General Reports and Other Publications

OFT: The Office of Fair trading (OFT) has published its report into credit card comparisons, which makes a series of recommendations to help consumers choose a credit card.  The report follows a super-complaint from Which? that highlighted that consumers choose credit cards without understanding all the issues that affect the cost of the card.
 
OFT research shows that 70% of credit card holders did not shop around before selecting their current card, and that this meant they could be placing themselves at a financial disadvantage. Research into the report involved looking at issues surrounding the comparative costs of using different credit cards for purchases, cash advances, introductory offers and payment allocation.
Press release ~ Credit card comparisons - A report by the Office of Fair Trading ~ Which? – Credit Cards overview ~ Credit cards made clear: FSA Money made clear ~ Buying on credit: options, pros and cons: Directgov
 
CLG: The Government claims that a new independent report shows that the £2bn New Deal for Communities programme is ‘delivering real improvements to people's lives, raising satisfaction and bridging the gap between some our most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of England’.
 
In all 32 of 36 indicators used show improvement with a more mixed picture in the other four.  The report shows that ‘evidence of change at the area level is overwhelmingly positive’.
Press release ~ New Deal for Communities: A synthesis of new programme wide evidence: 2006-07 ~ Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research (CRESR) ~ New Deal for Communities programme
 
QCA: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has published two reports on the examinations system:
* Report on the performance of awarding bodies 2007 and
* GCSEs and A levels: the experiences of teachers, students, parents and the general public, an update on trends to 2007
 
The National Assessment Agency's National curriculum assessments - 2007 maladministration report has also been published.
Press release ~ Report on the performance of awarding bodies 2007 ~ GCSEs and A levels: the experiences of teachers, students, parents and the general public, an update on trends to 2007 ~ National Assessment Agency's National curriculum assessments - 2007 maladministration report ~ National Assessment Agency
 
HM Treasury: HM Treasury has launched two new publications produced by a number of influential government advisors on financial management:
* Doing the Business: Embedding Financial Management Skills in Government
* Managing Performance in the Public Sector - an external perspective
 
Commenting on the publication, Dame Mary Keegan, Head of Government Finance Profession, said:
"We believe that the advice in these reports may be of considerable assistance to departments and their delivery bodies throughout the wider public sector".
Press release   ~ Government Finance Profession
 
ESRC: Due to cash shortages, public, not private, childcare provision is the only option for many working class parents who are in employment. In many communities in the UK, childcare is available through public, voluntary & private nursery provision and through a network of home-based childminders.
 
However, although affluent middle class parents are in a position to choose their preferred childcare option, research funded by the Economic and Research Council (ESRC), has highlighted that working class parents, constrained by low income, are largely restricted to state-run day nurseries only.
Press release ~  ‘Local Childcare Cultures: Working class families and pre-school child care’ ~ ESRC Society Today ~ Centre for Critical Education Policy Studies at the Institute of Education
 
BNSC: The British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have issued a report from the Joint Working Group (JWG) on lunar exploration that outlines next steps in possible UK - US space exploration co-operation.
 
A key area of co-operation under consideration is a mission to understand the Moon's structure, listen for 'Moonquakes' and trial the lunar cell-phone network of the future. See also ‘In the News’ section for other related item.
Press release ~ Joint Working Group report on lunar co-operation ~ British National Space Centre (BNSC) ~ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ~ Science and Technology Facilities Council ~ ESA 'ExoMars' project
Universal Credit...meeting the verification challenge and cutting costs...find out more