DfES: Lord Dearing has published his interim report on languages and the provisional proposals will be subject to extensive consultation with school heads, teachers and other stakeholders before he makes his final recommendations in February 2007.
The interim findings include:
· Languages should become a standard part of the National Primary SchoolCurriculum
· The GCSE Languages specification should be revised to make it more relevant & engaging for young people and the oral part of the GCSE also needs to be reviewed
· There should be informal classroom assessment using the Languages Ladder at the end of Key Stage 2 (age 11) and the Ladder should be used to assess pupil's language skills at the end of Key Stage 3
· Schools should be given more freedoms to offer languages alongside major EU languages
Press release ~ Languages Review Consultation Report December 2006 ~ Open consultation: The Languages Review (closes 31 January 2007) ~ Languages Ladder Assessment Scheme ~ Languages Ladder: Asset Languages ~ 'Languages for All: Languages for Life, A Strategy for England' ~ National Qualifications Framework ~ Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ~ DfES Languages website ~ The National Advisory Centre for Early Language Learning website
Scottish Executive: Almost 40% of routine applications from people to extend or alter their homes can be taken out of the planning system entirely, according to new research in Scotland. At present, such requests account for half of the 52,000 planning applications received by local authorities every year in Scotland.
The Executive-commissioned research by a team led by Heriot Watt University also found:
· 97% of householder developments are approved
· They make up one third of all appeals and more than half of all enforcement cases
· Most do not raise issues significant enough to warrant restrictive conditions on a planning permission.
· In general, the level of scrutiny of the planning system of such development is disproportionate to the environmental risks involved
Press release ~ Review of the General Permitted Development order 1992: Householder Report ~ Planning Helpline ~ Scottish Executive – Planning & Building ~ Modernising the Planning System ~ Planning Aid Scotland
DTI: A pioneering programme, putting Britain at the forefront of next generation, greener, cost effective aircraft design, will be backed by £17m from the UK government. The first phase of the £34m 'Integrated Wing' programme at the Airbus UK factory at Broughton, North Wales brings together the best UK researchers and industry to develop the aircraft wing concept of the future.
The consortium, led by Airbus UK developing the new wing concept fit for 2020 & beyond will have particular focus on sustainable air travel with more efficient wings meaning reduced fuel burn, emissions and noise.
Press release ~ NATS - National Aerospace Technology Strategy ~ Integrated Wing Aerospace Programme ~ Airbus UK ~ Aerospace Technology Steering Group ~ Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team ~ The future of flying is batwing ~ ParcAberporth
MoD: Defence Minister Lord Drayson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the next phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme with the US government. The MoU sets out the framework for purchasing, supporting & upgrading it through life, but does not formally commit the UK to buying any aircraft.
JSF is a stealthy, multi-role combat aircraft which will be a key component of the UK's expeditionary capability, operating from the future carriers, for decades to come. The MoD's current plan is to buy up to 150 of the Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.
'Operational sovereignty' is defined as the UK having control over essential aspects of the aircraft so that it can be operated through life at the time of the UK's choosing. The MoD need to be able to integrate JSF into the UK operating environment; operate, maintain, repair & upgrade the UK fleet to meet evolving through-life requirements and certify the aircraft as safe to fly.
Press release ~ Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme ~ JSF UK Industry Team ~ Lockheed Martin UK Programmes - Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
DfES: Schools Minister Andrew Adonis has announced that CfBT Education Trust will manage England's National Programme for Gifted and Talented Education (NPGATE) from January 2007.
The programme aims to achieve significant, measurable improvement in the attainment, aspirations, motivation and self-esteem of gifted & talented learners, especially those at risk of underachieving and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
As a not-for-profit organisation, CfBT re-invests around £1million of its surpluses every year for practice-based educational research. Its appointment as managing contractor of the NPGATE programme was the result of a structured offering formed in partnership with Hedra, CACI and TwoFour Communications.
Press release ~ CfBT Education Trust ~ Hedra ~ CACI ~ TwoFour Communications ~ Standards Site – Gifted & Talented ~ National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY)
DfT: The Department for Transport has announced that it has reinstated the franchise agreement with Virgin Rail Group to operate services on the West Coast Main Line. This replaces the 'Letter Agreement' that was put in place in 2002 following the failure of Railtrack to deliver previously agreed improvements to the main line.
Benefits due to be delivered to passengers included:
· 50% increase in frequency in London - Birmingham and London - Manchester services
· A further 30 minutes reduction in London - Glasgow journey times
· London - Liverpool services will be 20 minutes faster and there with extra peak time services
· Hourly services all day between London - Liverpool; London - Preston and London – Chester
· Improvement in weekend services
Press release ~ Virgin Trains ~ DfT West Coast Main Line
HC: Healthcare watchdogs have called for action to address inconsistent standards of care provided by substance misuse services across England in a joint national report, which reveals the overall findings of a review carried out by the Healthcare Commission and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA)
The Government estimates drug misuse costs between £10 billion and £18 billion a year and it is clear it affects the life of the individual, the families and the communities they live in.
The review assessed whether local services prescribed drugs safely and planned treatment & coordinated services appropriately. It highlighted several areas of concern where there are variations in the quality of care across England.
Press release ~ Improving services for substance misuse: a joint review ~ National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) ~ Drug action teams (DATs) ~ Drug Interventions Programme ~ Drug Strategy ~ Race and Diversity strategy ~ DH Substance Abuse website ~ Treatment Works website ~ Staff development toolkit for drug and alcohol services ~ DrugScope ~ Drug and Alcohol Action Programme ~ Crime reduction tool kits – Communities against drugs ~ Talk to Frank ~ Standards for Substance Misuse Services in Scotland ~ 'Hidden Harm - Next Steps' ~ Effective Interventions Unit An exploration of the role of substance misuse nurses in Scotland
DWP: Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has set out proposals to replace the Child Support Agency with a new organisation to ‘deliver a different system of child maintenance’. Led by a new Commissioner for Child Maintenance, the government hopes that a Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (C-MEC) would deliver a simpler & more effective way of assessing, collecting & enforcing child maintenance
The new Commission is one of the proposals set out in the Government's new White Paper - A new system of child maintenance, which contains proposals to ‘empower & incentivise parents to make private agreements where possible, but with the confidence that C-MEC will have the powers to establish arrangements and enforce payments where they cannot agree’.
Following legislation, the Commission should be in place from 2008 and would provide a public face to reinforce the accountability of C-MEC.
Press release ~ White Paper: A new system of child maintenance ~ Summary Version ~ Sir David Henshaw's report ~ Government response to Henshaw ~ CSA Q&As ~ Summary of the findings of Stephen Geraghty's review and Operational Improvement Plan
Defra: As part of the Government's programme to reduce red tape, Defra have published their second Simplification Plan, 'Maximising Outcomes, Minimising Burdens', which is intended to demonstrate its continued commitment to tackling administrative burdens across the agriculture and rural affairs sector.
Press release ~ 'Maximising Outcomes, Minimising Burdens' (scroll down) ~ Cabinet Office – Cross Government Simplification Initiative ~ Better regulation Commission ~ Regulation - Less is More. Reducing Burdens, Improving Outcomes
DTI: The next step in the Government's drive to increase microgeneration has begun with the opening of Phase 2 of the DTI's Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP). Interested parties can apply online at the dedicated Phase 2 website.
The second phase of the LCBP will provide £50 million in grants over the next 18 months to help fund the installation of micropower technologies such as solar panels, micro wind-turbines and ground source heat pumps on schools, ‘not for profit’ and public sector buildings.
Press release ~ LCBP Phase 2 ~ Building Research Establishment consultancy ~ DTI Microgeneration ~ Review of PPS 22 ~ Renewable Energy Association ~ Microgeneration Strategy: Power from the people ~ Energy Efficiency: The Government’s Plan for Action ~ Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ~ Low or Zero Carbon Energy Sources - Strategic Guide (Interim Publication)
DfES: A new drive to cut crime by getting offenders into training & jobs has been announced by Education and Skills Secretary Alan Johnson with £500,000 funding for pilot schemes in two regions to ‘drive forward reforms to improve offenders skills and jobs prospects to stop them re-offending’. The announcement is part of the Government's Next Steps document, which implements actions following on from last year's green paper Reducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment.
Under the proposals, more help will be given to offenders who show they are prepared to take action to turn away from crime and employers will be encouraged to start offender job schemes. Offenders undertaking training will be offered interviews and employers will get extra support to give work trials leading to jobs.
Press release ~ 'Reducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment: Next Steps' ~ Green Paper: Reducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment ~ Reducing Re-offending National Action Plan ~ Related documents ~ Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) ~ Learning and Skills Council ~ Corporate Alliance ~ Faith and Voluntary Sector Alliance ~ Civic Society Alliance ~ National Offender Management Service
Cabinet Office: The Government response to the independent report by Bernard Herdan - 'The Customer Voice in Transforming Public Services' - has been published and the Government claims to fully support the main recommendation in the report that a new national standard for customer service should be developed which is based on the key drivers of satisfaction.
The report focused on the need for public services to develop the necessary skills to enable them to be more citizen-centred and responsive.
All Charter Mark holding organisations have been informed of the publication of the Government's Response and interested stakeholders and Charter Mark holders are invited to email their comments on the Government's Response to email@example.com.
Press release ~ Response to 'The Customer Voice in Transforming Public Services' ~ The Customer Voice in Transforming Public Services ~ Summary of key recommendations ~ Report Annexes ~ Charter Mark ~ NVQ in customer service ~ WAG: From public sector to public service
Cabinet Office: Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, made clear that ‘there could be no slowing down of the Civil Service reform programme’ as he published Capability Reviews for three more departments including his own, the Cabinet Office and announced the creation of a new Civil Service Steering Board.
Reviews for the Departments of Trade and Industry and Communities and Local Government were also published alongside a summary paper on the key themes emerging from all of the Reviews so far.
He also announced three major cross Government initiatives:
· Formation of a new Civil Service Steering Board to oversee the implementation of, for example, the work of David Varney on service transformation, the need to drive sustainability and employee relations.
· A radical overhaul of the unit of the Cabinet Office responsible for civil service skills
· A review to determine how the Cabinet Office is best deployed in the management of the civil service and to work out what is best done centrally and what is best done by departments
Press release ~ Capability reviews ~ Common themes and Summaries ~ NAO Efficiency Toolkit ~ NAO: Progress in improving government efficiency
DCLG: The government has published measures intended to ‘help to reduce carbon emissions and bring innovation to the building industry by tackling climate change at the heart of the planning system and the way we build new homes’. Currently, the energy used to heat, light and run our homes accounts for 27% of all of the UK's carbon emissions and the Government is proposing that all new homes be zero carbon by 2016.
Energy efficient & insulated buildings, which draw their energy from zero or low carbon technologies and therefore produce no net carbon emissions from all energy use over the course of a year, will help reduce carbon emissions as well as lowering fuel bills for households. The overall strategy is set out in the consultation document - Building a Greener Future: Towards Zero Carbon Development
The Government has also launched a joint consultation on regulations to set minimum standards for water efficiency in new homes and new commercial buildings. The government claims that by installing products such as low flush toilets & water efficient taps in new homes, household consumption could be reduced by 15-20%, with equivalent savings in new offices & shops.
Press release ~ Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development ~ Consultation - Planning Policy Statement: Planning and Climate Change - Supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1 (Consultation closes 8 March 2007) ~ Building a Greener Future: Towards Zero Carbon Development (Consultation closes 8 March 2007) ~ Code for Sustainable Homes ~ Minimum standards for water efficiency in new homes and new commercial buildings (Consultation closes 9 March 2007) ~ Defra – Water conservation ~ Stern Review ~ Home Builders Federation ~ WWF ~ Sustainable Development ~ Sustainable Development Commission ~ Centre for Sustainable Energy ~ Review of the Sustainability of Existing Buildings: the Energy Efficiency of Dwellings - Initial Analysis ~ Energy Saving Trust ~ Carbon Trust ~ Sample Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ~ Sustainable Homes ~ EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings ~ EU Building Performance Directive Implementation Advisory Group (DIAG)
OFT: The OFT has signalled its intention to refer the supply of airport services by BAA to the Competition Commission (CC) for more detailed investigation. The conclusion is provisional and the OFT now invites comments (by 8 February 2007) before reaching a final conclusion. It has also made a recommendation that the airports regulator advise the Government on the case for the de-regulation of Manchester airport.
The OFT market study findings include:
· evidence of poor customer satisfaction
· BAA's Scottish airports are not price regulated and charges to airlines are higher than Gatwick & Stansted
· Glasgow, which faces some competition from Prestwick, has had the largest price decreases of BAA's airports in Scotland, and
· the study also found further evidence that competition between independently owned airports - such as Liverpool and Manchester - leads to improved value for air travellers
Press release ~ OFT report (VLF 2.8Mb) ~ BAA ~ Competition Commission (CC) ~ CAA - Airports Regulator ~ Airports Council International ~ Transport Research Laboratory ~ CAA study: An Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Granting Fifth-Freedom Rights to Passenger Services from UK Regional Airports ~ DfT Aviation website ~ Public experiences of and attitudes to air travel ~ Civil Aviation Act 2006 ~ The Future of Air Transport - White Paper and the Civil Aviation Bill
Defra: Defra has launched a consultation exercise (closes 12 March 2007) on the principles that will help shape future policy on the sharing of responsibilities & costs in relation to animal health and welfare. It seeks to open a discussion with the livestock industry, consumers and all those with an interest in animal health & welfare on future options of the future management of animal health policy.
This type of approach is intended to provide opportunities for improved regulation and reduce the regulatory burden in the future. The government claims that industry will benefit from an increased involvement in the decision making process in this area which should result in a greater ability to respond & deliver efficient solutions in the future.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ UK Responsibility and Cost Sharing Consultative Forum ~ Current consultation a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy (closes 20 February 2007) ~ Defra: Introduction to Animal health and welfare ~ Farm Animal Welfare Council ~ Great Britain Animal Health and Welfare Strategy ~ Animal Welfare Act ~ RSPCA
DCA: A consultation (closes 7 March 2007) on prisoner voting, to respond to the European Court of Human Rights judgment on the Hirst case, has been announced.
The consultation follows a ruling by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) after a tariff-expired life sentence prisoner (that is one who had become eligible for parole or early release) successfully challenged the United Kingdom's current arrangements.
The Government believes that people who have committed an offence serious enough to warrant a term of imprisonment should not be able to vote while in prison (a view shared by other Council of Europe States).
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ~ Prisoners voting Rights
DfT: A consultation (closes 9 March 2007) on the Government's proposals for changes at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing has been published. They include discounts for those who pay by an electronic 'Dart-Tag' & pre-pay account and free travel at night.
The Government is also seeking comments on suggestions from local MPs that discounts be made available for local residents and comments on proposals for reinvestment of the revenue.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Highways Agency ~ Dartford – Thurrock Crossing website ~ History
DTI: The Government has announced a consultation (closes 8 March 2007) on an ‘investment package worth up to £1.7 billion for the Post Office designed to preserve the national network, and set it on a firm footing’ (subject to European state aid approval).
The proposed new access criteria for post offices will be
· Nationally, 99% within 3 miles and 90% of the population to be within 1mile
· In deprived urban areas1, 99% of the population to be within 1 mile
· In urban areas, 95% of the population to be within 1 mile
· In rural areas, 95% of the total rural population within 3 miles
· In remote areas, 95% of the population in postcode districts2 within 6 miles
On average the 800 smallest rural post offices served just 16 people a week at a cost to the taxpayer of £17 per visit - even if this was just to buy a stamp. A total of 1,600 branches served fewer than 20 customers a day - losing £8 for every transaction.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ The Post Office Ltd. Rural Pilot Activity report ~ NAO report – DTI: Financial Support for Post Offices ~ DTI – Postal Services ~ Post Office portal ~ National Federation of Sub Postmasters ~ Postwatch ~ Countryside Alliance
Scottish Executive: A joint consultation paper (closes on March 6, 2007) on proposals aimed at stopping fraudsters from using the identities of dead people has been issued by the Registrars General for England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Identity fraud, of which Impersonation of the Deceased (IOD) fraud is a type, costs the UK economy in excess of £1 billion a year. Fraudsters can obtain sufficient information to impersonate the deceased before organisations with which the deceased had financial dealings become aware of the death.
Under the Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006, the Registrars General can disclose death registration information to assist in the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of offences. The Registrars General are seeking views on how the information should be released.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Registrar General for England and Wales ~ Registrar General for Northern Ireland ~ Home Office – Identity Theft ~ CIFAS online ~ Directgov – identity theft ~ Internet Watch Foundation ~ Identity Theft – victim support ~ Identity Fraud
DfT: Shipping Minister Stephen Ladyman has published a UK consultation paper (closes 28th February 2007) on the European Maritime Green Paper published earlier this year by the European Commission – See ‘EU legislation and Initiatives’ section below.
DWP: New pension proposals published for consultation (closes on 20 March 2007) in the Government's White Paper - Personal accounts: a new way to save. – See ‘In the News’ section above.
DCA: A consultation paper (closes on 8 March 2007) on draft Freedom of Information (FoI) fee regulations has been published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, which will extend the existing provisions for charging – See ‘In the News’ section above.
FSA: A Financial Services Authority report shows that consumers are getting better outcomes in the way their mortgage endowment complaints are handled, but the FSA stressed that there is no room for complacency.
Since July 2005, the FSA has been looking at how 52 firms (covering 90% of the mortgage endowment market) handle complaints. It had concerns with 22 firms and 14 of them have taken or are taking remedial action to improve the quality of their complaints handling.
As a result of this work:
· More than 100,000 complaints previously rejected have been or are being reviewed, with around 75% of those being reviewed so far having been decided in the consumers' favour
· The number of complaints taking more than eight weeks to resolve has fallen from 33,000 to 7,000
Press release ~ Mortgage endowments – Delivering higher standards ~ FSA - Mortgage Endowments ~ Financial Ombudsman ~ Which? ~ Financial Services Compensation Scheme ~ ABI Factsheet
DfT: Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander has published - "Putting Passengers First" - which outlines Government proposals to ‘change the way buses are run, strengthening the working partnerships between local authorities and bus companies to attract more passengers in the long term’.
The key changes being considered in Putting Passengers First are:
· greater partnership working between local authorities & operators, timetables and fares
· holding not just operators but also local authorities to account for the performance of local bus services
· making it a option for local authorities to introduce schemes tailored to local needs
· allowing local charities and community groups to provide services in areas poorly served by other transport
· ensuring that current bus subsidies help to support the Government's environmental objectives
DTI: Improving the health of the whole population and reducing health inequalities, particularly for those with the poorest health, should be an objective for the whole of government says a new report published by the independent Council for Science and Technology (CST).
The report - 'Health Impacts - A Strategy Across Government’ - sets out a number of recommendations on how all government departments can incorporate health issues when developing & delivering their policies, including:
· More resources should be devoted to providing the evidence base necessary for good policy-making
· Delivering health improvements cannot be achieved if it is seen as the business of the DH alone
· Government departments need to work with the DH to make sure the best evidence is available about health impacts, relevant to that department's policy areas.
· Mechanisms for joining up databases across government are crucial and need to be put in place
· Training is needed for policy-makers in the determinants of health & the use of evidence to assess them
Press release ~ Council for Science and Technology (CST) ~ 'Health Impacts - A Strategy Across Government' ~ CST: Better Use of Personal Information ~ Pilot NHS (England) Agreement ~ Ordnance Survey - Health ~ The Information Centre for Health and Social Care ~ Central and Local Government Information Partnership (CLIP)
DfT: Secretary of State for Transport Douglas Alexander has reported the progress made in implementing the policies & proposals set out in the Government's 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper.
The progress report claims to ‘reaffirm the Government's commitment to the strategy set out in the White Paper, that is, support for the development of the aviation sector across the UK, predominantly through making the best use of existing capacity, and ensuring where new capacity is required its provision is in line with our environmental obligations’.
As part of this, the Department has announced a new mechanism to help inform decisions on major increases in aviation capacity. The 'emissions cost assessment' will consider whether the aviation sector is meeting its external climate change costs. The Government is expected to consult on the development of this assessment in the first half of 2007.
Press release ~ Air Transport White Paper Progress Report 2006 ~ Future of Air Transport White Paper ~ European Commission's Communication on aviation emissions ~ EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) ~ Sustainable Aviation website ~ A strategy towards sustainable development ~ Sustainable Travel International website ~ Aviation and the environment: Using economic instruments ~ GreenSkies website ~ CAA Environment web page ~ Skan-UK website ~ The Travel Foundation ~ Climate change: Carbon offsetting ~ Q & A on Aviation and Climate Change ~ Civil Aviation Act 2006 ~ Air traffic forecasts
DWP: A new research report into the range of programmes being implemented across EU states and North America to help tackle low levels of ethnic minority employment has been published. It examines whether initiatives in Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States have been successful and if they could be applied to Great Britain.
Press release ~ Report 406: Developing Positive Action Policies: Learning from the Experiences of Europe and North America ~ Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force ~ DTI - Ethnic Minority Employment ~ ESRC - Ethnic Minorities in the UK ~ Ethnic minority women at work - Moving on up? ~ NRU: Floor Targets Interactive
DfT: Shipping Minister Stephen Ladyman has published a UK consultation paper (closes 28th February 2007) on the European Maritime Green Paper published earlier this year by the European Commission.
The Green Paper - ‘Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the Oceans and Sea’ - seeks to stimulate debate on the future direction of EU policy on maritime issues and to encourage greater co-ordination between the various aspects of European legislation that impinge on maritime sectors.
The European Commission published its Green Paper on 7 June 2006 and its consultation runs until 31 June 2007.
Press release ~ UK Consultation documents ~ EU Maritime Green Paper ~ Related EU documents ~ UK Marine Bill ~ WWF Marine Act Campaign ~ Sea Vision UK - British Chamber of Shipping ~ British Marine Aggregate Producers Association ~ British Maritime Law Association
CCWater: According to the Consumer Council for Water, European Commission proposals recently debated by the European Parliament in Brussels need changing to avoid farmers & consumers shelling out cash on expensive treatment of sewage sludge, as the by-product could be used harmlessly on local farmland.
Treated sewage sludge escaped being classified as waste under the revised European Union Waste Framework Directive last week, following an environment committee vote at First Reading. The Consumer Council for Water, together with Waterwatch Scotland, briefed MEPs to oppose Commission proposals on treating sewage sludge used in agriculture.
Press release ~ Consumer Council for Water ~ Waterwatch Scotland ~ Defra – Agricultural waste
CC: The Charity Commission has announced its commitment to reducing the administration burden it puts on charities by at least 25% over the next three years. Its new Simplification Plan includes not only the provisions of the Charities Act 2006 but also additional Commission proposals for further admin reductions.
These include major changes to financial thresholds, such as raising the independent examination threshold, subject to further consultation in 2007.
Press release ~ CC Simplification Plan ~ Charities Act 2006 guide
NAO: Proposals to improve the filing of VAT and Company Tax returns have been put forward by the National Audit Office. These proposals aim to achieve efficiency savings and reduce the amount of tax at risk.
The report recommends that the HMRC should analyse the tax at risk from failure to file correctly and identify (by sector) the businesses responsible, focusing on those late with both their VAT and Company Tax returns. It should also track the effectiveness of any new penalty regime & incentives in changing filing patterns and improving performance.
Press release ~ Full Report ~ Executive summary ~ Oxford Internet Institute - Research into Barriers and Incentives for Businesses Filing Returns Online
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published CP06/21 Investment Entities Listing Review to clarify & seek further views (by 28 February 2007) on certain aspects of the original consultation.
This includes clarifying the importance of a company's investment policy; explaining the FSA's decision to withdraw its proposal to abolish the directive minimum regime for overseas investment companies and; introducing new listing categories to make it clear to investors what obligations a listed company is subject to.
Press release ~CP06/21 Investment Entities Listing review - Further consultation and feedback on Part 2 of CP06/4 ~ 2003 Consultation paper
Pensions Regulator: Industry debate about corporate deals (which may lead employers to abandon their pension schemes) has been prompted by the Pensions Regulator following the concerns it raised in October.
After proposals which seek to sever the link between employers and their defined benefit pension schemes were brought to its attention, the regulator has now issued a discussion paper, alongside draft guidance, to help trustees identify such proposals and consider their implications.
In its paper, the regulator has invited the industry and other interested parties to respond to key areas it has identified. Comments on the discussion paper should be emailed to: DBpaper@thepensionsregulator.gov.uk by 9 February 2007.
Press release ~ Pensions Regulator ~ Scheme Abandonment Paper
HMRC: VAT Business Brief 22/06
· New Principal EC VAT Directive
· Definition of biodiesel in Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979: Further Guidance
· Motor and heating fuels - Revised Public Notice 179
· Motor and heating fuels - Revised Public Notice 179A
· Intrastat - changes from 1 January 2007
Press release ~ Business Briefs 2006 (it sometimes takes time to appear here)
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