Working Links

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether in the event of Working Links ceasing to trade there will be a tendering process for the continued supervision of offenders in Wales and the South West of England.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I refer the Hon. Member to the written statement the Secretary of State made to the House on 18 February. Our central priority is of course to protect the public, ensuring that we have the right supervision of offenders in place, and that probation staff are supported in their important work.

Working Links (Employment) Limited and its three Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC): Wales CRC; Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire CRC; and Dorset, Devon and Cornwall CRC went into administration on 14 February 2019.

As a part of its contingency approach to this pending event the MOJ undertook a competitive process inviting participation from all those CRCs that could take on the additional services in Wales and the South West without breaching the 25% Market Share Cap applied in the original Transforming Rehabilitation procurement in 2014. This led to the selection of Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) CRC as our preferred provider with whom we then conducted detailed commercial negotiations prior to entering into contract on Friday 15 February.

In line with plans for future probation delivery in Wales, we intend for offender management services in Wales to be transferred to HMPPS before the end of the current contractual period and we will work with KSS to accelerate this process. We will announce plans later this year for the future of the probation system as a whole, following termination of CRC contracts in 2020.

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