General News

FDA: The FDA (formerly First Division Association) has warned that the Office for National Statistics is at ‘crisis point’ and statistical outputs could be put ‘at risk’ in its evidence to the Treasury Sub Committee Inquiry into the efficiency of the Chancellor’s Departments.

The FDA cited the recent debate in the House of Lords on the Statistics and Registration Service Bill, outlining the negative impact on the department of the efficiency agenda, relocation of the London office and poor management of people and processes. 

According to the FDA evidence, it believes that the business case for relocation is fundamentally flawed and that, in the FDA’s view, an effective independent Statistics Board cannot operate without a London base.

The FDA warned that the most skilled, experienced statisticians were leaving the service for jobs elsewhere in the public sector or in the City rather than leave London. In fact the ONS has now had to resort to paying retention allowances to staff in the London office to try to keep enough of them there in order to be able to continue producing good quality statistics in the run down period.
Press release ~ Related press release ~ Office for National Statistics ~ Statistics and Registration Service Bill ~ Treasury Sub Committee Inquiry into the efficiency of the Chancellor’s Departments

NAYour Archives is a new resource, which has recently been launched as part of The National Archives´ online services.  It is a virtual community of record users where people can share their knowledge of archival sources held by The National Archives and by other archives throughout the UK.

The content on Your Archives is contributed by users and is designed to offer information additional to that currently available in our Catalogue, Research Guides, DocumentsOnline and the National Register of Archives.  The Catalogue has a link on each page to Your Archives encouraging users to find out more, or to contribute their knowledge about a particular record.
Press release ~ Your Archives ~ DocumentsOnline ~ The Catalogue ~ ‘Wiki’  ~ Wikipedia online encyclopaedia ~ Adrian Jones~Your Caribbean Heritage ~ WO 22

WYP: Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, the Police National Legal Database’s (PNLD) 2007 conference was a sell-out.  Held on 26 April at Tally Ho Conference Centre, in Birmingham, over 150 delegates representing 44 police organisations & forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, attended the second national conference for first line managers in frontline law enforcement. 

Six leading experts spoke on differing aspects of the policing of terrorism and criminal law to an audience composed mainly of sergeants and inspectors.

Successes achieved by the PNLD team over the last twelve months include registration with ISO 9001 Quality Management and reaching the finals for two prestigious IT awards.
Press release ~ PNLD’s 2007 conference ~ Police National Legal Database (PNLD)  

DH: Historic changes to the regulation of the pharmacy profession announced earlier this year have been endorsed by an independent working party. The short-term working party, led by Lord Carter of Coles was asked to work with key stakeholders on proposals to form two separate bodies to oversee pharmacy - a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to regulate the profession and a body akin to a Royal College for Pharmacy to provide leadership.

The chairperson and terms of reference of the Pharmacy Regulation and Leadership Oversight Group will be announced in due course.  The Oversight Group will be asked to take into account all the recommendations contained in the report from Lord Carter of Coles' Working Party
Press release ~ Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) ~ Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) ~ 'Report of the working party on professional regulation and leadership in pharmacy' ~ White Paper; Trust, Assurance and Safety, The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century ~ 'Professional Leadership in Pharmacy - Exploring the case for a Royal College for the Pharmacy Profession'

HMRCHM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has redesigned its R40 'Tax Repayment Form' to make it easier for customers to understand & complete. Form R40 is used by around 600,000 people every year - mainly pensioners, married women and children - to claim back tax deducted from bank or building society interest, or other investment income.

The new 4-page form has the same look and feel as the Short Self Assessment Tax Return, introduced last year and follows a successful two-year trial involving around 1,000 people.

Anyone paying too much tax on their bank or building society interest may be able to register to have it paid gross, without tax being deducted.  To find out more, phone 0845 980 0645 or log on HERE.
Press release ~ R40 'Tax Repayment Form ~ Guidance notes ~ Explanatory flyer

 
NSG
: Nominations are now invited for the National School of Government Leadership AwardWhitehall & Westminster World Civil Service Awards 2007 in association with Ernst & Young, and endorsed by Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service Sir Gus O’Donnell.
– part of the

Designed to celebrate achievements within government and to provide a platform for the sharing of knowledge across the whole of the Civil Service, the Awards recognise excellence in a full range of categories covering key government priorities and business disciplines. 

The winner of the 2007 Leadership Award, along with winners of the other 11 category awards, will also be considered for the Cabinet Secretary Award - decided upon by a panel of present and former Cabinet Secretaries. Nominations close on 27 July 2007
Press release ~ Whitehall & Westminster World Civil Service Awards 2007 ~ National School of Government Leadership Award ~ Cabinet Secretary Award ~ National School of Government’s Centre for Strategic Leadership

WW-UK: The annual Work Wise UK Summit was held at the QEII Conference Centre in London last week and leading speakers discussed & debated progressing the campaign for the wider adoption of new smarter working practices to increase business productivity & competitiveness, reduce transport congestion & pollution, improve health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise work & family commitments.

Work Wise UK, which was launched in May last year, is a five-year not-for-profit programme to encourage new smarter working practices such as flexible working (including condensed hours and nine-day fortnights), remote and mobile working, and working from home.

Traffic congestion is becoming an increasingly important issue in the UK.  The Eddington Report predicted that, if unchecked, congestion will waste around £22 billion worth of time in England alone by 2025. Organisations that adopt new smarter working practices are able to change travel patterns; reducing the overall need to travel and staggering the times when people have to travel.
Press release ~ Work Wise UK ~Eddington Report ~ Make Working From Home Work for You ~ Home Business Alliance ~ Employees working from home - Business Link ~ Planning Portal - Working from home ~ VOA - Council Tax, Working from home ~ The Telework Association ~ CIPD - Teleworking ~ FAQ: What are the benefits of Telework - Telecommuting? ~ TUC - Work-Life Balance

DTI: The Science and Innovation Minister, Malcolm Wicks, has announced the appointment of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) as the enforcement body for the distributor obligations under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.

From 1 July 2007, distributors of electrical & electronic equipment will have to provide facilities for their customers to return old electrical equipment free of charge when they buy a replacement item.  Distributors, including distance sellers, have two options:

Press release ~ Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) ~ DTI - EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) (scroll down for latest developments) ~ Defra – WEEE Producer Responsibility ~ Guidance on Best Available Treatment Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) - November 2006 ~ Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations ~ Valpak Retail WEEE Services ~ Valpak Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS)

Reduced financial uncertainty for customers and significant financial savings for Councils.