Spotlight Britain papers give short descriptions of domestic policies and the work of British Government Departments, as well as information about various aspects of modern Britain.
These documents are currently posted on the web site in the Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) file format, which preserves the exact layout of the documents' pages as they are transmitted across the Internet. To view or print them, you will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader software which may be downloaded from the Adobe web site. As part of the personalisation function, you can register your interest in Spotlight Britain papers with the web site. When a new paper is added to the collection, you will receive an email 'alert' message advising you of its availability.
Some Spotlight Britain papers are translated into other languages. (Please see individual summaries for details.) Foreign language versions will normally appear on the website a little later than the English version.
See also the Publications from Britain online bookstore, where you can purchase booklets and wallcharts on Britain and British life using your credit card.
BRITAINíS FORESIGHT PROGRAMME
Britainís Foresight Programme was launched in 1994 following a major review of the Governmentís policy on science, engineering and technology. Under the auspices of the Office of Science and Technology (OST), a part of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), 16 panels were set up to identify trends, opportunities and challenges for
different sectors of the economy likely to emerge over the next 10 to 20 years, and the actions needed to explore them.
DEVOLUTION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Devolution is a major plank of the UK Governmentís constitutional agenda. This paper describes what devolution means for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and for the United Kingdom as a whole.
Talking Points on Britain's Economy
A bimonthly digest of recent financial and economic events in Britain.
THE CITY OF LONDON’S FINANCIAL SERVICES
The City of London is one of the world's three leading financial centres, along
with Tokyo and New York, and is by far the largest in Europe. While New York
and Tokyo rely on very large domestic economies to fuel their business, London’s success
can be attributed to its international business. Major financial institutions and markets in
the City include the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange, Lloyd's insurance
market, and the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange.
ELECTIONS FOR THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES: 6 MAY 1999
The people of Wales voted for Members of the National Assembly for
Wales (AMs) on 6 May 1999. For the first time, Welsh electors used the Additional Member System, a system of proportional representation which combines the traditional 'first past the post' system with a regional party list system.
A brief overview of Government policy and practice in today's modern Britain.
BRITAIN’S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
The National Health Service (NHS) has been in existence for over 50 years. It
is administered by a range of health authorities and health boards throughout Britain.
The Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, Frank
Dobson, is responsible for general health matters and the provision of NHS services.
The Scottish Office Department of Health, the Welsh Office, and the Department of
Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland have similar responsibilities.
What the British are good at
This paper, drawn from a variety of sources and prepared for general briefing purposes, is intended to provide users with readily quotable facts and figures on British achievements.
Office of Fair Trading
Britainís Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is a non-ministerial department of
Government, set up in 1973 and headed by a Director-General. It plays a key role in protecting the rights of consumers, and in enforcing Britainís competition policy.
SCOTLAND AND WALES PREPARE FOR DEVOLUTION
Elections for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly will be held on 6 May 1999. Preparations for the devolved bodies are underway.
Britain's Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not only a Department of State, but also
incorporates the highest military headquarters of the Armed Forces. A unified Central Staff is made up of both military officers and civilians. The Secretary of State for Defence is George Robertson.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
In July 1997 the former Department for National Heritage was renamed the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It determines Government policy
and administers expenditure on museums and galleries, the arts, libraries, sport and recreation, tourism, historic buildings, broadcasting, media, the National Lottery and the Millennium.
The Department of Health and the National Health Service
The National Health Service (NHS), created on 5 July 1948, is fifty years old this year. It is administered by a range of health authorities and health boards throughout Britain. The Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson MP, is responsible for general health matters and the provision of NHS
services. The Scottish Office Department of Health, The Welsh Office, and the
Department of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland have similar
Forestry in Britain
The Forestry Commission for Great Britain (FC) and the Department of
Agriculture for Northern Ireland (DANI) Forest Service are tasked with the sustainable management of Britainís existing woods and forests and with a steady expansion of tree cover, to increase the many diverse benefits that forests provide.
The Welsh Office
The overall aim of the Welsh Office is fourfold: to shape and implement policies for Wales in order to extend
democratic accountability there;
to increase economic prosperity for people in all parts of Wales;
to improve the quality of life for people throughout Wales; and
to enable Wales to realise its potential within the United Kingdom,
Europe, and in the wider world.