Maxine Peake tv's Silk and Lady Justice
According to Sadiq Khan, the Lord Chancellor believes Magna Carta is a large bottle of Champagne.
It's been brought to my attention what the Labour Party Manifesto might have to say about probation, and it can best be described as weasel words I think:-
Success in the probation system is built on partnership working between agencies, and on the strength of the relationships between dedicated probation staff and individual offenders. The Government’s actions in breaking up this model go against the grain of everything we know about what helps to rehabilitate offenders. Labour will not allow decisions on the supervision of dangerous offenders to be determined by profit, rather than public safety, and we will make sure that those providing probation services are subjected to appropriate levels of transparency and scrutiny.
Clearly we have some work to do in relation to all political parties before the next election.
You will recall that Atos and the government are going to part company over the contract for Work Capability Assessments, but as one door shuts, another two open. First this from the Telegraph:-
The beleagured firm Atos has been given the contract to extract patient records from GP surgeries as part of the controversial NHS data sharing scheme, MPs were told yesterday. The Commons health committee heard that the firm has been given responsibility for removing personal data from medical records, as part of the national programme, which has been delayed for six months amid an increasing backlash.
Last week NHS England ordered the delay after pressure from patients groups, doctors’ leaders and privacy campaigners, who argued that the national plan had been poorly communicated, and that the public had not been properly informed about their right to opt out.
Yesterday, health service officials disclosed that a key contract for the controversial project has been handed to the firm Atos, which has faced criticism over its handling of “fitness for work” tests on disabled benefit claimants. Last week, the company confirmed it was seeking an early exit from its contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the face of persistent death threats to staff.
The other door to open was reported here on the Civil Service World website:-
Lockheed Martin has won a five year IT services contract with the UK Ministry of Justice (MOJ). It is one of the biggest single IT services contracts won by Lockheed Martin’s UK operations to date, underpinning the company’s growing position in the UK IT services sector.
The MOJ provides IT services to approximately 90,000 users across the estate in England and Wales, which includes more than 600 courts and tribunals and 100 prisons.
As the provider of Service Integration and Management (SIAM) services to the MOJ, Lockheed Martin will manage the transition of existing services to a new operational model and manage the day-to-day delivery of a wide range of supplier services. It will work with the MOJ to ensure efficiencies are delivered, services are standardised and enhanced service levels are met, regardless of which company is delivering them.
Lockheed Martin is partnering with UK-based Atos, Skyscape Cloud Services and the Cadence Partnership to deliver the MOJ contract. With other new contracts, Lockheed Martin UK expects to increase its employee numbers by some 200 people.
Chris Grayling is a bully by nature. That's not just my assessment from afar, but a view I've heard voiced by several unfortunate enough to have had dealings with him. At regular intervals on this blog the refrain has been 'why has there not been one Chief Officer willing to put their head above the parapet?' For a mature democracy the sad fact is that many are scared witless and have been ruthlessly silenced.
Regular readers will recall last years infamous tweet by Heather Munro, CEO of London and by far the largest Probation Trust in England and Wales. By daring to challenge the 40% savings alleged for the London Community Payback contract with Serco, she was threatened with the sack. The CEO of West Yorkshire and CEO-designate of the new CRC was summarily un-designated immediately following her appearance on BBC 2's Newsnight programme. My strong suspicion is that all CEO's have been told in no uncertain terms that their pension and financial contract termination arrangements would be put in jeopardy by any outburst of TR opposition.
Yes it's disgraceful and reminds us all of those infamous gagging clauses rife within the NHS and together with the MoJ's refusal to publish the TR Risk Register, makes a complete mockery of the promise by prime minister David Cameron to ensure we have 'the most open and transparent government in the world'.
In this article from the Independent of Chris Grayling we learn:-
One former civil servant says: “He is completely focused on his legacy, and appears to be conscious time is running out.”
As Joe Kuipers dryly observes:-
A legacy much like Beeching, who is also fondly remembered?