Interserve - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:29 pm on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:29 pm, 20th March 2019

On the first point raised by the noble Lord, it is important to understand that what happened to Interserve was totally different from what happened to Carillion, for example. Carillion went bust. Pensioners took a hit. Creditors took a hit. People lost their jobs and there was discontinuity in services. None of that happened with Interserve. It was done with the approval of the pension trustees and the lenders, who wrote off the debt and put £100 million in. There was no discontinuity in services and nobody lost their job. That is important to understand.

The noble Lord asked whether we would have a general review. I announced that we have learned from past lessons; the document to which I just referred has 11 key policy areas in which we can come to better decisions and create a healthier outsourcing market.

The noble Lord is right that Interserve has a general portfolio—it protects the pandas in Edinburgh Zoo. The issue of probation services goes far wider than Interserve, as the noble Lord will know; the MoJ has announced a review of community rehabilitation services, with a view to improving outcomes and better integrating public sector, private sector and third sector providers.