Consultations

ICO: The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, has announced that it’s time to ‘shine a light’ on private investigators to remove any criminal elements that ‘breach the Data Protection Act and tarnish the industry’s reputation’.
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has written a letter to private investigations firms, public authorities who use these services, and the police to examine the extent of the problem.  The ICO is also urging members of the public who have evidence of private investigators breaching the Act to get in touch.
 
Anyone who believes they have information about criminal elements with the private investigations sector should contact the ICO office.  All of the information provided can be submitted anonymously if required.  The ICO has published guidance which explains the protection available to whistle blowers who report breaches of the law by their employers.  This is an on-going project so no fixed closure date yet.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The public vote to decide the name of the new Forth Replacement Crossing started last week. After receiving over 7,600 suggestions from the public, an independent panel has agreed a shortlist of 5 names. Members of the public can now vote for their favourite via the dedicated website, SMS texting or by requesting a postal vote.  The website includes full details on the voting process.
 
Voting will run until 7 June 2013, with the most popular choice being formally announced towards the end of the month.  The structure remains on schedule to open in 2016.
Pres release & links
 
ScotGovScotland’s planning system will place more emphasis on jobs & economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay announced last week. The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.
 
A series of public events will be held around the country in coming months, giving people the chance to have their say on the proposed changes. It is expected that following consultation (closing on 23 July 2013), the SPP will be finalised by the end of 2013, with NPF3 being adopted by 2014.
Press release & links
 
NICENICE's support for hospitals wanting to adopt innovative new technologies has been given a boost as it takes on the work of the NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC) in May 2013.
 
With funding from NHS England, the new Health Technologies Adoption Programme (HTAP) at NICE will provide a more systematic approach to the adoption by the NHS of new technologies such as diagnostic & monitoring devices, surgical implants and other technologies that improve the care given to patients.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has launched the third & final public consultation in its review of the state aid criteria it uses to assess Member States' support schemes for films and other audiovisual works.  The criteria are set out in a draft Communication, on which the Commission invites comments by 28 May 2013.  The final Communication is due to be adopted by the Commission in July 2013.
Press release & links
A new social contract for carers after COVID-19: An interview with the IPPR