Roundtable Debate: UK Public Sector Shared Services – Where Now and Where Next?

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Sharing services has risen up the agendas of the UK’s national and local governments in recent years, propelled by political and financial trends as well as by more concrete factors such as Sir Peter Gershon’s 2004-5 Efficiency Review and Sir David Varney’s report on transformational government. In an attempt to throw some light on recent developments and to examine where shared services may be headed in future, SSON convened a roundtable debate involving a group of practitioners and advisors at local and national level, chaired by SSON’s online editor Jamie Liddell. The results were, indeed, illuminating…

Attending were:

Tony Isaacs Programme Manager Warwickshire Direct Partnership The Warwickshire Direct Partnership is an alliance comprising all six local authorities in the county of Warwickshire: North Warwickshire Borough Council; Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council; Rugby Borough Council; Stratford District Council; Warwick District Council; Warwickshire County Council; and three private-sector partners in Steria, MacFarlane Telesystems and Northgate Information Systems. The partnership includes a shared services programme relating to its CRM [citizen-relationship management] system. For more information see

Dominic Swift Head of Shared Services Browne Jacobson Browne Jacobson is one of the largest law firms in the Midlands with offices in Nottingham, Birmingham and London. The firm acts for over 100 local authorities, either directly or through their insurers. It recently published its Shared Services Survey ’08, one of the most comprehensive surveys ever carried out into shared services in the UK. For more information see

Peter Telford Chief Executive Officer Research Councils UK Shared Services Centre Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership between the seven UK Research Councils. RCUK was established in 2002 to enable the Councils to work together more effectively to enhance the overall impact and effectiveness of their research, training and innovation activities, contributing to the delivery of the Government’s objectives for science and innovation. For more information on the RCUK Shared Services Centre see

Ray Tomkinson Local Government Improvement Specialist and Shared Services Author Ray Tomkinson is the author of Shared Services in Local Government: Improving Service Delivery (Gower, 2007). Ray managed the Welland Partnership shared services project and currently operates as a consultant.

SSON: Peter, you’re at the head of one of the more prominent national shared services centres [SSCs]. Can you explain a little about the drivers behind the move in your organisation?

Peter Telford: Behind the Research Council’s business case are benefits focusing on what are seen as financial gains which will be passed back to research and the research community, but probably more importantly in the early stages is the feeling that we can secure better effectiveness in business support to that research community by aggregating the seven Research Councils’ services onto one common platform, and transforming them. The business case started with an outline about two years ago. There was a lot of work done on certain parts of the shared service model even before that, but the activity’s really come together in the last two years. The full business …

Land & Property Law in Thailand

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Thailand is an incredible country much famed for its serenity and rich culture. In fact, the country is much popular among the tourists, and is now the number one tourist spot in South-East Asia. With its mind blowing scenery, stupendous beaches, idyllic tropical islands, and a myriad of attractions covering palaces, ancient shrines, interesting museums, historic monuments, and places of cultural significance, Thailand has been drawing holidaymakers from across the world per year.

Of which many of the people, especially Europeans and Americans, settle down here permanently, inspired by the incredibility of the place. Some westerns have even chosen certain destinations in Thailand such as Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Phuket, to spend their retirement life.

Factors such as exceptional low prices and excellent investment potential have also lured large number of people to invest in the country’s property market. All these have led to increased demand for property in Thailand. Property market in Thailand is highly active, with a number of options, ranging from land and houses to condominiums, villas, and serviced apartments. Discussed further in this article are laws as well as procedures involved in connection with owning a property in Thailand.

The laws with regard to owning a property in the country is quite confusing. A foreigner cannot easily own a property in Thailand. In other words, Thai law strictly prohibits a foreigner to own a freehold land in the country. However, there are certain loopholes in the law regarding this issue. A foreigner can own a land or property in the country through a number of ways such as land leases, company ownership, investments, and above all, through Thai spouse.

Land Leases – Although Thai law prohibits land ownership rights to people, foreigners are allowed to hold 100% interest in a land lease in the country. In other words, land lease is one of the simplest as well as straightforward options for a foreigner to acquire a property in Thailand. According to the Thai lease law, a maximum of 30-year lease year is provided, and that too with the option to renew the lease for an additional period of 30 years.

Additionally, lands for commercial as well as industrial purposes could be leased up to a period of 50 years, with options for further extension of lease. All kinds of land lease must be registered with the Land Development. However, it is not required to register leases up to three years. It has been made mandatory to register any kind of lease renewal that has been agreed upon with the land owners at the local land office.

Company Ownership – Registered companies in Thailand with majority Thai ownership could buy land in Thailand. In general, only Thai majority companies are allowed to own land in the country. However, in certain instances, the Board of Investment (BOI) allows a foreign registered company registered in the country to own a land for a short period of time.

Thai Spouse – A Thai wife of a foreigner is allowed to …

Review: Scott Monge, Atlanta Legal Counsel for Catastrophic Injuries

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A catastrophic injury has long term repercussions for not only its victim, but for the family of the victim. Their lives will never be the same again. Atlanta accident attorney Scott Monge will help to ease the burden by bringing those responsible to justice.

Finding the right legal counsel for  a catastrophic injury is crucial to obtaining the maximum benefits you and your family needs to deal with the long term medical care and support you will need in the future. Getting a general lawyer is not an option.

Scott Monge is not a generalist; he deals only with personal injury claims so his understanding of what it takes to win a catastrophic injury case is deep and focused. He understands the injuries themselves because of many years dealing with clients, their doctors and the insurance companies who are unwilling to pay. But he will make whoever is responsible for your catastrophic injury pay dearly.

Scott Monge is not the kind of lawyer who counsels you to settle out of court with a lowball offer just to make his job easy. He has built up a solid reputation with his clients and in the Atlanta law community for caring. He will prosecute those whose negligence or recklessness lead to you or your family member’s injury to the full extent of the law, and will answer phone calls and keep you informed every step of the way.

He has won court cases against giants of industry, including major chains such as Wal-Mart, Publix and Home Depot.

Catastrophic injuries lead to partial or total permanent disabilities. They include but are not limited to :

•    Brain injuries
•    Amputations
•    Severe back injuries
•    Spinal cord injuries
•    Paralysis
•    Hearing loss
•    Vision loss
•    Scarring
•    Disfigurement

These types of injuries are a huge emotional and financial drain on a family. A family member might have to give up employment to become the full time caretaker of the injured claimant. The loss of livelihood in that case is double, which has repercussions in terms of missed opportunities for any children in the family as they age.
Scott Monge also understands the toll of dealing with a devastating injury takes as well. Many families and victims simply don’t have the drive to seek justice, because they are struggling from the mental and emotional fallout of the accident. He will relieve this burden by fighting aggressively on their behalf.

If you or a family member was injured because of:

•    Faulty equipment,
•    Tainted food,
•    Hazardous working conditions,
•    A car or truck accident,
•    A work-related accident,
•    A slip and fall incident while shopping,
•    A landlord’s negligence (premise liability)

Then give Scott Monge a call. He will come to you if you cannot come to him. He makes hospital visits as well as house visits to anywhere in Georgia, and is available in the evenings and on the weekend. The initial consultation is free, and he does not …

Best Lawyers

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Hire Best Lawyer to Saves your Money and Cost 

In the event that any time a person receives imprisoned or maybe charged using an offense, the requirement associated with attorney is a no-brainer to the man or women. Yet folks require guide or maybe attorney constantly. Persons hire Best Lawyers to his/her assistance along with receiving benefit of their particular experience. Generally folks hire attorney any time their particular freedom or maybe fund usually are really in peril. Through using the services of a lawyer folks will delight in using advantages:

  1. Persons enjoy the advantages of experience knowledge of the attorney at law. Legal professionals include total knowledge of the judge system along with be aware of the quality items associated with legislations. This will be associated with great assist with these people.
  2. . Legal professionals realize the decide along with prosecutor perfectly. They have experience of functioning ad discussing with him or her. This will confirm beneficial to you to acquire the way it is.
  3. An attorney argues for you with judge that your regular human who doesn’t include lawful know-how can’t do. He/she breezes judge paperwork pertaining to his/her buyers along with makes it sure each of the deadlines usually are attained.
  4. Handful of circumstances demands an investigation. A fantastic attorney will locate witnesses or maybe obtain almost all evidences which have been important for the win.

Items that Persons Must does Just before Selecting Any Lawyer- Below are the actions that can help folks in their trip associated with using the services of the Best Lawyers:

  • Go from the record: About web you may find a number of web sites and receive the specifics of excellent law firms. In the listings associated with law firms in most of these internet sites you may simply select the just one. They are reliable internet sites. The actual law firms who definitely are detailed from most of these internet sites usually are accredited. Hence it would be secure for you personally. Yet after you meet the attorney make sure you professionally check out their particular driving license.
  • Check your financial allowance along with select reliability: You will discover each sort of law firms — who charge high costs or maybe other people who costs realistic prices. It’ll be the top selection to pick a lawyer that’s with your funds. This doesn’t signify the attorney at law who costs large costs is the best. Persons should watch out for cheaters. You ought to make it sure the cause that anyone hires a lawyer is credible.
  • Background check out: Persons should request experience of the attorney. They must check out if the attorney at law provides experience of handling the circumstances just like the event. This ensures that the attorney at law is encounter along with skilled sufficient to be able to deal along with manage the event.
  • Ask pertaining to opinions associated with past buyers: You have to start a reference point check out concerning the attorney that you have

Why we should open our eyes and believe in our Angels

Posted on Posted in society

The importance of believing in Angels.

What if this society was just an illusion, made to create fear and negativity and to blind people from truth that our world still can be a world of love and peace? From an angels point of an angel, this way of life can be made perfect by just looking to find love in every situation. Today, there is constant fear being placed upon people by making people feel the need to conform to every day living that which society teaches us to be, we are constantly told to live by the laws of the land, to make our journey to work and leave no time to relax. We are taught to struggle, life is hard and every day living is a gimick to make you feel under pressure,sad and unavailable to recieve love, forgiveness and abundance to name a few.

From the moment we are born we are taught the way our forefathers have handed it down to us, we are told to live in a society which is non compliant to the rules of love. We are told we cannot feel the beauty of others only if it’s surface and not beauty from within, we are taught to judge harshly and follow suit. We are taught that life is hard and so get on with it, we are taught that we have to be serious to get by, because if you laugh it won’t last long. Society strips us of free will and it serves no purpose, except for the reason of living for money.

Does this make sense?

On the other hand, there is love a sensation that few only sample for a few moments or a few years, we fear it will never last, we are stripped bear to the notion that disbelief wrecks lives. Love is the secret of all things, from the moment you wake up, love is what dwells within us, love is what the energy we use to keep us alive. Most of us never believe in love because it’s been told that it is something that we know little of.  Then we are introduced to our Angels, they are the powers behind the curtain of the illusion which is being disolved as we speak. At spiritual horizons we were entrusted to extend the love that we were taught and send it onwards to each of you, just like beacon of light.

Our Angels are eager to teach you about what love really is, what it can do for you, who is love and how love can change your love around. See Angels as extended arms from your creator which reach down to each one of you, young or old and makes peace with who you are.  Through angel lessons which are socratic in nature, step by step in ruling and nurtured by a graceful achievement, they will teach you the fundamentals of leaving the unwanted behind. Become sacred from a heavens view, you are needed …

The History of Sun Tanning and Skincare

Posted on Posted in society

As far back as recorded history man has had this unusual, special and reverent respect for the environment, especially the sun. This can be seen in primitive societies where people even worshipped it because doing so could warm their souls and also gave them a full harvest. During modern times, people revere it because it makes them feel better. It also provides needed energy and is important for mental and physical operations.

However, what is undeniably obvious with society today is the love for sun tanning. Although this kind of activity hasn’t always been historically popular, it has constantly been a very common practice, even amongst people of different cultures. If you’re curious about the history of sun tanning, read on and learn how people started this kind of obsession with golden brown skin.

It’s All About The Skin

So, what exactly is it about having bronzed skin that pushes you and many other people to sit under the sun for long hours? Both women and men have been on the pursuit for darker skin for years now; however, the days of this well loved activity actually go back further in time than anyone probably realized.

It is definite that civilization today is not the first to take advantage of the rays that the sun gives off, nor is it the first to present a love of showing off golden-brown skin.

Worshipping the sun has been a practice ever since the time of the Sumerians, Romans and Greeks. Although it could be quite arguable and hard to pin point which of them were the ones who started this fad and when it really started, most books that you read would tell you just the same.

The Sun God And His So-Called Wonders

It was believed that the Roman Mythology’s god of the sun is Helios, which is where “heliotherapy” was coined. This activity is a therapeutic exposure to the sun and a term that is widely used today. Ancient civilization used to engage in tanning because they believed it made them more attractive. It’s also said that people who engaged in it felt healthier than before. Hence, they praised the sun because it has the ability to “cure” various illnesses at that time.

It’s A Cycle

The popularity of tanning is considered to be a cycle. There was a period in time in which having bronze skin was not a status symbol. The popularity of having pale looking skin hit the market for some time, but, just like other trends, having tanned skin came back and remains until now.

The Downfall Of Sunbathing

The point in time when having brown skin had a decline is when having a paler skin became a status symbol. This is because most royal blood in various civilizations avoided the sun and enjoyed having paler skin. Having colored skin on the other hand became a status that was associated with slaves or other lower class people. Hence, as the 10th century came, people, especially women, …

Rights When Arrested: Know Your Rights

Posted on Posted in law

Getting arrested can be a life-changing experience and getting through the bail bonds process is only a start—once you get released, there are many responsibilities you will have to deal with your legal issues and recapture control of your life. 

Along the way, there are many processes and some bureaucracy you’ll have to get through in order to get back on your feet. Many of these processes, however, are actually in place to protect your inalienable rights as an American citizen. 

Here is a list of a few of your inherent rights that can help you deal with the overall process.

The Right to Fair Bail

The very purpose of bail bonds in America is to allow the release of prisoners who may not be guilty.  Trials are lengthy and can take months to actually occur in a court of law.  In order to prevent the loss of employment or neglect of family responsibilities, bail exists to allow all arrested citizens to tend to their personal business and adequately prepare for their trial. Plus, this prevents the overcrowding of county jails.

A bail bonds company will alleviate this process by covering your entire bail amount.  Ensure your financial responsibilities are minimized by appearing to all court dates after you have paid your bail bondsman their 10% fee.

The Right To Know Your Charges

It’s against the law for authorities to hold American citizens without a legitimate legal reason.  This is simply a basic constitutional right guaranteed to all citizens. You should have what you are charged with in writing, together with your documentation related to assigned court dates or appearances before a judge.

The Right To an Attorney

We all know the “you have the right to remain silent…” line made famous by TV cop dramas, but a key phrase in that spiel includes the right to an attorney.  While you may benefit more from hiring an attorney, not everyone has the means to do so.  If you’ve spent most or all of your available funds on your bail bonds company, you can get an attorney appointed to you for free in the form of a public defender.

The Right to Due Process

Be sure you are presented with all proper documentation related to your charges and that you have all your scheduled court appearances in writing.  As long as you attend your court dates, you will be given a fair trial and due process of law.  If you skip multiple court dates, you will not be refunded your bail cost, you will be seen as a fugitive, and the bail bondsman may send a bail enforcement agent out to track you down and return you to custody.  This is why it is crucial to attend all court dates.…

EEOC Regulation Compliance

Posted on Posted in law


A growing issue facing employers of all sizes these days is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation compliance during the recruiting and hiring process. A problem not limited to large corporations or federal contracts, hiring discrimination is a major issue. In fact, in 2009, the EEOC received over 95,000 complaints citing job bias in the private sector. Charges based on religion, disability even national origin illustrate the importance of using job recruitment software with compliance features built in to ensure that your business doesn’t end up spending time and money it doesn‘t have.  

Companies who choose not to take advantage of these tools face risks. Remember, ignorance is not a defense to the law and bad hiring practices can significantly damage a businesses reputation or worse, lead to costly litigation over wrongful discrimination. Make certain to protect your business by securing job recruitment software that helps you maintain EEOC regulation compliance. 

Using Job Recruitment Software: How it Works 

Most job recruitment software programs come with built in features for ensuring OFCCP and EEOC regulation compliance. Compliance tools ensure that the right information gets collected, stored and tracked. Software is generally easy to integrate into your day-to-day business operations and is user-friendly. Typically, there is little to no customization necessary, and minimal training, if any at all.  

To ensure EEOC regulation compliance, your company should be storing, tracking and analyzing hiring information with job recruitment software that can handle large amounts of data. Basically, there are four main tasks that your software should be able to handle: identify EEO information for every potential employee, capture reasons for non selection, analyze information in real time and create reports to be used for ensuring EEOC regulation compliance.  

In addition, minimum qualification questions and other tools help recruiters properly manage all of the important information. EEOC regulation compliance tools make the hiring process seamless, with critical information immediately available if need be.  Features like these make data collection easy for  human resources and recruiting departments, giving them more flexibility in terms of data management.  

The Impact of Social Media  

Many employers are using social media to gather information on potential employees, considering things like personal habits, likes and dislikes and general behavior as insight into employee behavior. In many cases, decisions regarding hiring are sometimes based on these perceptions. This is dangerous territory for employers, as personal information like pregnancy, the health of a child, etc. can negatively influence hiring decisions. While there are currently no regulations concerning the use of social media as a tool for hiring, it won’t be long before EEOC regulation compliance requires social media be excluded from consideration.  

Your business is important enough to protect. Even for a small company, tracking hiring information through job recruitment software has never been easier. These tools will help your company maintain EEOC regulation compliance, ensuring that you do not mistakenly exercise wrongful discrimination and face litigation.  Additionally, the right software program will provide you with the appropriate reports and logs necessary to …

Local Councils: A pivotal but disappointing role in Sierra Leone’s socio-political and economic development debate

Posted on Posted in government, society

Local government structure in Sierra Leone essentially consists of a system of 19 elected councils, broken down into 5 city councils (Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Koidu-New Sembehun and Makeni); the municipality of Bonthe and 13 district councils consisting of the 12 districts   (Pujehun, Bo, Moyamba, Bonthe, Kenema, Kailahun, Kono, Tonkolili, Bombali, Port Loko, Kambia, Koinadugu) and the western area rural district.

While researching the role and effectiveness of these local councils since their reintroduction by the Tejan-Kabbah administration in 2004, I have been especially struck by the political power paradigm shift that has occurred in local government administration, development, financing and delivery of devolved services in Sierra Leone. For while there is understandably much emphasis on the central government’s role and responsibility for nationwide development, it is worth noting that enactment of the Local Government Act, 2004 largely subordinated the central government and Paramount Chiefs authority and powers to the supremacy of local councils for virtually all development activities in the relevant council localities.

In the case of paramount chiefs, their marginal role in the affairs of the council is reflected in their membership of the councils. The Local Government Act clearly stipulated the number of their membership in the various councils, as for example Pujehun district can only have 2 paramount chief representatives in the council and in the case of Bo district only 3 paramount chief members can be represented in the Bo district council.

It is thus the responsibility of the government, opposition political parties, civil society and especially the requisite local government entities to ensure that the decentralization model as enshrined in the constitution and laws of our country are upheld and not allowed to be subjugated to the centralized and non-representative system that operated during the Siaka Stevens era.

I am however especially concerned, as the local councils and the various majority political parties they represent, do not appear to be adequately cognizant of their legal and political supremacy role, especially in spearheading development and governance  within their various localities, and seem to be ceding to the central government and paramount chiefs , though unconstitutionally their powers. This brings to mind the recent Kenema City Council’s decision to terminate the services of the chief Administrator and the Procurement Officer and the apparent decision by the Vice-President, Chief Sam Sumana to inappropriately and unconstitutionally instruct the Resident Minister, East to have the Council reinstate the sacked council employees. Part V1 Section 32 (2) of the Local Government Act, 2004 clearly states that “…….a local council need not consult …in respect of the appointment of staff….”.

The office of the vice-president has no constitutional authority to supervise the local councils as erroneously asserted by Kenema district APC and PMDC party Chairmen in their protest letter of December 29, 2009. The appropriate constitutional body is the Local Government Service Commission, whose composition does not include the vice president, and whose members according to section 36(2) “shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament”. It is my …

8 Reasons Why (n) Obama is a Socialist

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(n)Obama is a raving, race baiting populist. His record, statements, writings and church activities say so. The man is the most seriously under-qualified nominee for President in the entire history of the United States. Underachievers like Grover Cleveland or the abysmal Herbert Hoover look majestic when compared to the community organiser who believes there are 57 US states. The collective orgasmic expostulations around the little man with the big ears hides the relevant and important fact that (n)Obama is the worst possible leader imaginable – worse even than the stupidest man in US history, that obscene anti-semite dimwit Jimmy Carter. The Americans might as well elect Mickey Mouse to lead them than (n)Obama. At least Mickey is honest.

(n)Obama is a classic economic populist, cultural marxist and a raging ‘progressive’ liberal [an oxymoron with the emphasis on the moron]. Not only is (n)Obama the most left-wing Senator in the US Senate based on his voting record, but possesses the most radical ideas garnered from his supporters about redistribution, government’s role to ‘unite’ society, and genuflection to the global ‘community’ [whatever that means]. (n)Obama is simply the most dangerous demagogue to come forward in US politics since Huey Long.

Long was a nationalist-populist during a period of history when authoritarian rule was deemed ‘progressive’. So-called intellectuals supported the twin absurdities of corporate fascism and communism. State management was deemed moral, and community feeling and extremist nationalist ideology in which the individual was submerged into the whole was portrayed as necessary, spiritual and mandatory. Long’s program of populist race baiting; ecomomic management and the creation of ‘us versus them’ rhetoric was part of a troubled episode in which freedom and clear thinking were replaced by blind emotion and state created enthusiasm.

(n)Obama exhibits much of the same penchant for simplistic formulae, state organised parades and speeches; and ego-centricity as any tin horn dictator, populist or Roman senatorial demagogue. (n)Obama is just a pale version of what has long gone on in politics – the pandering to the populist mass by promising some set of nonsense to mask what is really at issue – the aggrandizement of state power. Ironicially the very lemmings and automata who support the little man with no experience, and who say that only they and he have the right ideas, programs and beliefs, are the same small people who cry about freedom, rights and individualism. Their statist program of course would result in the exact opposite of what they weep so emotionally about.

(n)Obama’s socialist agenda:

1. Taxes: The little Black messiah would enact the largest tax increase in US history. This would completely wipe out an already weak US economy and cause capital flight from the US, and from the US dollar, to overseas. There would truly be a deep and profound US economic recession.

2. Trade: Given that (n)Obama’s base are union and government workers, trade restrictions and an increase in barriers would be mandatory. Trade intra-NAFTA and with China would be put at risk. The …