General Reports and Other Publications

Newswire – EC: The Electoral Commission has published its statutory report on the UK Parliamentary and English local elections on 6 May 2010.  Although the Commission found that the elections were well run in the vast majority of constituencies, it recommends immediate action to ensure voter confidence for future elections.
The report outlines an agenda for the UK Government that needs to be implemented over the next 5 years, aimed at ensuring future confidence in the electoral process.
Press release ~ Copy of the report
STFC: An international team of researchers, including several from the UK, at the U.S Department of Energy's Fermilab have announced results at the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Paris, that indicate that the quest to discover the elusive Higgs boson particle has taken a giant leap forward, drawing closer to answering questions on the makeup of the Universe.
These latest results, which were obtained by the scientists at Fermilab's DZero and CDF projects, significantly narrow down the possible mass range of the Higgs boson particle, ruling out a quarter of the mass range that has previously been thought possible.
Press release ~ Fermilab
NAO: The National Audit Office has concluded that, by setting up an Infrastructure Financing Unit, HM Treasury helped reactivate the lending market for private finance projects which was putting government PFI programmes in doubt as a result of the credit crisis.

While the extra finance costs for projects in 2009 were value for money in the short term to achieve the government objective of stimulating the economy, the Treasury should not presume that continuing the use of private finance at current rates will be value for money.
Press release ~ NAO: Financing PFI projects in the credit crisis and the Treasury's response ~ Infrastructure Financing Unit
ScotGov: First Minister Alex Salmond wrote last week to Senator Robert Menendez of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, responding to his 5 questions in relation the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, which Senator Menendez chaired. Last week, Mr Salmond issued a substantive letter to Senator John Kerry, which Senator Kerry described as ‘thoughtful and thorough’.
Press release ~ View all information and documents relating to the Lockerbie case ~ Correspondence from the Scottish Government to the UK Government ~ Ministry of Justice - correspondence ~ Foreign and Commonwealth Office - correspondence ~ The Cabinet Secretary for Justice's evidence to the committee ~ Scotland and the UK: cooperation and communication between governments ~ Correspondence with the US Government regarding publication of documents ~ Information and documents relating to the Lockerbie case
NAO: The Children & Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) could have responded more quickly & cost effectively to the large & sustained increase in care cases from local authorities following the Baby Peter tragedy, had it fully resolved known organisational challenges, according to a report by the National Audit Office.  

But Cafcass’s management could not have predicted the sustained increase in care cases from November 2008.  It is now implementing a £10m transformation programme that should allow it to improve how it deals with future fluctuations in demand.  In order to be successful, these changes will require greater organisational cohesiveness and improvements in staff morale.
Press release ~ NAO: Cafcass’s response to increased demand for its services
Newswire – Demos: The system of excluding badly behaved pupils from school should be abolished because it punishes vulnerable children, according to Demos.  New government statistics show that 6,550 students in primary, secondary & special education schools were permanently excluded in 2008/09, a figure that the independent think tank classes as ‘6,550 too many’.

The current exclusion rules, which hand difficult pupils over to local authorities, are used too often and usually affect children with special educational needs who need extra support, according to a report published by Demos earlier this year.  The Ex Curricula report called for difficult children to remain the responsibility of the head teacher and be dealt with through special support within the school.
Press release ~ Demos: Ex Curricula
Newswire – AC: As Lord Hutton’s review of public sector pensions gets under way, the Audit Commission published the results of its research into the largest of them all - the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

The Commission’s paper Local Government Pensions in England addresses a major financial issue for local government, affecting the cost of council services and influencing future council tax levels.
Press release ~ AC: Local Government Pensions in England ~ PCS: Facts about pay & pensions ~ NAO: The cost of public service pensions ~ TUC – Pay up for pensions ~ TUC Briefing on pension myth ~ Pension Policy Institute - An assessment of the Government's reforms to public sector pensions
BIS: The Government has published two command papers setting out its response to reports published during the previous Parliament by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on Impact of spending cuts on science & scientific research and the Lords Science and Technology Select Committee on Setting priorities for publicly funded research.
Press release ~
ESRC: A study by a team of researchers at Bangor University has designed & tested two programmes that help problem drinkers curb their alcohol abuse.  The study shows positive results after drinkers have followed either the Alcohol Attention-Control Training Programme (AACTP) or the Life Enhancement and Advancement Programme (LEAP).
Press release ~ Effects of attentional and motivational training on reducing excessive drinking
BIS: Commenting on the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Internocracy on unpaid internships, Minister for Universities & Science, David Willetts said: "We will be considering the IPPR report carefully over the coming weeks. "Young people have been the biggest victims of the recession.  We are committed to helping them get into work and realise their ambitions.  Internships can contribute to this, but the exploitation of interns is unacceptable and employment legislation must not be breached”.
Press release ~ IPPR press release and link to report
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