CO:  What a surprise, the government doesn’t always know best - The Cabinet Office claims that recycling will become much easier for millions of people, thanks to the winner of the Government's Show Us A Better Way competition, which asked people to invent a website that provides a useful public service, using information already held by the Government.

The winning idea, Can I Recycle It, will tell people what the recycling facilities are in their area, based on their postcode.  The idea will now be taken forward by a team of developers funded from part of a £60,000 prize fund. Four runners-up ideas to; plan cycling routes, show the boundaries of school catchment areas and find the nearest postbox and public toilets, will also be built.

Five other entries will be given help developing their ideas and making a website, with funding supplied by Communities and Local Government. Four other ideas will share £20,000 for not only coming up with an innovative website, but also for building it themselves.
Press release ~ Show Us A Better Way competition ~ Power of Information Task Force ~ Free Our Data Campaign ~ Related Ordnance Survey press release

CSPLWhat about holidaying Ministers? - The Committee on Standards in Public Life has announced that the subject of its twelfth inquiry is to be 'Local Leadership and Public Trust: Accountability and Transparency in London and Local Government'.

The inquiry will look at structures & models within local government across the UK and in London, to examine the way in which decisions are made & scrutinised, how office holders are held to account and whether the different models of local government command public trust.

The Committee will be publishing an issues & questions paper in the next few weeks and will call for written evidence from interested parties before holding a series of hearings across the UK in the New Year.  The Committee intends to publish their report in Autumn 2009.
Press release ~ Committee on Standards in Public Life ~ CSPL - Third report ~ Consultation (closed) - Orders and Regulations Relating to the Conduct of Local Authority Members in EnglandStandards Board for England ~  Adjudication Panel for England ~ Standards in Local Government

WAG:  A problem that will face us all in time - The Welsh Assembly Government has launched a consultation that will explore how care will be best paid for across Wales in the future.  The consultation & engagement process - ‘Paying for Care in Wales: creating a fair and sustainable system’, will take place between November 2008 and March 2009 and will focus on how the current system of paying for care will need to change in order to meet future needs in addition to examining the balance of responsibility that lies between the state, the individual & their families.

A series of events will be arranged throughout Wales to give stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions. Events will take place on 10 December in Cardiff and 15 January in Llandudno.

In addition, an advisory group of key stakeholders will be established to help shape the consultation process in order to ensure that effective & appropriate input is obtained from wider stakeholders and citizens and to represent their views.  An interactive website - Paying for Care in Wales - has also been established that will enable people to respond directly to key questions online.

Given that a number of issues, both devolved & non-devolved, will be discussed as part of the consultation it will run parallel to the consultation that is taking place in England. Plans will be set out in Green papers for Wales and for England in 2009.
Press release ~ WAG – Health and Social Care ~ WAG – Older People ~ Paying for Care in Wales ~ Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly ~ DH – Older People’s Services ~ Financial care models in Scotland and the UK ~ OFT: Fair Terms for care ~ Future demand for long-term care in the UK: A summary of projections of long-term care finance for older people to 2051 ~ ESRC: Disruptions in family and work life: Implications for support in later life ~ ESRC: Research Project: ‘Disruptions in family and work life

DfTShocking Road Safety campaign - The Government is taking a new approach to warning children about the dangers they can face on our roads (around 9,000 children were killed or hurt on British roads last year), following new research that shows today's 6-11-year-olds need bolder & more forthright communication about road safety than ever before.

A new £1.5m THINK! campaign graphically spells out the dangers of not crossing the road safely and highlights the need to 'stop, look and listen' every time.  'Tales of the Road' was devised following in-depth research with both parents and children who felt that a forthright campaign showing the consequences of both good and bad road safety behaviour was needed to make an impression on today's children.

The campaign will use animated characters to tell a series of cautionary tales each focusing on a different aspect of road safety.  The first advert, 'The Boy Who Did Not Stop, Look and Listen', will air from Monday 17 November and aims to demonstrate to children the importance of taking care when crossing or playing near roads.  The next adverts for the 'Tales of the Road' are scheduled to appear from 5 January 2009.

The television adverts will be accompanied by a new website with interactive games for children and educational material for teachers & parents.  The Government is also investing £140m in the Travelling to School project and another £140m in cycling, which includes funding for an extra 500,000 10 year-olds across England to take part in Bikeability cycle training, while the THINK! Copycat campaign reminds parents of the need to set a good example to their children on road safety.
HMRCJust in time for Christmas - Customs duty is currently payable on goods bought online from non-EU countries worth £18 or more. But from 1 December 2008, a new £105 limit will apply.  VAT will still be charged (at the appropriate rate that applies to identical goods sold in the UK) on goods over £18, and is not affected by the changes.

A new HMRC 'internet shopping' podcast explains the changes in more detail. As well as duty and VAT, the podcast discusses handling fees, which mail carriers are entitled to charge & collect from you on delivery, where duty or VAT is payable.
Press release ~ Listen to the internet shopping podcast mp3

Forthcoming Event:  Without standards future problems are certain - The increasing prevalence of digitally-created documents, emails and rich media is presenting records managers and information officers with new issues & challenges as they seek to ensure long-term validity of their organisations' records and information assets.

MoReq2 - the Model Requirements Specification for the Management of Electronic Records - is set to become the de-facto international resource for managers of existing and proposed records management systems.  Published in March 2008, and supported by the EU & the UK National Archives, the revised MoReq guidelines are applicable to the all public sector and regulated private sector organisations.

The revised MoReq standard sets out more clearly the ‘essential’ and the ‘desirable’ functionalities of a records management system, whilst encompassing the latest technologies, including XML, electronic signatures, email attachments and distributed access.  It is also designed as a testable standard for product certification.

It is written in a ‘the system must…the system should…’ style allowing core requirements to be separated from desirable elements.  It is also modular, allowing optional modules such as Workflow or Digital Rights Management to be evaluated in their own right. 

A one-day workshop (Copthorne Hotel, Slough -  27 November 2008)  organised by AIIM sets out to improve the understanding of the document, highlight additions & changes from the earlier standard and provide guidance on how to use it as part of a new procurement or to update an existing roll-out.  The programme is based on independent educational sessions from AIIM , Serco and the UK National Archives.

MoReq2 is a very wide-ranging and comprehensive standard and best advice is to use it selectively to match the priorities & strategies of your own organisation.  This event will help you to set those strategies and understand how to apply MoReq2 to achieve them. 
Full details ~ AIIM ~ Serco - MoReq2 website ~ EC: Update and extension of the Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records ~ UK National Archives ~ ISO 15489 - Records Management ~ Society of Archivists ~ Records Management Society ~ DigitalPreservationEurope ~ Scientific Archivist Group ~ Document@work ~ European Commission on Preservation and Access ~ International Council on Archives ~ International Records Management Trust 

For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar

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