Prisons

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 21st July 2009.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 2:30 pm, 21st July 2009

What mechanism exists for the management of contracts awarded to public sector bidders for the management of market-tested prisons.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

Responsibility for the management of all prisons rests with the directors of offender management and the Ministry of Justice. Each public sector prison, including those successful in a market test, is managed via a service level agreement between the relevant director of offender management and the prison.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

HMP Wellingborough is being market-tested and a good bid is being put together by the local governor and the prison officers, who have ignored their national union's advice on working together. If the bid is successful and the prison has its own market plan, how does it fit in with the overall system? Is it separate?

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his persistence on this matter. In our Adjournment debate, he described himself as an ideological Thatcherite but then went on to argue for keeping his prison in the public sector, which is an interesting example of the Conservative party facing both ways. None the less, I wish to assure him that we welcome good public sector bids. If HMP Wellingborough produces such a bid and wins, I will be very pleased.

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