Sodexo plans to allow people under probation supervision in the community to report to electronic kiosks rather than to probation officers, The Guardian reports. Staff have been warned this could lead to 30 per cent of their probation workforce losing their jobs over the next year (up to 700 job losses).
'Government spends £187 billion on goods and services with third parties each year, around half of which is estimated to be on contracted out services'. So claims a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), published last week, on the contracting out of public services to the private sector.
'Estimated' is the operative word here, for a cloak of secrecy shrouds government contracts. As the PAC notes in its report:
The next steps in the privatisation of prisons in England and Wales were announced today by the Ministry of Justice.
Competition to run four prisons will go forward to the next stage. These are:
- HMP Northumberland (an amalgam of HMPs Castington and Acklington).
- HMP Moorland.
- HMP Hatfield.
- HMP Lindholme.
The three remaining bidders in the frame for these are Sodexo, Serco and MTC/Amey.