Ian Poree has blogged on 2 October on an internal CJG space:
"The Rehabilitation Programme team has achieved several really significant milestones in the last few weeks. We have had the outline business case formally approved, published the Target Operating Model setting out the end state design, launched the staff consultation which begins the probation re-organisation, and formally started the competition for community based offender services. All of this and we still have time to host a charity fundraising quiz!
I am so proud of my team’s achievements which have got us to this point, as are the Ministerial team. Indeed, the Secretary of State held a reception last week to thank the whole programme team for all of their hard work!
There is still a long way to go to implement all the changes – this is a marathon not a sprint – but we are on the right path. although some days it does feel a bit more like a sprint!"
The following day Antonia Romeo blogged about a TR quiz, to raise money for breast cancer. Would love to see the questions at what was described to be a 'fun event'.
Yes, wouldn't we all! In fact may I suggest that the details of the 'reception' by the Secretary of State might in particular be promising ground for a Freedom of Information request by someone out there knowledgeable and experienced in such matters? You know the sort of thing. What was the purpose? How was it funded? Who authorised use of taxpayers money in this way?
I think it's a particularly scandalous use of public funds at a time of austerity and should be viewed in the context of the following quote from a recent instruction issued to all Trusts:-
Letter from John Scott, Deputy Director – Community, NOMS Probation & Contracted Services Directorate – 10.10.13
Exit Management arrangements
This letter to Probation Trust Chairs and Chief Executives sets out a summary of “key points to bear in mind” in terms of management of contracts and expenditure over the months leading up to the closure of Trusts.In summary, Trusts are not allowed to do any of the following unless they have specific formal permission from NOMS:
· Spend any money on hospitality or conferences. (Specifically, this paragraph goes on to say that hospitality “expenditure relating to staff, including staff parties ... must not be incurred. Trusts must also exercise caution in using public funds on events towards the end of the financial year, including staff conferences.”)
Hypocrisy of the highest order I'd say! Lets make sure they don't get to the finish line of this particular omnishambles marathon. .