s art-deco-style house in Cheltenham the third property that they have restored.Restoration skills of another kind are currently standing...
Events
April* APRIL 7Waterfront conference - Simplifying affordable housing delivery: a manifesto for changeChair: Gideon Amos, director, Town and Country Planning Association.Speakers include: Duncan Bowie, principal planner for housing, Greater London Authority;...
GPs Urged to Pick Up on Budgetary Control
GPs have been urged by their leaders to join a government initiative that will give them control over their own budgets.The British Medical Association said there were compelling reasons' for GP practices to sign up for practice-based commissioning.According...
Hand-Ups, Not Hand Outs
The Commission for Africa launched its report three weeks ago with a lot of razzmatazz in London, New York and Addis Ababa, the same day that Comic Relief was playing out its biennial appeal on Red Nose Day. The prime minister, who set up and chairs...
In Brief
* Education secretary Ruth Kelly has announced an extra £280m over three years for school meals, enabling at least 50p to be spent on each primary school meal and 60p in secondaries. The move came after TV chef Jamie Oliver handed in a 271,000-signature...
Local Finance Review Must Take Account of Wider Reforms
The current review of local government finance in Scotland must be conducted in concert with the wider reform of services, senior public finance officials have warned.In a submission to the Burt review committee set up by the Scottish Executive, CIPFA...
NHS Inspections Will Focus 'On the Basics'
The 'radical' new inspection regime for NHS trusts launched this week will help end the distortion of clinical priorities caused by excessive use of performance targets, Anna Walker has told Public Finance.The Healthcare Commission's chief executive...
On Location with the BBC
The BBC's charter renewal process has become a political drama, involving a new cast, rewritten story lines and - for some - a significant change of scenery.Director general Mark Thompson has demanded efficiency savings, though thus far has stopped short...
PAC Slams £1Bn Cost of Tube PPP
The deal to bring the private sector in to rebuild the London Underground has cost the taxpayer 'the best part' of £lbn.Figures in a Public Accounts Committee report, published on March 31, reveal that the bill for the partial privatisation of the Tube...
Pitching for Parents
It's the end of the world as we know it. Productivity will suffer, small businesses will crumble and be unable to compete with Chinese productivity levels, the UK workplace will face meltdown. What calamity are we talking about this time? Touchy-feely...
Room for More Trust
Do you want a new maternity unit in your local hospital? Would you like to develop a regional centre of excellence for orthopaedic surgery?Many trusts have seen foundation trust status as one way to achieve such aims. But beware - 'all that glisters...
Round-Up
Ruth Kelly (pictured) has stepped into the row between head teachers and staff over the government-brokered workload agreement. The education secretary said on March 23 that teachers should sue for breach of contract if schools refused to implement the...
Scottish Councils Sitting on Millions
Scottish councils should manage their financial reserves - now totalling more than £1bn - to help cut council tax bills, the Accounts Commission has advised.After an annual review of local authority audits, the commission concluded this week that councils...
Strategy and Spending Need Closer Link, Says MSP Report
The Scottish Executive has rejected claims by a parliamentary committee that its pledge to put the economy at the top of its agenda is not borne out by its spending priorities.The Scottish Parliament's finance committee reported that, although overall...
Together We'll Be Stronger
No-one said that it would be easy, and at times it certainly hasn't been. But six months on from the formal launch of exploratory discussions, the three accountancy institutes - the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Chartered...
Unpopular LGPS Changes Could Stay the Course
Government proposals to revoke this week's overhaul of council pensions could be vetoed by town hall employers, Public Finance has discovered.Changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme came into force on April 1 and include an increased pension age...
What's It Got to Do with Us?
The prime minister was determined to rebut Tory claims that the health service wasn't working. Why, he told the Scottish Labour Conference in Dundee this month, waiting lists - with people languishing more than six months for operations - are a thing...
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