Watching the Watchers | People Stuff

first_img “I’m going to confess, right up front.  This blog post is a shameless plug for my new ebook on social media, written with that very nice Tim Scott, better known on Twitter as”Read full article Watching the Watchers | People StuffShared from missc on 30 Apr 2015 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img

The coldwater marine aquarium at the British Antarctic Survey

first_imgA low-temperature marineaquarium has been maintained at the British Antarctic Survey(BAS) headquarters in Cambridge for over 15 years. In 1988 acompletely new aquarium system was designed and construct ed toprovide a cold-water environment for holding a variety ofAntarctic fishes and invertebrates. The philosophy behind the newAntarctic aquarium is to provide a controlled environment in asystem that is simple to maintain. One of the most importantenvironmental conditions is the provision of a continuous low airtemperature and controlled sea water temperature, to facilitatethe transfer of specimens between holding and research facilitieswithout there being a significant difference between air andwater temperatures. In this way specimens are freed from thedangers of temperature stress. This paper describes how theseconditions have been established. It outlines the design,construction and operation of the BAS Marine Aquarium, one of theUK’s most unusual marine researchfacilities.last_img read more

Statement to Parliament: Universal Credit and recent welfare changes

first_img we abolished the 7 waiting days from the application process we put in place the 2 week Housing Benefit run-on to smooth the transition for an applicant moving to Universal Credit from the previous system we ensured that advance payments could be applied for from day 1 of the application process, for up to 100% of a person’s indicative total claim This government is delivering the biggest changes to the welfare state in a generation. We are building a benefits system fit for the 21st century, helping more people into work by providing tailored support – and more financial support for the most vulnerable.These changes are designed to not only reflect the technological age we live in, which is having a significant impact on work and communications, but also to reflect people’s working lives. We are providing extra support for childcare costs, and offering flexibility to look after children or elderly parents. Our reforms take into account flexible working, self-employment, multiple jobs, and societal changes – in particular the growing awareness of mental health conditions, which is strongly linked to the changing pace of life and constant communication.And we are succeeding in our aim to reshape the system and provide for the most vulnerable. So far Mr Speaker, we have supported nearly 3.4 million more people into work since 2010; that’s over 1,000 people a day every day since 2010 – producing a record rate of people in work, and the lowest unemployment since the 1970s. And we are also spending £54 billion on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions – this is up £9 billion since 2010. We’ve seen a record 600,000 disabled people enter work over a 4 year period (from June 2013 to June 2017).Universal Credit is a brand new benefits system. It is based on leading-edge technology and agile working practices. Our strategy is based on continuous improvement – listening, learning and adapting our delivery as the changes roll-out across the country.The result will be a tailor-made system, based on the individual.This is a unique example of great British innovation. And Mr Speaker, we are leading the world in developing this kind of system. Countries like New Zealand, Spain, France and Canada have met with us to see Universal Credit, to watch and learn about the next generation of benefit system.And let’s not forget, we are introducing this new system because the legacy regime it replaces was outdated – not only in terms of an aging IT infrastructure that was built in the 1980s, but also in the way it trapped people in unemployment and dis-incentivised work.Welfare changes made within a flexible systemToday I am updating the House on the changes we have made to Universal Credit, as a result of this iterative approach.That is why last autumn: We extended the recovery period for these advances to 12 months. Extra training was given to our work coaches to embed these changes.[Prior to this] we also changed all Universal Credit telephone lines to Freephone numbers – to ensure ease of access for claimants enquiring about their claim.Earlier this year we reinstated Housing Benefit for 18 to 21 year olds, and ensured kinship carers are exempt from tax credits changes.Just last week we announced changes to support the severely disabled when they transition onto Universal Credit; within our reforms, we want to ensure that the most vulnerable get the support they need.These were proactive changes, taken to enhance our new benefits system.Our modifications to Universal Credit have been made alongside significant changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), to reflect the government’s support for disabled people and all types of disabilities – unlike the system before it, which focused on physical disabilities.In fact – within week one of me entering this job – I took the decision not to continue with a historic appeal (regarding a High Court judgment on the PIP amending regulations) in order to support people suffering from overwhelming psychological distress.We have also committed to video-recording PIP assessments, so that everyone involved can be sure of a fair and reviewable outcome.And earlier this week we announced a more practical approach to assessing claimants with severe degenerative diseases. Those patients receiving the highest benefit award will no longer be required to attend regular face-to-face interviews, in order to repeatedly verify their difficult and debilitating circumstances.Response to the National Audit Office (NAO) reportI would like to turn to the report on Universal Credit published last week by the NAO, which did not take into account the impact of our recent changes. Our analysis shows that Universal Credit is working; we already know it helps more people into work – and stay in work – than the legacy system.Universal Credit has brought together 6 main benefits, which were administered by different local and national government agencies. Once fully rolled-out, it will be a single, streamlined system – reducing administration costs and providing value for money for citizens. The cost per claim has already reduced by 7% since March 2018, and is due to reduce to £173 by 2024 to 2025; this is around £50 less per claim than legacy cases currently cost us to process.Beyond the time span of the NAO report, we have greatly improved our payment timeliness. Around 80% of claimants are paid on time after their initial assessment period. Where new claims are not paid in full and on time, two thirds have been found to have some form of verification outstanding. Verification is a necessary part of any benefits system, and citizens expect these measures to be in place – we need to make sure we are paying the right people the right amount.Upon visiting jobcentres, the NAO observed good relationships between work coaches and claimants. The results we are seeing are thanks to the exceptional hard work that our work coaches put in, day-in and day-out, with claimants.Universal Credit is projected to help 200,000 people into work, adding £8 billion per year to the economy when it is fully rolled-out. These are conservative estimates, based on robust analysis that has been signed-off by the Treasury.And at a user level, we know that 83% of Universal Credit claimants are happy with the service they receive.ConclusionMr Speaker, we are building an agile, adaptable system, fit for the 21st century. We want people to reach their potential, regardless of their circumstances or background – and we will make changes when required, in order to achieve this ambition.I commend this statement to the House.last_img read more

SMC security officials release crime statistics

first_imgCrime at Saint Mary’s College continued to stay low last year, according to an annual report released by the College’s security department Tuesday. “Crime statistics have remained consistently low on our campus over the years, with only slight fluctuations up and down in various categories,” David Gariepy, director of security, said. “When you have consistently low statistics, any fluctuation up or down may, by percentage, look significant. “The reality is that crime at Saint Mary’s College is very low.” The 2009 crime and fire statistical report included incidents of sexual assault, burglaries, alcohol and drug violations and fire. There were three incidents of sexual assault during 2009. Two of the assaults took place within the residence halls on campus, while the third took place on public property, according to the report. Of these sexual assaults, one was forcible rape, and the others were classified as forcible fondling. This marks a slight increase from previous years. The report stated that one sexual assault incident, which took place within a residence hall and was classified as forcible fondling, occurred in 2008. There were no sexual assaults in 2007. The report also stated that there were nine burglaries on campus, five of which took place within the resident halls, in 2009. There was one burglary in a non-campus building in 2008. There were four burglaries on campus, two of which were in residence halls, in 2007. Gariepy said students could help prevent crime by paying attention to their surroundings. He also encouraged students to make “safe choices in all activities,” which entails locking doors and vehicles, reporting suspicious or criminal activity and watching out for friends. The report also indicated 35 alcohol violations that led to referrals within the residence halls. An additional six incidents occurred on campus, but did not take place within the dormitories. There was only one alcohol related arrest located on public property in 2009. There was also one drug violation, which led to a referral within the residence halls. The College’s security department helps to prevent crime by patrolling campus 24 hours per day. It also provides safe transportation for students and monitors the security and fire systems regularly, Gariepy said. He also said the College attempts to improve safety on campus each year. This academic year, the Belles Against Violence Office was created to enhance campus security. Swipe card access was added to Angela Athletic Facility and security cameras were added to the Angela parking lot. Upgrades were also made to the fire system, he said. In 2009, there were not any incidents of the following: illegal weapons violations, drug arrests, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault, robbery, criminal homicide and non-forcible sex offenses. “I believe Saint Mary’s College has historically been a safe campus, but I also know that bad things can and do happen in the safest of places,” Gariepy said. “It is important for us all to understand that dangerous incidents, both natural and manmade, can happen at any time.” Gariepy encouraged students to be familiar with the College’s “All Hazards” plan and to have a personal plan for survival if an emergency situation should arise. “Our best protection from harm is a mental alertness and preparedness,” he said. According to the fire statistical report, there was only one instance of fire in 2009. The fire took place in Holy Cross Hall on Dec. 4 and was classified as arson. To view the crime report visit http://www3.saintmarys.edu/campus-safety/crime-statistics. To view the fire report visit http://www3.saintmarys.edu/campus-safety/fire-equipment-fire-drill-matrix.last_img read more

Lecture explores Chile’s policies

first_imgFollowing the retrenchment of social policy under a period of turbulent military rule, Chile has endeavored to drastically reform its healthcare and pension systems, aiming to reduce poverty, inequality and provide a model for other nations seeking change. Rossana Castiglioni, head of the political science department at Chile’s Universidad Diego Portales, outlined this social policy journey during her Tuesday lecture, titled “Against All Odds: Social Policy Rollbacks in Democratic Chile.” Castiglioni said the democratically elected presidents of Chile in the 1990s, Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei, inherited a system that split healthcare between public provision under Fonasa, a fund into which workers paid seven percent of their monthly income, and Isapre, a system of private healthcare providers.  For an additional premium, workers could buy into the private Isapre system in order to receive greater benefits and overall superior care. Castiglioni said this system generated enormous amounts of inequality, with private providers charging certain demographic groups discriminatory prices in the hope of driving high-risk individuals to seek Fonasa government insurance. “If you were a woman and you were at an age to have kids, they will charge you a lot,” Castiglioni said. “And if you are old, either pray or pay, because they will charge you a lot of money.” Castiglioni said Aylwin and Frei were content to preside over further expansion of the private sphere of the healthcare system disproportionately favoring the wealthy.  She said it was not until President Ricardo Lagos took office from 2000 to 2006 that efforts were made to address growing inequalities and bolster support for the nation’s vulnerable citizens. By introducing his AUGE plan, granting access to medical attention within a clear timetable to all patients who reach the inclusion criteria for one of 69 pathologies or medical conditions, Lagos implemented the greatest change to Chilean healthcare in 20 years, Castiglioni said. She said despite Lagos’ concerted effort to eliminate discrimination in the private health system, and despite a recent ruling of the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal declaring such discrimination “inadmissible,” the issue has not yet been resolved. “Lagos tried to tackle inequalities and discrimination, particularly in terms of age and sex, but the truth is that even though other parts of his reforms were approved discrimination still exists,” Castiglioni said. Following Lagos’ term, President Michelle Bachelet took up the banner of social policy after Lagos’ departure from office, putting together an advisory council to elaborate a pension reform proposal, Castiglioni said. The March 2008 law drawn up by this team of economists and sociologists stood as a capstone of Chilean social reform, introducing a “basic solidarity pillar” through which 40 percent of the poorest of the population, many of who had never contributed to the system, would be entitled to receive an old age pension or a disability pension of around 100 dollars. Although the recent changes in Chilean social policy have had a significant impact, Castiglioni said she ultimately does not feel they should be classified as structural reform. She blamed the lack of true structural reform on the dispersion of power, weakness of non-state actors and ideological distribution of the political system. These three factors are holding Chile back from taking more aggressive steps in reforming its system of social protection, Castiglioni said.last_img read more

Chinese firm Sinohydro to build first large-scale solar plant in Guinea-Bissau

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Co (Abrec), which promotes renewables and energy efficiency across the continent, has awarded the contract to build Guinea-Bissau’s first large-scale PV plant to state-owned Chinese hydropower business Sinohydro.The China International Contractors Association said the project was tendered along with two 1MW hybrid solar-diesel plants in Gabu and Canchungo by Abrec in March 2019.The solar asset, planned for Gardete near the city of Bissau, will sell power to national utility EAGB under a long-term contract. The West African Development Bank is backing the project with a $42.9 million loan.Guinea-Bissau relies on fossil fuels and solar has seen limited development, with the exception of rural electrification initiatives. The nation has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa, as well as electricity prices among the highest on the continent. As a result, around 95% of the energy consumed in Guinea-Bissauan households comes from biomass.The African Development Bank recently stated Guinea-Bissau has only 11MW of installed power generation capacity, almost all of it thermal generation. “Real capacity is only 8MW, only 5MW of which is available 24 hours per day due to the maintenance required and the inability of the electric power utility to obtain the necessary fuel,” a report by the bank said. The planned solar plant in Gardete would almost triple Guinea Bissau’s power generation capacity as a result.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Solar project to more than double Guinea-Bissau generation capacity Chinese firm Sinohydro to build first large-scale solar plant in Guinea-Bissaulast_img read more

6 tips to successfully manage teams

first_img 51SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Managing a team is a rewarding task that offers unique benefits and challenges. What follows are six ways to ensure you are successful at managing any kind of team.Careful SelectionIf possible, screen candidates based on a fair and standard format. This could be an entrance interview with basic questions about motivation, work styles and core competencies. Even if there are no choices, an initial interview with existing team members will allow everyone to understand preferences and backgrounds, which will help new team members better fit in and adapt to the subculture.Proper TrainingSome leaders have unrealistic expectations about employee performance and learning capacity. This means they expect employees to instantly become proficient with complex tasks and technologies that may take weeks to master. Regardless of competency, employees must be given time to process information and ask questions. This is a great way to introduce new ideas and to challenge existing, inefficient processes. continue reading »last_img read more

What credit unions can learn from BancorpSouth fair lending woes

first_imgBancorpSouth Bank, headquartered in Mississippi, took a $10.6 million misstep when its mortgage lending practices allegedly discriminated against African-American consumers. While the bank has not admitted to the allegations, it did agree to a proposed settlement and consent order with the CFPB and the U.S. Department of Justice of charges that the bank’s mortgage lending practices violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act.Fair lending laws and related regulations date back to the civil rights movements of the 1960s, so they’ve been around for a while now. The Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act work together to prohibit unfair and discriminatory practices based on traits such as race, color, religion, etc. While some of the allegations against BancorpSouth had to do with redlining, other areas addressed in the complaint against the institution could be levied at credit unions and therefore merit consideration. So what happened at BancorpSouth and what can credit unions learn from its mistakes?The Allegations The alleged violations centered on findings that the bank was discriminating against African-American consumers in the underwriting and pricing of certain mortgage loans. CFPB regulators found that loan pricing was found to be higher for African-American borrowers than it was for White applicants.On top of that, the bank was allegedly found to have practiced general discrimination. The CFPB discovered this through matched-pair testing as well as through something it hadn’t done before. It sent in “mystery shoppers” posing as consumers who reported their experiences back to the CFPB. The CFPB’s verdict from these efforts was that BancorpSouth treated African-American consumers differently than white consumers.The CFPB further found that the bank allegedly implemented a discriminatory policy that required its employees to deny applications from minorities more quickly than white applicants and to not provide credit assistance to “borderline” applicants or applicants that were neither well-qualified or unqualified. Investigators also found that loan officers and processors were instructed to inform minority applicants of adverse action within 21 days, rather than the maximum 30 days upon receiving a completed application as required by regulation. Perhaps this was a misguided attempt to make sure that all denied applicants, especially minority applicants, were notified within required timeframes. However, what it potentially did in practice from the CFPB’s perspective was to give minority applicants nine fewer days to work through issues with their loan officer that, if available, might have provided needed time to qualify for a loan.Perhaps the final nail in the case’s coffin came in the form of a recording from a staff meeting. The allegations state that during one particular meeting, a manager presenting the 21-day turn down time frame for minority applicants also included BancorpSouth employees making several racially insensitive comments followed by laughter within the recording.Key TakeawaysLesson #1:Know what’s in your lending data. Your data can tell you if you’re at risk for pricing discrimination. Find out before your examiner does while there is time to implement steps to mitigate or provide a underwriting justification for findings that could look problematic.Lesson #2:If your financial institution is a place where employees feel comfortable being insensitive about other classes, races, religious persons, etc., at work—even in “joking”—such practices are likely to leak through their interactions with customers and members no matter how many times you remind them of the fair lending policies. These actions can potentially lead to discriminatory actions even if not fully intended by those individuals. BancorpSouth’s Chairman and CEO James Rollins said in response to the fine and allegation that, “BancorpSouth is dedicated to a culture of respect, diversity and inclusion in both our workplace and communities. We have a longstanding commitment to equal treatment and any form of discrimination will not be tolerated.” While this position is undoubtedly true, it is not enough for an institution’s commitment to fair lending to exist only on paper. Fair lending is not something that can be disregarded behind the counter and then expected to be implemented on the front lines. It requires fundamental commitment across the organization and must be tested by actions that could include even institutional use of mystery shoppers.Lesson #3:The fair lending guidelines are to be taken seriously. Not only will violations cost a financial institution in fines, civil money penalties, and restitution payments, they will greatly affect its reputation. “BancorpSouth’s discrimination throughout the mortgage lending process harmed the people who were overcharged or denied their dream of homeownership based on their race, and it harmed the Memphis minority neighborhoods that were redlined and denied equal access to affordable credit,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray, adding that the action is a reminder that overt discrimination is “not yet remnants of the past, and that federal enforcement is needed to bring real relief to communities and individuals.” Both the CFPB and the Department of Justice have positioned themselves to diligently work together “to root out discrimination in the marketplace and ensure consumers receive fair and equal treatment under the law.”Another interesting aspect of this case is that the consent order will require BancorpSouth to have a written compliance plan that includes diversity policies and practices to ensure that it does not engage in discrimination. While BancorpSouth is required to implement a discriminatory practices compliance plan in an attempt to make amends, it’s clearly a sound business practice for an institution to have a fair lending compliance plan to ensure that you are never faced with similar allegations.In short, what happened at BancorpSouth Bank should be a wake-up call to all financial institutions, including credit unions, to make sure that their commitment to fair lending doesn’t just exist on paper, but throughout the organization utilizing appropriate techniques and practices based on risk factors as identified through sound assessments. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ken Agle Ken Agle, President of AdvisX, brings more than 25 years of experience covering almost all facets of financial institution risk management operations. He has conducted more than 350 compliance reviews … Web: www.affirmx.com Detailslast_img read more

Zadar Outdoor Festival is a great example of how the tourist season is extended

first_imgTwo years ago, I was walking through the old town of Zadar and above my head I saw a banner advertising a tourist event, which will take place only in a year, ie only the next tourist season.The thought immediately spun in my head, I remember it as if it was today Hm… someone is advertising a tourist event during the tourist season, a year before the event itself. It has to be something of quality. A great move and I can’t believe that someone in Croatia thinks that way and that he entered the “cost” of making a banner and renting space to promote the event even a year earlier. Well done, great move. Logically, promote the story when these tourists are there in the city and thus attract them to come back and create an additional motive for coming. I have to investigate that. It has to be a new great tourist story.And really, I was not disappointed, this is the Zadar Outdoor Festival. An excellent tourist product that in the pre-season, from 11-13.05, generates such important quality content in Zadar as the motive for arrival. It is an event that celebrates nature, active life and adventurous spirit, and in four days the sea, land, rivers and mountains of the Zadar region will turn into natural sports arenas that will challenge competitors from around the world to test their own sports opportunities. fun.”The goal is to position the Zadar region on the tourist maps of all supporters of active vacation and sustainable tourism. We are aware that our region abounds in many potentials, which are still not sufficiently exploited, in terms of offering and promoting tourist facilities. We are extremely glad that our idea was recognized by partners from the tourist boards of the municipalities of Vir and Ugljan, who provide us with support in the organization of trail and bicycle races.”Said Iva Bencun, one of the organizers of the Zadar Outdoor Festival and added that the Festival is intended for everyone, from recreationists to Olympians, and as far as physical fitness is concerned, you only need to have good will.Thus, at the Zadar Outdoor Festival, competitors compete in seven disciplines: running, trail running, swimming, sailing, kayaking, cycling, windsurfing. And those who could not find themselves in the mentioned sports, can join the workshops of slackline, parkour and yoga.The official opening of the Festival was announced on Friday, May 11.05.2018, 11 at 00:XNUMX AM, and on the same afternoon, the Zadar Sunset Run will be run, a race that celebrates the famous Zadar sunset. And this year, all fans of Saturday’s rush hour will be able to enjoy the skills of the Highline Masters, who walk the skies above the Forum. In addition to the announced competition disciplines, all participants and their entourage will have the opportunity to learn some new skills in sports workshops – parkour, yoga and slackline, enjoy the products of local family farms, socialize and have fun during the evening program. With the aim of further promotion and maintaining the tradition of sailing in the Zadar channel, Zadar Outdoor Festival has entered into a partnership with the sailing club Uskok. The well-known, once the most numerous regatta in the Zadar channel – the Zadar regatta, is being sailed this year as part of the Zadar Outdoor Festival.”The program is diverse, we try to introduce something new every year, so this year, in addition to the already known disciplines, we have a competition in windsurfing, popular – stand up paddling. The idea is to really promote an active lifestyle, playing sports and staying in nature, and our enthusiasm and potential of the Zadar Outdoor Festival have been recognized and supported by many sponsors and partners this year. We are really happy that so much positive energy is associated with Zadar”Concluded Bencun.Zadar Outdoor Festival extends the tourist season, increases tourist spending and brands the Zadar region as a destination for active holidays. Anyway, a great rounded story. It is tourism and important quality content that we miss so much. This is exactly how the tourist season is extended. A diverse, high-quality and authentic tourist product.By the way, the whole promotion and quality preparation made sense, according to the fact that last year in the first year of the event they attracted about 1.000 competitors, and this year more than 1.200 competitors are expected in accordance with current applications that are still ongoing.More information about the festival can be found on the official website website, and how it looked last year see below in the promotional film.In the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”Related news:LIST OF TOURIST SERVICES OF ACTIVE AND ADVENTURE TOURISM PUBLISHEDDUBROVNIK & KONAVLE WALKING FESTIVAL GREAT TOURIST STORY AND PLATFORM HOW OUR TOURIST PRODUCT SHOULD LOOKFIND OUT WHY ISTRIA WINE & WALK IS ONE OF THE BEST TOURIST STORIES IN CROATIAlast_img read more

Tenancy minefield

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img