To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December to Question 125977 on Youth Custody, what sanctions are available to his Department for private providers contracted to provide youth custody that fail to implement covid-19 guidance appropriately.
The MoJ has a range of contractual levers that result in providers being paid less if performance is below the agreed levels. These levers were put in place at the point the contracts were let and pre-date the COVID pandemic, so are not specifically designed to relate to non-delivery of COVID safety measures.
There are, however, a range of steps that the MoJ can take in all circumstances with providers who are failing to meet their core obligations to keep children in their care safe. Warning notices are issued should serious or persistent failings occur. These notices compel providers to produce and deliver plans to improve or experience escalating activity that can ultimately end in the termination of their contract.