Newswire – CPA: As with Child Abuse & Hospital Patient Neglect some issues just continue not to be properly addressed - The Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) major projects 2010.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPA, said: "Any good progress being made on many individual defence equipment projects has again been overshadowed by the MOD's continuing failure on important major projects. Unaffordable decisions taken in the short-term lead to inevitable waste of billions of pounds over time……
The MOD must demonstrate the same discipline in its defence procurement that our forces demonstrate in the field. In this one hearing, when we were able to focus on only 4 projects, we identified over £8bn of taxpayers' money which has been written off or incurred simply for reasons of delay…….
…. decisions have been taken without a full understanding of the financial implications. The consequence has been hugely damaging – in just one year an increase of over £3bn in the overall cost of the Department’s major projects”.
IfG: Political dogma or a policy to fit a financial reality - Adrian Brown, leading the research programme on Big Society and public services at the Institute for Government has commented on the PM’s vision for public services, announced this week.
The PM emphasised:
* a radical transfer of power to the public
* greater freedoms for frontline professionals
* a ‘new presumption’ that public services should be open to a wide range of providers
The IfG will shortly be publishing a framework to help policy makers think about the Big Society. They also identify the key roles for government in making the Big Society approach in the public services a reality.
PwC / BIS: Excuses don’t always sound so logical if they have to be written down - PwC plans to speed up the progression of the firm’s diversity strategy by encouraging the use of a new 'comply or explain' approach to the promotion of women to senior ranks in the firm. The approach is being planned after detailed analysis & modelling examined the promotion flow of women & men in the organisation.
Using employee skills & capability mapping techniques, leaders in the firm’s major divisions will be asked to proactively consider women in their promotion rounds, or explain what the blocker to progress is, so that it can be addressed.
Emphasis will fall initially on achieving proportionate promotion rates at manager & senior manager levels in the firm, to build a long term pipeline of senior female candidates for leadership levels. As part of the wider initiative, the firm has initially identified an additional 28 high - performing female partners to be mentored by the board.
Last week also saw the launch of Lord Davies of Abersoch’s independent review into Women on Boards of UK listed companies in the FTSE 100, in which he said that they should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation by 2015.
JRF: Relatively cheap access to water (especially for the poorest) is a mark of modern civil society - A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has highlighted how low-income households are at particular risk of 'water poverty', as water metering & differential pricing are deployed by agencies to incentivise greater water efficiency, in the bid to adapt to the effects of climate change.
‘Vulnerability to heatwaves and drought: adaptation to climate change’ by a team from AEA and the University of Surrey explores how examples of climate change adaptation in the South West of England may impact on vulnerable groups in society.
This is the first report to be published from JRF's Climate Change and Social Justice programme, which seeks to explore how climate change & adaptation policies are experienced by different social groups in the UK.
DFT: Government partially fills ‘hole’ in council road repair budgets ~ Councils in England will be given more than £100m of extra funding to spend on repairing potholes. The funding is in addition to the £831m already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £3bn the Government has committed over the next 4 years.
In order to qualify for this extra funding and to promote greater transparency & accountability, LAs will need to publish information on their website by 30 September 2011 showing where this money has been spent.
NUBS: If ever there was a time the public sector needed managers trained to see & respond to the ‘bigger picture’! - Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) has been chosen as 1 of only 6 official suppliers of executive & part-time MBA programmes for public sector employees.
NUBS is accredited to provide the Master of Business Administration qualification on a part-time basis to leaders & managers working in central government, regional government and the wider public sector.
The U.K. Government’s procurement body Buying Solutions launched the MBA/MPA Qualification as Lot 23 of the pan-government framework agreement – Learning & Development & eLearning Solutions in Sept. 2010.
Press release ~ Further information
White Paper: How to Maintain Service Standards in an Era of Public Spending Cuts - Public services in the UK are fighting to survive. Necessary public sector reform and structural change means that the cuts agenda is now delivering redundancies, mergers and many front line service changes. Yet citizens still need help, especially those who are experiencing major upheavals in terms of benefits, entitlements and eligibility for services.
Online self-service is an obvious solution. It is proven to slash costs while continuing to deliver vital support to citizens and businesses. But can complex queries really be resolved through self-service? And how can you be sure the advice given is correct, especially during a time of rapid policy change?
Click here to receive the latest White Paper and discover:
• Why online self-service may provide a practical solution to your current cost pressures
• How HMRC and Business Link have used online self-service to cut costs and maintain quality
• How Policy Automation makes online self-service easy, accurate and cost-effective
Download White Paper