asked Her Majesty's Government:
When the efficiency of the administration of community service punishment was last reviewed and which government agency is responsible for the matter.
The government agency responsible for reviewing the efficiency of the administration of community punishment is Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation. Community punishment schemes in all 42 areas of the National Probation Service were reviewed as part of the performance inspection programme between 1999 and 2002. These inspections addressed the achievement of national and local targets, compliance with national standards, the organisation, nature and quality of the work undertaken by offenders and the satisfaction of those who benefited from that work.
The currrent inspection programme is the effective supervision inspection which began in June 2003 and will eventually cover all 42 areas. This will focus on management arrangements in community punishment units, along with assessment of offenders and the suitability of work placements.
Additionally, since the development of the enhanced community punishment scheme in 2003, the National Probation Directorate has developed a framework to assess how effectively this has been implemented in probation areas. A rigorous post-implementation review is currently underway with very encouraging results. Once the implementation phase is completed, areas will undertake an annual audit of their enhanced community punishment provision to ensure that quality is maintained.