Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Probation Notes

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.


Bernie said...

Hello Martin

Nice post but no comment from you? What do you think? A billion is a lot of money unless you are a banker. How can this target be achieved without hurting front line services? Is there a cupboard somewhere inside which is a lot of staff doing not a lot?

We can all make cuts but don't be fooled in to thinking that services will not be effected

Thanks Bernie

Martin Veale said...

Hopefully the funding cuts won't fall too heavily on prisons and probation, but if they do then the savings need to come from better management of the buildings, the overheads and, I suspect, some more probation area mergers.

Bernie said...

Hi Martin

You are on a board. We are told that there isn't the cash to repair group recording equipment. For me that is health and safety. There are also redundancies being organised as we speak.

How are you achieving it in your area?



Bernie said...

Hello Martin

They have just made a number of people redundant in my area.

I hope you are looking after your area or at least making the decisions from a knowledge based perspective and not just touting the last press release.

I aspire to a blog of your's quality. It looks great.

Kind regards