CO:  Is it a lack of ‘training & accountability / clear lines of responsibility’, or just ‘laziness & incompetence’ that results in £bns STILL being wasted? - The Government has consistently failed to make the most of its scale, buying power and credit rating.  That is the key finding of Sir Philip Green’s review into Government efficiency, which focused on the procurement of goods & services like IT, travel, print & office supplies, and the management of the Government’s property portfolio.
For the review, Sir Philip and his team were given access to departments’ resource accounts & information on government contracts and leases.  Their work has revealed the poor quality of much of the data relating to where & how Government spends its money.  In addition, a lack of a centralised approach to buying goods & services has allowed departments to pay hugely different prices for the same items.
Press release ~ The Sir Philip Green Review ~ NAO: Improving the efficiency of central government's office property ~ HM Revenue & Customs’ estate private finance deal eight years on ~ NSG: Property Asset Management Training and Development Programme ~ OGC - High Performing Property ~ The PAM Maturity Matrix ~ 2004 Lyons report ‘Towards Better Management of Public Sector Assets’ ~ RICS publication ‘Public Sector Property Asset Management Guidance’ ~ OGC - Electronic Property Information Mapping Service (e-PIMS) ~ Occupiers Property Databank ~ Better Measurement, Better Management: Effective management of the Government estate ~ NAO: Commercial skills for complex government projects ~ OGC’s skills strategy ‘Building the procurement profession in government’ ~ Senior Responsible Owners ~ Project management framework agreement ~ Improvement and Efficiency South East (IESE) ~ Operational Efficiency Programme ~ OGC Gateway Review Process ~ OGC: Demand management ~ OGC: Managing Demand for Professional Services ~ OGC: Demand Management Process ~ Value For Money in public sector corporate services - A joint project by the UK Public Sector Audit Agencies ~ Public Sector Performance: Efficiency or Quality? ~ Public service reform in Scotland ~ Capability review website ~ NAO: Innovation across central government ~ Achieving Innovation in Central Government Organisations (2006) ~ CLG – Pooling Resources across a sector ~ Reporting on progress: Central Government websites 2009-10 ~ Measuring website costs ~ Review of Arrangements for Efficiencies from Smarter Procurement in Local Government ~ North West Centre of Excellence ~ NAO - Assurance for high risk projects ~ Major Project Review Group ~ OGC’s Construction Policy on High Performing Property ~ 'Valuable lessons' ~ Audit Commission Managing School Resources tool ~ How Civil Servants make policy ~ MINDSPACE - influencing behaviour through public policy~ ESRC: Leadership Change and public services: Reinvigorating Performance or Reinforcing Decline? ~ WAG - Improving public services ~ NAO Efficiency Toolkit ~ National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy (NIES) ~ Committee of Public Accounts - The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress ~ NAO - The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress ~ OGC - The Efficiency Team and What We Do ~ ESRC – The Management of Second Best ~ NHS Scotland's Efficiency and Productivity Programme ~ ScotGov - Efficient Government ~ Improvement service ~ Simplification Programme ~ Public Contracts Scotland ~ eProcurement Scotland ~ Could do better? Knowledge, learning and improvement in public services

BRUnfortunately we cannot afford the same financing model as when only 10% of the population went to University - Lord Browne of Madingley has published his Independent Review into Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.  Under a new system, to be called the Student Finance Plan, no student will pay anything until they graduate and are in work. 

After leaving university, graduates will only begin repaying when they reach annual earnings of over £21,000 a year, up from £15,000 under the current system.  The other key recommendations from Lord Browne’s report include:
* The current cap on fees of £3,290 p.a. will be removed
* A 10% increase in student places will be factored into the system over the next 4 years
* Those who wish to pursue part-time study should have equal entitlement to tuition support
* Any balance remaining after 30 years is written off
* Support for living costs available to all through an annual loan of £3,750, with no means testing
Press release ~ Report ~ Executive summary ~ Browne Report Homepage ~ Related PX press release ~ BIS response to review report ~ Compound interest and shocking degrees of graduate debt ~ NUS response ~ Aimhigher Associates programme ~ Student loans & grants ~ WAG response ~ Work Foundation response ~ HEFCE response ~ IFS response ~ TUC response to Lord Browne's review of tuition fees

JRFPart of the problem is that the ‘less capable’ inexperienced jobseekers are now competing with ‘newly unemployed’ experienced workers - To help inform the debate on public spending cuts in the lead up to the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a briefing about the 5 main benefits that make up, or add to, the income of the approximately 5m out-of-work working-age adults: Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income Support (IS), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Working-Age Welfare: Who Gets It, Why and What it Costs commissioned by JRF and written by Dr Peter Kenway (New Policy Institute), Professor Steve Fothergill (Sheffield Hallam University) and Goretti Horgan (University of Ulster) underlines the vulnerability of working-age benefit recipients.

The paper highlights:
* Low benefit levels for jobless adults
* The difficult & complex circumstances many jobless adults experience
* The challenges of finding work
* The growth of mental ill-health as an obstacle to paid employment
Press release ~ Working-Age Welfare: Who Gets It, Why and What it Costs (also see related documents) ~ Dedicated JRF microsite to help inform the debate on public spending ~ JRF quiz to test people's knowledge about poverty in the UK ~ The Minimum Income Standard ~ Now It’s Personal: The New Landscape of welfare-to-work ~ A longitudinal study of out of work Further Education leaners ~ ScotGov - More Choices, More Chances ~ Youthbuild ~ Liberation Welfare collection ~ Building Bridges to Work ~ Work Capability Assessment ~ Learning from the Past: Tackling worklessness and the social impacts of the recession ~ Cllr Houghton's report, Tackling Worklessness: A Review of the contribution and role of local authorities and partnerships - Final Report ~ Government response to the Houghton report ~ Future Jobs Fund ~ A step towards work or just stuck in a warehouse? ~ Depression: the treatment and management of depression in adults (update) ~ Workstep programme ~ Improving progression to unsupported employment: A review of strategies developed by Workstep providers ~ Rethink guide: ‘We Can Work it Out’ for line managers on how to make reasonable adjustments for mental ill-health ~ Delivering national employment and skills programmes to vulnerable groups in rural England: Needs, barriers and solutions ~ ‘Degrees of Success: The transition between VET and HE’ ~ Realising Ambitions: Better Employment Support for People with a Mental Health Condition (plus related reports) ~ Research Report No 513: Mental health and employment ~ EmployAbility ~ Employers' Forum on Disability ~ The State of the Nation: Poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the in the UK ~ PCS union press release in response ~ National Equality Panel ~ An Anatomy of Inequality in the UK ~ Working for Wellness ~ Older workers 'trapped in long-term unemployment' ~ Characteristics of the short-term and long-term unemployed ~ CfSJ:  Dynamic Benefits: towards welfare that works (scroll down) ~ Related DWP press release

CRC:  Part of the problem is that they are ‘unseen & unheard’ - Last week ‘Child in the countryside: challenging reality’ was published by the Commission for Rural Communities.  The information sheet is intended to extend & develop understanding of the picture for children & young people in rural England.  The statistics highlighted in the document are set in context and bought to life through evidence from service providers, parents & children.

The evidence will be of importance to a wide range of policy makers & organisations commissioning & delivering to children & young people in rural communities.  The information provided will prompt & assist decision-makers to engage positively with rural communities to ensure equitable access to important services.
Press release ~ Child in the countryside: a challenging reality ~ State of the Countryside Update: children and educational services ~ Palmer, G. (2009), Indicators of Poverty and Exclusion in Rural England 'Peace and quiet disadvantage: insights from users and providers of children’s centres in rural communities' ~ Summary report ~ Coalition for Rural Children and Young People ~ Position statement - 'How can public resources be fairly allocated between different places? ~ Rural manifesto ~ The potential impacts on rural communities of future public austerity ~ Understanding economic well-being ~ ‘Mind the Gap − Digital England: a rural perspective’ ~ EEDA Short guide to Rural proofing ~ Rural Accessibility report and best practice case studies

BISThe danger is that ‘efficiently delivered online services’ don’t necessarily reach those who need them most - Plans to improve public websites, upgrade IT equipment and provide better online content to suit the needs of disabled people were unveiled by Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey last week.  Launching the eAccessibility Plan, the Minister announced a package of measures that will ‘contribute to a more inclusive digital economy for people with specific needs’.

The plan will be implemented by the eAccessibility Forum, a group of over 60 experts from Government, industry and the voluntary sector who will work to explore issues surrounding e-accessibility so that better & more inclusive services can be developed for both business and consumer benefit.  The aim is to reach a step-change in eAccessibility by the time of the Olympics & Paralympics in summer 2012.
Press release ~ eAccessibility Plan ~ eAccessibility Forum ~ Delivering inclusive websites ~ Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 ~ The Business Case for Web Accessibility ~ Essential Components of Web Accessibility ~ PAS 78: A guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites ~ RNIB Web Access Centre ~ RNID: The Disability Discrimination Act - a guide for service providers ~ Usability Exchange ~ The Web: Access and Inclusion for Disabled People ~ The Usability Professionals’ Association ~ EU: eAccessibility – Opening up the Information Society ~ EU: Web Accessibility ~ Assessment of the Status of eAccessibility in Europe ~ European Disability Forum ~ Section 508 ~ Online basics ~ myguide courses ~ UK online centres ~ Digital Unite ~ ‘Get Digital' Programme ~ Silver Surfers Day ~ Community Voices
Forthcoming event:   Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2011: ReBIrth — Adjust, Evaluate and Organize

31 January – 01 February | Park Plaza Westminster Bridge , London  - The Gartner Business Intelligence Summit will provide you with the knowledge to ensure that BI and PM meet these new requirements in your organization. It will also show you how to leverage BI and PM to enable business users to capitalize on 'reborn' BI to get broader adoption, more ROI from your BI tools, and better decisions.
The Summit will provide a unique mix of Gartner Research presentations, practitioner case studies, peer-to-peer roundtables, and hands-on workshops which closely engage Gartner analysts with the attendees.

Agenda Tracks
1. Evaluation — Services, Technology and Tools
2. Execution — Best Practices and Approaches
3. Evolution — Business Value
4. Emergence — Trends and Futures

Visit www.europe.gartner.com/bi for further information and to register your place!

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest: