Following the damning NAO report earlier this month, the Public Accounts Committee, will now review the progress of TR since their last inquiry into the running of the Probation Service in England and Wales. In March 2018 the PAC found that the MoJ was a long way from delivering the ‘rehabilitation revolution’ it had promised.
The Committee had first reported on the major reform to probation services in 2014 outlining several risks and challenges. The Committee’s next review in 2016, concluded that the failure to deal with ICT problems and the impact on providers of lower than expected business volumes had undermined the pace of change, and posed a threat to achieving planned outcomes. The Committee added that it was crucial that the MoJ completed the “rehabilitation revolution” it had started and made good on its promise to reduce the huge economic and human cost of reoffending.
On Wednesday 13th March the PAC held an evidence session to question MoJ officials Sir Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Michael Spurr, HMPPS CEO about failures achieve the objectives of its reforms.
Ahead of the session, Napo General Secretary, Ian Lawrence, urged the Committee to also look at the specific circumstances surrounding last month’s collapse of the three CRCs previously run by Working Links, who entered into Administration. He said: “there are serious questions as to who benefited from the two taxpayer funded ‘bail outs’ given to this most dreadful service provider and why constant warnings from the Probation unions about their financial and operational position were ignored by the MoJ for so long.”