Public Finance

Articles from March

CIPFA Events
MOST OF THESE ACTIVITIES CAN COUNT TOWARDS CIFFA'S CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMECIPFA, the leading public finance and accountancy body, is the major event and course provider for the public services. Our events range from technical updates...
Coming Up
FUND REVIEWThe National Audit Office is examining the value of Regional Growth Fundsup ported projects. The fund was established to help small and mediumsized businesses and encourages economic growth and employment opportunities, particularly in areas...
Councils' Information Breaches Worry Watchdog
The information watchdog has told Public Finance it has 'special concerns' about local government's compliance with data protection laws.David Smith, deputy commissioner and head of data protection at the Information Commissioner's Office, said: 'It...
Councils Make Call for 'Localism Max' Powers
It was a day that may be remembered as the start of a major constitutional reform that could lead to a historic step forward in the powers of local governmentOn February 9 in the House of Commons, the political and constitutional reform select committee...
Digging for Victory
The chancellor approaches his Budget on March 21 with all the important economic indicators looking pretty gloomy. Last November, the Office for Budget Responsibility delivered a gamechanging downgrade of its outlook for the UK economy. The result is...
Globalisation: A New Third Way
Globalisation has become synonymous with many of the world economy's problems in recent years. The recession and stagnation that has followed the worldwide financial crisis have left many people in western countries angry about international banking,...
Health Row 'Slows Drive for Choice'
The government has been warned that its troubled health reforms risk undermining the wider drive to introduce more choice across public services.Plans to increase competition across services, including using more private providers and charities, were...
Higher Ambitions
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION was, memorably, Tony Blair's mantra during the new dawn, early days of his premiership. But for one former top civil servant who, under a succession of education secretaries, had to deliver on those starry-eyed promises,...
How to Delegate Successfully
Every manager has to delegate, not only to free time for more strategic tasks, but to develop and grow staff. Yet many people find it hard to do.Some of the reasons cited are: it is difficult to let go and to trust that others will do the work to the...
In Brief
CUTS TO CONSULTANTSNorthern Ireland slashes spendingThe Northern Ireland government has slashed the amount it spends on external consultants by more than a third. Departments spent £15.6m on 772 external consultancy projects in 2010/11, a reduction of...
Joining the CARE DOTS?
integrated care has become the Holy Grail for the NHS. It remains elusive but everyone believes in its power to resolve the looming problems of millions of babyboomers with long-term health conditions.Almost all commentators believe that the growth in...
'Mandarins Need Projects Training'
Further changes to how civil servants approach major projects will be needed to ensure they are completed on budget, an infrastructure expert has told Public Finance.Malcolm Noyce, executive director of the Major Projects Association, which represents...
Matters of Fact
It used to be hard to gather all the information needed for monitoring and planning services. But now we're in the Big Data Era, things are set to changeTHERE IS A lot of talk about 'Big Data' at the moment. But what is it and what are the implications...
More Options Develop for Devolution
First Minister Alex Salmond's independence referendum is only one of several possible routes to Scottish constitutional change, according to the chair of the think-tank behind the 'devo-plus' option.In an interview with Public Finance, Ben Thomson of...
Numbers Game
It's not just the UK that is facing the prospect of a double-dip recession Across Europe, economies are struggling with the effects of the sovereign debt crisis and the loss of confidence that this has produced.Italy and the Netherlands fell back into...
Right Up Our Street
To say the financial crisis has changed the face of public finance is one of the most obvious statements anyone in Britain could make. However, less obvious is the fact that it has created an opportunity for public sector investors to help finance key...
Safety in Numbers
EFFECTIVE TREASURY MANAGEMENT IS all about the management of risk. It involves weighing up the classic three elements of security, liquidity and yield and managing the associated risks. Local authority treasury management is no different, although the...
Setting the Standard
THE FIRST YEAR of local government accounting under International Financial Reporting Standards could hardly be described as 'plain sailing', but despite the difficult times it has been a success. Public Finance has previously reported that English authorities...
The Other Health Story
Political debate is raging about whether the legislative changes proposed under the Health and Social Care Bill amount to privatisation or the end of the NHS as we know it.Since the New Year, several Royal Colleges have followed the British Medical Association...
This Is Going to Hurt
THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET is almost upon us. George Osborne's speech on March 21 will surely bring bad news - certainly compared with what he said in 2011. Growth is down, unemployment is above the projected level and the eurozone's ongoing near-death...
Watchdog
Wales Audit OfficeThe Wales Audit Office has criticised Pembrokeshire County Council for a climate of informality and failing to challenge decision-making.In a special inspection report, Welsh auditor general Huw Vaughan Thomas recommended that the authority...
Your Views
Readers' letters and online comments on the magazineBeyond the meltdownMalcolm Pro wie and Roger Latham's feature 'Beyond the meltdown', published in January, explained how longterm problems would have far more catastrophic effects on Western economies...
You've Got to Hand It to Them
VOLUNTEERING IS MORE common than many people might think. In a recent YouGov poll, more than half of respondents (55%) said they had done some voluntary work in 2011, mainly involving neighbourly activities (50%). This suggests that, perhaps contrary...
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