Journalist Pa Ousman Darboe released

first_img GambiaAfrica to go further August 8, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist Pa Ousman Darboe released August 6, 2020 Find out more RSF_en 08.8.02Pa Ousman Darboe was released on 5 August without any charge being pressedagainst him. Nonetheless, Gambian secret service officials have asked him toremain available to the authorities._________________________________________________________________08.6.02 – Journalist held over alleged slur on vice-president’s late husbandReporters Without Borders today called for the immediate and unconditional release of journalist Pa Ousman Darboe, who has been held since 2 August in connection with an article in the Banjul biweekly The Independent reporting that the vice-president had remarried, and mentioning her late husband’s legal problems. The Independent’s editor, Alhaji Yoro Jallow was detained on 3 August but was released the same day.”These new arrests, coming soon after the promulgation of a law creating a National Media Commission, are worrying for press freedom in Gambia”, said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to President Yayha Jammeh. “If the facts reported by the journalist were erroneous, the vice-president had every right to demand a retraction from the newspaper, but nothing justifies the journalist’s prolonged detention. We request his immediate and unconditional release”.Darboe was arrested on 2 August by officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) – Gambia’s secret service – and is apparently still being detained. Jarrow was also arrested by the NIA but was released after questioning. The arrests followed publication of an article reporting Vice-President Njie Saidy’s remarriage to a retired school teacher, Alpha Khan, a year after her former husband’s death.Persons close to Khan told Agence France-Presse that no marriage had taken place. At the same time, the vice-president apparently did not appreciate the fact that the article recalled that, before his death, her late husband was ordered by a government commission of enquiry to reimburse about one million CFA francs (1,525 Euros) in travel expenses.Previously, NIA officials arrested Congolese reporter Guy-Patrick Massoloka on 19 July. He was finally released on 1 August. Gambia: former president must stand trial for journalist’s murder July 23, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Gambia Gambia still needs to address challenges to press freedom Organisation center_img Receive email alerts Three journalist arrested, two radio stations closed in Gambia News News Help by sharing this information January 27, 2020 Find out more News News GambiaAfrica last_img read more

Councils react to league tables

first_img Comments are closed. Councils react to league tablesOn 7 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. With the release of the recent Comprehensive Performance Assessment leaguetables, Paul Nelson looks at the impact the results will have on the country’shigh and low ranking local authoritiesMany local government HR teams are reviewing their policies and practices ascouncils consider how to respond to the sector’s first performance leaguetables. The Comprehensive Performance Assessments (CPA), carried out by the AuditCom- mission, are designed to help authorities improve services by highlightingpoor performance. The 150-county, metropolitan, unitary and London councilshave been judged – on a one to five scale – in 10 different areas, includingquality of services, use of resources and ability to improve. Based on the scores they have then been divided in to five categories;excellent, good, fair, weak and poor. District councils will be audited later this year. The 22 authorities rated excellent will now be allowed to get on with theirwork without any inspection for three years, while the 54 good councils willreceive far less auditing than in the past. Poor and weak authorities – 22 and 13 respectively – will be targeted withan audit programme that could involve special management teams being brought infrom other councils, and other agencies drafted in as a last resort. The new performance regime represents a radical approach to improving localgovernment services and has had a mixed reaction from the sector, which issuffering crippling skills shortages and recruitment and retention problems. But the new league tables could act as the trigger for change. Terry McDougall, assistant chief executive (HR) at ‘poor’ Hackney Council,told Personnel Today that her council is to implement a HR database, measurethe authority’s workforce diversity and introduce a new payroll system as adirect result of CPA. She feels the process is of more benefit to under-performing councils thanthose succeeding as it will help implement a change programme and focusresources on areas that need it. McDougall said: “It [CPA] lays out the stalls. Once a council hasfailed, the only way it can go is up. While excellent authorities can only godown. I would not want to be at Camden [an excellent authority] even if mysalary was doubled. It is much harder to maintain high standards thanimprove.” Local government HR body Socpo is broadly supportive of CPA providing it isimplemented and managed correctly. Socpo president Francesca Okosi believes performance tables can bebeneficial as long as they are used as a positive force for change and not as anaming and shaming process. “I am determined to see it as a positive – although I was cynical aboutit in the beginning,” she said. “No authority is poor; if CPA is seen as a snap shot at a point in timeand viewed as an authority’s starting point then it could work. There is lifeafter being viewed as a poor or weak authority.” CPA provides a great opportunity for HR professionals to increase theirstrategic influence, according to Socpo vice-president Mary Mallett. “There is a lot in CPA for HR practitioners to get their teeth in toand to drive service performance. The whole process is good for HR people whowant to get to the top table and make their voice heard, as it is a strongindicator that people deliver services and an organisation’s capability tochange.” She does fear that under-performing councils could suffer increasedrecruitment and retention problems as a result of the rankings – especially inthe south of England. “Individual councils with a negative ranking will find it hard toattract and retain staff, and keeping morale up among existing staff will bedifficult when they have been told they deliver poor services,” saidMallett. It is not just under-performing councils that could suffer increased retentionproblems following the CPA ratings. Peter Rogers, chief executive at Westminster Council – rated excellent – isconcerned that his authority will now have good staff poached by lower-ratedcouncils that need to improve services, as well as by the private sector. “It is almost inevitable that our staff will be poached by privatesector firms and staff at top councils will have much better job prospects anduse this to move on to other authorities,” he said. “The stability of staff is what has achieved excellent status in thefirst place, while bottom ranked councils will struggle to keep and recruitstaff because of the new stigma.” There are also concerns over the time and resources that councils have tospend preparing for the new auditing process. Jan Parkinson, strategic director of HR at Gateshead Metropolitan BoroughCouncil – also rated excellent – is relieved that as a top rating council, herauthority will be freed from inspection for the next three years. “When they inspect they suck in a lot of resources. This allows us torelease capacity, time and energy and re-focus it into the delivery of servicesand improving internal processes,” she said. Parkinson believes audits and inspections should be used to targetparticular areas and services in need of improvement. She is concerned thewide-ranging and prescriptive nature of the CPA adds bureaucracy and couldactually interfere with improvements. Socpo’s Mallett, who is also strategic director of organisation anddevelopment at top ranking Kent County Council, also has concerns over thebureaucratic nature of CPA. “It is amazing how much time is taken up by gathering the data,meetings and programmes for inspections,” she said. “Now we can justget on with doing them instead of all the bureaucracy. “They [the inspections] take people’s eyes off the ball as they spendall their time working and worrying about it.” All HR professionals are in agreement that councils must share best practiceto improve the overall performance and image of the sector. Socpo’s website will have a dedicated page on CPA where HR professionals candiscuss experiences and share knowledge and best practice. CPA has been introduced despite the opposition of the unions. Unison believes councils should be free of inspections and that the wholeCPA process is a waste of money. It claims the estimated £1bn cost of the project would have been betterspent training frontline managers and staff and increasing pay to attract and retainemployees – only time will tell. www.socpo.org.ukWalsall Council working towards improvementsWalsall Council is an example of howthe worst performing councils will have to respond if they fail to improveservices.The authority was forced to sack its entire management team,including the head of personnel, in July 2002 as a result of having receivedbad reports from Ofsted and the Department of Health.The council recruited an interim chief executive and managementteam, which must prove to local government minister Nick Raynsford that theauthority is improving its performance before a permanent management team canbe appointed.Poor performing councilsBedfordshireCoventryHackney (London)Islington (London)Kingston-upon-HullLambeth (London)North East LincolnshireNorth TynesideSwindonTorbayWakefieldWalsallWaltham Forestlast_img read more

Passi high school fire leaves P1.2-M damage

first_imgFirefighters said the blaze was putunder control at around 2 p.m. An hour later, they declared a “fire out.”  There were no reported casualties but schoolrecords were burned in the fire. The blaze started razing the oldadministration building of the Passi City National High School around 11:22p.m. on March 8, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection. ILOILO City – Properties estimated to beworth P1.2 million all went up in smoke after fire struck a public high schoolin Passi City. center_img Arson investigators have yet todetermine the cause and origin of the blaze./PNlast_img read more