Justice Committee on creating a probation market
On 22nd January 2014 the House of Commons Justice Committee published its interim report on the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. This is the fourth and final post in ashort series examining the report’s findings.
Creating a new market
The Justice Committee sets out the challenges the MoJ faces in developing a sufficiently competitive market for the new probation contracts. There were very few large private providers in the justice sector and, as everyone knows, the two companies with the biggest market share – Serco and G4S – were forced to withdraw because of their performance on other contracts.
The Committee records considerable valid scepticism from expert witnesses as to whether the Justice Secretary’s wish for a diverse market with equal partnerships between private and voluntary sector providers was realistic given the large value of the contracts and that organisations would need deep financial pockets to bid.