General Reports and Other Publications
Newswire – CSP: The House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges has published its Report on Privilege: Hacking of Members’ Mobile Phones. The Report presents the Committee’s conclusions & recommendations following its inquiry into the matter referred to it by the House in September 2010.
The committee has concluded that a specific act of hacking could potentially be ‘a contempt’, if it can be shown to have interfered with the work of the House or to have impeded or obstructed an MP from taking part in such work. It has also concluded that a series of acts of hacking could potentially be ‘a contempt’, if it can be shown that the hacking has interfered with the work of the House by creating a climate of insecurity for one or more MPs.
The committee looks forward to publication by the Government of a draft Privileges Bill in the present Session of Parliament. It proposes that the draft Bill should include a definition of what is meant by 'contempt of Parliament' and that the Bill should codify Parliament’s powers to impose sanctions, including a power for the House of Commons to fine.
Newswire – TC: The Treasury Committee recently published its report, Competition and Choice in Retail Banking. In the report the committee concludes that the pre-conditions for effective competition in the retail banking market are not present.
The committee highlights in particular a lack of price transparency & comparability in the personal current account market, as well as the difficulty of switching. The report calls on the Government to make competition a primary objective of the new regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It also recommends a ‘public interest test’ based on competition considerations for proposed future divestments of Government-held stakes in the banks.
LDA: Over 16,000 Londoners have benefited to date from the London Development Agency’s investment in employment & skills programmes, according to a report launched yesterday. The LDA report, Great Expectations: How London delivered in hard times, sets out the challenges & barriers that long term unemployed and low-skilled Londoners face getting into work & progressing into better jobs.
DfE: The Department for Education has published the progress report of the independent review into Key Stage 2 testing, assessment & accountability. The report summarises the evidence submitted to a small review panel during a 12-week call for evidence. Education Secretary Michael Gove ordered the review to see how the current system of Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability can be improved.
Ipcc: Speaking after the Home Office published their response to the Home Affairs Select Committee report in to the work of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the organisation's Chief Executive Jane Furniss said: “As the Public Accounts Committee has previously acknowledged, the IPCC has helped to improve access to, and raise public confidence in, the police complaints system. The system is more accessible and officers who have committed criminal or disciplinary matters have been held accountable”.
Press release & related links ~ Home Affairs Select Committee report in to the work of the Independent Police Complaints Commission
WAG: The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Peter Tyndall, has published a report on his investigation into a complaint about the actions of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The complaint was made by the parents of a young girl with a terminal illness who was cared for at a children's hospice early in 2008 before her death at home in August 2008. The Ombudsman investigated actions taken by HIW in response to concerns the parents had raised about their daughter's care at the hospice. The complaint to the Ombudsman also considered the role and actions of CSSIW and the Assembly Government in investigating subsequent complaints about the hospice and HIW's actions.
The Ombudsman upheld most aspects of the complaints against HIW and a complaint against the Welsh Assembly Government but not the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).
PC&PE: Ministers must radically improve the policy statement that will guide planning decisions on future major waste water projects such as the Thames Tunnel, say MPs in a report about the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on Waste Water.