DWP: Principles of Welfare reform - David Blunkett has launched his vision for the future of the welfare state - Principles of Welfare Reform – which sets out the guiding values that will shape the direction of the Welfare State. The government claims that one of the key principles will be to: ‘liberate people to make the most of their lives’.
The next stage of Welfare Reform is supposedly designed to not only help people find work, but to also progress once they are working. The concept behind it is that by building the necessary skills & assets for future personal security people will be able achieve success for themselves and their families.
DCA: Elections Bill - The Electoral Administration Bill puts a new duty on election administrators to make sure as many people as possible are registered to vote in Parliamentary constituencies across the country.
The Bill also outlines new ways to tackle fraud, allows better access to the election process and reduces the age people can stand for election from 21 to 18.
The Electoral Administration Bill aims to set up a Co-ordinated Online Record of Electors (CORE) in the hope that it will improve the accuracy and integrity of electoral registers.
The Electoral Commission has welcomed the Bill, believes that the current system of household registration is outdated and open to abuse & error. It is disappointed and concerned that the Bill does not provide for the introduction of individual registration which is needed to tackle the urgent problem of security for postal voting.
Press release ~ DCA Elections Bill website ~ Electoral Commission ~ Absent voting in Great Britain: report and recommendations ~ Delivering Democracy? The future of postal voting - Summary ~ Do Politics ~ Youth Voting Network
Home Office: £30 ID Card – The Home Secretary Charles Clarke has announced that a 10-year stand-alone ID card, costing £30, is to be introduced, which will be available to those who choose not to hold a passport. It, however, be valid as a travel document within the EU.
The government claims that it would not be compulsory to carry an ID card and there would be no new powers for police to demand to see a card. However, this would be a universal scheme for everyone legally resident in the
The government’s current best estimate for the average unit cost of the combined passport and ID card package is £93. However, Independent estimates from the LSE put it closer to £300.
The Home Office has also published the research report ’Identity Cards: an assessment of awareness and demand for the Identity Cards Scheme’, which it claims demonstrates strong public support for the scheme.
Other measures to protect against animal and bird disease, and Avian Influenza in particular, are in place, including surveillance & monitoring of birds such as the annual survey of poultry in premises across
Import controls are in place to prevent the import of poultry and poultry products from countries affected by disease, most recently in respect of
Press release ~ Exotic Animal Disease Generic Contingency Plan ~ UK Influenza Pandemic Contingency plan ~ Health Protection Agency – Avian Flu ~ DH Bird Flu website ~ State Veterinary Service ~ Veterinary Instructions, Procedures and Emergency Routines (VIPER) ~ "Exercise Hornbeam" - SAC review ~ Section 18 of the Animal Health Act (AHA) 2002 (and scroll down)
NHS: Compensation culture or a better service? - Under the NHS Redress Bill patients with claims up to £20,000 will no longer have to go to court to get compensation, care, apologies & investigations if something goes wrong with their NHS hospital treatment or care.
The NHS Redress Bill, which is expected to come into force in 2007/8, will place a duty on providers & commissioners of hospital services to ensure patients receive a more consistent, speedy & appropriate response to clinical negligence.
Food Standards Agency: The FSA has
launched the next stage of a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce
their salt intake by checking food labels and eating no more than 6g of salt a
day. While latest research shows
an extra 6 million people in
In August 2005 the Agency launched a consultation regarding setting targets for reducing salt in
key food categories (closes
FCO: The British
and Cambodian governments are working in partnership with Microsoft to tackle
child exploitation through the internet.
A joint training programme in
Press release ~ UKs National Crime Squad ~ National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) ~ Paedophile on-line Investigation team (POLIT) ~ Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) ~ Unicef – End child exploitation campaign ~ Outreach international
DfT: The Government has decided not to
accept the Civil Aviation
Authoritys recommendation for a £1 levy on all air passengers
Press release ~ Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL) scheme ~ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ~ CAA Advice to Government, September 2005 ~ Transport Committee report ~ FCO travel advice ~ Package Travel Directive
Minister Malcolm Wicks believes that the
Press release ~ DTI Renewable Energy - It’s only natural website - Beaumont Primary School, Hadleigh, Suffolk, community project case study ~ Microgeneration strategy and Low Carbons building programme ~ Ashburton Learning Village
Minister, Ben Bradshaw has published an action plan for managing the fishing
industry and developing fisheries policy in
DWP: The DWP has published its new strategy for tackling benefit fraud - Reducing fraud in the benefit system – which is yet another attempt to crackdown on benefit fraudsters, this time ‘using 21st century techniques to beat the criminals’, including voice stress analysis in telephone claims, to identify suspect cases at the outset.
Press release ~ Strategy paper - Reducing fraud in the benefit system ~ CA Benefits website ~ NAO – Tackling Benefit Fraud ~ Public Accounts Committee report ~ Benefit Fraud Inspection website ~ Review of the DWP Benefit Fraud Sanctions Regime - Social Research Report No 149
DCMS: The government is looking at how to
break down the financial barriers faced by the small & medium sized
businesses that make up 90% of the
Press release ~ DCMS Creative Industries website ~ Online Survey ~ Banking on a Hit: The Funding Dilemma for Britains Music Businesses ~ Burns Owens Partnership Ltd (BOP). ~ Association of Independent Music (AIM)
Defra: Defra is consulting (closes Monday 2 January, 2006) on the regulations & guidance for the measures to be implemented under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act which received Royal Assent in April 2005 and is due to commence in April 2006. Those measures under consultation include further powers to deal with litter and fly-tipping, as well as new powers on dogs, nuisance lighting and neighbourhood noise
Defra is also consulting on a revised Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse.
Press release ~ Consultation on (1) Guidance and Regulations for the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 and (2) Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse ~ Defra - Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act website ~ Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 ~ Local Environmental Quality website
HM Treasury: The Terms of Reference for Sir Nicholas Stern’s review of the ‘economics of climate change’ have now
been announced and a call for evidence has been issued (closes
Press release ~ Review website (scroll down for terms of reference) ~ Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development ~ Dialogue plan of action ~ UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ~ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ~ Climate Change Programme Review
Defra: The Zoos Forum, the Governments independent advisory body on zoos, has produced new guidance on animal welfare and its assessment in zoos.
Defra: New guidance and best practice on tackling drug related litter - such as discarded needles and syringes - has been published by Defra. The guidance highlights how local authorities, drug action teams, crime & disorder reduction partnerships and other key organisations around the country can work together to reduce & better manage drug related litter.
Press release ~ Tackling drug related litter: guidance and good practice (1MB) ~ Engaging the community with drug litter campaigns (1.3Mb) ~ Drug related litter - identifying, monitoring and solving the problems (1.4Mb) ~ ENCAMS - Keep Britain Tidy ~ National Treatment Agency ~ Chartered Institution of Wastes Management ~ Cleaner Safer, Greener Communities programme ~ National Conference on Injecting Drug Use ~ Drug use prevention among young people: a review of reviews.
Acas: The Acas Model Workplace, a key points plan which identifies the features of an effective workplace and provides guidance to help businesses achieve the key points.
DCA: The Council on Tribunals annual report has been published. In his preface the chairman, Lord
report 286: Research into Multiple
Disadvantaged Groups in European Social Fund Objective 3 in England looks
at the extent, type & effectiveness of support provided by ESFO3 in
DWP: The DWP has published the findings of a small-scale qualitative study looking at attitudes towards retirement saving amongst micro-employers (employers with fewer than five members of staff).
NAO: The National Audit Office has reported that the DWP provides an effective range of support that helps thousands of disabled people find employment each year. However more needs to be done to increase the number of people assisted into work and help many of those disabled people already in the workplace retain their jobs.
Press release ~ Gaining and retaining a job: the Department for Work and Pensions’ support for disabled people - Full report (VLM 1.6Mb) ~ Summary ~ Work Preparation ~ Workstep ~ Remploy ~ Remploy Interwork ~ New Deal for Disabled People ~ Access to Work ~ The Job Introduction Scheme ~ Disability Symbol ~ Mencap: Making it work (VLF 2.3Mb) ~ Mencap: Making it work for employers (VLF 2Mb) ~ Mencap: Making it work for parents and carers (1.3Mb)
NAO: A report from the National Audit Office says that joint targets and the joint working needed to achieve them, can help to improve the delivery of government objectives. The report identifies characteristics of effective joint working with relevance to the achievement of joint targets more generally. 20% of the government’s targets for 2005-08 are shared between more than one Department.
Home Office: Fifteen additional international terror organisations have been banned, the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, has announced.
Press release ~ Part II of the Terrorism Act 2000 ~ List of existing banned
Home Office: Home
Secretary, Charles Clarke has published his proposed new laws to combat
terrorism. The measures
in the Terrorism Bill are supposed
to help tackle the terrorist threat facing the
The Home Secretary also announced that he would bring forward further measures in the Immigration and Nationality Bill.
Press release ~ Terrorism Bill (then click on ‘T’) ~ The Home Secretarys letter to opposition colleagues dated 6 October ~ Lord Carliles report - Proposals by Her Majestys Government for Changes to the Laws Against Terrorism ~ FCO report on counter terrorism legislation and practice in selection of other countries
HMRC: A new National Insurance Contributions Bill has been published with the intention of ensuring that all employers & employees pay their fair share of tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) on rewards of employment. It is in direct response to various tax and NICs avoidance schemes.
DCA: The new Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, has welcomed the challenges facing him and the judiciary as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, saying:
“The transfer to me of judicial functions from the Lord Chancellor takes effect next April. My priorities are to ensure the judiciary are ready to manage the significant constitutional reforms and to provide leadership to full & part-time judicial office holders in England and Wales - judges, tribunal members and the magistracy - in total some 40,000 people."
CRE: The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 11 October and the CRE has made available its briefing document. In addition it has set up a page on its website that answers some commonly-asked questions about the Bill and its provisions.
Defra: National Park Authorities in England and Wales will be able to protect their most vulnerable rights of way and unsealed highways under laws currently before Parliament, which will give National Park Authorities the ability to make Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to regulate & restrict traffic on recreational routes within their boundaries.
During the reading, the Government also announced that it would be commencing the new provisions in relation to the extinguishment of rights for mechanically propelled vehicles as soon as possible.
Defra: The new Animal Welfare Bill, which applies to
The Bill applies to vertebrates only - principally to those vertebrates in the care of man. The Bill does not affect animals used in scientific procedures, which are covered by other legislation.
Press release ~ Defra Animal welfare Bill website ~ House of Commons Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report ~ Government response to Select Committee ~ Analysis of the replies to the public consultation (VLF 1.8Mb)
ODPM: The Council Tax (New Valuation Lists For
Press release ~ Council Tax (New Valuation Lists For England) Bill (Click on ‘C’) ~ Lyons Inquiry website
HSE: Amendments that clarify & simplify working with contained Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have recently come into force.
British Red Cross: A team of six British Red Cross logistics & assessment
experts have been sent to
The British Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal for money to support the immediate relief efforts.
To donate to the Asia Earthquake Appeal, go to www.redcross.org.uk/asianearthquake,
Or phone 08450 535 353
Or send a cheque to:
British Red Cross Asian Earthquake Appeal, Freepost,
Families worried about missing relatives following the earthquake can visit www.familylinks.icrc.org.
Charity Commission: Last week saw the beginning of a new era of public information when the Charity Commission received its first summary information return (SIR) online. Annual returns, which include the SIR, can now be completed by charities electronically, 24 hours a day.
For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE
Enhancing individual, team and organisational performance is the theme of a one-day National School of Government training and development conference. Designed for public sector senior managers, HR and training professionals and anyone looking to introduce new approaches, ‘Hitting the Right Note’ features a presentation on passionate & memorable oral communication from Russell Wardop, followed by a workshop on developing the high-performance team led by the City of London Sinfonia.
Date: 9 - 11 November 2005
On completion you should understand the basis of effective management including:
the role of the manager
· strengths & preferences
· problem-solving & decision-making
· effective communication
· arguing your case.
This course includes a management case study against which you pitch your skills.
Venue: Radisson SAS Portman Hotel,
Organiser: Economist Conferences - Third Annual Public Sector Conference
Building on results for next-generation public services - Government today is engaged in complex business transformation programmes. A wave of efficiency drives in recent years has seen public sector organisations make real efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. Can leaders fulfil the public’s increased expectation of effective service provision? Is there a handle on developing an effective service delivery culture? Help shape the answers at this strategic one-day conference.
Date: March - July 2006
Venue: Pinewood Studios
Organiser: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - £10,000 Up for grabs underwater
In the first competition of its kind in the
have already signed up for the challenge, including
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE
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