Welcome to WiredGov Plus

WiredGov Plus provides a weekly roundup of news from the UK Government and Public Sector. To save your time, we research & validate the links to websites / documents and selectively add additional background links as appropriate.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

Some of them clearly are not worth their pay

Measures to strengthen the UK’s corporate governance framework and shareholder influence over executive pay have been outlined.  The paper sets out a range of options to address concerns around levels of executive pay, increasing representation of workers, customers, suppliers & investors in the boardroom, and whether our largest private companies should be subject to more rigorous corporate governance rules.

It calls on businesses, investors, workers and members of the public to give their views on what should be done to ensure that the UK’s corporate governance framework helps to deliver an economy that works for all and maintain our reputation as the best place in Europe to do business.
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Government launches review of corporate governance

IPPR:  Government must be bolder on top pay & corporate governance

FRC welcomes wide-ranging consultation on corporate governance

TUC hits out at “disappointing” plans to tackle corporate misbehaviour

CIPD welcomes first steps in repairing UK’s broken executive pay system

CBI: 'It's right that approaches to governance evolve'

There’s not enough ‘downside’ for management failure

FRC: Improved reporting of alternative performance measures welcomed but further enhancements needed

FRC welcomes the Hampton/Alexander report

CBI: Strengthening employees & shareholders voices right response on corporate governance

FRC: Companies should focus more on issues important to shareholders & wider stakeholders, says FRC in response to BEIS Inquiry

FRC: Culture to Capital - aligning corporate behaviour with long term performance

FRC: Revised UK Audit Firm Governance Code sharpens purpose & enhances transparency

FRC comments on Executive Remuneration Working Group’s final report

Leadership failures and personal greed led to collapse of BHS

Boards have a vital role and responsibility in understanding culture and how it affects employees, highlights new CIPD report

FRC: Revised UK Corporate Governance Code, Guidance on Audit Committees, and Auditing & Ethical

FRC: Quality of corporate governance in the UK remains high

The importance of corporate governance

AXELOS:  How to distinguish a change initiative and the best practice principles to deploy for governance

 

White Paper:
Excel at Security Assessments Without EXCEL
Compliant Streamlining of Your Internal Risk Audits

Are your vendors and other business partners putting your organisation at risk? How compliant with information security standards and government regulations the 3rd parties your organisation does business with?

Your own organisation may have a secure IT infrastructure, but third parties can make it vulnerable to breaches, which often result in corporate data theft, brand damage and hefty fines. Consequently, you must conduct risk assessment audits of these suppliers, consultants, contractors, service providers and partners.

This latest white paper details how a government organisation can quickly and precisely identify security and compliance gaps among third parties, as well as internally among its employees.

Click here below to download this latest white paper now.

 
Hope the funding is there to facilitate the implementation
NHS England has set out plans to provide more support for pregnant women & new mums suffering mental illness as well as to improve care for the many people with mental health problems attending A&E in crisis.
Researched Links:

NHS England sets out steps to improve mental health care for pregnant women & new mums and help those attending A&E in crisis

When Mother & baby are at their most vulnerable

Not every ‘illness’ has ‘visible’ symptoms

 
Reducing the risks of future ‘Japanese Knotweed, Dutch Elm Disease & possibly Triffids’

Defra’s new website - the Plant Health Portal will make it easier for plant health professionals to share & use vital information on plant pests & diseases, unlocking the power of data to better assess threats and determine action to tackle them.

The portal was first proposed in 2014’s Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain, which provided an overview of activity taking place across the UK to improve plant biosecurity.  It gives access to a wide range of information about plant health from both Government & non-Government sources, including charities and academic organisations concerned with protecting plant health, like the Royal Horticultural Society.
Researched Links:

Defra:  New portal to unlock the power of data to tackle plant health threats

Plant biosecurity strategy nears completion

Not even Brexit will protect the UK from the risk

A problem that generates strong emotions

 
Sir Hogan-Howe got the Knighthood for being the ‘top (responsible) cop’, so why not remove it for his force’s ‘failures’?
HMIC report reveals 75% of child abuse cases handled inadequately by Met Police.   Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said: “It is deeply worrying that the Met Police has not yet got to grips with the way it tackles child abuse and sexual exploitation”.
Researched Links:

Children’s Commissioner:  HMIC report revealing 75% of child abuse cases handled inadequately by Met Police

Unlike Manchester, No TV headlines for this report!

Home Secretary's College of Policing speech on vulnerability

IPCC update on investigation into Essex Police’s north Child Abuse Investigations Team

The Guardian:  Operation Midland: Complainant 'Nick' investigated for attempting to pervert the course of Justice

Telegraph:  Henriques report: Met Police in the dock

 
SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

 
A lot of ‘Give & Take’ required
Managing expectations is crucial to the success of shared living arrangements, suggests recent research into what life is like for those who share a house with people who are not family members.  As shared living is clearly on the increase, then greater awareness of the factors which enable shared housing to work and how this should be achieved is increasingly important, researchers conclude.
Researched Links:

ESRC:  Low expectations key to successful house sharing

Friends over 50 living together - a rising trend

New measures tackle overcrowded housing

PX:  Government will miss its housing target unless Housing Associations are given more freedoms to build

Homeshare opens new doors to independent living for older and younger people

JRF:6 in 10 households below decent living standard have someone in work, despite record employment

Demos:  Hand Housing Back to Communities to Solve Building Crisis

First wave of Starter Homes to begin with £8m government funding

New measures to tackle rogue landlords & overcrowded housing

 
We need more ships!
Sir John Parker’s Independent Report into naval shipbuilding sets out far-reaching recommendations to transform the UK shipbuilding industry and boost the prosperity of shipyards & supply chains across the country.  Based on extensive consultation with government, industry and trades unions, it will inform the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy to be published in the spring 2017.
Researched Links:

MoD:  Parker Review: Blueprint for a strong naval shipbuilding sector

"Woefully low" total of Navy escort vessels could shrink still further

MOD awards £100m contract to deliver missile system for Royal Navy’s new Global Combat Ship

First Sea Lord’s defence & security lecture to the City of London

First boat to support UK’s fleet takes to the water in Portsmouth

Major investment boost for next generation Royal Navy ships

UK to step up NATO maritime commitment

Strategic Defence & Security Review: £178bn of equipment spending

Royal Navy warships to lose anti-ship missiles - UK Defence Journal

RUSI:  Neglecting Platforms and People: The Impact of the SDSR on the Royal Navy

 
Back to the historical training route
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a new nursing degree apprenticeship, opening up a career in nursing to more people.  The first apprentice nurses could be working on wards from September 2017, and once established, up to 1,000 apprentice nurses could join the NHS each year.  Aspiring nurses will join the apprenticeship at different stages, depending on their qualifications & experience, and stay in work whilst learning.
Researched Links:

DH:  New nursing degree apprenticeship

Step Into The NHS : Apprenticeships

NHS England:  Professor Jane Cummings, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, sets the record straight on the future of nursing

 
Back in step
The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland is to be increased to 12, under plans set out by the Minister for Childcare & Early Years.  At 8 years old, Scotland currently has the lowest minimum age of criminal responsibility in Europe and this move will bring the country in line with UN and international standards. The minimum age in England & Wales is 10.  The increase will include safeguards to allow the police to deal with & investigate the most serious & exceptional offences involving under 12s.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Minimum age of criminal responsibility

Age of criminal responsibility - GOV.UK

It's time to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility

Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility - Children's Parliament

Age of Criminal Responsibility | English Legal History

 
You are not alone in your bedroom!

Thousands of people in the UK are likely to be falling victim to ‘sextortion’ every year, according to the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs Council.  Victims in the NCA cases are aged between 14 & 82, with the highest proportion being men aged between 21 & 30, and with a substantial proportion in the 11-20 age group.

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.  These webcam images are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share them with the victims’ friends & family unless they are paid.  Sometimes there are escalating requests for further payment.  At least 4 suicides in the UK have been linked to this form of blackmail.

The NCA’s Anti-Kidnap and Extortion Unit (AKEU) has been alerted by police forces to 864 cases of financially motivated webcam blackmail so far in 2016, more than double the figure from the whole of the previous year (385).  Officers believe there is likely to be significant under-reporting and that actual numbers are much higher.  In response to the increase, the NCA and NPCC have launched a new campaign to give advice to those who have been, or are likely to be, targeted.
Researched Links:

National Crime Agency:  Help available for webcam blackmail victims: don’t panic, and don’t pay

 
Need to take action?
Camelot UK Lotteries has confirmed an incident that they estimate affects around 26,500 online player accounts.  They are in the process of contacting them all.  The National Cyber Security Centre has been working with the National Crime Agency and Camelot UK Lotteries to investigate the incident.

National Cyber Security Centre:  Camelot UK Lotteries Incident

 
Help make it happen

The Homelessness Reduction Bill, aims to ensure a greater focus on the prevention of homelessness and offers some increased protection for single homeless people and childless couples.  On 28 October 2016, the Homelessness Reduction Bill passed its Second Reading of the House of Commons with MPs from all parties speaking in support and also with the support of the Government.

It is therefore vital that the current momentum is not lost.  To this end, we are encouraging members & service users to contact their local MP to ask them to actively back the Bill at Report Stage.  Please download the draft letter, which can be adapted & used for that purpose.
Researched Links:

HL:  Homelessness Reduction Bill

Back The Bill documents (scroll down)

Increased priority with the colder weather

Overcoming entrenched or repeat homelessness

Good intentions being duplicated?

 
Plain speaking
The Work & Pensions Committee report condemns Concentrix and HMRC for their "gross failure of customer service" and building a decision making process "stacked against claimants".

PC&PE:  Concentrix and HMRC condemned for "gross failure of customer service"

 
Giving nuclear power a future
NDA welcomes the launch of the Nuclear Skills Strategic Plan to ensure UK nuclear employers, including the supply chain, can recruit skilled people at the required rate to meet the sector’s ambitious forward programme.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority:  Launch of National Nuclear Skills Strategic Plan unites sector on skills as it embarks upon renaissance

 
Register to avoid non/late-payment fines
HMRC is urging first-time Self-Assessment customers to register for a Personal Tax Account and see how easy submitting a tax return is.

HMRC:  Self-Assessment is simple with a Personal Tax Account

 
Can you believe it!
Barnsley council is frontrunner for the UK’s most Scrooge-like local authority, after it denied health visitors & community nurses an extra day’s holiday given to the rest of the workforce for receiving an Investing in People award.

Unite:  ‘Scrooge’ Barnsley council denies health visitors day’s holiday, after winning Investing in People award

 
Enough food for everybody
WWF-UK has partnered with global catering provider Sodexo to reduce the environmental impact of the meals they serve by creating healthier and more sustainable menu choices.  By combining WWF’s LiveWell principles with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow ethos, Sodexo has created a range of meals called “Green & Lean”.

WWF and Sodexo - An appetite for change through Green & Lean

Livewell - healthy eating for a slimline planet | WWF

Creating A Better Tomorrow - Sodexo

 
‘Remoaners’ not united in their opinions

A new poll reveals a striking lack of consensus among the 48% who voted for Britain to remain in the European Union.  The polling, conducted on behalf of the New Economics Foundation by GQR, highlights stark differences of opinion between Remain voters, particularly on immigration and free movement of EU citizens.

Elsewhere, it reveals striking similarities among many Remain voters with attitudes associated with those who voted for Brexit.  Both sides are more concerned about the future of the UK’s public services than its relationship with the EU.

Researched Links:

NEF:  There can be no 48% strategy for Brexit

 
Is this more or less important than membership of Single Market to Scotland?
The UK Government must give urgent reassurance that its Brexit plans will not harm Dundee’s opportunity to bid to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said last week.

ScotGov:  Call for reassurance over European City of Culture

 
More plans for United States of Europe
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, "…… This is also an important first step towards our plans to create an EU-wide road charging system that will benefit the EU's Single Market."

EU and Germany reach agreement on a fair & non-discriminatory road charging scheme

EC proposes new tax rules to support e-commerce and online businesses in the EU

 

 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

DExEU:  Ministers hear from the UK tech industry

ScotGov:  First Ministers of Scotland & Wales discuss Brexit

ScotGov:  Brexit hits households hard

ScotGov:  Brexit funding threat

ScotGov:  FM’s address to Seanad

ScotGov:  Call for reassurance over European City of Culture

ScotGov:  Clarity for students over immigration needed

Northern Ireland Office:  British Irish Parliamentary Assembly speech, November 2016

EHRC:  A letter to all political parties in Westminster

NEF:  There can be no 48% strategy for Brexit

IPO:  UK signals green light to Unified Patent Court Agreement

techUK:  Government confirms plans to ratify UPC agreement

EU News:  Geo-blocking - Council agrees to remove barriers to e-commerce

EU News:  Status of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living & working in Europe

EU and Germany reach agreement on a fair and non-discriminatory road charging scheme

CBI Scotland holds Brexit roundtable

First details of EU referendum campaign spending published by Electoral Commission

 

 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  New tax powers

PC&PE:  Only co-operation between Governments can solve Scotland's demographic problems

IPPR Scotland:  Scotland braced for ‘unprecedented’ cuts over the coming years

Wales Audit Office:  Welsh Government ‘well prepared to take on fiscal devolution responsibilities’

 

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

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

On Tuesday the winners of the Guardian Public Service Awards 2016 were announced at a ceremony in London. All the people and projects nominated challenged the way things are done and effected change to make services better for the people using them, better at reaching others who should use them and – an inescapable requirement in this long and bleak fiscal winter – better value for the taxpayer.
Among the winners was public servant of the year, Helen Backus, Buckinghamshire county council commissioner. She has created two in-county Life Skills Centres – college units for young people with disabilities or additional needs. The centres have been life-changing: “One young man had been written off before he came to the college – he was told he’d never be able to work or live independently. He is about to go for a job interview at Tesco, he cooks for himself and next year will be managing his own tenancy,” says Backus.
You can read a full list of the winners and runners-up here.

Also on the network

Guardian Public Service Awards 2016 Public Servant of the Year winner: Helen Backus

Guardian Public Service Awards 2016 Public Servant of the Year winner: Helen Backus
Buckinghamshire county council commissioner has created better services for hundreds of young people with disabilities or additional needs

Homelessness, hunger, debt: who steps in when the state pulls the plug?

Homelessness, hunger, debt: who steps in when the state pulls the plug?
Charities, social enterprises and private firms have all played a part as hardship grows – but only governments can make the change needed to prevent 

Transport cash won't fill the potholes in local government finance

Transport cash won't fill the potholes in local government finance
The chancellor’s pledge of £3.72bn for road and rail is a drop in the ocean and a missed chance to transform UK public services

News in brief
• Council to save millions by cutting 200 jobs
• PCS members reject "unnecessary and unfair" Civil Service Compensation Scheme changes
• DWP has "limited evidence" on impact of benefits sanctions, warns watchdog
• London mayor sets 35% affordable homes target in deal with developers
• Scottish councils' cash reserves are running out, says watchdog