PC&PE: The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is critical of the lack of time for human rights scrutiny of Government legislation and calls for changes to improve the system in its Legislative Scrutiny Update.
ScotGov: More small businesses than ever before are securing public contracts through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS), the national advertising portal, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed last week. PCS figures (in its annual report) show that 80% of 13,308 suppliers awarded contracts through the online portal in 2012 were based in Scotland.
NAO: The Cabinet Office’s Efficiency & Reform Group (ERG) has helped departments make significant savings, according to a report by the National Audit Office. Overall, the NAO has confidence in the £5.5bn of savings in 2011-12 attributed to the influence of ERG. However, there has not been enough focus so far on the sustainability of savings.
The report does point out that savings to date have differing degrees of sustainability. The level of savings from commercial negotiation with major suppliers and from the advertising moratorium was lower than that in 2010-11. Similarly, some of the 2011-12 savings are unlikely to be sustained.
CSPL: The Committee on Standards in Public Lifehas recently published its Annual plan setting out the issues it will be looking at in the year ahead.
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has announced it will be introducing bigger, more expert inspection teams that will spend longer in hospitals talking to people. These will be led by a Chief Inspector who will also oversee performance ratings.
In launching its plans for the next 3 years, the CQC has emphasised that its role is to be firmly on the side of patients and people who use services. It has also promised to publish better information for the public, helping them to easily find and understand its reports on care services – this will include ratings of services.