ScotGovThey have more in common than just being detained - An anti-sectarianism education programme for adult offenders is to be piloted at Addiewell Prison after the Scottish Government awarded a £20,000 grant to the Iona Community youth department

The programme seeks to challenge Sectarian prejudices & beliefs and aims to change prisoners' attitudes, so they
learn to accept diversity & promote citizenship.

The Iona Community have a successful track record of working with young offenders on similar anti-sectarianism projects and have run similar courses at Polmont Young Offenders Institution since 2003.
Press release ~ The Iona Community ~ Polmont Young Offenders Institution – Jacob Project ~ Sectarianism: Update on Action Plan on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland ~ Action on Sectarianism – Marches & Parades ~ Review of Marches and Parades in Scotland ~ Promoting Citizenship through Football Partnership ~ Nil By Mouth ~ Sense Over Sectarianism ~ Show Racism the Red Card ~ The Marches and Parades Consultation Report ~ ScotGov: Law, Order & Public Safety ~ Ethnicity, Identity and Social Relations in Prison

NAOAnother 8 years for the last 8% - It is estimated that over 1m social homes have been improved by the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Decent Homes Programme, which aims to improve the condition of homes for social housing tenants. 

But the National Audit Office has warned that there are weaknesses in the information collected by the Department, which has reduced its assurance that value for money was being achieved.

The original target was that all social sector homes would be decent by 2010 but, by November 2009, the Department was estimating that approximately 92% of social housing would meet the standard by 2010, leaving 305,000 properties ‘non-decent’.  100% decency would not be achieved until 2018-19.
Press release ~ NAO:  Decent Homes programme ~ Decent Homes Programme ~ National Conversation on Standards

CQCMental health treatment for BME groups still unbalanced - The NHS, councils & wider community bodies should improve preventative services to ensure they meet the mental health needs of people from BME groups, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said as it published the latest Count me in census.  

The report - published last week & designed to promote equality in healthcare - monitors the ethnicity of inpatients and people subject to the Mental Health Act.  It underlines the need for better local strategic needs assessments and bespoke community-based services to reduce the risk of admission & detention.  

This year's census shows people from black & white/black mixed groups are 3 times more likely than average to be detained under the Act.  Furthermore, there is no evidence of a decline in admission rates among BME groups, one of the 12 goals of the Department of Health's action plan, Delivering Race Equality.
Press release ~ CQC: ‘Count me in' census 2009 report and data spreadsheets ~ National Mental Health Development Unit ~ Delivering Race Equality ~ National Equalities in Mental Health Programme ~ Black and Minority Ethnic Mental Health Network ~ MHAC biennial report (VLF 3.2Mb) ~ CQC detailed response to the MHAC report ~ Listen to CQC comments about the issues raised in the MHAC report ~ CQC: Guidance for professionals working with people detained under the Mental Health Act

Newswire – ECNo address need not mean no vote – The Electoral Commission is reminding people living in temporary accommodation that they don’t need a permanent address to have a say at the next general election.  The Commission, the independent elections watchdog, has produced a poster encouraging residents in shelters, hostels & B&Bs to discuss how to register to vote with their accommodation managers.

A General Election must take place by 3 June 2010.  People living in temporary accommodation can register to vote with the local Electoral Registration Officer using their temporary address. 

People with no fixed address should complete a Declaration of local connection available from the local electoral registration office.  On the form you need to give an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.
Press release ~ EC: Do politics ~ Voter registration ~ About my vote

Newswire – PO and LGODon’t they realise that their main function is to provide a service to the public? - The combined failings of 3 public bodies allowed illegal waste activities to go unchecked over a 7-year period with devastating effect, says an Ombudsmen report published last week.  

Environmentally Unfriendly, a joint report by Ann Abraham, Parliamentary Ombudsman and Local Government Ombudsman, Anne Seex, looks to the 3 bodies to pay £95,000 in compensation to the neighbours of the unauthorised waste site.

The payment by the Environment Agency, Lancashire County Council and Rossendale Borough Council reflects years of extreme distress, aggravation & financial loss suffered by Mrs D and her son after the EA & Councils failed to stop a neighbour from using his land as an illegal landfill site.

From 2000 - 2007 thousands of tonnes of rubbish were illegally dumped, burned & processed on farmland a few metres from Mrs D’s home, enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.  The 3 public bodies failed to work together despite the existence of a national protocol which clearly required a coordinated joint approach on waste enforcement.
Press release ~ Environmentally Unfriendly ~ Parliamentary Ombudsman ~ Local Government Ombudsman

MoJEthical business practices encourage ethical government services - The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has announced new plans to combat global corruption. The Foreign bribery strategy aims to:
* strengthen the law through the new Bribery Bill
* encourage & support ethical business
* enforce the law against foreign bribery
* reduce the demand for bribes through international cooperation & capacity building

Earlier investment in a dedicated foreign bribery police unit and new powers for the Serious Fraud Office has led to increased investigations, multi-million pound fines and criminal prosecutions.  Last year the SFO obtained the first conviction of a UK company for foreign bribery, with the company agreeing to pay £6.6m.
Press release ~ Foreign bribery strategy ~ Bribery Bill ~ BIS: Combating international corruption ~ Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit ~ Law Commission's report: Reforming Bribery ~ ECGD - Anti-Bribery and Corruption ~ BIS leaflet ~ UK Anti-Corruption Forum ~ Transparency International ~ Online broadcast on the OFT investigation into the construction industry ~ Out-Law.com ~ Consultation on Proposed Revisions to ECGD’s Business Principles and Ancillary Policies
Industry News: - Free White Paper - Getting the Most From Protective Marking - To balance the need to share information with the need to protect it, UK Government and Public Sector organisations are required to apply the Government Protective Marking System (GPMS) to documents and email messages. Implementing and enforcing GPMS could be a time-consuming and even painful exercise without a considered approach and the benefits of protective marking outside of meeting regulatory requirements are sometimes underestimated.

Secure information exchange experts Boldon James have recently published a whitepaper on Protective Marking, available exclusively to Wired Gov subscribers, which outlines and assesses different approaches to meeting protective marking requirements and suggests that protective marking  can add additional value to IT infrastructure, on top of security and compliance benefits.

Click here to receive your free copy of the white paper, 'Protective Marking for UK Government & Public Sector'
Forthcoming event:  The Impacts of Land Use Change: Myth or Reality? - The increased demand for bio-renewables has brought land use change into the spotlight.  But does land use change deserve its negative connotations?

The National Non-Food Crops Centre are holding an event, The Impacts of Land Use Change:  Myth or Reality to discuss this controversial issue this Thursday 28 January 2010 at The Royal College of Physicians, London.  This event is the ideal opportunity to see the latest research in this very complex area from world-leading experts in the field.

Also on the 28 January, the RFA's first annual report on the impacts of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) will be laid before Parliament. Aaron Berry, the RFA's Head of Carbon and Sustainability and the lead author of the report will be introducing the report at this event. Aaron will give a short overview of the reports content and the key messages contained within it. 
A limited number of seats are still available for this event. Click here to register or view the full programme.
For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
Free White paper  on Getting The Most From Protective Marking  image.
Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest: