It's a good job Joe Kuipers, Chair of Avon and Somerset Probation Trust, tells us what's going on, because no one else does. In his latest blog post he reveals that all CEO's had to gather round their screens at 9 am sharp on Friday morning in order to take instructions from MoJ/Noms HQ in London.
Despite the recent House of Lords vote, clearly HQ are intent on giving every impression that the omnishambles is progressing nicely and according to the plan they are still making up as they go along. The two top civil service probation jobs will be advertised shortly and will be filled by open competition, one Director for England, and one for Wales - I can't wait to see who gets these.
There will be a further 7 Deputy Director civil service posts in the National Probation Service, but it's not clear how these will be filled. I guess volunteers amongst current CEO's might like to chance their luck?
As for the leaders of the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies, or newco's? Well these poisoned chalices will be available to any interested CEO's, but of course the successful appointee's will have absolutely no idea who will ultimately be their bosses and on what terms and conditions they will eventually be employed.
Apparently those interested are encouraged to have a 'quiet word' with Noms HQ before the music stops. If not enough CEO's come forward, or are not successful for any reason, then it looks like the field might open up to other senior grades. Would it be reasonable to expect that any chief who finds themselves without a seat at the party might be tempted to fill the yawning gap that is a leadership voice of reasoned opposition?
All this has got to be done before the autumn, and presumably at the same time as many of the same people are involved in setting up 'alternative delivery vehicles' such as mutuals. The omnishambles is clearly still progressing, so there's still a lot to do guys as we head for a summer of discontent all round.