Thursday, 19 January 2012

Reducing prison inmate numbers and cleaning up crime (Part II)

On Monday I discussed the outsourcing of the prison services .  Now I've learnt that there has been a new entrant into the bidding. The Prison Service have now entered the game as Mitie's 'preferred partner'.  Mitie don't appear to have any experience of running a prison but now they've an obvious partner - the Prison Service.

I posed questions on the supplier appraisal approach but those questions have now been added to.

  • How can a 'preferred partner' be added to one of those shortlisted after you've drawn up the shortlist?  
  • What happens if the new partnership is successful in winning all nine contracts and an objection is raised on the robustness of the process?  
  • Did the other bidders have an option of partnering with the Prison Service?  
  • How and when did this partnership emerge?
  • Are there any precedents?

Background reading
Lea, R., and Ford, R. 'Prison Service makes late bid to run private jails', The Times, 19 January, p.33.


  1. Shall I do the FOI request or do you want to? I agree, thought it was very strange... and what about the "level playing field" stuff?

  2. Hi Pete, thanks for the comment. I have no plans to place an FOI - I was merely putting something into the melting pot for discussion and debate.
    It's in my 'nice to know' as opposed to 'need to know' pile. Having said that, it's facinating that these types of questions just don't seem to be asked 'by the system' - it's syetemic change which is required to protect the system against itself and the people who will end up the 'fall guys'.