General Reports and Other Publications

PCS: A short film set in a record shop run by a racist highlights how racism has no place in today's Britain.  Many people have given their time, energy and commitment to this project because they believe that racism & fascism have no place in our society (Video playtime: 1 minute 7 seconds).
 
The film uses the important & positive links between music and our diverse culture to illustrate an anti-racism message.  The film features Dizzee Rascal’s number one hit ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and the artists mentioned in the ‘Racist Records’ shop such as The White Stripes and the James Brown Estate have given their permission and support to the project.
 
The music fan turns his back on the shop’s proprietor and leaves empty handed – as the shop has nothing to offer him, because racists have no music.  The film illustrates the vibrant culture we all enjoy because of our multicultural society which we want to celebrate and defend.
Press release ~ Film ~ Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) ~ PCS
 
NA: The National Archives has published the final version of a strategy to support the collection & preservation of the heritage of England and Wales. The National Collections Strategy is an initiative to ensure that the records of major sporting and cultural events, of the lives & activities of individuals & communities and of public, private & charitable organisations are kept in the right places, effectively preserved and made easily available.
Press release ~ National Collections Strategy
 
NAO: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made good progress in its financial management, aiming to establish itself as one of the best departments in Whitehall in this respect.  It has shown strong leadership in raising the profile of good financial management across the Department, according to a report from the National Audit Office.  Up to 2007-08, however, the FCO has under-spent consistently against its budget.
 
The Department has introduced a financial management improvement programme ‘Five Star Finance’, the aim of which is for the department to be a Whitehall leader in financial management.  It currently rates itself at 3.5 stars on a 1(low) to 5 (high) scale.  The NAO report confirms this as a sound assessment. 
Press release ~ Full report - Financial Management in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 
ESRC: A fresh approach to public sector leadership is vital if the Scottish Government’s vision of a more successful country is to be realised – especially given challenges such as the current financial situation and a general loss of trust in leaders - according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). ‘Leadership in the Public Sector in Scotlandsuggests that current global concerns around leadership are especially sensitive in Scotland following the major financial services companies fall from grace. 
 
The report identifies a trend of ‘celebrity leadership’; in which leaders are credited with having all the answers and are rewarded as a result.  This has lead to the uproar around their role which has been seen in institutions such as RBS and the Dunfermline Building Society.  In response, says the report, Scotland’s public sector leaders must throw their weight behind collaborative efforts in response to social issues. 
Press release ~ Leadership in the Public Sector in Scotland ~ Centre for Reputation Management through People ~ ESRC Society Today
 
NAO: The National Audit Office has reported that Government departments and local health & social care organisations do not have enough information on numbers of adults with autism.  They also lack a full understanding & awareness of the condition, limiting their ability to plan & deliver services effectively.
 
Autism, which includes Asperger syndrome, is a lifelong condition which affects the way in which people interact with the world around them.  It is estimated that there are around 400,000 adults with autism in England, many of whom may require specialised support.
 
Three quarters of local authorities do not have a specific commissioning strategy for adults with autism. In addition, GPs and social care staff have low awareness of autism and how to diagnose it, with 80% of GPs surveyed reporting that they need additional guidance & training in order to identify and treat patients with autism more effectively.
Press release ~ Supporting people with autism through adulthood ~ The Bercow Review ~ A better future: a consultation on a future strategy for adults with autistic spectrum conditions (Closing date 15 September 2009) ~ DH - Autism ~ National Autistic Society ~ National Centre for Autism Studies at the University of Strathclyde ~ National Autistic Society Scotland ~ Scottish Autism Service Network ~ Scottish Society for Autism ~ 'Services for adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC): good practice advice for primary care trust and local authority commissioners' ~ National Autistic Society - World Autism Day ~ AWARES - the All Wales Autism Resource
 
NAO: A National Audit Office report has found that the Post Office Network Change Programme has largely met its targets and complied with the undertakings given by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. However, the implementation of some of the new Outreach services, planned for 500 locations where conventional post offices are to be closed, is behind schedule.

By March 2009, 2,383 post offices had been closed in the Programme so far, 98% of the final total of 2,435 now planned.  NAO found that the handling of some closures suffered from poor communication, causing resentment among some local customers.
Press release ~ NAO: BERR’s oversight of the Post Office Network Change Programme ~ Post Office Network Change Programme ~ BERR – PO Network Change Programme ~ Outreach services ~ CRC – Post Offices in Rural areas
 
NAO: A report by the National Audit Office has found that the failure of Metronet – a private infrastructure company responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of sections of the London Underground – has led to an estimated direct loss to the taxpayer of between £170m and £410m.  The report found that London Underground’s ability to identify risks & effectively manage the contracts was repeatedly ‘hampered by the poor quality of information available from Metronet’.
 
There has also been an impact on passengers who have not seen all the improvements that were promised in the original timescales, though £4.2bn of maintenance & upgrades were nevertheless delivered by Metronet under the public private partnership contracts. 
 
DfT needs to consider how to reduce future risks to the taxpayer and, with the Mayor of London, how best to ensure effective and efficient delivery of improvements & maintenance of the Underground. 
NAO press release ~ TfL press release ~ NAO: The Department for Transport: The failure of Metronet  ~ London Underground ~ PPP Arbiter
 
DECC: The UK remains on track to almost double its greenhouse gas reduction obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a new report to the United Nations released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) claims.
 
As communities across the globe marked United Nations World Environment Day, the report shows that UK greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be about 23% below 1990 levels by 2010 - well in excess of the target of 12.5% set out under the Kyoto agreement.
 
To help people understand the negotiations at Copenhagen, the Government will soon launch a new website, which will contain information on what it hopes to achieve with a global deal and links to other websites where citizens can sign a number of pledges calling on world Governments to work together to reach agreement.
Press release ~ United Nations World Environment Day ~ UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn ~ The UK’s Fifth National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change ~ Isle of Wight Festival - Eco Actions ~ Road to Copenhagen
 
HA: A new magazine from the Highways Agency is making information & helpful guidelines available to road users who may consider themselves to have a disability. The magazine, called ‘My Way’, aims to help road users stay safe and keep moving.
 
It contains advice on:
* how to plan for a journey
* where to get useful & up-to-date information about road conditions
* some tips to help road users cope in emergency situations
* special considerations for drivers or passengers with disabilities or hearing impairments
Press release ~ HA: My way (scroll down) ~ British Sign Language film ~ My Way Emercency Safety Card ~ Campaigns for Mobilise
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