Published Tuesday, 21st June 2005
Cabinet Office / NSG: Government goes back to School - Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull has launched the National School of Government, which is intended to help strengthen leadership, increase professionalism, improve delivery and achieve efficiency in the Civil service. The NSG will be based at Sunningdale Park and in London.
At the same event Sir Andrew also introduced the publication ’Delivery and Values: One year on’, with claimed headline achievements covering: Professional Skills for Government, Greater Efficiency and Better regulation.
The National School will have a specific role in ensuring the investment of high quality development of current & future leaders of the Civil Service and it also takes on responsibility for services previously delivered by the Centre for Management and Policy Studies (CMPS) as the UK Government’s centre for development.
This new role will be supported by the establishment of the Sunningdale Institute, under the Chairmanship of Professor Cary Cooper from Lancaster University, which will make available the expertise of National School Fellows as an ‘intellectual and development resource at the highest level and offer original thinking on current issues and find ways of tackling the challenges that face government’.
National School Principal David Spencer commented (précised):
‘By developing strategic relationships we will become an essential resource helping them achieve their business and policy objectives.
We will work with universities, business schools, and other public sector academies, such as Warwick University, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Henley Management College, Kingston University Business School, Ashridge and Birmingham University, to design, deliver and broker solutions.
We are also currently working with to deliver the cross-sectoral Leaders UK programme and with Oxford University on greater accreditation of our programmes.
Internationally, in the autumn there will be the first of a potential series of seminars run jointly with ENA in France.
We intend, unashamedly, to cherry-pick from the best in the world to bring to us new insights and approaches to public service management, while avoiding duplication and co-coordinating the dissemination of best practice & innovation across the whole of the public sector’.
Welsh Assembly / Wales Office: Governing Wales - The government took the Welsh devolution process to its next stage with the launch of a White Paper Better Governance for Wales, which “shows the way forward to build on the success of the past six years of devolution” according to First Minister Rhodri Morgan.
The White Paper proposes legislation over three key issues:
· Enhanced legislative powers for the Assembly;
· A formal separation between the Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Government to avoid confusion & to improve effective scrutiny; and
· To allow losing candidates in Assembly constituency elections to become Assembly members through the regional list under the Additional Member Voting System.
The government’s plan is that, instead of a new Welsh Bill & referendum, the Assembly will bid to implement a new policy, which will be determined by a vote in both Houses after a just a 1½ hour debate. This is the procedure under which Parliament decides Orders in Council and these would give the Assembly new powers, in specified areas of policy, to modify the provisions of Acts of Parliament, as they affect Wales, or to make new provision.
This process would then avoid any potential for embarrassment from either a referendum or subsequent full parliamentary debate, something that any government would be wary about following the recent EU referendum,
Those wishing to comment on these proposals should write to Zenny Saunders, Wales Office, Gwydyr House, Whitehall, London SW1A 2ER or email email@example.com by Friday, September 16, 2005.
Press release ~ Press release ~ Wales Office White Paper – Better Governance for Wales ~ Richard Commission on the powers of the National Assembly for Wales ~ Evaluation of Richard Commission ~ The role of the Welsh Assembly Government in European Governance
NAO: Ready for what ? - The National Audit Office (NAO) has published its report: ’Ministry of Defence - Assessing and Reporting Military Readiness’, which examines the way the MOD defines, measures & reports how well prepared the Armed Forces are to undertake potential operational challenges.
There is no doubt but that the whole system is beginning to creak as ‘temporary’ demands on the services take on every indication of permanence. The question remains just how long the three branches of the armed forces (and especially the Navy and Air Force) can continue to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ in their attempts to maintain fighting equipment by cannibalising some ships and planes to maintain others.
Has the government learnt from its earlier exploits at being the world’s policeman one wonders?
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of all though is the cutback on training, which not only reduces skill levels, but also put lives at risk.
But for ’facts’ rather than just commentary, click through to the links, which include a look back to a previous Iraq war and come to your own conclusions.
Press Release ~ Full Report ~ Executive summary ~ NAO Defence Value for Money website ~ NAO report 2003/04 on Operation Telic – UK military operations in Iraq ~ NAO report 2003/04 – MoD: The rapid procurement capability to support operation ~ Operations in Iraq: Lessons for the Future ~ First Reflections
Defra: Environment Minister Elliot Morley has urged all those planting or managing trees to take action now to cope with the unavoidable climate change impacts that the UK looks set to face in future decades, which could see South East England summers as much as five degrees hotter and 50% drier by the 2080s.
Press release ~ Forestry Commission - Climate Change ~ The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) ~ The Tree Council ~ Forest Research ~ Notcutts ~ Royal Horticultural Society.~ Presentations and papers from the scientific symposium on "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change", (Feb 2005) ~ “Gardening in the Global Greenhouse: The Impacts of Climate Change on Gardens in the UK"
Defra: The Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales met on 7, 8 and 9 June 2005 for the 2005 annual pay negotiations. The Board has proposed introducing a new Wages Order that would come into force on Saturday 1 October 2005.
Press release ~ Defra Agricultural employment website
DTI: Applications for the UK’s latest offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round have hit a thirty year high with firms applying for a record 279 blocks, the largest number applied for since 1972
Press release ~ licensing regime ~ PILOT website ~ United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). ~ UK Offshore Operators Association, (UKOOA) ~ DTI Oil & Gas website
OGC: A deal with high street retailers, a money-saving travel initiative and an eSourcing service are three of the new tools to help the public sector buy smarter to be showcased at the government’s official FREE procurement conference and exhibition - ’Procurement Solutions 2005 - ’on 21 and 22 June.
Press release ~ OGCbuying.solutions ~ Procurement Solutions ~ Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA)
F&CO: The US Department of Homeland Security announced a one-year extension of its Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) to 26 October 2006 for British citizens with machine-readable passports but without a digital photo as long as their passport was issued before the previous 26 October 2005 deadline.
The US also announced a requirement that all new passports issued on or after 26 October 2005 must contain a digital photo image to enable the holder to travel to the USA visa free.
Press release ~ Visiting the United States ~ Biometric British Passports
Planning Portal: The dozen UK locations short-listed as possible sites for a deep underground radioactive waste depository have been named after most were kept secret for 15 years.
Press release ~ The Safety of Radioactive Waste Management: New Steps Forward in the Law ~ The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management ~ Defra Radioactivity website - Nirex ~ AEA Regulations on the transport of radioactive material
Main consultation paper closing date: 22 July 2005.
RAE: The Royal Academy of Engineering’s annual Summer Soirée at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), is being held on Monday 27 June (hosted by the University of Southampton) and covers diverse topics such as Ocean floor energy, The thinking oilman’s seafloor survey, The fibre is listening, Bubble bubble and Virtual Trafalgar.
Press release ~ The Royal Academy of Engineering ~ National Oceanography Centre
HA: Motorway safety lessons will be given to Surrey children this term as part of a new initiative by the Highways Agency, who will also be trialling a teaching pack -Just a Stone’s Throw - (not available for general release yet), stressing the dangers of dropping objects from motorway bridges, is to be used at children’s safety events being run throughout the county in the next two months.
Press release ~ LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk) schemes ~ Hampshire Junior Citizen Programme
ODPM: New powers have come into force enabling local authorities in England to identify for licensing, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and their landlords through the use of internally held information, involving council tax and housing benefit.
Press Release ~ ODPM HMO website
HMRC: Number 12/05
· Motor and heating fuels: Revised Public Notice 179
· International Trade: Imposition of additional ad-valorem duty on certain products originating in the USA
· VAT: Aligning VAT accounting periods
· VAT: Clarification of the VAT position of share issues following the EC Court of Justice decision in Kretztechnik
· VAT: Landlord inducements to tenants entering leases
Press release ~ Business Briefs 2005