- 4 updates
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said he was disappointed to hear that probation officers were intending to strike over the government's plans for privatisation, but insisted that the reforms would go ahead. He said:
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is intending to allow Serco and G4S to bid for the probation service, despite the government wide-review into their contracts over revelations that both firms had overcharged the government for criminal-tagging contracts.
A package of £450 million-worth of contracts has been offered to private and voluntary sector organisations, covering the supervision of a quarter of a million low and medium-risk offenders each year on a payment-by-results basis.
More than 700 organisations from across the world have expressed interest in the contracts, the MoJ said, including hundreds of British firms.
The National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) said 84.4% of its members have voted for strike action, in a dispute with government over plans to transfer most of the service to firms such as G4S and Serco. Ian Lawrence, Napo's general secretary said:
Probation officers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, over government plans to privatise the service.