MoD: Can the ‘political / financial crystal ball’ truly foresee what future ‘battles’ will actually need to be fought? - The outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which sets out how the government will deliver the priorities identified in the National Security Strategy, was published on 19 October 2010.
Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review, details how our Armed Forces will be reshaped to tackle emerging and future threats. There are 2 main priorities in the review:
* to ensure that our mission in Afghanistan is protected
* to make sure we emerge with a coherent Defence capability in 2020
A study will be undertaken by the leadership of the regular & Reserves into the future role & structure of the Reserves. The MoD expect this study to take about 6 months.
Much effort will now be required to work through the detailed implications of the various SDSR decisions and their implementation. Part of this will be the work of the Defence Reform Unit, which is looking at the organisation of MOD and will report in July 2011. This will ‘help ensure Defence is delivered as effectively & efficiently as possible. Reforms will be implemented as the review progresses’.
No.10: UK Security is much more than just ‘spooks’ - The Government has published its National Security Strategy: A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty which outlines the coalition’s reappraisal of 'Britain’s role in the world, the risks to our security and their implication for the UK'. The strategy has been drawn up by the new National Security Council (NSC) as part of an assessment of Britain’s defence needs and the NSC will oversee its implementation.
This Strategy describes how we need the structures in place to allow us to react quickly & effectively to new and evolving threats to our security. It highlights clear national security priorities:
* counter terrorism
* cyber security
* international military crisis
* national disasters such as floods & pandemics
EU News: If SMEs get paid on time perhaps they will be able to employ more people! - The standard deadline for paying bills will be 30 days under a deal with the Council endorsed by EU Parliament in plenary session last Wednesday. The new rules are meant to ensure that small firms no longer face financial problems due to the late payment of bills by public authorities or companies and bolster solvency, innovation & jobs.
As a general rule, the deadline for both public & private sectors to pay a bill for goods or services will now be 30 days. For over a year the Parliament has pushed to secure more stringent & clear-cut rules on payment periods. Parliament's negotiators aimed to avoid loopholes and to ensure that any exceptions to the general deadline are restricted to special circumstances.
The agreement, presented to Parliament as a ‘consolidated amendment’ to the report by Parliament's rapporteur Barbara Weiler (S&D, DE), received broad backing from all political groups. Sahe stressed that Member States should not wait up to 2 years to put the new rules into effect, but begin transposing them into their national laws as of January 2011.
For business-to-business payments the general deadline is 30 days unless otherwise stated in the contract. If both parties agree, it is possible to go up to 60 days. The payment period may be extended beyond 60 days only if ‘expressly agreed’ by the creditor and the debtor in the contract and provided that it is not ‘grossly unfair’ to the creditor. Parliament fought hard to ensure that under no circumstances may the deadline for public authorities to pay a bill exceed 60 days.
DH: But it will take anywhere between 1 (F/T) and 3 (P/T) years for them to be trained - A national recruitment drive to create 4,200 new health visitors and build a rejuvenated profession is has been announced. This means the numbers of health visitors working closely with families in the community will increase by almost 50%. The level of funding will be announced in due course.
To ensure the process of referrals is as easy & smooth as possible a new SAFER referral tool has been developed and was launched at the Unite Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association conference.
(Editor’s Note) Unite/CPHVA recommends that each health visitor has a maximum caseload of 250 children each – but many are having to cope with caseloads of more than 600. Unite/CPHVA is also campaigning for the implementation of the 2004 promise that each one of England’s 3,300 secondary schools and their cluster of primary schools should have a specialist school nurse.
Recent White Paper: Demonstrate that public spending is transparent, trackable and controlled - As public spending is facing an intensity of scrutiny not seen for a generation, the Comprehensive Spending Review brings a world where savings and efficiency are pivotal.
This is why public sector organisations need to review the quality of management
info rmation they have access to.
Organisations are seeking to answer fundamental questions - who is spending money, where are they spending it and are they getting the best possible deal from a procurement perspective.
Essential to managing the challenge is showing that public spending is transparent, trackable and controlled. Public sector organisations are taking advantage of the commercial payment products and services offered by MasterCard.
The Government Procurement Card addresses many of these issues including cashable and efficiency savings, transparency of spend, tight controls, the prompt payment initiative and cheque replacement.
Click here if you would like to receive a copy of the recent White paper entitled ‘Delivering the Benefits of Procurement Cards in the