Friday, 11 October 2013

Back to the Future

It's not been a brilliant week for Chris Grayling and his TR omnishambles. Inspectors confirmed that G4S are hopelessly out of their depth trying to run his brand new flagship prison HMP Oakwood, having proudly boasted to MP's in February:-

"To my mind, it is an excellent model for the future of the Prison Service." 

His department, the MoJ, faces a legal challenge from an inmate at HMP Blundeston concerning closure of the prison without consultation and thus robbing the inmate of the ability to complete the therapy he's been receiving at the establishment. Opposition to his plans for privatising the probation service is growing, both within parliament and across the profession with Napo members holding a ballot for industrial action. 

The Transforming Rehabilitation timetable continues to slip and MoJ/Noms have not been able to successfully fill over half of the advertised top jobs with the Community Rehabilitation Companies. Many have been re-advertised on EPIC along with rumours of appeals. It can't be an edifying process as chiefs scramble to impress and compete with each other for the limited number of seats available at the top table.

Finally, despite the upbeat spin, the bidding process is not going well with many organisations becoming frustrated at the lack of information together with a payment and reward system that could end up bankrupting them. A hint of the chaos the whole thing is descending into can be gleaned from the recently published TR Payment Method Feedback. I love this health warning:- 

Potential providers should note that this document is intended to continue the Authority’s 'no surprises' approach with the market, and to indicate the direction of travel regarding payment mechanism design and development. This document is not part of the formal competition, and potential providers are strongly advised not to use any information in this document in any modelling of bids. 

Mindful of the Work Programme payment fiasco, it's quite apparent that many potential bidders are unhappy with the prospect of getting their fingers burnt with TR and have been lobbying strongly for changes. Basically they want less payment by results and more 'fee for service', the trouble being of course that politicians like the simple PbR message that they think plays well with the public. Fee for service just sounds like shovelling money at the private sector at a time when we know the sneaky blighters can't be trusted.

I particularly like the use of euphemistic language in documents like this:-

The market has requested further detail regarding potential funding for mobilisation, transition and transformation costs, as this is likely to have a material impact on bidding approach.

The market has highlighted that it could potentially incur material restructuring costs in order to achieve a more cost effective solution, and that without further information it is difficult to determine how a sufficient return would be made from any initial restructuring investment.

I think that pretty much translates as 'how can we fund redundancies?'

Anyway, as predicted, the privatisation of probation is attracting large service industry players with absolutely no knowledge of the work at all like construction company Carillion. They are so confident that there might be money to be made out of supervising offenders that they're moving out of energy:-

Last week the firm announced it was scaling back its energy business and axing jobs because it wasn’t making as much money as expected from government deals. It is believed cases dealing with high-risk offenders will remain under control of the MoJ with the rest going to private organisations.

A neat twist there I think with a company sacking people so they can move into a new sector that will involve sacking people in order to make money. A fine example of capitalism at work in our 'rebalanced' economy.

Of course this somewhat pessimistic and cynical view is not universally shared and here we have a fine example of what others see as 'a bright new future', full of all that utterly nauseating 'lets embrace change' crap so beloved in certain quarters. Sponsored by dodgy A4E, the Innovation Unit were commissioned to undertake some research and have come up with the Probation Futures website:-

The site shares the findings from the research, sets out a vision for the future of probation and provides a space for everyone to contribute thoughts and ideas.

Just to remind you, the Innovation Unit started life eight years ago within the Department for Education and subsequently were 'spun out':-

We are the innovation unit for public services. As a not-for-profit social enterprise we're committed to using the power of innovation to solve social challenges. We have a strong track record of supporting leaders and organisations delivering public services to see and do things differently. They come to us with a problem and we empower them to achieve radically different solutions that offer better outcomes for lower costs.

There's always mention of 'cost' nowadays and the unquestioned assumption that you can get more for less. Anyway, the Probation Futures website has identified 7 principles that they feel should help shape the future of the probation service:-

  1. Defining a clear purpose for probation - focused on facilitating desistance with public protection and prevention of harm as necessary aspects which should never compromise the commitment to service users
  2. Focus on the relationship with service users, not just the risk
  3. Plan for the future, not just the present
  4. Engage service users in decision-making
  5. Make support accessible, usable and tangible - designing probation offices to be centres of support and collaboration, not of restriction and penalty
  6. Facilitate a collaborative network - shifting the perspective away from providers (a focus on individual services) towards the service user (focus on the collaborative impact of services received)
  7. Measure and learn from what really matters
Of course to many 'old timers' like me a lot of it brings a wry smile, like the perennial discussions concerning philosophies and labels, often discussed on this blog:-

As probation’s remit has expanded, the training and culture of its staff has shifted. It is commonly agreed by those with experience of the service that providers fall squarely into two categories: those who view probation primarily as an opportunity to rehabilitate, and those who view probation primarily as public protection and risk management. The former, sometimes known as ‘the old guard’ (regardless of years of service), have usually been trained in social services and view probation as a vocation, citing discretion and flexibility as key tenets of the profession despairing somewhat the ‘box-ticking’ required of many risk management activities. The latter have more focus on risks and monitoring, and tend to talk in the language of enforcement and targets.

Probation’s terminology has shifted, but service users, the public and many service providers haven’t caught up which remains another source of tension in the service. Today’s service users still refer to their ‘Probation Officer’ and to ‘being on probation’, despite a not recent official shift in terminology to ‘Offender Manager’ and ‘serving a community sentence’ or ‘being on post-custodial licence’. Even Offender Managers frequently still refer to themselves as Probation Officers. ‘Offender’ is commonly interchanged with older references to ‘case’ or ‘client’, and there is concern that the ‘offender’ label does not help put service users into a ‘rehabilitation mindset’. The newer terminology reflects the shift in focus to punishment and protection, and the implications of this have not been lost on users and providers alike.

The above must serve as a taster for the delights that can be found within this website and I would encourage readers to browse at their leisure, preferably with a strong drink in hand in order to deal with any strong emotions that might arise. I haven't got the time, space or energy to comment further right now, but will return to the matter at a later date.  


  1. I'd forgotten about the origins of the Innovation Unit. Well, if this is the kind if free-thinking, new broom dynamism we can expect from the private and voluntary sectors, why were we ever so worried??

    Re-inventing the wheel springs to mind...

  2. It sometimes helps to use hindsight. Here are some quotes from Grayling’s speech last year, 20 Nov 2012:

    “… Nearly half of prisoners themselves say they will need help to find a job when they leave prison. Over a third say they will need help to find somewhere to live when they are let out. When all we do is just take those people, release them onto the streets with £46 in their pockets and no other support, why are we surprised that they reoffend again quickly?”

    Clearly he has never had any idea about Probation’s role. He implies Probation do nothing. But what if there aren’t any jobs to go to, or employers who will prioritise employing those recently released from prison. There are now draconian measures to ensure those with criminal records are virtually excluded from housing schemes, and housing benefit caps and greedy landlords who demand extortionate rents and empty 2 & 3 bed properties because of the bedroom tax. In addition, getting someone registered with the Job Centre takes days – if not weeks.
    But still, it’s clear that the Probation Service do Sweet F.A.

    Grayling makes unashamed reference to an un-named victim and his family: “How is it they asked, that a man out of prison could be free to roam the streets on a Saturday night with friends carrying knives? How could this brutal crime been allowed to happen?”

    OK - why wasn’t the supervising Probation Officer with the perpetrator that night ensuring nothing would happen? Obviously the Probation Service did Sweet F.A.

    107 years of doing Sweet F.A. No wonder Grayling’s angry.

    Jim has highlighted in today’s blog the tension between PbR & service payments. Here’s Grayling again:

    “That revolution [TR] will be built around the principle of payment by results. What payment by results does is open up the provision of post-prison services to a whole host of new participants in a way that forces anyone who wants to be involved to be excellent at what they do. I want the state to pay for results and not just for a service.”

    Not a lot has changed over the years despite the many and various secretaries of state fiddling about like Tommy’s Uncle Ernie. All we can say for sure is that vast sums of public money have been shovelled into a handful of pockets as different regimes have worked their way through the Emperor’s wardrobe of shiny new clothes. “Does my DOM look fat in this?”

    Grayling himself said: “There are some really good examples out there of organisations making good use of the old lags in stopping the new ones.”

    Perhaps Grayling could start by having a chat with some of the “old lags” in his own organisation?

  3. Probation Futures – what a special place it sounds.

    Apparently “Among the 20 key stakeholders were ex-probation staff, criminal justice experts and ex-offenders with a service user’s perspective on the probation experience.”

    However, even without being present in the room the Naughty Probation Service upset the Probation Futures’ prototyping solution process:

    “Probation recalled the star of our performance on the day of the show. The probation officer didn’t even know he was involved in performing or about all the good things our member had been doing.”

    Oddly enough there were NO positive views of the Naughty Probation Service. Their co-design workshop, hosted in a performance space, involved such extraordinary innovations as “collaborative brainstorming activities, prototyping and role-playing”. They identified key issues such as:

    - Distrust between service users and providers, which can reinforce a ‘cat and mouse’ relationship
    - Disbelief that probation staff are genuinely interested in seeing them rehabilitate
    - Lack of understanding about the purpose and use of probation meetings
    - The relationship and trust between service users and providers takes time to build

    They suggested some solutions (presumably of the prototyping variety):
    - A rewards-based system, similar to Tesco club-card points
    - A similar incentive-based idea to encourage service users and providers to go that extra mile in staying out of crime.
    - The speed dating model (yes, truly)
    - Probation Navigators would support service users and providers to navigate the local services and support available to them
    - Peer mentors would be ex-offenders who have had experience of the probation system and therefore know how it feels to experience the service.

    Does a surgeon have to experience each and every medical trauma before they can operate upon a patient?

    Elsewhere on that page they even stretched themselves to consider:
    “Research by the Queensland Department of Corrections in 2011 suggested that over-servicing of low-risk offenders can increase the risk of re-offending. Its new Low Risk Offender Management Strategy involves defining a new category of low risk and adopting a different supervision model that allows increased autonomy for low-risk offenders and frees up staff time.”

    Sound familiar? Schur? Radical Non-Intervention?


  4. As I was enjoying being equally scornful about the Probation Futures website etc, and of the many dreadful abuses that are being acted out in the name of TR, a voice in my head got louder and louder: “you can criticise and mock all you like, but what are you doing that’s positive?”

    I was taken back to a time (1998/99) when OASys was being developed. I was a prison officer at that time and naively put my hand up for a few days out of the nick as part of a “working party” to pilot the all-new OASys risk assessment tool – a humungus paper-based exercise at that time. After a jolly nice meal or two and a couple of days in a quite pleasant hotel, we were given a set number of tasks to achieve using this new ‘tool’. I seem to recall it was a mix of probation and prison staff, with Civil Servants from London running the show. I sat with my prison service mates – didn’t want to get involved with that scruffy social work lot in jumpers and t-shirts. Not a single tie among'em.

    The feedback day was set some months later in London. I had worked bloody hard with this new ‘tool’ (we even had to calculate the risk figures from a table of pre-determined formulae; it were just like the days of cos/sin/tan tables at school).

    It was heartbreaking when the feedback from around the table was effectively dismissed out of hand, UNLESS it fed the “OASys is great” model – in which case it was nurtured and groomed. The agenda then became apparent – this WAS happening, irrespective of what anyone here might be saying and regardless of whatever evidence they had brought. I later heard that prison service psychologist Danny Clarke won a medal for his efforts – was that really for making OASys happen? If so, it shows how important OASys was – and is - to the justice agenda.

    Two things came out of my involvement in that shambolic artifice of ‘research and development’:
    1. Having had my considerable efforts rubbished - despite being fair and objectively critical (in its truest sense) - I vowed I wouldn’t involve myself in any organised deception ever again. TR is an even greater travesty than OASys.
    2. I was so impressed by the arguments, approaches and attitude of some of the probation staff that I subsequently trained, qualified and have been employed as a Probation Officer ever since.

    1. Thanks for that brilliant bit of back story on the scourge of every PO's life - bloody OASys - what amazed me was nobody seemed to realise how long the thing would take to fill in - my productivity fell by at least 50% overnight. If we lived in a totalitarian state the designers would be shot!

      Great story - thanks again for sharing it.


    2. Your account of being involved reminded me of being involved in the development of what because ECP. Nice couple of days, meals etc. But everything we warned of was ignored only to (after spending goodness knows how much) be dumped for even worse Community Payback with orange offender jackets and litter picking! Everything that that part of ECP (based on What works research) that aimed to build confidence and skills sort to move away from!!!

  5. Looks like the inmates of Oakwood are not too happy!

    1. Thanks - roof-top protests are not like they used to be though - no slates to throw - all welded seam zinc metal sheet now - if you're not careful you just slide straight off.

  6. Has anyone noticed how many oral hearings are being rushed through ? Me thinks the Parole Board doesn't like the look of the omnishambles either.

  7. i heard that a lot of charities and private sector companies are pulling out due to the lack of information and the high risk of failure


    There must be a point when the government have to throw the towel in and admit that these showers of shite companies cannot be extended any more government contracts, even without the findings of the fraud investigations.

  9. http;//

  10. Thanks - an interesting read about how the government are attempting to put the screws on IT companies that don't deliver on contracts.

    1. No doubt many people released from prison and on supervision by the private sector will find themselves living in these wonderful houses?


      I wonder how long before Tescos name pops up?

  11. I hear Sue Hall CEO of West Yorkshire has flung her hat into the ring for seat at the top of a CRC table? If true, very sad! So many traitors so far up CG's arse they can see David Camerons boots!

  12. West Yorkshire management, the smiling assassins in this omnishambles who like the Nottinghamshire miners wil regret their compliance and participation in the dismantling of this once proud and proffessional organisation. Shame on you.

    1. As an ex Nottingham miner who has'nt spoke to their parents since 1984, who stood on a picket line and starved their family because they had a belief and a social ethic that the government was wrong I find your comment highly offensive. Nottinghamshire strikes was part of a national strike, and it was the region that seen the most brutal force used by the police acting as agencies of the state. But they got out there and did it. They would of got their quota for an e-petition unlike the probation service can manage.
      You've lost your job because you haven't got the bollocks the miners had. Don't ever underestamate the problems the miner strike has caused, and don't ever localise either, it destroyed too many people.

    2. I didn't write the anonymous piece above and have never properly understood all that was involved with the miners' strikes culminating in the showdown in 1984.

      However, it does seem as if some probation managements are more willing to engage with the privateers than others.

      What we need is unity amongst those who value public probation practice, whatever other differences we may have about our practice.

      It is tragic that such harm occurred in personal relationships as have been reported about the 1984 strikes - I speak as one who is virtually estranged from friends and family, as a result of my action(s) or lack of them.

      For me the core of probation practice, was after enabling clients to be aware that it is their behaviour that has real consequences, often causing hurt and distress to others, a distress that folk somehow attempt to insulate themselves from. Once they want to stop experiencing bad consequences, and live without harming others (and themselves) there usually are actions that can be taken to make it possible for the client to live within the law. At which point clients need all the help they can get, at a time they are mostly attracting opprobrium from society, and the folk most likely to provide that support are their families as long as they are not ALL engaged exclusively in crime.

      I wish anon 12 October 2013 22:27, well and am glad for that post - showing the raw hurt that probation folk know very well, that can occur within families, when different members take different routes through their life journeys

      Andrew Hatton

  13. Despite the honourable and professional efforts of staff in Probation Services in England & Wales, perhaps we have to simply accept the enemy has always been within.

    A4JC (Academy for Justice Commissioning) born in 2007 – a self-serving, name-dropping collaboration between NOMS, the CBI & others to promote commissioning of services. There’s a single link to a useful website on “Commissioning models” -

    The inaugural Academy Magazine foreword by Julie Taylor, Director of Commissioning and Partnerships, NOMS:
    “I am delighted to introduce this commissioning bulletin which I hope,
    in time, will become a significant communication channel for
    commissioners. The bulletin is one small manifestation of work, going
    on behind the scenes, to create the Academy for Criminal Justice
    Commissioning… The Editorial by Trevor Williams explains more of the purpose of the Academy and outlines the initial programme of activities.”

    The Academy for Justice Commissioning was formed in September 2007 as a result of a PricewaterhouseCoopers study which identified the need to further develop & enhance the knowledge, skills & relationships required by Ministry of Justice commissioners to effectively commission justice services.

    Issue No.2 - Featuring Guest Editor Gary Sturgess, Serco Institute
    2009 - Featuring Guest Editor Yvonne Thomas, NOMS Director of Offender Management for Wales
    2009 - Guest Editor Ian Poree, NOMS Director of Commissioning & Operational Policy.

    As a consequence of the blatant vandalism of public services (evidently an act that has been years in the making), mere mortals like myself have been fired up to use t’internet & follow the trail of crumbs back home. I hadn’t realised how many agencies had justice-related senior management posts or interests in criminal justice commissioning.

    - Caroline Marsh Management Solutions (“Caroline… has previously been a Director at the National Offender Management Service and Director of Adult Social Care at Manchester City Council.”)
    - Home Affairs Director, Serco
    - Justice Director, Working Links (?)
    - Home Group (now incorporating Stonham)
    - Avanta
    - Alliance for Useful Evidence

    Sue Hall, Guest Editor, Academy for Justice Commissioning Magazine, June 2011 - “It gives me great pleasure to act as the guest editor for this edition of the Bulletin – and how timely. The Probation Chiefs Association (PCA) has set out probation’s position at a critical time of change within the criminal justice system – one that is forcing a fundamental overhaul in the way business is being perceived and handled.”

    Alliantist & Achieve More CIC: “West Mercia Probation is one of our clients and has long espoused the view that probation services don’t need to be delivered by probation per se. The Transforming Rehabilitation programme is now giving them and others an opportunity to shine outside of the shackles and structures of old.”

    Et Tu Brute.

  14. Alliantist & Achieve More CIC - Mark Darby seems to be the man behind it - with his 'pam' which seems to have infiltrated the ranks of senior management across most probation trusts for some years now.

    In April 2013 the 'pam-it' website said: "Alliantist counts the majority of probation trusts among its customers - they use our cloud based software service that revolutionises who work gets done, pam - so our CEO Mark Darby is well placed to give his views [on tr]". There's an 11 page response linked - strange words & lots of complex diagrams - bit like an Ikea instruction leaflet.

    There are strong links since 2011 between Mark Darby, Mike Maiden (with whom he gave a joint seminar in Dec 2011 entitled "Approaching the market as an eco-system"), the MoJ & NOMS. In a Guardian Live Chat event (Feb 2013) Mark Darby is described as "chief executive of Alliantist Limited, an organisation that helps revolutionise work across criminal and social justice, and has over half the probation Trusts, Ministry of Justice .... among its portfolio".

    Anyone know who Mark Darby is? Seems he's had a big hand in helping to equip our employers to buy into this TR shit & sell us down the river over the last year or two - and one would have to guess it hasn't been done out of the goodness of his heart.

    Sometime this year Mark Darby announced: "Alliantist has released the latest version of its intelligent collaborative software, pam, aiming to help public sector agencies work smarter and save money in areas such as policing and probation." It then went on to explain: "Restricted pam is a single platform for all multi-agency work and is rated to IL3 in information security terms, allowing public sector agencies to share sensitive information in the cloud - previously possible only via a secure internal network, or with paperwork. To achieve this, restricted pam uses secure hosting, provided by SCC, Europe’s largest privately owned IT company."

    SCC is owned by Sir Peter Rigby who came in at No. 12 in the Rich List 2013: (estd worth @ £520m) - Sir Peter Rigby’s Birmingham-based Specialist Computer Holdings has had the best year in its 37-year history.

    I'm starting to feel quite paranoid now...

    1. An excellent piece of work there friend that takes us down another fascinating avenue as part of this omnishambles.

      Never heard of these outfits and their jargon-ridden crap - but I suspect it would be wise for us to do some more digging asap. As you say - the seeds of our destruction were sown time ago and have been quietly growing unnoticed.......



    2. Shows how many commercial fingers are in the TR pie. And completely undermines the Govt's claims about "rebalancing the economy" - all these private sector companies being dependent on what used to be public sector work.

      I bet if TR does go through Cameron will claim to have "created" 12,000 (or however many) "new" private sector jobs.

  15. More Alliantist/pam stuff – and no, I’m not their pr person. I actually feel like the kid at school who was always left out. Visor? OASys? Delius? Secure email? Probation Intranet? Epic? - no-one seems to have mentioned the mysterious ‘pam’ as far as I’m aware. Probably above my pay-grade (and where the REAL TR discussions are happening).

    * 2013 - Mary Archer OBE is Chief Executive of Essex Probation Trust and one of the early pioneers of pam when it was introduced to Probation five years ago. She said “pam has made a big difference for us, and being able to work with higher levels of security means we can now do even more internally, and with partners on initiatives such as Integrated Offender Management.”

    * 2013 - This latest release means that pam is now available in four versions. For public service, there’s protect pam for IL2 working and restricted pam for IL3 working. And there are two versions for private sector work: virtual private pam and physically private pam.

    * 2011 - Alliantist is pleased to announce the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will now be using pam for its supplier engagement and delivery activity. With a specific need to achieve more from less resource and manage a massive ICT transformation over the next 4 years, MOJ has adopted pam on a 3 year agreement for its supplier engagement and service transition activity.

    * Darby in 2013 - The current [probation] system is a bit like having a highly capable golf Ryder cup team playing golf for Europe (multi agency teaming) with an old set of hickory shafted golf clubs and using balls from the 19th century. Just changing probation alone is perhaps a bit like changing just the putter (and possibly giving a right handed player a left handed putter), when really it’s the whole infrastructure of the game and all the equipment that needs attention and investment to get better.

    Any golfers who understand that?

    I’m not committed to any religious belief or organisation but I do enjoy a good read, and I found this in Micah 3:11-12 (ESV):

    “Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the Lord and say, “Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.”

    Someone's knocking at the door - oh, its just an old Wings song. Phew!

  16. Have just read above comments with sense of dread, how come we were not aware of "pam" ? It strongly suggests we are so far down the sell off route that this really can not be unwound. We are negotiating/consulting on something that my well be a done deal.Do any of us know our trusts involvement with this? I suggest all NAPO and Unison officers write to their Chiefs requesting this information asap.


    1. Apparently the Cabinet Office have given Serco 6 weeks to demonstrate 'change and corporate renewal' or lose 3 government contracts and be prevented from bidding for probation work.

    2. Would the government have people in mind for Sercos corporate renewal?
      You can keep your existing contracts, bid for TR, but in order to do that heres a list of new members that will now sit on your board.
      Really six weeks wouldn't be long enough to paint their offices let alone 'corporate renewal'!

  18. I wonder what the TRUE financial cost of TR has been to date - let alone its overall cost in every sense to the nation - especially now it seems there have been all of these seminars, publications, meetings, etc etc during the last 5 years, if not longer. We already know that the DOMnishambles cost many millions, although it did make a few individuals smile.

    How many will have done all of this legwork for free? How much has already been forked out by financially strapped Trusts and the MoJ? To how many other unknown, unnamed shamen? And with what other conditions attached? Perhaps we now see why the (lack of) Trusts can't afford to back out of the TR agenda. They've been suckered in. What's more, it seems like Grayling pulled a flanker & changed the terms of engagement so they aren't all going to the promised land after all. We're left with Rats eating Rats.

  19. PAM - Is new to me and I am not "up to speed" with it at all - but it seemed as if there has to be some other 'area' of communication for these activists for privatisation as little is apparent on the open internet.

    However, wherever, they operate, remember the greater majority got their training and experience, via the public system and as with so many privatized public systems the practitioners are effectively 'mining' what the taxpayer has provided, and unless they make a significant financial contribution for the training of their practitioners as well as providing or paying for the training for all subsequent new entrants - they are effectively stealing the resources that have been provided by the public.

    I think this is also particularly with regard to relevant in doctors of medicine who receive vastly expensive training, and so if having been trained they then take off into the private sector or overseas they are cheating us all.

    This is a charging calculation that needs to be incorporated into the financial arrangements of any privatizations.

    A comparable issue is for say, 'Royal Mail' shares being sold for under their real value, therefore the purchasers are making profits that are properly rightfully due to the public purse.

    Andrew Hatton

    It maybe OK if those providing the service are genuine mutuals with all 'fair salaries' for all, not above what might be earned in the public sector and all excess income(charities do not make profits) are reinvested - but it is simply theft for excessive salaries to be paid or for profits to go to shareholders.

    Andrew Hatton

    1. IL3's still pretty limiting as you can only use material up to GPMS Restricted - anything higher is verboten, however useful it might be for your risk assessments. Me, I'd be happy with something newer than Word 2003 and IE6.

    2. I suddenly feel urgently in need of a computer systems analyst-type person to explain what all this stuff means - in plain language preferably. Where does it leave us, saddled as we are with crap like N Delius and OASys R?

  20. try

    1. QUOTE: -

      "The majority of probation trusts, numerous police forces, police and crime commissioners, local authorities, Ministry of Justice and many of their partners and suppliers use pam in an integrated fashion."

      From : -

      Surely the Probation Trusts as public organisations should have reported their engagements in the minutes and annual reports?

      I am very dubious about the integrity of Labour who have elected public authority members of Probation Trusts which are then colluding with these steps towards privatisation in spite of them nationally being said to oppose it though they refuse to commit to reverse it and passed the legislation - that despite Labour's complaints - seems to be sufficient to enable privatisation

      I suspect there is more yet to be revealed.

      Andrew Hatton