Monday, 3 March 2014

It's A Nightmare Mr Brown

From personal correspondence:-

"Who'd have thought that we'd be reduced to lawyerspeak and statisticians and management gobbledegook as the formula for working with people.

Its a nightmare, Mr Brown. I cry myself to sleep, and wake up crying, and cry on the way to work, and cry into my coffee, and cry all the way home."

Transforming Rehabilitation Programme – Payment Mechanism Design Overview 


1.1 This overview document sets out how MoJ will pay for services that will be delivered 
under the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme and the rationale behind the chosen 

1.2 The payment mechanism for services provided to the offender allocated to the provider 
is comprised of two elements: Fee For Service (FFS) and Payment by Results (PbR). 
The FFS is primarily paid for mandated activities that deliver the sentence of the court 
and licence conditions and includes Through the Gate (TTG) services and 
Rehabilitation Activity Requirements (RAR). PbR is paid for the achievement of 
statistically significant reductions in reoffending against the baseline historical level. 

1.3 The total available funding in any year, known as the Maximum Annual Payment 
(MAP), has been set on a Contract Package Area (CPA) basis for each year of the 
contract. Providers are required to bid a FFS for each year of the contract. The 
difference between the FFS bid and the MAP will form the basis of the amount available 
for PbR, relating to the quarterly cohorts and annual cohort that are established in that 

1.4 Key features of FFS are outlined below and further detail can be found in section 3 of 
this overview document: 

  • FFS covers the delivery of sentence requirements and includes TTG and RAR. 
  • Providers will bid against a predicted annual volume range, weighted for sentence type and, in the case of Unpaid Work, the length of the requirement. This is known as the Weighted Annual Volume (WAV). 
  • Providers’ FFS bids are expected to include a ‘learning curve discount’ to drive continuous improvement. 
  • The FFS for the predicted WAV will be an annual amount paid in twelve equal payments made monthly in arrears. 
  • At the end of each contract year, the FFS paid on the predicted WAV is reconciled to the actual WAV recorded, with a retrospective payment or deduction applied if the actual WAV is shown to have been outside of a set tolerance range around the predicted WAV. 
  • Service credits will be applied for failure to deliver the mandatory services to a specified time and quality, in line with the performance framework.

1.5 Key features of PbR are outlined below and further detail can be found in section 6 of 
this overview document: 

  •  PbR will be paid based on a binary metric (the reoffending rate, i.e. the percentage of offenders in a cohort that reoffend) and a frequency metric (the frequency of reoffending, i.e. the number of reoffences per reoffender). 
  • The offenders allocated to a provider will be grouped in quarterly cohorts for the binary metric. 
  • Payments on the binary metric will be made only for achieving statistically significant reductions in reoffending, with deductions applied to the FFS for underperforming (i.e. increasing the rate of reoffending beyond a statistically significant point) and higher payments for further improvements in reducing the rate of reoffending. 
  • Annual top-up payments will be available on the binary metric for statistically significant improvements against annualised targets.
  • The offenders allocated to a provider will be grouped in annual cohorts for the frequency metric. 
  • There is a “hurdle”, set at the binary reoffending baseline, which must be achieved in order for any payment to be made on the frequency metric. 
  • Payment on the frequency metric will be made if there is any reduction in reoffending (provided the binary hurdle is also passed) and deductions will be applied for any increase in reoffending.
  • There will be significant financial deductions to the FFS and/or a termination right for MoJ for large or repeated increases in reoffending rates. 

1.6 Providers may purchase services for offenders within their cohort from other providers. 
A rate card, using the prices stated in their bids, will govern the prices for these 

1.7 The NPS will purchase delivery of certain services from providers for offenders that the 
NPS manages. Payment will be made on a Fee for Use (FFU) basis. Prices for these 
services will be governed by a rate card. Prices for any elective services (i.e. those not 
already included on the rate card) will be agreed between the NPS and the provider. 
The same approach will be taken by commissioning bodies, such as other government 
departments, which also wish to purchase services from CRCs. 


  1. Clearly the Remaining Probation Staff (RPS) are scheduled to be Slowly Shafted Sideways (SSS) as the For Fuck's Sake (FFS) scheme goes Base Over Apex (BoA).

  2. Not to mention the Total Dog's Dinner (TDD)

  3. Resulting in FAP (F*** All Profit).

  4. And TeRD (Terminal Reputational Damage)

  5. Heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheehee.

  6. What a mess!
    Who will do the negotiating on the FFU, (Fee For Use) where the service required is not neatly on the 'rate card - menu'? Oh, and will PSR authors get that information in the 10 days Crown Courts give us to write reports?

    (BaMB) Bollox and More Bollox. Happy Monday everyone!

  7. What the big primes will do now is set up smaller companies that provide the services they require to buy in .
    In effect they'll buy the services from themselves -they learnt that from the work programme, and made a lot of money doing it.

    As a private company, can you be sued by victims of crime if those crimes are committed by those under your direct supervision?

    1. They can be sued just as probation and the police are sometimes sued for failures. Not just victims, but their families can sue, as happend in the Sonnex and Hanson case.

    2. I wonder if the private companies soliciting TR contracts have considered that aspect? One claim could wipe out their total annual profit and no doubt they way solicitors have to work now a days (no win no fee) claims for failings under your watch could become the next PPI gravey train.
      I'm certain people will be far quicker to sue private companies then government departments.

    3. I have a legal background and might even take redundancy and 'set up shop' doing legal claims! Given that the Government is happy to sell anything to anyone, I could just approach victim liaison services with a wad of cash for each referral.

      This time next year Rodders.........

  8. You've had fantasy share trading, fantasy cricket, fantasy football league - now we're launching Fantasy Probation Service.

    Register your team's interest immediately with Grayling & Co (preferably over a hearty meal at your local Michelin star restaurant) and you'll be given up to £100M to spend as you please, mindful of the fees for each transaction and the binary scoring system. Can you stop criminals in their tracks? Can you rehabilitate the hardcore recidivists? Can you profit from crime?

    Fantasy Probation Service - Crime DOES Pay!

  9. But who sets the RAR's - is sentencing moving from the courts to the Supervisors?

    I hope I am mistaken and this is NOT happening.

  10. This payment scheme may be ok for selling gas or electric, but I feel it may cause many unforseen consequences and abuses.
    Lets never forget that the primary focus now is not on the offender, it's on methods and means of profit maximisation.
    With private industry given a free hand in their approaches and methods of rehabilitation (innovation?), many devious means will be developed to maximise payments.
    I have a feeling that there may also be many 'inter regional' exchanges of offenders to assist the private companies achieve profit margins. Housing, intervention services ect can all be manipulated to shift offenders from one cohort to another.
    The needs of the clients rehabilitation are now secondary to the needs of the company to extract profit.

  11. Not sure if this has been noted already. Sorry if it has.

    1. MPs have raised concerns about the government’s implementation plans for probation reform, which will see services for low and high-risk offenders split between new private providers and the National Probation Service.
      The justice select committee has published its report on crime reduction policies, investigating the risks involved in the proposed new system.
      The proposals would “radically change” the probation system, the committee warned. They highlighted risks involved in the scale, architecture, detail and consequences of the reform, as well as the pace of implementation and the lack of testing.
      Payment by results is also likely to require modification, the report states.
      Sir Alan Beith MP, chair of the committee, said: “There is a lack of information both about the risks they might encounter during implementation and the steps that they will take to mitigate those risks. They also do not appear to have devised clear contingency plans in the event that the competition fails to yield a viable new provider for a particular area, or that a new provider subsequently fails.
      “In such circumstances, it is not clear whether the Government will be able to implement or retain the supervision of short-sentenced prisoners, or whether this element of the programme is contingent on having a complete system in place.
      “The ministry has high expectations of what can be achieved in the way of efficiency savings and extension of services through contracting out the management of low and medium risk offenders within existing resources. We would have liked to examine the affordability of the reforms, the initial costs of which are likely to be considerable but which might, over the longer-term, lessen as demand on the system falls, but the information the Government has provided is too limited for us to do this.
      “This raises the question of whether this important assessment has been adequately carried out. Furthermore, a key question for the Government is how the focus on reducing reoffending will be maintained during the period when the restructuring of the market that is necessary to create the desired efficiencies takes place.”


  13. A £15m fund to support young homeless people, where bidders will be assessed on the level of social investment they attract, has been jointly launched by two government departments.
    The Fair Chance Fund, which is jointly supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office, is currently inviting expressions of interest.
    It is a payment by results programme which will fund providers to move homeless young people into sustainable accommodiation and into employment, education or training.
    Bidders will be eligible for payments of up to £15,000 per individual. They can bid for the right to work with between 50 and 600 individuals, and must bid for funding of between £500,000 and £3m.
    The document says providers will have to work with social investors or philanthropists to provide them with the up front capital to deliver services without jeopardising their own organisation.
    It says: “One of the objectives of the scheme is to develop the social investment market and the level of social investment will be one of the criteria against which we assess full bids."

    It says a specified aim of the fund is to develop and strengthen the capacity of the social investment market to deliver results within the programme.
    The document says the fund aims to move at least 2,500 homeless, young people not in education, employment or training into sustainable accommodation and at least 1,000 of those into sustained employment, education or training from January 2015 to December 2017.
    It says chosen providers within the programme will start work in January 2015 and the first results payments will be available from April 2015.
    It says very small organisations are unlikely to be able to manage the scale of the provision needed or to be able to attract social investment on their own.

    1. and no housing benefit until they're 25-at least?

    2. This 'social investment market' is just code for a return to a pre-welfare state, Victorian era, where well-off charitable benefactors bestowed their gracious benevolence on the meek, forelock-tugging grateful, and most importantly 'deserving' poor. Except that now they're expecting to get a financial return on it, rather than just saving their mortal souls.

  14. With Grayling announcing that offenders will in future be charged court fees, and Sentinal named as one of the prime bidders, could this artical show the future of British PbR probation services?

    1. I can see private companies encouraging breaches to get money somehow. I wondered until a moment ago why only 3 companies had bid for London Probation - just realised if winning company fucks up it would be high profile and damage to companies reputation...

  15. In January 2013, Clifford Hayes, a homeless man suffering from lupus and looking for a night off the streets, walked into the sheriff's office in Augusta, Georgia. It was a standard visit: he needed police clearance, a requirement of many homeless shelters, to stay overnight at the Salvation Army.
    Hayes expected to go straight to the shelter. Instead, he was handcuffed and later thrown in jail. Hayes hadn't committed a crime – or at least, he hadn't in many years since 2007, when he committed several driving-related misdemeanor offenses, for which he pled guilty and was put on probation. That probation left him $2,000 in debt for court fines – and fees he was supposed to pay to a private company the state hired to monitor him until his probation ended. Hayes needed to pay $854 to the court to avoid a jail sentence; because he had no money except a $730-a-month disability check, he was thrown in Richmond County lockup.
    The cost to taxpayers of Hayes' eight-month jail sentence: $11,500, according to Georgia court documents.

    Despite the fact that the US supreme court ruled in 1983 that offenders cannot be jailed when they can't afford to pay their fines, an increasing number of poor, low-level offenders are doing time because they can't keep up with fees they owe to courts and private probation companies. To some it resembles a variation on the old Victorian workhouses and debtors' prisons, moved from Dickensian England to the modern United States.

  16. “You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners”.

    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    "We can do what we want to prisoners"

    Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government UK 2014

  17. If not already doing this, we should encourage clients to register to vote + confirm they have some understanding about where their better voting interests lie. Not that the Labour party are any great shakes, but there is the possibility of a fairer society.

  18. A GP announced on TV on Saturday that he is going to be a candidate in the election next year in Witney competing in Witney, David Cameron's seat. He has formed a new political party and will be fighting on an NHS ticket. He's sick of seeing privatisation of the NHS by stealth.

  19. As was mentioned some little while ago ;
    The Yorkshire and the Humber TUC has called a demonstration in York on Saturday 8 March to protest against the austerity measures of the Coalition government and to highlight a better way to grow our economy and protect our society. The demonstration takes place while the Liberal Democrats hold their Spring Conference in York and our march takes us past the Barbican Centre where they are meeting.
    We are prioritising five issues
    Jobs and fair pay
    Tax justice
    Industrial growth
    NHS, public services & social security
    Young people and the future
    The event takes place on International Women’s Day and the speakers at the rally following the march will also reflect on the disproportionate impact of austerity on women. The event starts at 11am at Clifford’s Tower and we hope you can join us on the day and help promote the event.
    For more information please visit

  20. Ian Tyler appointed as G4S ‘minder’

    By Sarah Neville and Gill PlimmerThe government has appointed a senior “minder” from the business world to oversee G4S, the distressed outsourcing company, as it seeks to satisfy ministers it is fit to take on further government contracts.The Financial Times has learnt that Ian Tyler, former chief executive of Balfour Beatty, will be appointed crown representative for G4S, assigned to work with the company as part of a Whitehall scheme intended to inject more commercial nous into public procurement.Bill Crothers, Whitehall chief procurement officer, said the aim was “to improve commercial performance and save money”. Six other business leaders, all known as “crown representatives”, will be announced on Tuesday, bringing the total number of external advisers to 21. However, it is highly unusual for a crown representative to look after a single company; most work with two or three.Mr Tyler, who will be paid £500 a day by the Cabinet Office, had already served on an oversight panel that concluded Serco, a rival outsourcing company that had been under government investigation, should be allowed to bid for fresh work.Mr Crothers made clear that G4S had yet to satisfy the government it had undertaken the “corporate renewal” necessary to restore its reputation in Whitehall.G4S is at the centre of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over whether it overbilled the taxpayer by £24m for electronic tagging and prison escort contracts.However, not only the company’s conduct but also the ability of civil servants to manage relationships with the outsourcer has come under scrutiny in recent months.The Cabinet Office has acknowledged the need to urgently improve commissioning skills, but credits measures such as the appointment of the crown representatives and more centralised procurement for the £3.8bn in efficiency savings it secured last year.Mr Tyler’s experience as chief executive of “a public company with diverse business interests working across different countries” would give him insights into G4S as the company sought to improve its performance, Mr Crothers suggested.“If you are the person representing government and having a conversation with that supplier you need to have gravitas, stature and, most importantly, experience. The more you can show empathy with the challenges the suppliers are going through, the better,” he added.While the company had yet to satisfy ministers it should win more work, “it is in the government’s interests to have as broad a supplier base and as competitive a market as possible. We are working to achieve that goal and we know that G4S’s senior leadership is working to achieve it too,” he added.Mr Tyler left Balfour Beatty last January following a profit warning the previous November. The company was forced to issue a second profit warning in April, blaming poor management in its UK division.He is also chairman of the housebuilder Bovis Homes, which is benefiting from government schemes to boost mortgage take-up such as Help to Buy. Mr Tyler is also executive director on the boards of BAE Systems, Cable & Wireless Communications and Cairn Energy.G4S declined to comment on Mr Tyler’s appointment.

    Related companies

    1. So the govt is spending £500 per day of public money to make G4S 'acceptable' and available for future contracts - so they can cream off £millions of public money??

      And there are 21 of these advisers employed to polish corporate turds. Thats 21 x £500 = £10,500 daily, or approx £200K monthly, or £2.5M annually.

      Or (approx) 100 frontline probation staff members.

      Its not about the money.

  21. I awoke this morning having had a strange dream.....after a series of high profile IT disasters TR will be dead in the water by christmas........

  22. The more this goes on against all reason as far as cost, public safety and increasing rehabilitation are concerned, the more I am becoming convinced it is about something much more sinister, which can be the outcome of a the 'smaller state' where the intellectuals and organised supporters of the vulnerable are emaciated.

  23. This is an intresting blog that you have posted, you shares a lot of things about Electrical Contractors UK, Industrial

    Electrical Contractors and Domestic Electrical Contractors. Which are very

    informative for us. Thanks