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WGPlus provides an in-depth weekly briefing from the UK Government and Public Sector. To save your time, we research & validate the links to websites, documents and further background information. Click here for more about WGPlus

In the News

DH:  Balancing the cost of preventive action against the need for health costs to fall - Thousands of hospital admissions for falls & fractures among older people could be prevented by better, more integrated care.   If significant improvements aren’t made to prevention services, admissions will double and the NHS & Local Authorities will need to spend £6bn a year on hip fractures by 2036.

Almost 90,000 hospital admissions a year are caused by falls & fractures – primarily in older people – and the situation will only get worse if the NHS doesn’t change, according to a new report published today by Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society.

The report, commissioned by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow, looks at how the NHS can improve care and reduce falls.  This would improve the lives of many older people and save the NHS money that can be ploughed into other essential services.
NPC:  Devising a code is easy, getting staff agreement is not difficult, achieving 100% compliance is the tough bit - Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has launched a high profile Dignity Code which sets out minimum standards for the dignified treatment of older people, whether in hospital or the community.  The Code has been widely supported by both those in the care sector and across the political spectrum.

The NPC is also calling on the public to support the initiative by signing an online petition.  Campaigners hope to attract over 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in the House of Commons on the need to improve the care of Britain’s elderly.
CIPDForget the political opportunism, some organisations are trying to help NEETs - The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is warning that 'recent headlines, which associate voluntary unpaid work experience with slave labour, are in danger of discouraging employers from offering placements & denying young people a route into permanent employment'.

Good quality work experience provides an invaluable way for young people to build key skills and gain a foothold in the labour market.  It is also a way for young people to develop & display the right attitude & work ethic that will help them to secure permanent employment.  

However, employers also have a responsibility to offer high quality work experience schemes that 'provide real opportunities for young people to increase their employability'.  To this end, the CIPD and Jobcentre Plus published guidance in 2011 (Work Experience Placements that Work) to help employers develop effective work experience schemes for 18 to 24 year olds that benefit both the young person & the employer.
Press release ~ Guide:  Work Experience Placements that Work ~ Prince’s Trust: A guide to seasonal jobs ~ National minimum wage - work experience - internships - and the NMW ~ NMW - work experience & NMW - examples ~ TUC comment ~ Directgov: Looking for a summer job, internship or voluntary placement? ~ National Council for Work Experience ~ HSE: Young people & Work Experience ~ Baroness Warsi announces cross-Whitehall internship programme ~ Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers ~ Fast Stream Summer Diversity Internship ~ CBI comment ~ Sutton Trust:   £140bn a year - the cost of low social mobility ~ Social mobility in England still lagging behind rest of the world ~ Education Mobility in England - The link between the education levels of parents and the educational outcomes of teenagers ~ Summary: Recent Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in the UK ~ DWP - Factors influencing social mobility ~ Disturbing finding from LSE study ~ Unpaid internships that cripple social mobility ~ Graduate Talent Pool ~ Demos: Access to all areas

ScotGovWhy would BIS want to locate a UK institution in what the SNP hope will become a city in a foreign country? - Energy Minister Fergus Ewing last week met with members of Edinburgh’s Green Investment Bank Group in a last-minute push to secure the bank for the city.  

Edinburgh submitted its bid to become the base for the UK Green Investment Bank to the Department of Business, Industry and Skills last month, and a decision is expected this month.
(Editor’s Note: This is presumably an example of why the Coalition Government says that ‘any Independence vote needs to be sooner rather than later’).

DCMS:  ‘Crossed fingers’ all round then? - A £180m help scheme will fund solutions to TV signal interference resulting from new mobile services, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey announced last week. 

Some households will get interference to their digital terrestrial TV (DTT, or Freeview) reception when part of the spectrum being auctioned is used for 4G services, starting in 2013.  Affected homes will be provided with solutions to this interference through a help scheme that will be funded and run by the mobile operators that buy the spectrum. 

The vast majority of affected households will simply need to fit their TV with a filter that will be supplied by the help scheme.   Extra support to fit the filters will be available to the over 75s and people who are registered disabled.  Ofcom will shortly consult on exactly how the help scheme should work.
AUKMembers of the Youth Culture need not apply - If you are aged over 100, University College London (UCL) want to hear from you!  By taking part in a study, you could help UCL's researchers unlock the mysteries behind successful ageing.  The ageing of Britain's population is becoming an increasingly important issue.  Some people age happily, and very successfully leading active lives over 100 years; but others do not, and suffer from age-related illnesses and only live into their 60s or 70s.

Taking part in the study is easy.  Centenarians who agree to get involved will need to fill out a quick, simple questionnaire, and give a small saliva or blood sample, which will be used to analyse that person's DNA & mRNA. 

There is no cost to participants at all.  Centenarians can take part by post, by visiting the hospital (with expenses paid), or by receiving a visit from one of the doctors in UCL's team.  

Spotlight on…Lean in the Public Sector - From January 2012 Cabinet Office has mandated Lean sourcing principles across Departments so that all but the most complex procurement projects are completed within 120 days – making it up to 40% faster for suppliers to do business with Government.

Lean is now a subject to which government is committed to and, in the main, wholeheartedly embracing. Last year, we at Wired-GOV produced our own forward thinking special report on the subject, Spotlight on…Lean in the Public Sector and we therefore thought it timely to send out a reminder that it’s still freely available for all our users.
Click here to view and download.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

General News

FSADelight Foods is withdrawing Periyar Fish Pickle and Periyar Prawn Pickle due to incorrect labelling. The products contain sesame oil, which has been listed as gingelly oil. The Food Standards Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.
FSAAsda is recalling its Frozen Extra Special (twin packs) Cheesecake White Chocolate and Raspberry due to a packaging error.  The label doesn’t list egg and sulphur dioxide in the ingredients list.  The Food Standards Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.
MoD: Building on the success of previous years, Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) are returning in the summer of 2012 to offer bereaved military families fun & challenging activity-based holidays.  

The holidays are designed for families with children up to 19 years of age who have suffered the loss of a loved one serving in the Armed Forces. They offer an adventure for all the family and a welcome break to meet & socialise with others who have experienced a similar loss.
DH:  People could soon be directed to free or cheap apps by their GPs to allow them to monitor & manage their health more effectively.   The latest innovations in smartphone technology will help patients and the public to find & use NHS services, manage conditions and make better lifestyle choices in a way that is very convenient for them.
It follows a call to find the best new ideas & existing smartphone apps that help people & doctors better manage care which received nearly 500 entries and over 12,600 votes & comments.
MoD: Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh preparing to deploy to Afghanistan next month have been supplementing their military training with combat cooking lessons.
PCS: A petition started by a PCS member calling on ministers to reverse a damaging switch in the way public sector pensions are recalculated every year will be debated by MPs it was announced last week. 

The petition by Jim Singer (which currently has more than 109,000 signatories) says the imposed switch from using the retail price index to the traditionally lower consumer price index to determine annual pensions increases is unfair and should be reversed.
MoD: Data collected by Royal Navy submarines, as part of standard operations, is set to provide clues on Arctic climate change.  Little is known about the areas of water underneath the Arctic ice, as sensors are difficult to place for the long-term.
Environmental data such as water temperature & salt content is routinely monitored by all Royal Navy vessels, including submarines, and so the data set from a UK submarine mission can provide a snapshot of conditions under the ice and shed light on the changes taking place in the Arctic.

Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGovMore than half of the value of North Sea oil & gas reserves is yet to be extracted – representing an asset with a ‘potential wholesale value of a trillion pounds’ – Alex Salmond claimed last week, as he urged the UK Chancellor to deliver long-term stability in the tax regime to support maximum recovery by the industry.
CO: As part of its continuing pledge to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for waste, the government has claimed that in just 8 months it has secured £3.25bn in cash savings from efficiency measures.
DH: Patients are alreadybenefiting from GPs starting to take a lead in designing local health services and a renewed focus on health outcomes.  Examples from around the country highlight that during the first year of emerging clinical commissioning groups redesigning services, patients are starting to experience improvements in quality of care.
DfT: The first vans eligible for the Government’s new Plug-in Car Van Grant, have been announced by Transport Secretary Justine Greening and Business Minister Mark Prisk recently.  Van buyers will be able to receive 20% - up to £8,000 - off the cost of this first wave of 7 plug-in vans.
ScotGov: The Scottish Land Fund which will help more rural communities buy their land has been launched by Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson.
BIS: Skills Minister John Hayes has set out the funding available to those undertaking initial teacher education (ITE) to teach in the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector.  For 2012 – 13, bursaries of £1,000 will be introduced to enable up to 10,000 trainees to take either the Higher Education Institution (HEI)-accredited Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), or a level 6 PGCE qualification.

In addition, bursaries of £1,500 will be introduced to enable up to 1,000 trainees who are taking HEI-accredited ITE courses and who are intending to teach basic Maths & English in the sector.
FSA: The UK Government, through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has recently published the full response to the Farming Regulation Task Force and the Food Standards Agency has published an update to its response.
WAG: Wales’ Regeneration Minister, Huw Lewis, has announced a review of regeneration policy in Wales. The review will consider the Welsh Government’s current policy, in particular the Regeneration Area approach, and a future direction for regeneration in Wales. Although the details of the review are yet to be agreed, the Minister confirmed that renewing town centres & seaside towns would be key.
BISManufacturing industry is being urged to bid for extra growth funding.  From last week, an extra £1bn is available to businesses seeking support to help them create new jobs & grow, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.
The funding is part of the Regional Growth Fund and takes the total fund to £2.4bn. It will be available to ‘businesses and public / private partnerships with ambitions to create new jobs and make a significant impact on their local economy’.
DFID: A new fund focused on bringing more stability to Somalia has been agreed as part of last week’s London Conference, International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, has said. 

The international Stability Fund – led by Britain – will help create jobs, agree local peace deals and set up police, courts & basic services in areas where there is less fighting, or which have been recently freed from militant control.


ACEArts Council England have begun consulting with library experts on Envisioning the library of the future - a programme of research & consultation that will help them to shape what libraries should be in the future. 

In mid March 2012, an online consultation will open to all, with a series of short articles prompting public thoughts & opinions on the future of public library services, providing a deep understanding of the public value of libraries.
Recently ACE announced 13 successful Libraries Development Initiative projects that tested new approaches to library service delivery.  The learning from these projects, and learning from Envisioning the library of the future consultation, will help us shape future library policy.
EU News: The European Commission has launched an in-depth consultation on the future of European company law.  Europe needs a company law framework that is adapted to the needs of the society of yesterday and to the evolution of the economic environment.  It is now time to see whether yesterday's needs are still met by the existing legal framework (closes 14 May 2012).
CC: The Competition Commission (CC) is consulting on draft rules setting out how it will deal with appeals against decisions made by Ofcom on postal service price controls. Responses from interested parties are invited by 21 March 2012 and should be made in writing either by email or letter.
CLG: Sir Adrian Montague has issued a call for evidence for his review of how to encourage greater investment in privately rented properties.  The review is part of the Government's Housing Strategy, and will examine how to boost investment in rental properties - helping support the rapid growth of the private rented sector by increasing the supply of affordable homes. 

Submissions are sought by 31 March 2012 and Sir Adrian plans to report his findings & possible recommendations to Ministers in June 2012.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

NICE: With Britain and much of Europe suffering during the recent cold snap, many of us have been doing our best to stay warm and fight off viral infections. However, research shows that during the winter months it's also worth being aware of the dangers resulting from a lack of sunlight.
Figures from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey show that:
* up to a quarter of people have low levels of vitamin D in their blood
* around 1 in 6 people in the UK have insufficient vitamin D in their systems by the end of winter
DefraSchmallenberg virus (SBV) has now been identified in samples submitted from 58 farms across the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Cornwall and Wiltshire.  

Due to the increase in reports of SBV identified in France, the areas at comparatively higher risk in the UK have been revised in line with the plume modelling data from the summer which models areas at risk of midge incursion from northern Europe.
HLHomeless Link calls on councils to ‘halt cuts & invest more in prevention as Government figures show a dramatic rise in rough sleeping’. Figures published by the Department for Communities of Communities & Local Government show that rough sleeping numbers have increased by 23% in the last year.

Earlier this week the Government wrote to all local authorities with guidance developed by HL, Crisis and other organisations on how to provide better advice & assistance to people who find themselves homeless. They also announced extra funding to help tackle and prevent rough sleeping.

Annual Reports

PC&PE: A report published recently by the Work & Pensions Select Committee concludes that the Government should learn the lessons of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), originally introduced in 2008.  

The Government should not introduce Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments nationally until it has satisfied itself, in the planned initial roll-out of the new assessment in a limited geographical area, that the assessment is empathetic and accurate.
DH: The Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas has welcomed the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) Chief Inspector’s Annual Report for 2010-2011, published recently. The report sets out key findings about social care & social services, focusing on quality & improvement and safeguarding people.
CIPD: The last quarter has seen pay intentions reach their highest level since spring 2009, according to newly released data from survey of more than 1,000 employers, commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
ICI UKBA: The UK Border Agency's Detained Fast Track (DFT) system was ‘removing the majority of people with no right to be in the UK, however it was not working as quickly as intended and had insufficient safeguards to prevent people being incorrectly allocated to it’, said John Vine CBE QPM, the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, publishing his thematic inspection report.
Monitor: An independent report published by Monitor sets out the opportunities for improving patient care by developing the way providers of NHS services are paid. The main objective of a pricing system should be to drive the best possible care for patients and achieve the best use of valuable resources.
This report is the first stage in establishing the evidence for Monitor to use to develop new ways of using pricing to deliver benefits for patients. One of the key issues emerging from the report is the importance of good quality information on costs
SFA: Following the Skills Funding Agency’s commitment to the sector and in line with the intentions of the Government’s Transparency Agenda, the SFA are publishing a list of subcontractors  with an aggregate contract value of £100,000 & over, together with details of their lead provider.
OfstedChildren’s Rights Director Roger Morgan has published the annual Children’s care monitor which gives nearly 2,000 children’s views through an online survey. This year, the monitor survey included a new focus on children’s experiences of placement change in care.  As in previous years, the 2011 survey found a high level of separation of siblings in care.
DH: The Department of Health has published its findings from the Performance & Capability Review of the Care Quality Commission.

General Reports and Other Publications

PC&PE: The Met Office needs new supercomputers to deliver confident extreme weather warnings, more accurate long-term forecasts and improved climate modelling, according to a report by the Science and Technology Committee.
CBI: The CBI called on the Chancellor to use his March Budget to score the growth & investment policy goals he put forward in his Autumn Statement and give the UK economy & jobs a real boost. In its submission to the 2012 Budget, the CBI also urged changes to the UK tax system which it believes could help persuade businesses to invest in the UK and further stimulate growth.
PC&PE: In a report released last week, the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee says that investment opportunities have been missed by the lack of a dedicated trade promotion agency.   It reports that the abolition of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) has reduced Wales's visibility in the global market place.
CIPD: The government is right to target support at the hardest-to-reach amongst the young unemployed (16 to 17 year old NEETs with poor qualifications) as these are the people most at risk of the scarring effect of youth unemployment, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
NLGN: English councils are prepared to use retail bonds to pay for crucial improvements to schools & highways – but only if the price is right.  New research from localism think tank, New Local Government Network, detailed in the recently published report ‘Retail Therapy: Local capital finance and the retail bond market’, shows that the flexibility of retail bonds and the fact that local residents can buy them are both significant attractions, provided those benefits do not cost more than wholesale debt.
Adam Smith Institute: Ahead of a public consultation on the plain-packaging of cigarettes, the Adam Smith Institute released a report recently, ‘Plain Packaging’, arguing that ‘the proposals will do nothing for public health and are profoundly illiberal’.
PC&PE: The UK could ‘become a leading exporter of wave & tidal power equipment and expertise’ if the Government adopts a more visionary approach to developing marine renewables, according to a new report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
TUCReducing consultation rights during collective redundancy exercises could cost jobs, damage workforce morale and increase unemployment, the TUC has warned. Currently, where employers are proposing to make between 20 & 99 employees redundant, they must allow for at least 30 days consultation with unions or workplace representatives before any job cuts can take effect.
TUC: The organisers of London 2012 are to introduce new measures designed to protect workers producing merchandise for this summer's Olympic Games, following evidence of exploitation uncovered by researchers working for the TUC and the Labour Behind the Label-led Playfair 2012 campaign.
PX: A report published recently by leading think tank, Policy Exchange, says that ‘the government should consider allowing private companies to set up & run schools under a social enterprise model’.  Teachers should be encouraged to take a stake in the school which would create strong incentives to drive up standards.
PC&PE: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its Oversight of special education for young people aged 16-25 report on the basis of evidence from the Department for Education, the Young People's Learning Agency, the Principal of Abingdon & Witney College, and representatives of two organisations which provide support & information to young people & professionals about special education, Disability Alliance and nasen.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee said: “It is shocking that almost a third of young people with a Statement of special educational needs at the age of 16 are not in any form of education, employment or training two years later”.
PC&PE: MPs on the cross party Transport Select Committee warned the Government it must do more to show that transport expenditure plans involve a fair allocation of resources across the nation, when launching a short report examining transport spending pledges made by the Government in 2011–12.
IISS: The latest Strategic Comment from the International Institute for Strategic Studies looks at how the USA military is re-acting to Congress imposed budget cuts and a re-orientation of its forces away from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region, as part of a realignment as it disengages from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Civitas: As George Osborne's next Budget approaches and the UK teeters on the edge of recession, a new Civitas report ‘reveals that the Government is failing to tackle the key barrier to growth’. A lending freeze affecting SMEs is preventing economic recovery.
Extending Lending shows how state-backed investment schemes in the US & Germany have created better lending opportunities for SMEs, allowing them to expand & replace jobs lost during the financial crisis.  By contrast, Britain has relied too much on the big commercial banks, which are failing in their public function as investors in business.

Legislation / Legal

NOCherwell District Council did not do enough to publicise the introduction of charges for blue badge holders and evening users in its car parks finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin. In her report, issued last week, she says ‘the work done to raise awareness before the changes were implemented was not adequate’.
OfgemEnergy regulator Ofgem has set out a detailed road map to open up the wholesale electricity market by setting out 3 clear objectives which the Big Six suppliers will have to meet.
PCS: 7 unions are mounting a legal challenge, on behalf of millions of public sector workers, over what inflation index is used to increase their pensions.
CLG: Government rules to open up Town Hall pay practices & senior salaries to public scrutiny now include measures to root out any inappropriate tax avoidance arrangements, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced recently.
PC&PE: New legislation is needed to make it easier for families to resolve the affairs of missing people, according to a new report by the Justice Select Committee.  The MPs want the Ministry of Justice to introduce legislation based on the Scottish Presumption of Death Act 1977.

The new law should set out a single statutory process whereby a certificate of presumed death can be issued to resolve all the affairs of a missing person, in much the same way as a death certificate.
The law that currently relates to resolving the affairs of missing people is a ‘crazy paving’ of statutory & common law provisions. Few police officers or solicitors have experience dealing with it - because the cases are relatively rare - and there is no formal guidance. This makes it expensive and time consuming for families to find out what they need to do.

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: last week President Barroso received the Chairman of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, who handed over the Group's report ‘Europe can do more’ on best practice in Member States to implement EU legislation in the least burdensome way.
EU News: Commissioner Barnier welcomes final agreement to simplify accounting for Europe's smallest companies.
EU News: MEPs have agreed that European Parliament's budget should be frozen, at least in real terms, for 2013, and scrutinized for possible further savings. Following discussion with the Budgets Committee, the Parliament's Bureau will prepare the budget estimates for 2013.
EU news: The European Commission has published a White Paper on adequate, safe & sustainable pensions. It looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront our pension systems.
EU News: The Committee of the Regions has called for a strategic partnership between the European Commission and European networks of cities & regions in the implementation of ‘The New European Agenda for Integration’, and highlights the key contribution of local authorities to the framing & implementation of integration policies.
EU NewsCitizens & business often waste energy because ‘they do not realise which appliances & lighting use the most energy’. An EU-funded project tested in the United Kingdom & Bulgaria is helping to change that – showing consumers reduced energy usage by an average of 8% when provided with an ‘information dashboard’ about their energy use, called ‘The Digital Environment Home Energy Management System’ (DEHEMS) project.
EU News: To help Member States' authorities & developers manage the environmental consequences of construction projects more easily, the Commission has brought together all existing EU legislation governing environmental impact assessments.
The original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and its 3 subsequent revisions have been combined to create a more compact, clearly translated & user-friendly version which has recently come into force.
EU News: The European Commission has proposed to suspend EUR 495 184 000 of Cohesion Fund commitments taking effect on 1 January 2013, representing 0.5 % of GDP and 29% of the country's cohesion fund allocations for 2013.  

This unprecedented step follows the Commission's repeated warnings to Hungary urging it to step up its efforts to end the country's excessive government deficit, and its subsequent failure to take appropriate action.
PC&PE: The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has concluded that radical reform is needed to ‘ensure that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) delivers for the fish, the fishermen, and the coastal communities that depend on them’.
In a new report, the Committee examines the EU's proposals for reform of the CFP, which sparked a public outcry last year over the amounts of fish discarded.   The Committee notes that the Commission has baulked at repatriation of fishing policy through a full-scale Treaty change, but highlights an alternative.
FCO: Foreign Office Minister, Lord Howell has outlined UK support for action to address the crisis in the Eurozone during a recent debate in the House of Lords.  He said: "Addressing the eurozone problems in a realistic and sustainable manner is one of the best ways in which the conditions for renewed economic dynamism can be found and secured, both here and across the whole European economic space..
EU NewsThe European Commission has launched an in-depth consultation on the future of European company law – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.

Charity and Voluntary Sector

BHF: As part of National Heart Month, the British Heart Foundation are urging employers to think more about workplace health and join their free ‘Health at Work’ programme.
BHF's new survey results show around 1 in 3 UK workers say ‘bosses don’t care about their happiness & wellbeing in the workplace’.  More than two-thirds also claim their.  More than two-thirds also claim their organisation doesn’t offer any opportunities to get fit & healthy.
BHF: New research has found that, despite regulations restricting TV ads for junk food during kids’ programmes, children are still exposed to the same level of advertising for unhealthy foods.  Children’s exposure to junk food ads remained the same because children also watch TV outside of these times.
CRUKCancer Research UK scientists have revealed how a combination of two very different drugs – currently being tested in clinical trials – amplifies the destruction of pancreatic cancer cells, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
BHF: A new study shows that the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in some food & drinks packaging, may be linked with an increased risk of heart disease.  But the British Heart Foundation say ‘there's no cause to be concerned’.

Business and Other Briefings

WAG: Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, has announced a change to Welsh public procurement policy making it easier for smaller, local businesses to get through pre-qualification to bid for public sector contracts.

Announcing the final release of the Supplier Qualification Information Database or 'SQuID', the Finance Minister explained how this approach was developed by the Value Wales division of the Welsh Government in conjunction with the Welsh public sector.
Press release & links
HMRC30 new taskforces to crack down on tax dodgers will be launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2012/13. The taskforces will target specific business sectors in specific locations where there is evidence of tax evasion.
This Brief explains HM Revenue & Customs change of view on the interpretation of section 319(4) ITEPA 2003. HMRC now accepts that smartphones satisfy the conditions to qualify as mobile telephones.

Industry News

DIODefence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has unveiled its plans for the future provision of facilities managementacross the English regions, and has begun inviting industry to submit expressions of interest in 3 new regional prime contracts.
CO: A new contract for Civil Service learning & development will be the first cross government contract to mandate that the majority of business is open to competition between other businesses in the supply chain, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude announced recently.  
Civil Service Learning (CSL), one of the Government’s new HR hubs set up to simplify HR & reduce costs, has recently awarded a contract to provide training across the Civil Service worth up to £250M to Capita Workplace Services, but has mandated that they must ensure a minimum of 51% of this business is delivered through an open and competitive supply chain.
The new style of contract is an innovative approach by Government to influence the number of smaller players that get access to government business and to ensure constant innovation & competition. The majority of the approximately 13,000 players in the learning & development market are small businesses.
DECC: The UK & France have agreed a raft of commercial deals and signed up to new agreements to cooperate on energy issues.

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