Yet another company that provides services to the UK Government has collapsed. Interserve handles contracts for the Ministry of Justice for probation services.
Following the damning National Audit Office (NAO) report into the cost of this privatisation of probation I wanted to know what further impact this collapse would have.
One of the many roles of the Justice Select Committee is to cross-examine the UK Government’s preferred candidates for inspectorate roles.
This week we considered their choice for HM Chief Inspector of Probation. The candidate, Justin Russell, previously worked for the Ministry of Justice on the Transforming Rehabilitation programmes – the system used to part-privatise the now failing probation service.
During my questions I asked if someone who formed part of the team that created the failing system could be truly independent inspector.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has published its report into the part-privatisation of our probation services and it makes for damning reading.
Chris Grayling – the current Secretary of State for Transport who just had to pay £33million of taxpayers money in compensation to a private firm after he commissioned a ferry service to a company with no boats – was the mastermind behind this decision.
The report is clear that public money has been wasted and rehabilitation of offenders has been undermined. I wanted the Prisons Minister to state who is responsible and what will be done to address these massive failings in government.
The Justice Select Committee secured a debate on the financial situation of the Ministry of Justice – the most cut department in Government.
Over my speech I covered the abysmal failure of the part-privatised probation service – brought in by Chris Grayling MP – the cuts to prison officer numbers, the rise in violence in prisons and the crumbling infrastructure of our Victorian prisons.
This debate wasn’t just about where we have been and what mess the Government has placed our prisons and probation system in, it was a debate about how do we solve these problems created after eight years of neglect.