Annual Reports

DFID: Ahead of the G8 Summit at Lough Erne, the G8 has published its second comprehensive report tracking progress on leaders’ development promises.  This is an important example of the G8’s commitment to transparency, which is a key part of the Summit’s agenda this year.
 
The Lough Erne Accountability Report rates all areas, from aid efficiency to food security, as good or satisfactory.  The G8 members will use the report, which adopted the innovative Red-Amber-Green scorecard system, to consider which areas need greater focus in the future. The G8 summit takes place 17-18 June.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Public Accounts Committee has published its 3rd Report of this Session which examines the financial sustainability of local authorities.
Press release & links
 
Ofsted: In a report published recently, Ofsted finds that independent reviewing officers are ‘not making enough positive impact on the quality of care planning and outcomes for looked after children.  They have been too slow in taking on their enhanced responsibilities’.
 
The purpose of an independent reviewing officer (IRO) is to ensure that the care plan for a looked after child clearly sets out the help, care & support that they need and takes full account of their wishes & feelings.  Local authorities are required by law to appoint an IRO for each looked after child.
Press release & links ~ See also ‘DfE:  However ‘sickened’ society is each time, incidents still occur’ (2nd item) at In the News - Published 10/06/2013
 
PC&PE: The Home Affairs Committee has published its report: ‘Child sexual exploitation and the response to localised grooming’.
 
The Committee concluded that:
Recent criminal cases have laid bare the appalling cost paid by victims for past catastrophic multi-agency failures and there are still places in the UK where victims of child sexual exploitation are being failed by statutory agencies.  The police, social services and the Crown Prosecution Service must all bear responsibility for the way in which vulnerable children have been left unprotected by the system.
Press release & links
 
CEBR: The Centre for Economics and Business Research reports that ‘UK business confidence is at its highest point since May 2012’, pointing to improved business conditions for the rest of 2013, according to the latest Business Trends report by accountants & business advisers BDO LLP.
Press release & links
 
SocitmData on usage & satisfaction with council websites is freely available to all comers for the first time through a new performance reporting tool launched by Socitm last week week. The Council Website Performance Monitor presents headline data from Socitm's council website user survey with no login required.
Press release & links ~ Socitm: Advice & guidance, not prescription and policing, key to success in a digital world
 
PC&PE: The original design of new English GCSEs led to the problems in 2012, say MPs on the Education Committee in a report published last week.  The Committee calls on the Government, the regulator Ofqual, and others responsible for public examinations, to ‘learn lessons from errors made during the time of the last government and ensure that such errors are not repeated by the Coalition’.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published its Report on the human rights of unaccompanied migrant children in the UK.
Press release & links
 
NAO: The National Audit Office has ‘found signs of improvement in financial management within government, but concluded that the scale of the challenge for financial managers in government is stark’.  

The Government’s fiscal consolidation programme is now expected to last longer than originally planned, and wide-ranging service reforms are being implemented.  The role of financial managers is therefore critical to ensuring that opportunities to improve value for money are realized.
Press release & links ~ CO: Government improves management information to maximise savings
 
WAG: The Welsh Government’s approach to dealing with reducing capital budgets will continue to support growth & jobs, Finance Minister Jane Hutt said as she published the annual report of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP).
Press release & links
 
DWP: Private sector employment has hit a new record high, according to official statistics published last week. There are 1.3m more people in private sector jobs than in early 2010. 

The figures from the Office of National Statistics show that more people are in work than ever before and that private sector employment is up 46,000 on the quarter, which more than offsets the 22,000 fall in public sector employment over the same period.
Press release & links ~ Green shoots confined to stock market and top bosses' pay, says TUC ~ Jobs figures show brighter economy reflected in pay - CBI ~ ONS statistics ~ IFS: Workers kept their jobs but one third faced nominal wage freezes or cuts
 
DH: The ‘shocking’ local variation in early death rates has been exposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to drive public awareness and boost council & NHS action to tackle public health problems. 

The figures are part of ‘Longer Lives’, a new Public Health England (PHE) website which allows local people to see easily how their areas perform on early deaths from the major four killers, like heart disease and cancer, and how this varies across the country.
Press release & links
Preventing Unwanted Sensitive Data Acquisition on Government Networks