SHARE A panel of judges have selected Jessica Ronat as a finalist in the FMC “Stand & Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest.” She will receive a scholarship prize and is now in the contest’s final round.Eighteen year old Ronat of Pocahontas, Ill., has been a member of 4-H for nearly a decade and was involved in FFA for three years. She has received accolades for livestock showing as well as showmanship and citizenship awards. Jessica also was named Grand Champion for photography at the state level. She grew up on a farm, raising Katahdin Hair Sheep and chickens. Throughout high school, Jessica performed in several musicals as well as the state and national FFA choirs. This fall, she will attend Indiana Wesleyan University and major in music therapy.All four finalists recently travelled to Nashville to take part in a professional recording experience at the House of Blues Studio. Finalist performances are at the contest website. At the site fans can cast their vote through September 18 to determine a grand prize winner, who will receive a $10,000 scholarship. The three remaining finalists will receive $5,000 scholarships. Winner announcements will be made on Sept. 22.“This year’s finalists not only display strong musical talents, but they are truly the future of our industry,” said Matt Hancock, FMC Agricultural Solutions North America corn segment manager. “We look forward to seeing where their futures take them.” By Andy Eubank – Sep 17, 2014 SHARE Facebook Twitter Home Indiana Agriculture News Deadline Here to Vote for Indiana College Student in Anthem Contest Facebook Twitter Deadline Here to Vote for Indiana College Student in Anthem Contest Previous articleMorning OutlookNext articleMidday Update Andy Eubank
in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Who are the Industry’s Top Leaders? Next: Industry Pulse: Updates on Auction.com, Radian, and More … The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save Tagged with: CoreLogic Delinquencies Foreclosure Frank Nothaft Homeownership Negative Equity Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Donna Joseph is a Dallas-based writer who covers technology, HR best practices, and a mix of lifestyle topics. She is a seasoned PR professional with an extensive background in content creation and corporate communications. Joseph holds a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Mass Communication, both from the University of Bangalore, India. She is currently working on two books, both dealing with women-centric issues prevalent in oppressive as well as progressive societies. She can be reached at [email protected] CoreLogic Delinquencies Foreclosure Frank Nothaft Homeownership Negative Equity 2018-12-06 Donna Joseph Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Equity for U.S. mortgage holders has increased by nearly $775. 2 billion (or 9.4 percent) since the Q3 2017, according to an analysis by CoreLogic.The analysis indicated that homeowners are breaking away from the negative equity trap. It reflected a decrease in negative equity of total mortgaged residential properties by 4 percent in 2018, compared to 4.1 percent the previous year. Compared to the third quarter of 2017, negative equity decreased 16 percent from 2.6 million homes, or 5 percent of all mortgaged properties.According to the CoreLogic, at the end of the third quarter of 2018, the national aggregate of negative equity recorded an approximate of $281.6 billion—a drop every quarter by approximately $1.1 billion, from $280.5 billion in the second quarter of 2018. Compare this to 2009, negative equity peaked at 26 percent of mortgaged residential properties. Nationally, the average homeowner gained approximately $12,400 in equity during the past year, with California recording the highest year-over-year average increase at $36,500. At the metropolitan level, negative equity continues to improve across the country, with the exception of Miami-Miami Beach and Kendall-Florida, at 11.2 percent year over year, the report found.“The number of homes in a negative equity position has remained around 2.2 million for two consecutive quarters this year. Without equity, those homeowners are unable to sell their homes and are more likely to transition from delinquency to foreclosures if they face financial distress,” said Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Breaking Away From the Negative Equity Trap About Author: Donna Joseph Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles December 6, 2018 1,264 Views Breaking Away From the Negative Equity Trap Subscribe
Google+ Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp By News Highland – September 26, 2011 Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Newsx Adverts Twitter Facebook Pinterest Twitter 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Facebook HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week A councilor has claimed that the council could be perceived as brushing under the carpet a debate on the ‘Whole Timed System of Work’Councillor Ciaran Brogan made the remark after the press where barred from a debate on the WSW at the request of Frank McBrearty Junior.His request was backed by most members of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein.The Whole System of Work has cost over 3.5 million euro to date and is a framework with the aim of helping the council work more efficiently.The decision to block media coverage of the debate is understood to avoid litigation against the council or it’s members.Questions have been raised about how the WSW contract was procured and awarded.It is currently being tested to see if it is to be fully implemented .Greg Hughes spoke to Cllr Brogan in Lifford this afternoon. He says the decision to meet in private was the wrong one………..[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/brogan1.mp3[/podcast] Press barred from crucial county council debate Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Pinterest Previous articleDonegal primary school classrooms amongst most overcrowded in countryNext articleNew Psychiatric Unit reflects much better understanding of mental health needs – HSE News Highland WhatsApp
By News Highland – April 24, 2018 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pope Francis could visit West of Ireland in August Pinterest Pope Francis could be set to visit the West of Ireland as part of his two day trip here in August.The Irish Independent reports that the Pontiff may fly into Ireland West airport in Knock on Saturday 25th raising the possibility of a mass at the Marian Shrine.It’s thought up to 650 thousand people will want to see him in the Phoenix Park in Dublin the following day – with organisers concerned about getting them in and out safely.Pope Francis is attending an event at the World Meeting of Families in Croke Park and there’s also speculation he’ll visit Mountjoy Prison and the Capuchin Day Centre. Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp Harps come back to win in Waterford Google+ Previous articleLatest LIS Donegal funding allocation ‘nowhere near enough’Next articleDepartment urged to see Buncrana road as economic driver for region News Highland Twitter Pinterest DL Debate – 24/05/21 Twitter Google+ Homepage BannerNews Facebook Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA
Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Homepage BannerNews Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th WhatsApp By News Highland – January 17, 2020 A large quantity of suspected cannabis has been seized in SligoAs part of an ongoing investigation into the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the area, Gardaí attached to Ballymote District and Sligo Divisional Drugs unit carried out a search of a property in Castle Burn, Ballymote, Co. Sligo yesterday.During the search Gardaí seized Cannabis with an estimated value of €100,000 along with a sum of cash.A male in his 30s was arrested and was taken to Ballymote Garda station for questioning.He remains in custody and investigations are ongoing. Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Large quantity of suspected cannabis seized in North West Twitter Google+ Pinterest Google+ Previous articleDonegal Election Candidate expresses support for farmers protestsNext articleInvestigation ongoing into arson attack in Co. Derry News Highland WhatsApp Pinterest DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook Twitter Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme
SETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesBy MATT ZARRELL and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A third woman has alleged unwanted advances by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Anna Ruch told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo placed his hands on her face during a wedding reception in New York City in September 2019 and “asked if he could kiss her.” A photo of the alleged incident was taken and shared with the paper.The revelation came on the same day New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her investigation into previous allegations of sexual harassment.James’ office told ABC News Monday evening it read Ruch’s account in the Times and will decide whether to incorporate it into the just-launched investigation into the governor’s conduct.Cuomo formally referred the case into allegations against the governor to AG, the governor’s office announced Sunday night.This decision enables an investigation with subpoena power for the attorney general’s office.“The Governor’s office wants a thorough and independent review that is above reproach and beyond political interference. Therefore, the Governor’s office has asked Attorney General Tish James to select a qualified private lawyer to do an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment,” Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to the governor, said in a statement Sunday night. “The lawyer shall report publicly their findings. The Governor’s office will voluntarily cooperate fully.”James earlier Sunday rejected a proposal from Cuomo to select an independent investigator to conduct a review, she said on Sunday afternoon.After two former aides came forward last week with accusations against Cuomo, Garvey at first announced that an independent review would be launched, led by former federal Judge Barbara Jones.But after critics argued Jones was inadequate given her business ties to Cuomo’s top aide, Steve Cohen, the governor’s office released a statement on Sunday morning that James and the chief judge of the court of appeals, Janet DiFiore, would jointly select an “independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review and issue a public report.”“We had selected former Federal Judge Barbara Jones, with a stellar record for qualifications and integrity, but we want to avoid even the perception of a lack of independence or inference of politics,” the statement said. “The work product will be solely controlled by that independent lawyer personally selected by the Attorney General and Chief Judge.”Later on Sunday, James rejected the governor’s call for the appointment of an outside lawyer and repeated her request for a formal referral from the governor’s office so she can lead an investigation with subpoena power.“To clarify, I do not accept the governor’s proposal. The state’s Executive Law clearly gives my office the authority to investigate this matter once the governor provides a referral. While I have deep respect for Chief Judge DiFiore, I am the duly elected attorney general and it is my responsibility to carry out this task, per Executive Law,” James said in a statement. “The governor must provide this referral so an independent investigation with subpoena power can be conducted.”“I urge the governor to make this referral immediately,” James said.State and U.S. senators, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and others are calling for a completely independent investigation. Some, including state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, have called for Cuomo’s resignation.Allegations made against CuomoTwo former aides to Cuomo made allegations of sexual harassment against the governor last week.On Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan made claims of “sexual harassment and bullying” against the governor, saying it lasted “for years.”In a post on Medium, Boylan described one incident aboard a flight with Cuomo, aides and a New York state trooper in October 2017 where Cuomo suggested they play “strip poker.” She also complained to friends that Cuomo “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”Boylan, who began working in the state office in 2015 and was later promoted to deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, accused Cuomo of creating “a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive, that it is not only condoned but expected.”Months before her Medium post, Boylan, saying she was compelled to go public after seeing Cuomo’s name floated as a potential U.S. attorney general candidate, began tweeting allegations against Cuomo on Dec. 13.“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years,” she tweeted.Boylan, who is currently running for Manhattan borough president, resigned from the governor’s office in September 2018.After Boylan’s Medium post, Cuomo’s office issued a statement denying her allegations against the governor.“As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false,” according to a statement from press secretary Caitlin Girouard.The statement also denied Boylan’s allegations of what happened on the October 2017 flight.Calls for an independent investigation and for the governor to resign have increased after a second accuser came forward with allegations against Cuomo on Saturday.Charlotte Bennett, another former aide to Cuomo, told The New York Times that the governor harassed her last spring, including one incident on June 5, 2020, where Cuomo allegedly asked her questions about her personal life, romantic interests and stated that he was “open to relationships with women in their 20s,” the Times reported.Bennett left Cuomo’s administration in November, she told the Times.“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times, adding that she told Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, a week after the June 5 incident and was transferred from the role of executive assistant to a health policy adviser.Cuomo has denied the allegations but said in a statement Sunday night that some of the things he has said “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” Cuomo’s statement said. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” Cuomo’s statement said.Cuomo released a statement after the Times story was published, calling Bennett a “hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID” but denied making any advances towards Bennett.On Twitter, Bennett wrote “I stand with Anna Ruch. Anna — I hear you, I see you. I’m so sorry. His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and strength. Here for you always.”Cuomo said he never intended to act in any way that was inappropriate and was trying to be a supportive and helpful mentor.“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” he said.“This situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press; I believe the best way to get to the truth is through a full and thorough outside review and I am directing all state employees to comply with that effort. I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgments. I will have no further comment until the review has concluded,” he added.Cuomo also under fire for nursing home deathsCuomo is also being investigated by the FBI and federal prosecutors, who are looking at the governor’s coronavirus task force, with a particular focus on his administration’s handling of nursing homes early in the coronavirus pandemic, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.The investigation, first reported by the Albany Times Union, is in its initial stages. Subpoenas have been issued, the sources said.The FBI has declined to comment, as did the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.The full scope of the investigation is not immediately clear, but the sources said there was a particular interest in nursing homes, which have been a source of increasing frustration for Cuomo.The number of New York nursing home residents who died from the virus may have been undercounted by as much as 50%, according to an investigation conducted by the New York attorney general’s office, which said that many of those patients died after being moved to the hospital and were thus not counted as nursing home deaths.Investigators asked 62 nursing homes for information about on-site and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 beginning the week of March 1, 2020, and found significant discrepancies between those figures and the numbers reported to the Department of Health. In one instance, according to the report, a facility reported to the DOH that on-site fatalities totaled five confirmed COVID-19 deaths and six presumed COVID-19 deaths, but told the AG’s office there were actually 27 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths — a discrepancy of 29 deaths.Earlier this month, a Cuomo aide conceded the administration withheld the nursing home death toll from state lawmakers out of fear it would be used against the state by the Trump administration.“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said of Trump on the conference call recording, a transcript of which was provided by DeRosa to ABC News. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer. He directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”Cuomo conceded his handling of nursing home fatality data created a “void” that became filled by misinformation and conspiracy theories — but he declined to apologize.“The void we created by not providing information was filled with skepticism and cynicism and conspiracy theories which fueled the confusion,” Cuomo said during a news conference Monday. “The void we created disinformation and that caused more anxiety for loved ones.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
BriefingOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today This month’s briefingAlternative risks Nurses are often given “superficial” and “inferior”training courses in complementary therapy and could pose a risk to patients bypractising without supervision, a parliamentary committee has warned. The Houseof Lords science and technology select committee is calling for familiarisationwith complementary and alternative medicine to become a formal part of nursetraining. Nursing Standard,10 December 2000 Diet study Beer and convenience foods such as burgers are the staple diet of mostBritish males and a third of females, a national study reveals. The study ofmore than 2,000 people, funded by the Department of Health and carried out bythe Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, reveals thatdiet is closely linked to geographical location, socio-economic status andbehaviour. Nursing Times, 12 December 2000 Aussie carrot Health minister for New South Wales Craig Knowles has said that hospitalsand nursing agencies in Britain are offering a 50 per cent wage rise and freeair fares to Australian nurses. Knowles said New South Wales would not raisenurses’ salaries. Nursing Times, 4 December 2000 Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.
Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Making it all add upOn 12 Mar 2002 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. The ‘perfect’ payroll system comes at a price – time andeffort in preparation. Only once a requirement list is drawn up in view of thewider HR picture, and departmental changes earmarked, can a worthwhileselection be made. Keith Rodgers reportsCompared to more complex enterprise applications, buyingpayroll software should be a relatively straightforward exercise. The processesare usually well established within organisations, the IT market is mature andthe basic requirements are fairly standard. The reality, however, is that many companies still fail tomake the best choice when they go through the selection process. This is partlybecause payroll options have proliferated in recent years – as well as avariety of standalone applications and modules, vendors offer a range ofoutsourcing services, from management of the entire payroll function to remote‘hosting’ of the application. But part of the blame lies with users themselves. Mostpurchasers of HR software focus on features and functionality, believing thekey task is to find the most suitable application at the best price. But to getthe maximum return from implementation, users need to tackle a far broaderrange of issues, including the total cost of ownership and management ofservice and support agreements.In many ways, the payroll function is being pulled indifferent directions. On the one hand, few would argue that these systems arestrategic – they are primarily process-based and add little value in terms ofleveraging an organisation’s human capital asset base. On the other hand, they play a central role in the smoothrunning of any enterprise – salary may not be a positive motivator for mostemployees, but when things go wrong it is invariably a negative factor. Asstatutory requirements for employers continue to grow, getting the payrollservice right becomes a delicate balance between cost constraints and the need for efficiencyin a highly sensitive HR function.Simplify the process The message from software vendors, consultants and industryanalysts alike is that many companies are making the whole process tougher thanit needs to be. Software selection, which on the surface appears an elementarypurchasing task, requires far more preparation than most organisationstypically undertake. At the same time, purchasing new payroll applications oroutsourced services presents a major opportunity for companies to streamlinetheir existing activities, cut costs and improve their operationaleffectiveness. Not every buyer is grabbing the opportunity, however.The selection process effectively boils down to fourinterconnected elements: l Understanding the organisation’s true payroll needs ● Deciding whether to run an application in-house oroutsource ● Establishing the total costs associated with theshortlisted options, including ongoing fees and ‘soft’ outgoings such asdraining of resource● Assessing the suitability of shortlisted suppliers. A fifth element – building the contractual framework for aneffective business relationship with the application or service provider –completes the purchasing process.Surprisingly, it is in the first area that most companiesfall down. David Spencer, manager at Andersen’s human capital practice in theUK, argues that a common mistake is for users to fail to understand theircurrent operations – how the payroll system is integrated with other HR andfinance applications, whether the right information is reaching the rightpeople, and whether the company is complying effectively with statutory payrollobligations.Kevin Gordon, strategic sales director at Rebus HR, says:“It is about understanding what you are trying to achieve by changing thesystem. If the company is not clear, there is not a chance in hell that the vendorcan deliver it.” As Gordon points out, all payroll applications should have thefunctional capability to handle the gross-to-net process. The key point is towork out what the unique needs of the business are. As well as helping define users’ software requirements, thisreview process should also provide a platform for internal improvements. Onevendor tells of a payroll site that historically required interfaces to twodifferent general ledger systems. Even after the financial applications were consolidated,it continued to build both sets of interfaces in the next two generations ofpayroll application, despite the fact that half that work was redundant. Companies can take the opportunity to clean up these processanomalies and measure the effectiveness of their existing operations – bycomparing the ratio of payroll clerks to employees, for example, and comparingthat to industry averages. This kind of assessment may go to the heart of theorganisational structure. Are there too many grades of pay, for instance – andif so, does that reflect a structure that has become overly complex?It is also important to bear in mind that payrollimplementation can’t be carried out in isolation – while the department itselfmay have its own wish list, the broader needs of the HR and finance departmentsmay ultimately determine what kind of application is selected. Organisationsneed to determine where they draw the line between payroll and otherapplications such as time-recording systems. Team effortTo ensure the selection process is inclusive, consultanciessuch as Andersen recommend that a working group be formed comprisingrepresentatives from payroll, HR, IT, finance and any other function with avested interest in the process, frequently reporting to the finance director.This group may need to report even further up the managementchain when it comes to determining whether payroll applications should bepurchased outright or outsourced, particularly if an organisation has acorporate policy to contract out non-strategic functions. That decision willalso have an impact on the third element of the selection equation –establishing upfront and ongoing costs – and much of the focus in theoutsourcing arena has been on comparing the relative financial models of thetwo approaches.Typically, organisations tend to focus on the cost ofone-off software licence fees when they opt to keep payroll in-house – the trueongoing cost of ownership, however, is much higher. Depending on the amount ofintegration work required between other systems and the degree to whichsoftware is customised, the licence itself may only account for between 30 and50 per cent of the total lifetime cost of the application. Additional chargescome in the form of consultancy fees, both to adapt business processes and at atechnical level, for implementation and integration services. The ratio of licence fee to implementation services willtypically be 1:1 to 1:2, depending on the scale and complexity of the project.Ongoing software maintenance fees also rack up – they are typically charged atbetween 15 and 20 per cent of the licence fee per year and cover the cost ofsoftware upgrades and some level of technical support.Other charges include the cost of training – both for ITstaff and end-users – and if necessary, an allocation for in-house IT support. The ongoing cost equation is also heavily influenced by thedegree of customisation users carry out on the application itself. While somelevel of personalisation is inevitable when a new system is installed, there isa big difference between superficial changes (such as adjusting screens) anddeeper customisation that alters the system’s hard code. Any major changes‘under the covers’ are likely to have a significant impact down the line becausethey require further customisation work each time a major software upgrade isreleased.Andersen’s Spencer says: “It becomes very expensive if youbuy off-the-shelf and customise too much. The more customisation you do, themore problems you have.” These issues are frequently highlighted by outsourcingservice providers as justification for handing payroll to a third party, eitherthrough a fully-fledged functional outsourcing agreement or through an IT-basedservices contract. The most comprehensive outsourcing offering – a facilitiesmanagement or managed services operation – sees a provider taking control ofthe entire payroll operation, including payroll staff. Application Service Providers, by contrast, ‘host’ only thepayroll application, which is accessed by the user through the internet. Bureauservices fall into the middle, hosting systems remotely but also offering arange of specialist add-on services such as payslip printing. While there aresignificant differences between the offerings, in each case one of the keybenefits is that capital expenditure is removed and ongoing charges arepredictable. Stephen Fairn, sales and marketing director at outsourcingprovider Ceridian Centrefile, says, the costs are ‘genuinely budgetable’,rising and falling in line with the evolution of the user’s business aspersonnel numbers increase or are cut back.The other side of the outsourcing equation, however, shouldnot be overlooked, particularly in the ASP business. When the ASP model firstburst onto the IT scene in the 1990s, many believed it would offer ahigh-quality service at a cut price. In reality, the prices are not usuallycheap – the service providers are taking on a large IT administrative burdenand charge a suitable fee for doing so. In addition, industry analysts andexponents of the traditional licensing model argue that the ASP route caninvolve hidden costs for unforeseen services that fall outside the strictservice contract. Tim Tobin, commercial director at Snowdrop Systems, suggeststhat users should clarify how ASP vendors handle payroll variables – fromchanges to bonus structures to business reorganisations – to ensure that theuser has the required flexibility. More significantly, take-up of the ASP model has been farbelow the initial hyped projections, and there is some cynicism in the marketabout the model. Initial experiences weren’t always good: a number ofspecialist providers collapsed, and there has been concern about the poorquality of support offered by some start-up providers. However, as the industry matures, most of these issues arebeing resolved, and many expect the ASP model to enjoy some level of resurgencethrough quality specialist providers and major vendors. The fourth element of the selection process – supplierassessment – is a combination of financial due diligence and partnermanagement. In a field where legislative requirements call for continualupgrades, vendor viability is critical, and users need to have confidence bothin their supplier’s financial standing and its ability to provide ongoingsupport and product development. Some of these long-term concerns are hard to allay – furtherconsolidation in the IT industry is inevitable at every level, and the softwaresector is littered with examples of product lines that have been dropped in theaftermath of a takeover. Purchasers can, however, do more at a practical level toensure the levels of service and support they demand from suppliers arecontractually laid out from the outset, particularly in defining a servicelevel agreement that contains practical metrics for analysing the supplier’sperformance. Partnership approachAnalysts warn that in many cases, purchasers become soobsessed with features and functionality that they fail to focus enough onthese ‘softer’ elements of the relationship. The best approach is to treat thepurchase as a partnership – vendors can only deliver results if organisationsspell out their requirements in advance. As Snowdrop’s Tobin points out, many users, particularly inthe public sector, now host an open day for suppliers where they present theirstrategic plans and perceived challenges before inviting proposals. That givesthe vendor an opportunity to understand the organisation’s unique requirementsand make an informed decision as to whether to bid. Above all, users need to be cautious about information theyreceive. Many rely on vendor presentations, but these will clearly be slantedtowards product strengths. Speaking with – and preferably visiting – existinguser reference sites is also recommended. Personal demonstrations – where theagenda is drawn up by the user, as opposed to a generic presentation from thesupplier – are also a good idea and can cut through much of the hype.In essence, much of the payroll purchasing process comesdown to common sense. But users frequently come to the table unprepared. AsRebus HR’s Gordon concludes: “Be very clear about your business, yourpriorities. Clarity is important – not the vendors’ bells and whistles.”The self-service revolution According to Kevin Gordon, strategic sales director atRebusHR, about half the enquiries coming in from potential software purchasersinclude requests for electronic payslip delivery – one of the most prominentcost-saving elements of employee self-service systems.To date, much of the focus in the self-service market hasbeen on achieving process-based cost savings. By allowing employees to enterdata directly into HR systems over a corporate intranet – be it a change ofhome address or enrolment into a new benefits scheme – HR departments can cuttheir own administrative burden and also offer a 24/7 service to employees. Data self-entry has the advantage of reducing the need forrekeying and therefore decreases the likelihood of errors – employees arelikely to be particularly cautious about entering information correctly when itdirectly affects their pay cheque. Moreover, as self-service systems evolve,they become a platform for collaborative team working and a mechanism fordistributing corporate, industry and sometimes non-vocational information. Because of the breadth of the potential for self-service HR,analysts advise that payroll implementations cannot be viewed in isolation.While distributing payslips electronically to employees’ desktops is apayroll-specific application, many other elements cross HR boundaries. Payrolldata, for example, can form the basis for more effective distribution ofmanagement reports through the self-service infrastructure in areas such asovertime or headcount analysis. Lee Geishecker, research director at consultancy Gartner,suggests: “Think of payroll as part of the bigger picture in self-service. Weare moving away from a functionality focus – it’s part of broader HR.”
Marine ice is an important factor in ice shelf stability. An extensive marine ice layer is present under the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS), East Antarctica. This paper documents observations on the seasonal variability of the AIS–ocean interaction beneath its marine ice layer. We focus on data collected during 2002 through a borehole at AM01, 100 km from the ice shelf calving front, and use additional data from two other boreholes to complement the study. At AM01, the top ~20 m of the water column is super–cooled almost year–round, protecting the marine ice layer and promoting frazil ice formation. The mixed layer thickness varies from ~50 m in February to at least 160 m by June, as the water column cools and freshens. High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) abruptly arrives at AM01 in June–August as an eddy–like flow. We suggest that the flow characteristics are a result of baroclinic instabilities. In addition, the inflow of HSSW results in a steepening of the isopycnals that enhances the upwelling of Ice Shelf Water. This study documents, for the first time, a seasonal signal in the formation of marine ice under the AIS. Our results highlight the vulnerability of the marine ice layer to ocean variability with potential consequences for the overall ice shelf mass balance.