AdSlot1 weekly news focus: Public Services

E-business, as ever, was in the spotlight as the government set out its future vision of ‘e-citizen, e-business, e-government’ when it published a draft of its plan for an ‘information age government’.

Public Accounts Commission chairman Robert Sheldon is in hospital, who also chairs the committee on standards and privileges, remains critically ill in hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack.

A report from the Audit Commission has highlighted the need for strong accounting with the introduction of the government’s best value regime. The commission warned the abolition of compulsory competitive tendering could lead to weakening financial discipline unless good reporting is maintained.

A double warning has been issued to public sector finance directors that they risk marginalisation and may lose their strategic roles on local authority management teams. The Audit Commission warned FDs that do not closely monitor the finances of trading units that they risk managing the services in an ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unacceptable’ way.

Meanwhile CIPFA said FDs could find themselves ‘downgraded’ as senior management teams are restructured to accommodate new cabinet style executives under local government reforms.

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