Tag: public governance

Flooding after Storm Desmond

Source: Zurich

The storms that battered the north of England and parts of Scotland at the end of 2015 and early 2016 caused significant damage and disruption to families and businesses across tight knit rural communities and larger towns and cities. This came just two years after Storm Xaver inflicted significant damage to the east coast of England. Flooding is not a new threat to the residents of the Lake District, but the severity of the events in December 2015 certainly appears to have been regarded as surprising.

While the immediate priority is always to ensure that these communities and businesses are back up on their feet as quickly and effectively as possible, it is also important that all those involved in the response take the opportunity to review their own procedures and actions. It is often the case that when our response is put to the test in a ‘real world’ scenario that we discover things that could have been done better, or differently, and can make changes to ensure continuous improvement. This is true of insurers as much as it is of central and local government and the emergency services, because events like these demand a truly integrated response.

In this report, we set out to review the complete risk management cycle surrounding Storm Desmond, which caused severe flooding across Cumbria and the north of England, in December 2015. We offer some of our key findings from the review, an understanding of the severity of what turned out to be another exceptional flood event, the varying levels of flood risk awareness, preparedness and response amongst homeowners and businesses in the affected area, the variable levels of community awareness of residual flood risk and the effectiveness of emergency plans for when flood defence measures are overwhelmed. We have also looked at the role of community flood action groups in the response and recovery from severe flooding. >>

Divesting fossil fuels

Oslo has joined the dozens of cities pledging to divest their holdings in the fossil fuel industry

“Two years ago, the online advocacy group 350.org launched a campaign to persuade investors to move their money away from the fossil fuel industry. By 2014, according to a study by the University of Oxford, it was the fastest growing divestment movement in history – and last month, Oslo became the first capital city to pledge to divest from coal, the most polluting of fossil fuels.”

Source: CityMetric

Tarification sociale de l’eau

PRIMO France

Près d’une vingtaine de collectivités retenues pour l’expérimentation

Un décret, publié au Journal officiel du 16 avril, fixe la liste des dix-huit collectivités et groupements de collectivités retenus pour participer à l’expérimentation, prévue par la loi Brottes sur l’énergie du 15 avril 2013, en vue de favoriser l’accès à l’eau et de mettre en œuvre une tarification sociale de l’eau.

Il s’agit en réalité d’une démarche volontaire reposant sur une délibération mentionnant les dispositions législatives auxquelles la collectivité souhaite déroger, le dispositif qu’elle souhaite mettre en place ainsi que sa durée de validité. A cet effet, il y a tout juste un an, le gouvernement avait mis en ligne l’instruction interministérielle du 4 mars 2014 définissant la procédure à suivre par les collectivités candidates pour cette expérimentation, à savoir les communes ou leurs groupements « assurant tout ou partie des missions constituant un service public d’eau potable ou d’assainissement », ainsi que les départements « au regard de leur compétence en matière d’aides sociales ».  en savoir plus >

Scientist warns: ‘it will still take years to heal’

The Guardian

The lessons of a landmark moment in climate research have not been learned.

It is popularly viewed as one of the greatest environmental success stories of modern times. Exactly 30 years ago, UK scientists announced they had discovered a hole in the ozone layer in the atmosphere above Antarctica.

The hole threatened to spread, allowing increased levels of cancer-causing radiation from the sun to reach the ground. Within a few years of the discovery it was agreed to set up the Montreal Protocol, which banned the manmade chemicals responsible for depleting ozone in the upper atmosphere. Read more >

La collectivité dans la Troisième Révolution Industrielle

3 mars, 2015, PRIMO France

Vers une nouvelle revolution industrielle

La Première Révolution Industrielle naît de technologies mécaniques utilisant la vapeur d’eau comme force motrice, permettant l’essor de transports rapides et augmentant la vitesse de communication tout en réduisant les coûts d’impression. Locomotives, presses rotatives et linotypes sont quelques-uns des outils mis à disposition, et ont favorisé l’alphabétisation de masse et la communication, en convergence avec une volonté politique d’enseignement public. Tout ceci contribue à faire émerger une main d’œuvre plus qualifiée et capable de mettre en place des processus complexes nécessaires au développement industriel.

Quant à la Deuxième Révolution Industrielle, elle naît de l’apport de l’électricité et du moteur à combustion interne; ces deux innovations ouvrent une ère de production de masse, et provoquent également un bouleversement des modes de vie observés jusqu’alors. Les dynamiques spatio-temporelles et sociétales sont renversées, avec la mécanisation des campagnes et du transport, ainsi qu’avec l’emballement des industries pétrolière et pétrochimique. D’autres modèles de communication et d’échanges se créent: téléphone, radio, télévision… En savoir plus >

Corruption risk in Spain

Mapping high-level corruption risks in Spanish Public Procurement

High-level corruption and fraud has had an increased impact on the social and political debate in Spain, especially since the beginning of the financial crisis when several cuts in social spending were made. Greater attention is being paid to where and how the government spends its public funding. This paper explores the extent and forms of political corruption in Spanish public procurement. Its main contribution is the rich analytical discussion of high- profile corruption scandals involving public procurement, such as the Gürtel case or the Palma Arena case, with particular focus on ‘red flags’ indicating likely corruption in public procurement procedures.

It also provides a comprehensive introduction to the Spanish public procurement institutional structure, a comparison with the European public procurement directives, and a broad statistical overview of public procurement in Spain. Another relevant feature of this paper is the in-depth description on how and where to access public procurement information, indicating the main issues that may arise which can be a risk to transparency. Deeper knowledge of the structure, regulatory framework and nature of Spanish public procurement allows, not only to understand the large amount of current corruption scandals in Spain, but also explores the failures and potential improvements.

Download report february 2015

Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating

Source: Science

“The floating ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic Ice Sheet restrain the grounded ice-sheet flow. Thinning of an ice shelf reduces this effect, leading to an increase in ice discharge to the ocean. Using eighteen years of continuous satellite radar altimeter observations we have computed decadal-scale changes in ice-shelf thickness around the Antarctic continent. Overall, average ice-shelf volume change accelerated from negligible loss at 25 ± 64 km3 per year for 1994-2003 to rapid loss of 310 ± 74 km3 per year for 2003-2012. West Antarctic losses increased by 70% in the last decade, and earlier volume gain by East Antarctic ice shelves ceased. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.” Read more (paid) >

The ice sheets sitting over Antarctica’s land hold the equivalent of 60 metres of sea level. The key question is why there seem to be an overall underestimation of this aspect of climate change. After all 6o meter is a lot and will ‘drown’ eventually all cities directly situated near the sea, if Antartica continues to melt. Most of the larger cities are in fact. Most countries wil disappear. A political sense of urgency seems to be diverse, fragmented and not focused.  This report of Science is noteworthy.

If public risk management is focused on safeguarding public values, and is a metaphor for good public governance, then we think climate change is a major issue for citizens, society, businesses, the natural environment and of course for politics and government. It is time to join forces.

We also recommend Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting by NewScientist.

Malta: Risk Assessment

Source: Global Edge

Resilient growth but dependent on European demand

Malta’s economy is the most open in the EU after Luxembourg. Growth still depends on the economic situation in the rest of the EU, which absorbs nearly half of exports. The production of electronic components and exports of pharmaceuticals are expected to remain buoyant in 2014. Moreover, the strong tourist industry (25% of GDP) still supports the services sector. The number of holidaymakers (85% coming from Europe) has been growing strongly since 2010. On domestic demand side, household spending is expected to rise in 2014 in line with the labour market resilience to the economic slowdown, with an unemployment rate below 7% since 2011.

 

At the same time, the rate of women’s participation in the labour market, the lowest in the Eurozone at 48%, continues to improve as a result of tax incentives introduced since 2011 and providing a sustainable boost to household income. In an electoral context, public investment is expected to remain stable in 2014, but the fiscal constraints made necessary by the Maastricht criteria persist. The banking sector’s robustness will preserve the supply of credit and ensure the financing of the private sector. Finally, inflation will remain subdued due to energy price cuts. Electricity and water tariffs are expected to be lowered by 25% and 5% respectively in March 2014 for households (2015 for companies) and will limit inflation. Read more >

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