Readers may find the following of interest in relation to the astonishing about turn in relation to the Innovo staff mutual partnership and dumping of The Manchester College as a partner last week. A new deal was stitched up at alarming speed with Geo Group and there has been a suggestion that should they prove successful, an expensive legal challenge to the late bid might be forthcoming from unsuccessful bidders. We all remember what happened with the botched West Coast Mainline challenge by Virgin don't we?
Last Tuesday you were all told the news that Innovo Rehabilitation, the partnership between Innovo CLM and The Manchester College (TMC), would no longer submit a bid into the competition.
It is important to us that we communicate the circumstances to you and we have an announcement that demonstrates Innovo’s meaning and how we are determined to live up to its name - ‘renew, restore and restart’!
We are delighted to announce that a bid has been submitted as a result of hard work and the development of a new partnership between Innovo CLM and The GEO Group LTD (GEO). The first part of the bid was submitted at 10 am June 30, and the second part, the financials, was submitted earlier today.
Discussions were held late Wednesday 25th June with other potential bidders who could partner with Innovo CLM and talks with GEO occurred. From this conversation a meeting was arranged on Thursday with the Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer. Many of you may have questions about GEO and their name may be familiar to some as it is currently partnered with two other probation staff mutuals who have submitted bids as well so we have been aware of them for some time. GEO has made their announcement simultaneously to their staff.
The framework of a potential partnership was outlined in this meeting along with a demonstration of their commitment to work with us. It was evident from their proposition that they have a clear understanding of the probation service. They demonstrated their understanding of the importance of a staff mutual and the values it represents.
Due to the pressing nature of the first part of the bid submission of 30 June and after hearing GEO proposition, negotiations took place and were concluded with an agreement being reached – launching the birth of ‘GEO Innovo’.
Undeterred by the setback at the 11th hour, the team sought out and explored other options for partnerships and through hard work successfully delivered a jointly agreed bid which we believe will be a great outcome that delivers a top model for both service users and staff in the CRC.
We will now wait to hear the preferred bidder status that should be announced in August/September.
For more information on GEO we have provided their press release that was sent out simultaneously to their staff.
GEO Innovo twitter page will be launched later today so we encourage you to follow to receive the latest news. @GEOInnovo_Rehab
Geri Byrne-Thompson and Dave Christian
Joint Venture with Innovo (CLM)
I am pleased to announce that The GEO Group UK Ltd has entered into an agreement with Innovo (CLM) CIC to bid for the Ministry of Justice’s Transforming Rehabilitation competition. For the purposes of bidding, we are known as GEO Innovo.
Innovo (CLM) CIC
Innovo is a Community Interest Company set up by the management and staff group of the former Cumbria & Lancashire and Merseyside Probation Trusts.
Together we have bid for two contracts to manage offenders in the Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside areas.
I have attached to this NTS some frequently asked questions about this exciting venture. We have also placed a message on our website, Facebook and LinkedIn pages, which I would encourage you to read.
Staff in Innovo are being told simultaneously about this announcement.
The Joint Venture
Q: What are you announcing today?
We are announcing that GEO UK and Innovo have entered into an agreement to bid for two of the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), covering Cumbria & Lancashire and Merseyside areas.
Q: Who is Innovo?
Innovo is a community interest company set up by the management and staff group from the former Cumbria & Lancashire and Merseyside Probation Trusts.
Q: Are we changing our name?
Nothing is changing to our Company and we will remain The GEO Group UK Ltd.
However, we have jointly bid with Innovo for the contract to manage the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) in the Cumbria & Lancashire and Merseyside regions.
Q: Why are we forming this Joint Venture?
GEO and Innovo are bringing together our collective experience and expertise to form this exciting proposition. Both organisations have the same vision and values and are pooling our collective resources to meet the Ministry of Justice’s objectives of reducing reoffending rates.
Q: Didn’t you tell us about Joint Ventures with Delta and Mercia Community Action/Willowdene?
Yes. We have separate arrangements with:
Delta Rehabilitation Ltd (Delta) , the staff mutual formed from the management and staff group in the former Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Probation Trusts. We are bidding jointly with Delta for these three regions which will become on single contract package area, and
Mercia Community Action (MCA)/Willowdene. MCA is the staff mutual formed from the management and staff group in the former West Mercia and Warwickshire Probation Trusts. Willowdene is a social enterprise in Shropshire. We are bidding jointly with MCA and Willowdene for these regions which will become on single contract package area.
Q: How is this different from Delta and MCA/Willowdene?
It isn’t very different. All Joint Ventures will look very similar but will cover different parts of the country.
Q: When will the Joint Venture begin?
A legally binding agreement has been signed with Innovo which will be developed into a formal Joint Venture later on in the process. We have the same arrangements with Delta and MCA/Willowdene.
Q: How much finance is GEO UK putting into the Joint Ventures?
The GEO Group has global assets of £1.9 bn. While the exact amount GEO UK will invest in these Joint Ventures is commercially confidential, it is substantial and will allow us to transform the way in which offenders are managed and rehabilitated in the two regions.
Q: What specific skills do both parties offer?
The staff who formed Innovo have been successfully managing offenders for many years, operating as two Probation Trusts (Cumbria & Lancashire and Merseyside). The newly created Community Interest Company, Innovo, will build on these skill sets, but have a radically new approach to reducing re-offending.
GEO UK will provide financial investment, expertise in custodial management, logistics and sophisticated ICT solutions to support the services we jointly deliver to offenders.
Q: Are my terms and conditions changing?
You will remain an employee of The GEO Group UK Ltd.
Q: What opportunities does this announcement bring for me?
We are not in a position to confirm any future opportunities for staff with the new Joint Ventures. We will keep staff informed as the process moves forward.
Q: Where will the Joint Ventures be based?
We expect to operate the Joint Ventures in the regions. However, we have not yet decided where exactly they will be located.
Press Release: GEO UK Website
The GEO Group UK Ltd and Innovo (CLM) CIC have today announced that they are to form a Joint Venture to bid for the Ministry of Justice's Transforming Rehabilitation competition in the Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside.
Phil Watkins, GEO UK's Managing Director said:
"We are delighted to be announcing our relationship with Innovo today. Innovo is the third staff mutual organisation that GEO has partnered with in the MoJ’s Transforming Rehabilitation, following Delta Rehabilitation (North Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire) and Mercia Community Action / Willowdene Farm West Mercia and Warwickshire).
We share joint values and a vision for transforming the lives of offenders, reducing re-offending and keeping the public safe. Together we have offered the Ministry of Justice an innovative and strong proposition.
Innovo’s Director, Geri Byrne-Thompson said:
"The staff who make up Innovo have been managing offenders for many years, helping them to turn their lives around. We are excited by the opportunities this competition brings and are delighted to be working with GEO to build services which will serve the needs of offenders and the local communities of Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside”