ScotGov: Renewable energy is not just about extra costs to consumers - Research published last week has found that 3 proposed Scottish carbon capture & storage demonstration projects ‘could be worth £3bn to the national economy and generate 5,000 new jobs in construction & operation’.
The findings, announced by Scottish Enterprise, follow an in-depth study into the economic impact potential of the proposed CCS developments at Longannet, Peterhead & Hunterston. The proposed facilities, if fully developed, will test & demonstrate the technical & commercial aspects of CCS technology to then allow the deployment of CCS in existing and new fossil fuel power plants to dramatically reduce Scotland's carbon emissions.
CCS technology could create thousands of new low carbon jobs in Scotland. Recent research has highlighted the vast storage potential of the North Sea as being of European-scale significance and the Moray Firth as having up to a century's worth of storage.
NAO: How many cancer patients were denied drugs to pay for this project which many experts warned would be an expensive failure? - The rate at which electronic care records systems are being put in place across the NHS under the National Programme for IT is falling far below expectations and the core aim that every patient should have an electronic care record under the Programme will not now be achieved.
Even where systems have been delivered, they are not yet able to do everything that the Department intended, especially in acute trusts. Moreover, the number of systems to be delivered through the Programme has been significantly reduced, without a commensurate reduction in the cost.
A new NAO report concludes that the £2.7bn spent so far on care records systems does not represent value for money and, based on performance so far, the NAO has no grounds for confidence that the remaining planned spending of £4.3bn on care records systems will be any different.
BIS: New skills help break the cycle as ex-offenders have the ability to ‘earn’ a future - The Government has launched a report outlining plans to break the cycle of re-offending, by developing a stronger link between learning in prisons and the vocational & employability skills that employers demand.
Under the reforms to the adult offender education system in England, there will be greater emphasis on the results that education & training in prison delivers. The way learning is delivered in prisons will also be overhauled to better reflect the way the prison system is organised and improve value for money.
IfG: Getting the support of the Members of the HoL will be a bit like getting turkeys to vote for an early Christmas - The Government has set out its plans for a smaller, reformed House of Lords. The proposals are outlined in a draft House of Lords Reform Bill and in an accompanying White Paper also published this week.
PC&PE: No more ‘40 Minute’ decisions by PMs - There is an urgent need for greater clarity on Parliament’s role in decisions to commit British forces to armed conflict abroad, concludes the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. In its report, the Committee recommends that ‘the Government should as a first step bring forward a draft detailed parliamentary resolution, for consultation with us among others, and for debate and decision by the end of 2011’.
The Committee points out that ’much work in this direction has already been completed, and the process for decision should be relatively swift’. The Committee welcomes the Foreign Secretary’s commitment to enshrine Parliament’s role in law, but says this is likely to be a longer-term project. Concerns around the feasibility of a statutory solution would need to be explored & resolved.
The Committee also recommends that Parliament’s current role in conflict decisions should be clearly described in the Cabinet Manual. The Manual, when published, is intended to be a single source of information for Ministers, civil servants and others on how government works.
FSA: Tax payers cannot afford for them to get it wrong again - The Bank of England (the Bank) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have published a joint paper (The Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority - Our approach to banking supervision) setting out the current thinking on how the future Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will approach the supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions and investment firms.
The PRA will be responsible for supervising both insurance companies & deposit-takers. A companion paper will be published in June 2011 to cover the PRA's approach to supervising insurance companies.
Press release & links
Free Report: Vision, Action, Traction – Succeeding with Agile in Government ICT - This report responds to the recent Government ICT Strategy and the Institute for Government report that preceded it (‘System Error: Fixing the Flaws in Government IT, Institute for Government’). It also proposes a framework to help ensure success and provide a healthy return on the investment that will be necessary if the ICT strategy is to be implemented effectively in the medium to long term.
Click here to request your free copy of ‘Vision, Action, Traction: Succeeding with Agile in Government ICT’.
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