Public Finance

Articles from October 2005

A CPA for the Civil Service
I've often heard the argument raised that if performance management is right for local authorities, schools and hospitals, why isn't it right for Whitehall?I would start by answering that, from my time in the Treasury and now as Cabinet secretary, I've...
Competition for Probation Service Comes under Fire
Controversial proposals to overhaul the probation service by opening it up to competition met with fierce criticism this week from employers and unions alike.A leaked letter from Home Secretary Charles Clarke to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott revealed...
DWP Outlines Team Approach to Fraud
Whitehall departments are teaming up with government agencies and the private sector to launch a huge data-matching exercise designed to identify benefit fraudsters, tax cheats and absent parents.A strategy document, published by the Department for Work...
Events
October* OCTOBER 26CIPFA seminar - Local government finance and policy: future trends in local governmentSpeakers include: Sue Reid, director, modernisation and efficiency unit, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; Sarah Wood, director of policy, Local...
Force Majeure
The long-standing conundrum of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object has at last been solved. They sit down and do a deal on public sector pension reform.Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson set out this week to shift...
I Don't like Mondays
Imagine, if you will, a fictional head of a fictional prison service somewhere on an island country located, oh, let's say in north-west Europe. He's called Will. For Will, it's going to be the week from hell. As he sits in his garden on a quiet Sunday...
Improving Working Lives
THE SPONSORThe Health and Safety Executive is pleased to be sponsoring this major award and is looking to encourage public sector organisations to view health and safety management in a positive and productive light.Staff health and welfare are issues...
In Brief
* Fathers could be given the right to take three months' paternity leave with a £106-a-week state allowance under new government legislation. The Work and Families Bill extends paid maternity leave from six to nine months, with a provision for fathers...
Inspiring Success
THE SPONSORReed Accountancy is proud to sponsor the turn-round management and leadership award. Amidst huge reform, technological development, moving targets and increasing public expectation, the skills of change management and the ability to deliver...
It's in the Can
In a few days' time, Ruth Kelly will stand at the Commons dispatch box to announce the details of the government's latest blueprint for the future of the nations schools. The education secretary's long-awaited white paper is being billed as the final...
Lack of Joined-Up Thinking on Aid, Says NAO
Government departments have been urged to improve the way they work together to meet crucial international targets, including those designed to reduce global poverty and international conflict.A report by the National Audit Office, published on October...
Let's Keep It Simple
A key debate of the recent conference season, and one that will continue for some time to come, is how far the 'progressive consensus' supporting public services will sustain tax levels that are increasingly seen as unfair by many on low and middle incomes.Broadly...
LGA Wants Single Health and Care 'Pot'
The Local Government Association has called for health and care funding to be merged into single pots to help pay for joined-up services between primary care trusts and local authorities.'Local Area Agreements could be used to put the non-acute elements...
Monitor Calls for More Freedom for NHS Purchasers
The government should free local health commissioners from central control, the head of the foundation trusts' regulatory body said this week.Bill Moyes, executive chair of Monitor, told a King's Fund conference on NHS regulation on October 18: 'I think...
More Moves as DfES Mandarin Takes New Role
Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell continued his shake-up of the senior civil service this week when, as expected, he announced a new role for Department for Education and Skills permanent secretary Sir David Normington.Normington has agreed to become...
New-Look CPA Will Emphasise Improvement Prospects
Star ratings for councils coupled with 'direction of travel' statements are to replace descriptive labels when the new Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime is rolled out later this year.The Audit Commission last week published The harder test,...
Northern Ireland Announces Public Smoking Ban
Northern Ireland is to follow the example of the Republic of Ireland and Scotland by banning smoking in all workplaces and enclosed public spaces from April 2007.The province's health minister, Shaun Woodward, announced the ban after a public consultation...
Ofsted Backs More Independence for Schools
Chief inspector of schools David Bell has backed plans for greater autonomy for head teachers, which are widely expected to be included in the education white paper due to be published next week.This is likely to set out measures to sweep away most of...
Parallel Universe
Are the health service reforms sinking into chaos? Certainly that is what you would believe from the newspapers. Scarcely a day goes by without some ghastly story about the alleged state of national health finances; the deficits being run by many trusts;...
People
Sunil Modaley has taken up the position of assistant chief executive (governance and finance) at Milton Keynes Council. His previous position was as customer services and scrutiny director at Arun District Council.Deborah Williams, an independent adviser...
Public Sector Managers 'Inferior', Says Economist
Managers in the public sector came under fire from a leading economist at the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers annual conference this week.John Kay, a former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told the conference...
Public Sector Still Reluctant to Work with Charities
Efforts to convince public sector organisations to contract more with the voluntary sector are to be stepped up after a study showed continuing widespread ignorance of the benefits of doing so.The research, published this week by Futurebuilders, the...
Round-Up
The UK fire and rescue service attended almost 872,000 fires and false alarms during 2004/05, according to statistics released by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This represents an 18% drop on the previous year's figures. The total number of...
Scots Plan Single Bodies to Run Services
The creation of super-councils' to run all public services is among radical options being considered by the Scottish Executive's review of governance.The Executive and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have put forward a number of options...
Union Acts to Protect NHS Managers
A union representing NHS managers has called for guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies as ambulance trusts, strategic health authorities and primary care trusts are reorganised.Managers in Partnership, set up by Unison and the FDA,...
U-Turn on Pensions Comes at a Price
Government departments could still be forced to reduce entitlements for new public sector staff to meet its £13bn savings target across the sector - despite this week's surprise deal on the pension age.While trade unions were celebrating a volte-face...
Who Dares, Wins
Scotland has been watching and awaiting developments in England on local taxation. It seems, however, we will continue to be kept waiting. The saga of the local government Balance of Funding review, which then became Sir Michael Lyons' review and is...
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