General Reports and Other Publications
WWF: Doughty Hanson & Co, one of the largest independent private equity firms in Europe, has partnered with the WWF to launch a new report (Private Equity and Responsible Investment: An Opportunity for Value Creation) highlighting the increased returns that private equity firms can generate from a more sustainable approach to investing.
The report argues that private equity companies are particularly well placed to promote sustainable business practices through active management of their portfolio companies – and they are increasingly being encouraged to do so by investors. It shows how a responsible investment approach can create additional value for all stakeholders and reduces the financial & reputational risks to which they are exposed.
NHS Confed: A new report from the NHS Confederation Ambulance Service Network says that ambulance services see the move from time targets to outcomes as a major opportunity to improve care for patients in rural areas. However, ambulance services are concerned that without clarity over commissioning arrangements, the potential to improve care will be lost as confusion and conflicting priorities make it impossible for ambulance services to offer consistent standards of care to patients.
PC&PE: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its 54th report of Session 2010-12, on the basis of evidence from consumer groups, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Office of Fair Trading, and the Trading Standards Institute.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, yesterday said: "Consumers are being ripped off to the tune of £7bn a year by sellers of defective goods, dodgy doorstep traders and online fraudsters. But the arrangements for protecting victims are incoherent and fragmented. …. Too often cases of consumers being ripped off fall through the cracks between enforcement bodies. …. most Trading Standards Services are too poorly resourced to take on regional work”.
DfT: A comprehensive report on the availability & use of lorry parking facilities in England has been published by Roads Minister Mike Penning. The final report gives hauliers, councils & potential private sector investors a comprehensive picture of the demand for lorry parking & facilities easily accessible from the strategic road network as well as identifying hotspots where there is currently inadequate supply to meet demand.
NO: The Local Government Ombudsman last week warned school admission authorities that they face criticism when faults by a school admission appeal panel result in an unfair hearing, causing injustice to the parents and the child concerned.
The Ombudsman also welcomed the Government’s publication of revised draft codes of practice on school admissions & appeals, which follows a consultation on proposals to overhaul a system which is too often complex, confusing and unfair for parents.
IISS: The latest Strategic Comment from the International Institute for Strategic Studies highlights how ‘abductions of tourists from Kenyan holiday resorts have drawn renewed attention to the problem posed by Somali pirates’.
PC&PE: Governance at the Bank of England must be strengthened to reflect its new powers, MPs on the Commons Treasury Committee have demanded in a report published recently.
Demos: The largest study of online supporters of populist movements across Europe has identified a new generation of populist activists in 12 European countries, at odds with mainstream politics and determined to counter what they see as an erosion of cultural identity.
CIPD: The latest report from the CIPD’s Next Generation HR research project research project emphasises the primary purpose of HR in driving sustainable performance.
HO: Minimum annual pay is the best way to select which highly skilled migrant workers should be eligible for settlement, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended. In a separate report the MAC has also advised that relaxing the current employment restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania would cause further disruption to the UK labour market.
IISS: The International Institute for Strategic Studies reports that, even as official campaigning for the 28 November 2011 national elections began, the talk of the town in Cairo has been the controversial frameworkput forward by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (the de facto ruling body) to guide the drafting of the new constitution. reports that, even as official campaigning for the national elections began, the talk of the town in Cairo has been the put forward by the(the de facto ruling body) to guide the drafting of the new constitution.
CCC: The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that the UK’s share of international shipping could account for up to 11% of total emissions permitted under the Climate Change Act by 2050.
NAO: A report by the National Audit Office has shown that, where comparable data is available, course outcomes for young people aged 16-25 receiving special educational support are improving at similar or better rates than those for all students within this age group. This performance has been achieved while known average special education funding per head has decreased in schools & further education colleges.
FRC: The Sharman Panel of Inquiry, established at the invitation of the Financial Reporting Council to consider Going Concern and Liquidity Risks: Lessons for companies and auditors, published its preliminary report & recommendations recently.
CBI: Sentiment has fallen sharply among the UK's small and medium-sized manufacturers, as firms predict a slight decline in production over the next 3 months in response to the CBI’s latest quarterlySME Trends Survey.
TWF: A report published last week by The Work Foundation and Private Equity Foundation has uncovered 10 blackspots for youth disengagement - cities where between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The recession exacerbated this problem, with the largest increases in NEET rates in those cities which already had high levels.
LBRO: Priority Regulatory Outcomes, a new approach towards refreshing the national enforcement priorities for England, has been launched by LBRO. The final report, including the new priorities and information on using the priorities, can be found on the LBRO website.
WAG: Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Children, has reacted to the publication of the final findings of the Family Justice Review, pledging that “The Welsh Government will respond to the findings of the Panel by the end of the year.”
EA: The Environment Agency has added its voice to Government’s support for the Thames Tunnel project, following a statement to Parliament by Defra minister Richard Benyon. Currently up to 39m cubic metres of raw sewage is discharged annually into the tidal Thames by Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
EH: Finding the most stunning winter plants in the garden will no longer be a challenge at Belsay Hall & Gardens in Northumberland, thanks to a new joint initiative between English Heritage and the University of the Third Age (U3A).
IfG: A new report from the Institute for Government warns that the run up to the next General Election could be fractious with tensions growing amongst the Coalition partners as they step up campaigning. In Transitions: Lessons Learned Peter Riddell and Catherine Haddon revisit the General Election and its immediate aftermath.