Public Finance

Articles from June 2007

All Systems Go?
We might not know in detail what this year's Comprehensive Spending Review will bring, but we can be pretty sure of the big picture. It is one of public administration being based on fewer and bigger IT systems shared between departments, agencies, other...
Britain Makes Net Gain from Immigration, TUC Study Finds
Migrant workers contribute more to the British economy than the costs of the public services they receive, according to a study by the Trades Union Congress.The TUC said its Economics of migration report, published on June 19, dispelled the myth that...
Cabinet Office Wants Joined-Up Approach to Exclusion
The Cabinet Office is preparing a submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review that would require Whitehall departments to work together to tackle social exclusion, ministers revealed this week.Cabinet Office minister Pat McFadden told Public Finance...
DCLG Casts Doubt over Cave's Housing Regulator Proposals
Plans to create an independent regulator for councils, housing associations and other social landlords have failed to gain immediate government support.Within hours of the new body being proposed by Professor Martin Cave, the Department for Communities...
DfID Faces Value-for-Money Issues over Aid Allocation
'Grotesque failure' and 'total farce' were the more polite terms anti-poverty activist Bob Geldof used earlier this month to signal his disenchantment with the aid record of the world's richest countries.Two years ago, when the Group of Eight pledged...
Does Not Compute
New technology has transformed the way we live and work, how we stay in touch with friends - and make new ones.Just look at the Labour Party's deputy leadership contest. The six hopefuls have all capitalised on the Facebook phenomenon, poking' the party...
Events
June* JUNE 25National Audit Office conference - Public sector mergers: lessons from the past, ideas for the futureWith mergers becoming increasingly common in the public sector, this event will initiate debate, draw attention to the costs and benefits,...
Have a Good News Day
Gordon Brown's media people have been keen to tell us that the changeover at Number 10 will be accompanied by a new, straightforward attitude to communicating with the press.But is 'the death of spin' just another example of the dark arts in operation?...
Holyrood Sets Up Independent Review into Free Personal Care
An independent inquiry into the funding of free personal care for elderly people in Scotland has been ordered by the SNP minority government at Holyrood.Lord Sutherland, who chaired a royal commission that recommended free personal care when it reported...
Independent Body 'Should Assess Educational Progress'
An independent body should be given responsibility for determining whether pupil performance is really getting better, leading educationalists said this week.A report commissioned by the education charity the Sutton Trust reviewed the UK's record in...
Legal Challenge over Unitaries Comes under Fire
The Department for Communities and Local Government this week accused three councils of wasting taxpayers' money over a legal challenge against Ruth Kelly's plans for more unitary authorities.DCLG officials reacted with dismay to a High Court decision...
LGA Urges Devolved Approach to Welfare
Town hall leaders have urged ministers to reject a key proposal from David Freud's welfare review, claiming that regional 'mega-contractors' could fail to combat deep-rooted local unemployment problems.The Local Government Association published its wishlist...
Ministers to Clarify Human Rights Act after Lords Rule Care Homes Exempt
The government is expected to introduce a narrow Bill giving council-funded care home residents recourse to the Human Rights Act, after three Law Lords ruled that the current legislation excludes them.Reacting to the June 20 ruling, care minister Ivan...
PFI in the Sky
While we have been waiting for Gordon Brown to become prime minister, the Private Finance Initiative, a policy closely associated with his reign at the Treasury, has been in the public spotlight. Ten years on, the political and economic environment has...
Primary Care Now Ready for Radical Reform
The structure of primary care services is likely to change radically as the NHS continues to change and evolve, a former senior health adviser to the government told the conference.Paul Corrigan, who is now director of strategy and commissioning at NHS...
Regulators 'Must Promote Innovation'
Public sector regulators should promote a culture of curiosity' among service providers, the Audit Commissions chair, Michael O'Higgins, told delegates.Previewing the new Comprehensive Area Assessment regime's lighter touch approach, O'Higgins argued...
Round-Up
* A quarter of NHS trusts in England have admitted they are not complying with one of the three standards relating to the hygiene code. The Healthcare Commission said 40% of trusts were meeting all core standards, up from 34% last year. The increase...
Someone to Watch over You
There are significant challenges ahead for Ofsted, which is now the single inspectorate for children and learners of all ages. Since April 1, it has taken on the remit of the Adult Learning Inspectorate plus some of the work previously covered by the...
Some Senior Civil Servants Not Up to the Job, Says Whitehall Delivery Czar
Some senior civil servants are not qualified to perform the tasks required of them by ministers, according to the man leading the review of Whitehall capabilities.Ian Watmore, head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, told CIPFA delegates on June 14...
Town Halls Blame Council Tax Losses on IT
Computer glitches have been blamed for a substantial drop in council tax collection in 23 local authorities, leading to a loss of more than £26m from town hall budgets last year, Public Finance has learnt.Figures published by the Department for Communities...
Unison Wins Delay over LGPS 85-Year Rule
The government has given way to union demands to delay retirement age increases for long-serving members of the Local Government Pension Scheme until 2020, local government minister Phil Woolas indicated last week.In a written statement to the Commons...
Whose Service Is It Anyway?
If anyone doubts that public services are still feeling the winds of change, they should look at the volume of reform being proposed, discussed and carried out.A more mixed economy of provision is part of this landscape. Although the pace is slower than...
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