The Need to Know Project

By Elliott Brown from Birmingham, United Kingdom (Witton Station – Mind the Gap Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Full Fact, along with The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK Statistics Authority and the House of Commons Library, is launching  a project to identify and fill gaps in data and analysis in the UK.

The project is designed to answer important questions about eight different topics which include crime, immigration, education and housing. Full Fact want to fill the gaps in data to produce reliable and well-communicated information. This will help ensure that public decisions and debate are based on the best information available and will help prevent people from making claims that will need to be corrected later on. To find out even more about this project, click here

Full Fact are also looking for your examples of data and analysis gaps for their eight topics. To view these topics and find out how to get involved, click here.

POSTnote: Environmental Crime

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A new POSTnote has been published about Environmental Crime. This POSTnote outlines environmental crimes and how to tackle them, within both an UK and EU context.

It discusses the definition of environmental crime and its links to other serious crime, including the drugs and arms trade, human trafficking and the funding of terrorist organisations. It identifies two primary categories of environmental crime in Europe: waste crime and wildlife crime.

These primary crimes tend to be low risk and high profit to criminals as they are often difficult to prosecute. This report highlights particular incidences of these crimes, current EU law pertaining to them and ways in which they are enforced and the crimes prosecuted in the UK and abroad.

Importantly, the report discusses how to  improve enforcement of these laws, whilst also exploring the challenges faced when tackling this type of crime.

To read the full report, click here.

Whitehall Monitor Report, 2017

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The latest Whitehall Monitor report has been published by the Institute for Government, offering a crucial insight into the way Whitehall Works.

This report focuses on how well Whitehall is performing, its preparations for Brexit, and government openness and the use of data.

The report makes the argument that government is trying to do too many things in the run up to Brexit and  that this poses challenges for  public services and Whitehall departments. It also calls for  ‘clear, sensible and transparent plans and measures’, in order to understand how well government is doing, or to hold it to account.

Preparation for Brexit features prominently in the report: it suggests that the creation of new departments  resulted in some initial fragmentation and was not a good use of time and energy, but notes that these departments are beginning to settle down. It also points out that existing departments facing the biggest challenges around Brexit are some of those that have experienced some of the deepest budget and staffing cuts and this will

In regards to openness and the use of data, the report suggests that the government has become less responsive to requests for information and is not using its own data as effectively as it could. Many departments are not publishing their data as frequently as they should and this, coupled with the difficulty of measuring government performance, suggests that the government is becoming less open.

To read the report in full, click here.

 

Preparing for the General Election

Image by The original uploader was Yugiz at French Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Planning for the next general election is already well underway.  This preparation is essential to ensure an efficient and effective service is provided to hundreds of MPs and with a fixed deadline there is no margin for error. There will be lots of opportunities to get involved in this intense and rewarding project, for now you can read more about preparing for the general election here.

Or, for those new to the House, you can read more about the planning for the 2015 General Election for a better idea of what happens during this time.

 

Cyber Security Month

Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Throughout February, the Digital Service and a line-up of industry expert guest speakers will be on hand to answer all of your cyber security questions.

As well as speakers, there will be a number of drop-in sessions and events taking place at various locations across the Parliamentary Estate.

For more information click here.

Or see the full list of events and talks taking place throughout Cyber Month here.

Upcoming POSTnote Research Topics

CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The POST Board is looking for contributions to its new POSTnotes on a variety
of research topics. If you have an interest or expertise in one of these topics, please contact  post@parliament.uk for further information.

The following research topics have been selected for upcoming POSTnotes:

Social sciences

  • Communicating Risk
  • Migrants and Housing

Environment and Energy

  • Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture
  • Update to Sea Level Rise POSTnote 363
  • Benefits of Earth Observation Systems
  • Environmental Effects of Engineered Nanoparticles

Physical sciences

  • Social Media and Access to Information

Biological Sciences and Health

  • Regulating Advanced Therapies
  • EU Clinical Trials Regulation

New Transitioning at Work Policy

Image by Lubunya (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Houses of Parliament are in the process of writing a Transitioning at Work Policy, to support individuals that have undergone, are undergoing, or are thinking about undergoing a change to their gender identity.

The aims of the policy are to ensure that staff are aware of the support they can expect to receive and that line managers understand their responsibilities, and the resources available to them, in supporting their staff.  Both Houses will be following recommended good practice from Stonewall.

The Diversity & Inclusion team in both Houses are looking for feedback from staff with experience of transitioning, and line managers who have supported staff with transitioning in the workplace. Please click here to find out how to get involved.

 

 

Parliament Recruitment Open Day – 23 February 2017

Love working with people in a highly rewarding customer-driven environment?  If so, Houses of Parliament would like to meet you at our Recruitment Open Day on Thursday 23 February 2017.

There are jobs to suit everyone at Parliament and members of staff will be available to talk to you about current and future job opportunities, as well as careers in their areas.  Staff will also be on hand to guide you on how to apply for jobs through the Parliament website.

Tickets are free but places are limited so you will need to book a ticket in advance.

For full details, see here: http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-parliament-news/recruitment-open-day-2017/

You could also have a look at the current vacancies here: http://www.parliament.uk/about/working/jobs/

Brexit Hub – House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library has created a ‘Brexit Hub’ where you can find a wealth of information relating to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.  This is available on the public Parliament website here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/eu-referendum/ and also allows you to sign up for Brexit-related email alerts.

The site has information on:

  • The UK’s contribution to the EU Budget
  • A Guide to the EU Budget
  • Background to the European Union Withdrawal Bill

You can read Parliament’s analysis of how leaving the EU will affect different policy areas in the UK.  Subjects covered include:

  • How Will Brexit Work?
  • Defence & Security
  • Economy, Business & Trade
  • Education
  • Employment & Pensions
  • Environment & Technology
  • Health & Social Care
  • Immigration & Border Controls
  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Background to the referendum

There is also a Brexit Glossary

 

 

Regional Constituency Open Days: Perth and Westminster

Two new constituency open days have been announced in Perth (21 February) and Westminster (10 March), and are open to all constituency staff.

The events will include presentations and breakout sessions on the following:

  • UK visas and immigration
  • HMRC – tax credits
  • Using the House of Commons Library
  • Dealing with casework: sharing best practice (discussion led by caseworkers)
  • Key challenge for an Office Manager (discussion led by Office Managers)
  • Office security
  • IPSA
  • Learning and Development
  • Digital Service.

The events are free and the costs of travel can be reclaimed through allowances in the normal way. Lunch will also be provided.

To book your place email constituencystaffopenday@parliament.uk by 10 February for Perth and by 24 February for Westminster.

For more information on upcoming regional constituency events, click here.

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