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This week's top stories

Private Finance Initiative schemes for waste management criticised

Contracts agreed with local authorities for waste management projects are criticised in a Committee of Public Accounts report.

‘Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Oversight Of Thee PFI Waste Projects’ (HC 106) finds that grants worth £213.5 million have been paid even though key facilities have not yet been built.

How does it affect me?

If you are employed in waste management or local government, or if you are concerned about the efficiency of PFI contracts, then this will be of interest to you.

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Payments for delayed passports should be refunded

The Home Affairs Committee calls for refunds to be given to those whose passport applications were delayed during the summer of 2014 in 'Her Majesty's Passport Office: Delays In Processing Applications' (HC 238).

The delays in the processing of passport applications first came to light in the beginning of June 2014, and at one point outstanding requests stood at over half a million.

How does it affect me?

If you were affected by the summer’s passport delays, if you paid for an upgrade to the fast track service between 1 may and mid June or if you are concerned about the efficiency of Government agencies, then this will be of interest to you.

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Government should make more of NHS expertise to help developing countries

‘Strengthening Health Systems In Developing Countries’ (HC 246) examines the Department for International Development’s (DFID) performance in health system strengthening in the developing world.

The report, by the International Development Committee, concludes that while DFID has had a good reputation in the area, it has come to rely too much on international partners to make funding decisions.

How does it affect me?

If you are employed in the international aid sector, are employed by the NHS and are interested in health systems in developing countries, or if you are concerned about the effectiveness of UK Government aid spending, then this will be of interest to you.

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