In the News

Slavery is not just something that happened historically - The UK Human Trafficking Centre has published its annual assessment to give an indication of the nature & scale of human trafficking during 2012.  The assessment explores the number of potential victims, their country or origin, exploitation types, recruitment techniques and transport methods.
Information received by the centre suggests that 2,255 potential victims of human trafficking were identified in the UK – an increase of 9% compared to the year before – and the two most prevalent exploitation types were sexual & labour.
Press release & links ~ New support to protect girls & women from ‘modern day slavery’ ~ In their best interests? ~ Commission tells Court of Appeal child trafficking victim should not be prosecuted ~ Hidden nature of human trafficking revealed ~ Help for NHS staff to spot and support trafficking victims ~ Trafficking in human beings: more victims in the EU but Member states are slow to respond ~ CSJ: Ministers clueless about scale of UK slavery, warns new report ~ Campaign against human trafficking ‘Two Little Girls' ~ Crimestoppers and UKHTC enlist public to help fight labour trafficking ~ Combating the slavery of our times ~ Unaccompanied children no longer to suffer effects of `Gentleman’s Agreement’

Consumers need more options, not more adverts from payday lenders - As payday lenders announce record advertising spends, Citizens Advice warns that that the payday loans industry must prioritise customer treatment above profits.
Press release & links ~ National Debtline ~ Money Advice Service ~ Other organisations that can help you with debt problems ~ CAB -Stretched households need responsible short-term credit ~ Tougher regulation for payday lending ~ CAB - 3 in 4 payday loans could have cause for complaint to the Ombudsman ~ IEA: Restriction of payday loans would hit the poorest the hardest ~ OFT refers payday lending market to Competition Commission ~ Minister announces almost £2m to boost credit union membership across Wales ~ CAB - Payday lenders need to deliver on promise to check loans are affordable ~ CAB - Church plans for credit unions a welcome alternative to unscupulous payday lenders ~ Tackling the loan sharks: an ethical alternative ~ Government to increase access to affordable credit ~ Credit union £38m expansion deal signed ~ Simple financial products a step closer

PASC doesn’t obfuscate when considering Sir Humphrey’s future - The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has concluded a year-long inquiry into the future of the Civil Service with a brutal report.  Rather uniquely, it contains only one recommendation: that Parliament should establish a Joint Committee of both Houses to sit as a Commission on the future of the Civil Service.

It should be constituted within the next few months and report before the end of the Parliament with a comprehensive change programme for Whitehall with a timetable to be implemented over the lifetime of the next Parliament.  The report proposes a remit for the Commission and an early debate in Parliament to get it established.

The Report considers the increased tensions between ministers & officials which have become widely reported, and places the problems in Whitehall in a wider context of a Civil Service built on the Northcote-Trevelyan settlement established in 1853 and the Haldane principles of ministerial accountability set out in 1919.  It notes how much has changed in government, society and in the UK’s place in the world over recent decades, and how the status quo in Whitehall is now openly subject to question.
Press release & links ~ Civil service reform should not be decided by parliamentarians alone, says FDA ~ New online tool invites taxpayers to join the hunt for government savings ~ Horizon Scanning Programme: a new approach for policy making ~ Improved accountability and more support for ministers ~ David Halpern appointed as What Works National Adviser ~ Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today’s challenges ~ FDA responds to Telegraph’s claim that civil service staff ‘are allowed to get away with poor performance’ ~ Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today’s challenges ~ FDA sets out reform agenda in alternative White Paper ~ Institute for Government responds to new capabilities plan ~ New initiative to drive down costs in government back offices ~ Level playing field for all civil servants to drive up performance ~ Reforms to increase accountability at the very top of the Civil Service ~ Civil service changes must not undermine impartiality, warn Lords ~ Study shows government will struggle to make more cuts without radical new thinking ~ IfG:  Lord Heseltine is right - Whitehall must grip management & performance information ~ Northcote-Trevelyan settlement established in 1853 ~ Whitehall reform: The view from the inside ~ IfG:  Will change in the Civil Service be even harder to achieve than in the NHS?

A NEET way to improve employability among young jobseekers - More than 15,000 young people are to be given the opportunity to develop their skills and gain an insight into the food & grocery industry, currently the UK’s biggest employer, thanks to ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’, a nationwide campaign launched by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.

The initiative follows a successful pilot project last year, after which 98% of those surveyed said that they felt more confident about applying for a job.
Press release & links

Best practice in the use of social media across local government
- A new White Paper 'Best by West Midlands' by
Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM), highlights best practice in the use of social media across local government in the West Midlands.

The world has undergone a digital explosion over the past few years and social media sits at the heart of the rapid changes that have taken place.  IEWM have teamed up with & commissioned founders of comms2point0, a free online resource for creative communicators in the public, private & third sector, to take a snapshot of what social media looks like in the West Midlands in 2013. The Paper also addresses some of the challenges individuals & organisations are facing and signposts to a microsite with access to over 30 case studies which can help you understand your own digital and media landscape.
Press release & links

3 +1 equals 5
– New analysis released by the Treasury demonstrates that Scotland’s economic performance is stronger because it is part of the larger integrated economy.  The fifth paper in the analysis series analysis: Macroeconomic and fiscal performance looks at Scotland’s economic performance and finds that, as part of the UK, Scotland is outperforming most other parts of the country as a result of the benefits of deep economic integration with the rest of the UK .
Press release & links

Volunteer to defy the notorious quicksand of Morecambe Bay - Join other VSO supporters on 14 September 2013 to help raise vital funds for VSO's work.  This is a really exciting challenge, crossing creeks, channels and a river along the way.  The famous 10 mile walk across Morecambe Bay ’s shifting sands starts from Arnside Promenade, Lancashire, crossing the Kent Channel to Kents Bank in Cumbria , then along the coast to Grange-over-Sands.
Press release & links

previously ‘unsung’ heroes - Merchant seafarers who have shown distinguished service may be honoured with a new Merchant Navy Medal, Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond has announced.
Press release & links

Making the best use of technology to deliver HE - The first group of participants has recently completed the Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL), a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), aimed at helping those delivering higher education to make best use of technology.
Press release & links

UK Document Retention Guide 2013 Published – 4 Steps to Compliant Public Sector Records Management - All public sector organisations are faced with an ever increasing volume of records, including emails and traditional paper records. Legislation and regulation covering  records management is so complex and far-reaching that compliance can become a major challenge as well as a drain on your resources.

A newly published reference guide to help your organisation better understand the legal requirements of records management and implement best practice is now available.

This in depth guide, produced by Bristows in collaboration with 14 other leading legal firms, provides an overview of the regulations governing records retention and the relevant legal and compliance issues including:

·         Meeting your corporate data challenges

·         Legal issues that affect your organisation’s records management

·         The benefits of compliant records management

·         A four step guide to a compliant records management programme

Click here to download this invaluable guide now.

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WiredGov Survey Report: How Are Public Sector Budget Cuts Hurting Talent Acquisition?