What are they, why are they relevant and how should you monitor them?

Source: GoLegal (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Over the past year, the NHS has been at the forefront of managing UK’s response to COVID-19. On a regional level, Clinical Commissioning Groups, or CCGs as they are commonly called, have been one of the major vehicles by which this response was budgeted and balanced against ongoing existing healthcare needs.

For a sense of scale, England’s CCGs were allocated more than £81b during the 2020/21 fiscal year, representing almost 9% of UK’s total budget.

A prime example of COVID time services commissioned by CGGs was and…

Data Journalism

A framework for deconstructing Data Journalism knowledge into several main silos.

[The author expresses interest in using this framework to provide Data Journalism training to working journalists in under-developed countries and remote regions].

Data Journalism

In 1848, United States Congressman Horace Greeley took advantage of his access to travel reimbursement records and generated a story for the New-York Tribune, putting forth, in text and table forms, “each congressman by name with the mileage he received, the mileage the postal route would have granted him, and the difference in cost between them.” (Hamilton, 2016).

source: pixabay

This act of Data Journalism might have preceded the definition of the field by more than 150 years, but nevertheless…

Following criticism expressed against Sunak’s £100m Tax Taxpayer Protection Taskforce, Mr Uday Dholakia OBE, Chairman of the Leicestershire Asian Business Association (LABA), expands on business and community aspects, while an HMRC spokesperson provides a thought provoking official response.

Mr Uday Dholakia, a senior partner at Global Consulting (UK) has had a long standing interest in Better Regulation, from policing and the law society to the Better Regulation Office itself, including a stint at HMRC’s Charter Committee. He is the vice president for Air Passenger Association of India (APAI) and an Honorary Consul for The Republic of Malawi, to list a…

Craig Tully, a tax investigation specialist from Gilbert Tax Consultants, has recently written on the psychology of financial fraud. I spoke with Mr Tully on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £100m Taxpayer Protection Taskforce, announced during the 2021 budget presentation. Relaxed, from the comforts of his West Yorkshire office, he offered us some challenging insights.

Source: pixabay

Chancellor Sunak’s Statement on the £100m Taskforce

Here is what the Chancellor said, in the House of Commons, regarding the new taskforce:

We’ll also tackle fraud in our covid schemes, with £100m to set up a new HMRC taskforce of around 1,000 investigators as well as new measures, and new investment in HMRC, to…

Source: ILO/Nguyễn ViệtThanh

Protect, UK main’s whistleblowing support charity, has seen a 5% rise in whistleblowers dismissed for whistleblowing since last October.

According to Louise O’Neill, Head of Communications, retail and hospitality were the sectors Protect saw most furlough fraud in.

Workplace furlough fraud made up 62% of Covid-19 cases to Protect’s
Advice Line — the fastest emerging issue the charity has dealt with in its

Overall, 2020 was a record year in terms of the number of whistleblowers needing advice, up 20% from 2019:

Protect has been recently advocating for a review of current Whistleblowing law, O’Neill says:

In particular…

photo: PIXNIO

Steve and Anne, a fictitious couple, own and run a small rural bicycle repair shop. They’ve been in business for more than twenty years now. John, their son, has recently joined in as a full time employee. Things were looking up.

Then Covid-19 hit. Customer traffic slowed down, so John went on furlough, while Steve and Anne kept the store open to serve community cyclists. When Steve’s back pain returned, he asked John to step back into the store. Money was tight so John stayed on furlough, doing a good deed for his dad.

Unbeknownst to him, John could have…

Exposing wrongdoing can be a risky endeavour. If you are serious about whistleblowing get professional advice or do your homework.

source: https://thenounproject.com/term/whistleblower/89125/

Government Guidance

According GOV.UK, you are whistleblowing if “you’re a worker and you report certain types of wrongdoing”. The wrongdoings you are disclosing should be in the “public interest”. As a whistleblower, you are protected by law, and should be be treated fairly and have an expectation not to loose your job (due to the act of whistleblowing itself).

Note that personal grievances are not protected under the whistleblowing law, under they are in the public interest. …

source: Wikimedia

A month after a high court judge denied a US request for extraditing Julian Assange, while refusing his request to be released on bail, Mrs Anna Ardin (a.k.a. the Swedish Mrs. A) publishes a new tell-all, “In the Shadow of Assange: My Testimony”. Here’s a short update.

Julian Assange, the Australian born founder of WikiLeaks, was accused of sexually assaulting Mrs. Ardin in 2010 when he stayed at her apartment. …

a no-nonsense a bi-weekly newsletter covering dark web reporting, research and opportunities.


Clark Merrefield (Journalist’s Resource) talks with Gary King (director of Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science) who launched The SilverLining Project: “Can academics and journalists collaborate on big data projects?”


Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science is inviting journalist to collaborate on analysing, developing methodologies and gaining long term insights from data collected on the dark web: “The SilverLining Project seeks to advise academics who want to use data on the dark web for scholarly analysis without running afoul of the law and university rules.”

Dorsey and Zuckerberg, US Congress, (Bloomberg)
source: Bloomberg

Since their seventeenth century emergence, newspapers have evolved from instruments of commerce, through being platforms for partisan political expression, and towards their modern form: marketplaces of public opinion (Barnhurst and Nerone, 2009: 17–18).

Still, defining what is journalism remains an elusive task, mainly due to contemporary blurring of boundaries between professional and audience reporting (Shapiro, 2014: 555).

Social Network Sites (SNS), a term used to collectively describe a diverse group of commercial online services, allow for the speedy distribution of information to wide audiences (Torres et al., 2018).

SNS usage is ubiquitous, as stated in an Oxford University report by…

Dror Kessler

Furlough Fraud, Whistleblowing, DarkWeb, Data Journalism, #Birmingham (researcher/journalist)

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