Government search goes to the ‘ends of the earth’ in hunt of impartiality

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that she plans to appoint Justice Lowell Goddard to lead the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.  Justice Goddard, a judge of the High Court of New Zealand, has accepted the post and will appear at a pre-appointment hearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee on 11 February 2015.

A highly respected member of the judiciary, Justice Goddard conducted an inquiry into the police handling of child abuse in New Zealand when she was chairman of the country’s Independent Police Complaints Association.

The Home Secretary also announced the Inquiry will be placed on a statutory footing under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with the power to compel witnesses to give evidence.  The current panel will be disbanded and replaced by a new panel selected against a set of criteria which will be published in the House of Commons Library and on Gov.uk.

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Obamacare: From Vision to False Start to Reality

By the end of 2013, the Affordable Healthcare Act, Barak Obama’s vision for healthcare reform (ObamaCare) was heading much the way as the UK’s own ill-fated £12Billion NHS IT Programme.

Despite fierce oppostion and coming under constant attack in the media, Obamacare now meets the needs of an estimated 10 million citizens and it is predicted that coverage will reach 36 million by 2017. 

This brief case study details how Obamacare successfully met 5 key challenges that are common to all large public sector IT projects:

  • Strict time constraints
  • Stringent security requirements
  • Multiple data sources
  • An unknown data specification
  • Scalability

Click here to download your free copy now.

Should senior council & police officers take responsibility for their alleged actions / inaction and also resign, as they are paid to be ‘responsible’?
Documents relating to the inspection into the governance of Rotherham council, collating all the publications relating to Louise Casey’s best value inspection of Rotherham metropolitan borough council, conducted under section 10 of the Local Government Act 1999.
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NHS must care for patients AND their confidential medical records

The Information Commissioner has welcomed a change in the law that will give his office the right to force NHS authorities to be audited for compliance with the Data Protection Act.  Compulsory audits have previously only applied to central government departments.  The audits review how the NHS handles patients' personal information, and can review areas including security of data, records management, staff training and data sharing.

The ICO will be able to assess data protection by NHS foundation trusts, GP surgeries, NHS Trusts and Community Healthcare Councils, and their equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under section 41A of the DP Act.  The new legislation will not apply to any private companies providing services within public healthcare.

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At last - an organisation that can ‘make’ Google do something!
The ICO has required Google to sign a formal undertaking to improve the information it provides to people about how it collects personal data in the UK after changes to the company’s privacy policy in March 2012.  The ICO found that the search engine was too vague when describing how it uses personal data gathered from its web services & products.  The ICO ruled that the new policy did not include sufficient information for service users as to how & why their personal data was being collected.
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But are the NHS & LAs flexible enough to make the necessary changes to service delivery?
The savings required across the NHS will be difficult to achieve solely by continuing with the same approach used in recent years according to the Public Accounts Committee's report published 3 February 2015.
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It’s one thing to pay for you own care, but why should ‘silver savers’ have to subsidise the care of those who didn’t save?
Minister urges people to take part in the Care Act consultation to ‘help give people peace of mind about paying for their care costs’.
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Making it much more ‘worthwhile’ to save for a pension!
Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, has set out how from April 2015, people automatically enrolled into a workplace pension will see their charges capped at 0.75%, unless they have chosen a more expensive option.  For an average earner currently paying into a fund with a charge of 1.5%, this new cap could save them around £100,000 over the course of their working life.
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Unfortunately, isolationism will not provide a ‘safe & secure future for the UK
The Government must evolve to find new ways of working with emerging powers & developing countries, and the Department for International Development must do more to influence policy across the whole of Government, say MPs.
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Perhaps the Greek government should try and book some places?
HMRC is running two international training & development programmes for senior managers & tax auditors.  The programmes, which are run by HMRC on behalf of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA), begin in mid-April 2015 and include both online & residential elements.
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It is a ‘balance of freedoms’ that ensures a civilized society
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new legal guidance on freedom of expression (FoE).  The new guidance aims to help address ‘muddle & misunderstanding’ around specific areas of Britain’s laws on FoE.  It explains there are legitimate ways the state restrains what we can say but the test for curtailing FoE in law is a stringent one, and much that is offensive is still legal.  FoE can however be restricted in certain circumstances.  For example, where it incites violence against others or promotes hatred based on the colour of someone’s skin or their sexual orientation or their religion.
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Do you know who your Councillor is?
Local authority websites could do a lot better when it comes to presenting information about local democratic representation, says the first trailer in a series to be published ahead of the main Better connected 2015 report on 2 March 2015.
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Almost half of UK’s office-based healthcare staff are closer to exhaustion than five years ago, a survey has revealed. Do you agree? Click through and tell us why in the comments section

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I want my legacy to be that the NHS treats all patients with compassion

I want my legacy to be that the NHS treats all patients with compassion
As doctor and terminally ill cancer patient Kate Granger's #hellomynameis social media campaign is rolled out to 100 trusts, she explains how her hospital experience prompted her to set it up

Clinical pyschologist: I learn from my clients about what it is to be human
My job is unpredictable and dependent on the lives, experiences and challenges faced by my clients, says Sunil Nandha