CompC/ScotGov: Nobody believes the supermarkets are ‘just protecting the consumers’ - The Competition Commission (CompC) has formally recommended to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that it should establish an Ombudsman to arbitrate on disputes between grocery retailers & suppliers and investigate complaints under the new Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).
The CompC has published the Order setting out the GSCOP, the formal Recommendation to BIS to establish the Ombudsman, and a covering letter to the Minister of State at BIS, Kevin Brennan. These measures follow the CompC’s inquiry into UK groceries retailing which finished last year and concluded that measures were needed to address its concerns about relationships between retailers and their suppliers.
Retailers covered by the Order now have six months to comply. The CompC does not have the power to establish an Ombudsman itself, and so has been trying to secure the agreement of retailers, making it clear that without this it would recommend to BIS that it establish the Ombudsman instead. After the majority of retailers declined to agree, the CompC is pressing ahead with the recommendation.
Peter Freeman, CompC Chairman and Chairman of the Groceries inquiry said: "The costs of the Ombudsman, which we think would be about £5m a year in total including initial set-up costs, are very modest compared with the annual turnover of £70bn in grocery supplies to retailers".
Scotland's Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "We have repeatedly told the UK Government that we believe a supermarket ombudsman would help provide long-term security for many parts of the food chain, including consumers. Supermarkets wield a huge amount of influence over the future of our food industry and, as the experience of the banking sector shows us, robust regulation is essential”.
Ofsted: Giving them ‘Care in Care’ will help them lead a normal life - Almost 50% of children in care worry about other people knowing their background, mainly because they fear being judged, bullied or treated differently, according to the latest report by Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan.
The Care and Prejudice report surveyed the views of 362 children invited to take part randomly from children’s homes & foster care across the country. Of these, 276 completed a detailed survey. Almost half are worried most about employers, other children & young people and possible landlords finding out they are from care. Those concerned about employers finding out thought it would affect their chances of getting a job.
However, the majority of children did report they were not treated either better or worse than others because they were in care. For most being in care meant being supported & looked after properly by good carers or staff. For a few it also meant being safe. As one young person said; 'I feel happier because I am away from abuse.'
Overall, children in care – especially girls, young people in children’s homes, those who had spent longest in care and disabled children – believe that the general public have a negative view of children in care. Almost half thought the public saw children in care as bad & uncontrollable and just under a quarter thought they were seen as troublemakers.
Worryingly the report found that the longer children spent in care, the more likely they were to report sometimes being treated worse. In addition, where children were placed in care also made a big difference to their experience of being in care. Children in foster care were more likely than those in children’s homes to say they have been treated better for being in care.
MoJ: Getting the balance right – Billions to build new prisons against ‘peanuts’ to prevent re-offending - An additional £8.4m is to be invested into reducing youth re-offending and creating safer communities through improved resettlement & rehabilitation arrangements for young offenders leaving prison, Justice Minister Claire Ward has announced. Over the next 2 years, new programmes will be established across England & Wales to break the cycle of offending for young people leaving custody each year.
Designed to ensure that young offenders make a positive contribution to society by developing essential skills and so turn their backs on a life of crime, this youth rehabilitation project will offer funding to help local areas establish & maintain the services necessary to provide practical alternatives to crime.
WAG: False rumours in the valleys - BBC Wales ran a story last Wednesday about alleged plans to review the Welsh Assembly Government's concessionary travel scheme - despite being told that WAG have no plans whatsoever to scrap the scheme. WAG also informed the BBC that there were no plans to change the entitlement or eligibility criteria for the scheme.
WAG would like to reassure people that there will be no change to the scheme - they are simply running an audit of the reimbursement mechanism between WAG, local authorities and bus operators.
Forthcoming Event: Surviving the present while preparing for the future - The Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit (14 -15 September 2009) provides a comprehensive view of how enterprise architecture can help public sector organisations optimize costs in the short term, while preparing for possible funding reductions / nil growth in the medium / long term.
The scope & focus of enterprise architecture (EA) has evolved during the past 15 years; from a simple technology focus to a concern with information & service provision, and from tactical IT decisions to analysis & linkage to the business strategy.
Three agenda tracks offer practical advice for novice & advanced EA practitioners on EA & related topics such as BPM, Cloud Computing and Social Software and much more, to help you align your EA efforts with the top service delivery priorities.
The Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit will provide you with the necessary skills to:
* Identify cost optimization & efficiency opportunities
* Deliver on current practical challenges, whilst anticipating future service models to match resources
*Gain a complete view of priorities, methodological consistency and the potential for greater synergy across the organisation
* Position yourself as the Architect of Change manage through the anticipated tough times to come as public sector finances contract
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