General Reports and Other Publications

IISS: Amid suggestions that some states were skilfully manipulating currencies not merely for economic gain, but also as 'a form of asymmetric warfare', the Third International Institute for Strategic Studies Geo-economics Conference sought to examine whether nations could indeed deploy currency mechanisms to amass & exercise power.
Press release & links
NOSouthampton City Council wrongly charged an elderly woman’s family ‘top-up’ fees for her residential care, finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin. 

In her report she says that, in line with Government guidance: “because no accommodation was available at the Council’s ‘usual rate’, the Council should have paid to accommodate the woman elsewhere and should not have sought additional fees beyond the assessed contribution.”
Press release & links
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has published a report into the governance of the University of the Highlands & Islands. This sets out a proposed structure for the management of the university.
Press release & links
CSJ: According to a new report from a leading think-tank critical of the Government’s failure to do more to tackle family breakdown; Families headed by married couples will be in a minority by 2050.
The report from the Centre for Social Justice concedes that there have been some ‘promising’ moves by Ministers to promote family stability, such as the publication of their Social Justice Strategy and the release of public money to provide relationship support.  

But overall the CSJ is deeply dismayed by the lack of progress since the Coalition was formed in 2010, warning that official efforts to promote stable families are ‘dwarfed by the scale and cost of family breakdown’.
Press release ~ Forgotten Families?: The vanishing Agenda
CHIf the oil & gas industry is to evolve & prosper it must undergo a transformation as radical and profound as that of the 1970s, says a new report from Chatham House.   What Next for the Oil and Gas Industry? examines how long-term changes in the business environment, technological developments, climate change mitigation policies and the new geopolitics of oil are forcing seismic change upon the industry.
The report finds that the threat of 'oil running out' - for years regarded as the second big turning point facing the industry - is no longer an imminent prospect, with 'peak oil' increasingly looking like a misleading notion.  

On the contrary, it is demand that is nearing a plateau, at least in developed countries.  And with reserves of oil & gas having more than doubled since 1980, the problem is not finite resources, but rather the rate at which these very large resources can be converted into reserves.
Press release & links
Ofsted: A report published recently by Ofsted highlights the benefits & pitfalls of partnership working in music education. The report, Music in schools: sound partnerships, was commissioned by the Department for Education in November 2011 as part of the National Plan for Music Education.
Press release & links
PC&PE: The Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published its Report - Financial viability of the social housing sector: introducing the Affordable Homes Programme
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPA, said: “We welcome the 80,000 homes due to be built under the Affordable Homes Programme, but have serious concerns about the impact of financing the scheme partly through higher rents on the Housing Benefit bill and on affordability for tenants.
Press release & links
Socitm: Public service managers should be thinking hard about implications of 4G now that 3G has made mobile internet use routine. In 4G mobile telephony: coming to a town near you? Socitm Insight sets out the challenges & opportunities and provides advice about what local public service organisations need to do about them.
Press release & links
ESRC: In the developing world social movements led by urban, rural and often indigenous people who are opposed to projects they regard as inappropriate & exploitative can be very effective.  Research jointly supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department of International Development (DFID) suggests that in Peru and other developing nations, it is possible for social movements to drive real change.
Press release & links
NHS Confed: NHS commissioners should use a 'dual carriageway' approach to roll out personal health budgets (PHBs), ensuring they complement arrangements already used in social care, according to a new publication by the NHS Confederation.
Joint personal budgets: a new solution to the problem of integrated care? introduces the idea of joint personal budgets for health & social care. The paper details a ‘dual carriageway’ approach to budgets which has been piloted in a number of areas throughout England.  
This approach has allowed people to have a single assessment of their health & social care needs, and one budget to manage their care.  It aims to provide a seamless integrated health & care package without the need for a formal pooling of budgets or structural system integration across the NHS and local authorities.
Press release & links
Multi-Agency Collaboration in UK Government: Latest report