Newswire – CPAAs with Child Abuse & Hospital Patient Neglect some issues just continue not to be properly addressed - The Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) major projects 2010

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPA, said: 
"Any good progress being made on many individual defence equipment projects has again been overshadowed by the MOD's continuing failure on important major projects.  Unaffordable decisions taken in the short-term lead to inevitable waste of billions of pounds over time……

The MOD must demonstrate the same discipline in its defence procurement that our forces demonstrate in the field.  In this one hearing, when we were able to focus on only 4 projects, we identified over £8bn of taxpayers' money which has been written off or incurred simply for reasons of delay…….

…. decisions have been taken without a full understanding of the financial implications. The consequence has been hugely damaging – in just one year an increase of over £3bn in the overall cost of the Department’s major projects”.
Press release ~ Topics: Defence equipment and procurement ~ Committee of Public Accounts: Major Projects Report 2010 ~ Committee of Public Accounts ~ Dr Fox on obtaining Value for Money ~ NAO MoD Black Hole press release ~ NAO: MoD - Major Projects Report 2010 ~ NAO: Lack of Commercial skills for complex government projects ~ Related earlier press release ~ Defence Equipment 2010 report ~ MoD’s Acquisition Reform Strategy ~ Bernard Gray’s Review of Acquisition for the MoD ~ Defence Acquisition Change Programme (DACP) ~ Ministry of Defence: Support to High Intensity Operations ~ NAO: Support to High Intensity Operations ~ Acquisition Operating Framework ~ Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) ~ Capability Visions ~ Defence Technology Plan (DTP) ~ OGC’s skills strategy ‘Building the procurement profession in government’ ~ Senior Responsible Owners ~ OGC Gateway Review Process ~ National Defence Industries Council (NDIC) ~ IISS: UK cost-cutting review shrinks military capacity ~ Future Character of Conflict ~ Future Force 2020

IfG:  Political dogma or a policy to fit a financial reality - Adrian Brown, leading the research programme on Big Society and public services at the Institute for Government has commented on the PM’s vision for public services, announced this week.

The PM emphasised:
* a radical transfer of power to the public
* greater freedoms for frontline professionals
* a ‘new presumption’ that public services should be open to a wide range of providers

The IfG will shortly be publishing a framework to help policy makers think about the Big Society. They also identify the key roles for government in making the Big Society approach in the public services a reality.
Press release ~ No. 10 DS press release ~ Vision for public services ~ TUC comment ~ PCS union comment ~ Accountability for public services ~ Big Society public servicesPublic sector mutuals ~ The state of commissioning ~ IfG: Mutualisation – an alternative model for ALBsIfG Blog: The feeling's mutual ~ Public Finance article: Maude urges organisations to accept mutuals bids ~ Transforming Community Services (TCS) programme and the leadership challenge ~ NHS Scotland Efficiency and Productivity Framework ~ The Social Investment Strategy ~ Big Society Bank ~ www.nesta.org.uk ~ PM sets out commitment to Big Society ~ Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action ~ Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Buy - assets of community value: Consultation paper (closes 3 May 2011) ~ Development Trusts Association ~ Community Development Foundation ~ Dying for Change ~ Cutting It: The Big Society and the new austerity ~ GP commissioning: does size matter? ~ Measuring Social Value: The gap between policy and practice ~ Social Return on Investment model (SROI) Network ~ Refreshed Compact press release ~ Third sector partnerships for service delivery ~ Third Sector Investment Programme: Innovation Excellence and Service Development Fund 2011-12 ~ Public Services and the Third Sector: Rhetoric and Reality ~ National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning ~ Serco: Third Sector Involvement

PwC / BISExcuses don’t always sound so logical if they have to be written down - PwC plans to speed up the progression of the firm’s diversity strategy by encouraging the use of a new 'comply or explain' approach to the promotion of women to senior ranks in the firm.  The approach is being planned after detailed analysis & modelling examined the promotion flow of women & men in the organisation.

Using employee skills & capability mapping techniques, leaders in the firm’s major divisions will be asked to proactively consider women in their promotion rounds, or explain what the blocker to progress is, so that it can be addressed.  

Emphasis will fall initially on achieving proportionate promotion rates at manager & senior manager levels in the firm, to build a long term pipeline of senior female candidates for leadership levels.  As part of the wider initiative, the firm has initially identified an additional 28 high - performing female partners to be mentored by the board.

Last week also saw the launch of Lord Davies of Abersoch’s independent review into Women on Boards of UK listed companies in the FTSE 100, in which he said that they should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation by 2015.
PwC press release ~ BIS press release ~ Lord Davies report: Women on Boards~ PwC comment on Davies report ~ CIPD welcomes Davies review ~ EHRC response ~ Previous CSM press release ~ Previous CBI comment PR ~ CSM: The FTSE female index 2010 ~ International Centre for Women Leaders ~ Previous GEO press release ~ Government Equalities Office ~ Representation of women and men in business and government – public attitudes & perceptions ~ Financial Reporting Council ~ How Women Have Changed Norway's Boardrooms ~ FTSE100 Cross-Company Mentoring Scheme ~ United Kingdom Resource Centre (UKRC) ~ PROWESS ~ Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance ~ The Best Way to Get Women into Boardrooms ~ Fawcett Society: Sexism and the City ~ Breaking the Mould for Women Leaders: Could boardroom quotas hold the key? ~ Institute of Leadership and Management: Ambition and Gender at work ~ 30% Club

JRFRelatively cheap access to water (especially for the poorest) is a mark of modern civil society - A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has highlighted how low-income households are at particular risk of 'water poverty', as water metering & differential pricing are deployed by agencies to incentivise greater water efficiency, in the bid to adapt to the effects of climate change.

‘Vulnerability to heatwaves and drought: adaptation to climate change’ by a team from AEA and the University of Surrey explores how examples of climate change adaptation in the South West of England may impact on vulnerable groups in society.

This is the first report to be published from JRF's Climate Change and Social Justice programme, which seeks to explore how climate change & adaptation policies are experienced by different social groups in the UK.
Press release ~ Vulnerability to heatwaves and drought: adaptation to climate change ~ EA: Water Resources Strategy Action Plans and Strategies for England & Wales ~ Anna Walker’s independent review of water charging & metering ~ Part G (sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) of the Building Regulations ~ Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings ~ Ofwat - International comparisons - water efficiency ~ National Water Conservation Group ~ Consumer Council for Water ~ Having difficulty paying your bill? ~ How to cut your water & sewerage bills by being water efficient ~ Making savings on my water bill ~ Water UK ~ Waterwise ~ Waterwise evidence base report ~ Defra: Water conservation ~ Defra - Water Resources ~ UK Water Industry Research Ltd ~ How can you save water?

DFT:  Government partially fills ‘hole’ in council road repair budgets ~ Councils in England will be given more than £100m of extra funding to spend on repairing potholes.  The funding is in addition to the £831m already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £3bn the Government has committed over the next 4 years.

In order to qualify for this extra funding and to promote greater transparency & accountability, LAs will need to publish information on their website by 30 September 2011 showing where this money has been spent.
DfT press release ~ LGA response ~ Directgov: Reporting a problem with potholes ~ Potholes.co.uk ~ Fill that Hole ~ Previous RAC press release ~ Delays Due to Serious Road Accidents ~ Transport Select Committee report The Major Road Network (March 2010) ~ What does a road accident cost? ~ The Human Cost of Road Traffic Accidents ~ Audit Scotland report ~ Road Conditions in England: 2010 

NUBS:   If ever there was a time the public sector needed managers trained to see & respond to the ‘bigger picture’! - Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) has been chosen as 1 of only 6 official suppliers of executive & part-time MBA programmes for public sector employees.  

NUBS is accredited to provide the Master of Business Administration qualification on a part-time basis to leaders & managers working in central government, regional government and the wider public sector.

The U.K. Government’s procurement body Buying Solutions launched the MBA/MPA Qualification as Lot 23 of the pan-government framework agreement – Learning & Development & eLearning Solutions in Sept. 2010.
Press release ~ Further information

White Paper: How to Maintain Service Standards in an Era of Public Spending Cuts - Public services in the UK are fighting to survive. Necessary public sector reform and structural change means that the cuts agenda is now delivering redundancies, mergers and many front line service changes. Yet citizens still need help, especially those who are experiencing major upheavals in terms of benefits, entitlements and eligibility for services.

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