An occasional visit to my part-time role as a member of the South Wales Probation Trust.
The performance of each of the 42 probation areas across England and Wales is measured through a scorecard collecting scores against a wide range of performance targets.
In addition, whether an area is red, amber or green is dependent upon its performance relative to the other areas. So, as most reasonable people can see, not everyone can be green – since not everyone can be above average. Duh!
Nevertheless, this is seen by some as an indicator of failing performance, although to my mind I think that is a convenient hook on which to hang the drive for change.
Earlier this month, Jack Straw, the Secretary of State for Justice said in a speech pointed out that the Ministry of Justice (of which probation is a part) needs to make savings of £1billion over the next three financial years, and threatened to impose new structures and systems to ensure that good value for money is delivered.
At the end of the day, though, the employer organisation isn’t that important; what matters is that good quality services are provided to the local people – public protection and offender management to the local people.