Best Value poses threat to outsourced service deals

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. The Best Value regime will place severe restrictions on local authorities’ ability to secure favourable terms and conditions for outsourced staff, the national employers’ body has warned.Working closely on HR issues with providers during the tendering process and throughout the life of the contract is desirable but will raise many difficult issues, said Mandy Wright, assistant director of the Employers’ Organisation, in its first annual report.“If we set high requirements but then use our monopoly position or small or new providers’ vulnerability to drive down contract prices, there could be a real risk of poor performance and service or contractor failure in just those services where clients are most vulnerable,” Wright warned.She predicted the need for major changes to the national bargaining and the national employers’ role, and suggested private contractors could not be excluded from some role in pay bargaining and other areas.“It will not be in the best interests of the public to have increased bankruptcies and service failures because we have made agreements that cause general difficulties for providers.”Wright stressed new approaches and strong relationships between councils and external providers would be vital. New and better procurement and commissioning skills would be needed, combined with greater HR expertise.But the Employers’ Organisation has not yet defined the role it will play in improving the process. “Should we work with external providers to develop HR services to support good practice by them?” Wright said. Executive director Charles Nolda said there was evidence of “considerable interest” among authorities of the potential of competency-related pay, despite the fact that “satisfactory experience with individual or team-based performance pay in public services remains elusive”.He also questioned the efficacy of extended pay deals in a low-inflation environment. “For cash-strapped organisations this seems a high price to pay for the relative stability and certainty of a longer deal,” he said.Web Link www.lg-employers.gov.ukManaging Change – Employers’ Organisation annual report, 020-7296 6600 Previous Article Next Article Best Value poses threat to outsourced service dealsOn 20 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Biodiversity of an unknown Antarctic Sea: assessing isopod richness and abundance in the first benthic survey of the Amundsen continental shelf

first_imgConcerted efforts are being made to understand the current and past processes that have shaped Antarctic biodiversity. However, high rates of new species discoveries, sampling patchiness and bias make estimation of biodiversity there difficult. Antarctic continental shelf benthos is better studied in the Ross, Weddell and Scotia seas, whilst the Amundsen Sea has remained biologically unexplored largely because of severe ice conditions year-round. Here we report results from examination of the first benthic biological samples taken from the Amundsen Sea. We compare relative abundance, taxonomic richness and faunal composition of isopod families, and genera and species within two example families (i.e. Desmosomatidae and Nannoniscidae) from the Amundsen Sea with complementary sampling from the Scotia Sea. Benthic samples were taken from inner and outer Pine Island Bay (eastern Amundsen Sea) sites using an epibenthic sledge at 500 m. Similar samples were also collected from 15 Scotia arc sites at 160- to 500-m depths. The relative abundance of isopods in the Amundsen Sea samples was high and surprisingly less variable than across samples in the Scotia Sea. The abundance structure of isopods at family level was compared across different Antarctic seas. We found that in the Amundsen, Scotia and Ross Seas two families dominated abundance. In contrast, isopod abundance reported in the literature from Weddell Sea samples was much more evenly distributed across families. The Amundsen continental shelf isopod fauna appears to be rich, with 96% of individuals belonging to currently undescribed species. Most of the genera have either been described or found elsewhere, but for many of these genera it is the first time they have been recorded away from the Antarctic continental slope or deep sea. The Amundsen Sea assemblages differed greatly from the Scotia Sea sites in terms of both composition and (species and generic) richness. This was largely due to high consistency between samples compared with the highly variable Scotia Sea samples. Thorough biological analyses implementing well-structured geographic sampling regimes and the application of phylogeographic analyses on a variety of taxa are required to further explore the geographic structure of biodiversity and the evolutionary history of the Amundsen Sea.last_img read more

Copa America starts afresh in quarters, says Argentina’s Messi

first_img“They’re quite tough opponents who counter-attack really well and we’ll try to be wise to that,” said Aguero.Coach Lionel Scaloni gave a sober assessment of Argentina’s form after a third straight match in which they struggled for long periods and failed to entirely convince.“We’re satisfied because we’re in the next round … but we have to improve in every aspect,” he said.“Today at times the team played well and rid itself of fear.”And Scaloni hit out at claims back home that the squad was divided.“As long as we’re playing in the Copa, everyone’s pulling for the same side. There must be total unanimity,” he said.“Many players aren’t even 25 yet and it’s a positive thing for them to have played in this match.”However, he was scathing about the state of the Arena do Gremio pitch in Porto Alegre, which will host a both a quarter-final and a semi-final.“You can’t play on this pitch. Even so we tried to play, to press high, we played very well in the second half.”He had kind words for Qatar, who head home after a draw and two defeats from their three group games.“They’re a very worthy team with a great future, with young players,” he said.The Asian champions, who will host the 2022 World Cup, have been invited back to next year’s Copa America, which will be played in Argentina and Colombia.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Lionel MessiPorto Alegre, Brazil | AFP | Argentina will start from afresh in the Copa America after averting disaster with Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Qatar that sent them into the knockout stages, star Lionel Messi said.Goals from the Barcelona icon’s forward partners Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero were enough to propel Argentina from bottom of Group B to second and into a quarter-final meeting with Venezuela on Friday at Rio’s Maracana stadium.“The important thing was to win to keep going in the Copa, to get through the group stage,” said Messi, who will turn 32 on Monday.“This will be an important boost for what’s to come … another Copa begins now.“This victory must give us strength and make us grow as a team.”Argentina’s performance was far from pitch-perfect, but they were good enough to beat a limited Qatar side, who gifted them the opening goal after four minutes when Bassam Hicham played a suicidal ball across his own box straight to Martinez.Messi admitted, though, that there were nerves in the Argentina camp.“It’s tough playing this kind of game due to the necessity, the obligation (to win), the fear of missing out.“But beyond that we played well and went through, which is what matters.”Aguero, who was recalled after he was dropped for the 1-1 draw with Paraguay, had a mixed game alongside Messi and Martinez.He worked hard to create chances for himself but lacked sharpness and precision in his finishing, until his brilliant goal where he burst past two defenders before shooting high into the far corner.“Luckily I was picked to start and luckily at times the three of us worked well together and we won,” he said.– Need to improve –Argentina will now play a side who beat them 3-1 in a friendly in Madrid in March.last_img read more

South Puget Sound Community College Artist & Lecture Series Presents Alina…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by South Puget Sound Community CollegeSouth Puget Sound Community College presents its first 2018-19 Artist & Lecture Series speaker, Alina Fernández, on October 18, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.Fernández is a novelist, activist, and radio show host, internationally famous for her autobiography “Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba.” She will speak of growing up in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s daughter in the political environment of the 1960’s and 70’s and her later departure, as well as provide insight into the country’s future and great potential.Fernández will hold an on-campus Q&A session with students on Thursday afternoon in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Center: “Meet Alina: Q&A with Fidel Castro’s Daughter.”October 18, 2018: 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.Bldg. 22, 2nd FloorTickets to the 7:30 p.m. lecture are available for $10 through the box office at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.The Artist & Lecture Series brings nationally and internationally recognized artists and speakers who offer diverse and innovative views and performances to the campus and local community, giving audience members the chance to broaden their cultural experience.last_img read more

Latest: QPR 0 Bournemouth 0

first_imgCharlie Austin had QPR’s only chance of note during a lacklustre first 20 minutes at Loftus Road.Austin had a header comfortably pushed to safety by ex-Rangers keeper Lee Camp shortly after Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie fired over from long range.Keen for his team to bounce back from Saturday’s surprise defeat at Doncaster, former Bournemouth man Harry Redknapp made major changes.The Rangers boss switched to a 4-4-2 formation, with Andy Johnson up front and on-loan Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll in the starting line-up following his recovery from an ankle injury.The fit-again Junior Hoilett was also given a starting place, with Niko Kranjcar, Matt Phillips and Jermaine Jenas dropping to the bench.QPR (4-4-2): Green; Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto; Carroll, Barton, O’Neil, Hoilett, Johnson, Austin.Subs: Murphy; Traore, Phillips, Jenas, Kranjcar, Henry, Young.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

A’s take next step in turnaround with extensions for Melvin, Forst, Beane

first_imgOAKLAND — For the past few seasons, A’s fans have felt betrayed as they’ve watched management allow talent leave town for bigger and better things elsewhere. In an effort to prove those days are over, the A’s took a major step forward by securing some major talent off the field.Fresh off one of their most satisfying seasons in years, the A’s announced Monday they’re keeping their leadership intact by signing long-term contracts with vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general …last_img read more

Earth Still Privileged Planet

first_imgAstronomers have found over a thousand extrasolar planets now.  How does our solar system compare?  Thanks to the Kepler spacecraft, we now have a catalog of 1,235 alien planet candidates after just four months of operation.  Of the 408 that have been found in multiple-planet systems, 170 of these containing two to six planets have been pictured in a “Kepler Orrery” posted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  The press release says, “most of those look very different than our solar system” (see also 05/21/2011, bullet 2).     The poster is accompanied by an animated version that shows the 170 systems revolving like gears (see also PhysOrg).  Due to selection effects of the transiting method, Kepler has tended to find systems with low inclinations.  These have planets smaller than Neptune, because large gas giants can perturb the orbits of member planets into higher inclinations.  The Kepler team was surprised to find so many multiple-planet systems in their quarry: over 100, when only two or three were expected.  It is still too early, though, to detect earth-mass planets within their stars’ habitable zones.     How do planets form?  The astronomical community has undergone a paradigm revolution in the last decade about planet formation (05/07/2001).  Ever since Laplace, astronomers have assumed that disks of dust and gas will slowly condense into planets (the nebular hypothesis).  The discovery of “hot Jupiters” (gas giants orbiting extremely close to their parent stars) was shocking.  It indicated that planets migrate inward and will quickly be destroyed unless they can form faster than the core accretion model permits.     This was a factor contributing to a newer “disk instability” model that posits clumps within the disk condensing rapidly into planets – a “heretical” view when first proposed (06/03/2003, 03/21/2006).  All such models have problems of their own, however (09/22/2003, 08/27/2004, 08/06/2004, 07/15/2005).  In either case, an upper limit typically given for planet formation has been ten million years or less to avoid the death spiral.     Ten million years now appears too long.  Observations of IC 348, a cluster of stars thought to be two or three million years old, shows that the dust is rapidly depleting in nine disks detected.  Universe Today interpreted what this means: “If planets are forming in IC 348 at the same frequency in which they form in systems astronomers have observed elsewhere, this would seem to suggest that the gravitational collapse model is more likely to be correct since it doesn’t leave a large window in which forming planets could accrete.  If the core accretion model is correct, then planetary formation must have begun very quickly.”  Join Voisey’s headline for the story was, “Want to Make Planets?  Better Hurry.”  The 05/07/2001, 06/03/2003 and 05/21/2009 entries show this has been known to be a problem for at least a decade.     New Scientist commented on the Kepler results.  “Exoplanet systems around other stars are surprisingly flat compared with our own,” reporter Jeff Hecht wrote.  “The discovery means that the solar system must have had a far more colourful history than many of its counterparts and is forcing astronomers to rethink their ideas about the way planetary systems form.”     Another factor essential to life on earth is its magnetic field.  Space.com posted an image of how earth’s magnetic field would look from space.  “This view is conceptual, but based on real science observations that have been made since the beginning of the Space Age,” the article said.  Without a magnetic field, life would be bombarded from “blasts and harmful radiation from the sun.”     In combination with earth’s atmosphere and ozone layer, the transparent atmosphere lets in the benevolent wavelengths for photosynthesis and vision.  See the film The Privileged Planet on Illustra Media’s YouTube channel for numerous other factors that combine on earth to make it not only habitable but an ideal platform for scientific discovery. Take the time to re-read the commentaries from our earlier entries linked above (if only time for one, try 05/21/2009).  There’s not much more to say that’s new, other than that astronomers are no nearer a solution to their problems than they were in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2009, even with the latest Kepler Spacecraft observations.  What does this say about their epistemic status?  Maybe they should go back and reconsider what made Johannes Kepler so delighted with his discoveries.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mbeki condemns attacks

first_imgTamara O’ReillyCalling the events of the last two weeks “an absolute disgrace”, President Thabo Mbeki has publicly condemned the recent spate of violent attacks on foreigners by South Africans.Speaking to the nation via a radio and television broadcast on Sunday 25 May – it also being Africa Day or the day when the African Union was formed – Mbeki said the nation should mark the day with their heads bowed.“Never since the birth of our democracy, have we witnessed such callousness. As part of the reflection that Africa Day requires of all of us, we must acknowledge the events of the past two weeks as an absolute disgrace.”Attacks on foreigners have gained momentum since they began two weeks ago, starting in Johannesburg and spreading to Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. Media reports around the world have featured shocking images of violence against foreigners, including cold-blooded acts of murder, brutal assault, looting and destruction of their property.Attackers are claiming that foreigners provide cheap labour, robbing South Africans of jobs and that they are responsible for crime. But whatever the reasons, says Mbeki, these attacks are unacceptable and senseless. “Whatever concerns exist, including those about housing, jobs and so on, these can and must be addressed in a manner that is consistent with the dignified, humane and caring characteristics that define the majority of our people – not through criminal means. They must be addressed through the structures of our democratic system.”According to police reports, so far 50 foreigners have been killed, about 35 000 have been displaced and thousands who are here legally, illegally or as asylum seekers are leaving the country. It is believed that about three million foreigners live in South Africa.The president’s broadcast came amid accusations from political leaders and analysts that Mbeki has not done enough to deal with the attacks. “It was a very good speech but belated,” said analyst Sipho Seepe of the South African Institute of Race Relations on public radio SABC on Monday. “The challenge is not about condemnation it’s about taking steps immediately when there is mayhem in the country.”Last week Mbeki called in the South African National Defence Force to quell the outbreak of violence in provinces around the country and citizens and various organisations have rallied together to provide shelter and food for those displaced by the attacks. Mbeki added that although these attacks taint the country’s image, not all South Africans should be painted with the same brush.“Many of our people, black and white, have come out to condemn this barbarity, offering food, shelter and clothing to those affected,” said Mbeki. “We commend and thank all these patriots and appeal to them to continue their good work, to reject and isolate the criminals in our midst and extend a hand of friendship to our foreign guests who are nothing more than our fellow human beings.”Mbeki said that South Africans should not forget that the county’s democracy was achieved through support from other African countries. “We must never forget that our economy was built by the combined labour of Africans drawn from all countries of our region, many of whom died in our mines together with their fellow South African workers.“Neither should we forget that many people from other African countries helped to build our liberation movement, while many in our region died because of apartheid aggression as they supported us in the struggle to defeat apartheid.”Tutu apologises for inhumanityArchbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, well known as an outspoken champion of human rights, last week expressed his sorrow over the violence. “I want to apologise, to ask for forgiveness on behalf of our people,” said Tutu. “I am deeply, deeply sorry. I want to apologise that we could be so inhuman. Please, please, I call on our people, don’t let us dehumanise ourselves. We are acting contrary to our best nature. We are acting contrary to those we should be showing gratitude to who helped us become what we are, a free nation.”Kgalema Motlanthe, Member of Parliament and deputy president of the ruling African National Congress, told local and international journalists and media players at the International Media Forum that the ANC unequivocally condemns such acts.“It becomes the natural obligation of all South Africans to condemn these barbaric acts and we call on all South Africans to take a stand against such acts and condemn them as hate crimes,” said Mothlante. “They can only take our society backwards … these attacks across our townships are not only an attack on foreigners, but an attack on the values of our civil society. We call on all our leaders to unite to call a halt to these senseless attacks.”Useful linksSouth African Government InformationBua NewsRelated articlesTutu condemns attacks Hate violence must end: Mbekilast_img read more

Experiments on Indias mind WI look to avoid whitewash

first_imgGuyana: The series pocketed, India are likely to experiment with their line-up in pursuit of a whitewash when they take on an embattled West Indies in the third and final T20 International here on Tuesday. India concluded the two-match US leg of the series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead after notching up a 22-run win in the second game on Sunday. Their performance wasn’t the most fluent in the first match but Virat Kohli and his men were back to being a dominant force in the second match, though, the outcome was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method after thunderstorm and consequent rain did not allow the game to continue. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhWhile the batting line-up may not change much, India may try a new combination in bowling. “…sealing the series gives the chance to bring few guys in. Idea is always going to be to win first. But winning the first two games gives the cushion,” Kohli said after Sunday’s win. It will not be a surprise if KL Rahul is drafted into the playing XI, replacing the struggling Rishabh Pant. The young Delhi batsman managed scores of 4 and 0 in the first two matches. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSkipper Kohli has backed Pant to the hilt and it will be interesting to see if the 21-year-old rising star gets another chance. Neither Rohit Sharma nor Shikhar Dhawan are likely to be rested. For Dhawan, it’s his first series after missing the World Cup due to a thumb fracture and since he has not scored many runs in the first two matches, he will be eager to get some before the ODIs and Tests. There is a strong possibility that leg-break bowler Rahul Chahar may make the cut in place of young paceman Navdeep Saini. Deepak Chahar, cousin of Rahul, may also find a place in the playing XI and Ravindra Jadeja could be the one who is rested. For hosts, putting up a coherent performance remains a challenge. Considered a force in the shortest format, they have not lived up to their reputation. The likes of Kieron Pollard and skipper Carlos Brathwaite are due a big knock. If they can manage to walk away with a win on Tuesday, it will be a confidence-booster for the side ahead of the ODIs and Tests.last_img read more