Public Finance

Articles from May

Accounts Probe for Ex-Audit Chief
The National Assembly for Wales is to ask the police to probe the handling of Wales Audit Office accounts by former auditor general Jeremy Colman.Its Public Accounts Committee also plans to refer Colman and former WAO external auditor KTS Owens Thomas...
All in This Together?
IT'S a time of sharing in the public sector. With the deepest spending cuts in a generation and the unrelenting demand for services, the pressure is on to make massive savings fast while keeping services intact. It's hardly surprising then that the idea...
Beyond the Fragments
Localism used to be something councils got excited about. Give us the financial and legal freedoms, they would say, and we'll do great things. Just like the French communes, Swiss cantons and Swedish municipalities. The clamour for a new localist agenda...
CIPFA Events
CIPFA, the leading public finance and accountancy body, is the major event and course provider for the public services. Our events range from technical updates to conferences on strategic issues. Covering finance, governance and performance topics across...
Comng Up
NAO FIELDWORKAt the National Audit Office, auditors are examining how well the quangos working for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs understand and manage their costs. Defra's delivery bodies are responsible for a wide range of frontline...
Concordat 'Woolly' and 'Sloppy'
The Concordat, a historic deal that transformed the relationship between Holyrood and local government in Scotland, is muddled on responsibility, sloppy on accountability, woolly on delivery and centralises power away from local decision-making, according...
Culture Shocks
MY VISIT TO the Department for Culture, Media & Sport coincides with an important announcement. More than 200 organisations have just been told that they will lose government funding as Arts Council England passes on the 15% cut in its own budget...
Divide and Rule?
THE GOVERNMENT AND Opposition broadly agree about the unprecedented scale of the public expenditure reductions now taking effect. Of course, they disagree about the need to reduce the deficit at such a pace and, indeed, about Labour's culpability for...
Expect the Unexpected
LOCAL AUTHORITIES have now set their first budgets since the funding cuts of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review - and it is clear just how much they will need to save.Lancashire County Council, for example, is cutting £179m over the next three years...
How to Handle High Workloads
Managing work and time priorities is not just a matter of dealing with the volume of work you do and the time you spend doing it, you also have to deal with your own approach to work.Many of us really enjoy our work and happily put in long hours. However,...
In Brief
WELSH COUNCIL SERVICESBetter organisation requiredLocal authority service provision in Wales is too complex, staff have told an independent review for the Assembly Government. Carried out by Joe Simpson of the Local Government Leadership Centre, the...
Integrated Fund to Target Poverty
An £8 Om social investment fund to reduce poverty and boost employment in Northern Ireland has been agreed.Some areas have yet to see the benefits of peace and stability, First Minister Peter Robinson said as he announced the fund. 'Given the economic...
Keeping out of Trouble
TREASURY MANAGEMENT RISKS Came into sharp focus following the collapse of the Icelandic banks in 2008. That experience reinforced the main principles of treasury investment: security (getting back the initial amount you invested); liquidity (having access...
NHS Shake-Up Puts Finance in the Frame
The government's shake-up of the NHS is creating huge uncertainty over the accountability of billions of pounds of public money and the future role of finance professionals in the sector, Public Finance has been told.The problem came under the spotlight...
Numbers Game
As the government faced growing criticism over its health reforms, local government cuts and university funding review, there was some welcome good news on the economy. Both unemployment and inflation have fallen despite expectations to the contrary.UK...
One Year On: The Five States We're In
As the coalition government approaches its first anniversary, it is time to step back and try to figure out what they are all about. It has not been easy keeping up with the pace of change as the Big Cuts coalition has morphed into the Big Change coalition,...
PCT Finance Teams Plan Their Future
Primary care trust finance departments are preparing to establish themselves as social enterprises in the face of widespread job losses, Public Finance has learnt.As staff from England's 151 PCTs merge into 50 temporary 'clusters' ahead of their planned...
PFI Model Would Jettison Expertise
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has angrily defended his party's nonprofit method of funding capital projects following Labour's pledge to scrap the flagship Scottish Futures Trust.Swinney said that returning to Private Finance Initiative- type...
Responses to Blogs and News on Publicfinance.Co.UK
Anything, so long as it's legal? By Matt StevensMore flexibility and reform of Tupe in staff transfers to commercial entities will mean lower pay and benefits such as sick pay, training and holidays, with pensions being abolished or watered down. Otherwise...
Saving IT from Itself
THE GOVERNMENT HAS published its new IT strategy, which is an easy- to -read and commendably concise document. It focuses on central government, with the aim of creating a common ICT infrastructure and making better use of technology to enable change.Whitehall's...
Squeezing the Assets
ARE WE ABOUT to witness a stampede to offload public sector land, buildings and the staff capacity to manage what's left? There are some signs that this is what is starting to happen, for instance, with branch libraries. More than 500 out of 4,517 libraries...
Taking Charge of Change
EFFECTIVE CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS Vital to the success of any project that alters the way people work, regardless of whether the changes are to processes, systems, structures or technologies. As public organisations embark on extensive upheavals, there...
Testing Times for Coalition as Challengers Seek a Foothold
It's all in the timing. One year after the coalition government was formed, the turn of the electoral cycle means that on May 5 it faces its largest test short of a general election.There will be voting for almost every council in England outside London...
The NHS Needs to Pause for Effect
There are few subjects as emotive as the National Health Service. It is the 'third rail' of British politics. Not even Margaret Thatcher attempted any real reform of a system designed in the 1940s and based around the same state mega-bureaucracy that...
Watchdog: Watch
Inspectorate of ConstabularyThe Inspectorate of Constabulary has clarified what is meant by frontline policing, saying: 'The debate about protecting the front line has been frustrated by the absence of a definition.'According to the inspectors, staff...
Well Past Its First-Past Date
It's time to face the electoral writing on the wall. The case against first-past-the-post has already been made by recent voting trends, whatever the outcome on May 5I AM A wholly committed supporter of a change to the alternative vote system, on which...
Why Finance Needs to Be in the Cockpit
If there is one thing that recent history has taught us it is that, whatever economists and accountants might say, the rest of the world thinks about and uses money in their own way. It has long been recognised that there is a psychological aspect to...
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