Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary of the MoJ, appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on 29 June to give account for his Department’s failures on management and expansion of the prison estate, set out in a recent National Audit Office report. The Chair and a member of the Justice Committee also attended, a useful innovation, since there is so much common interest.
Heaton was accompanied by the Chief Exec of HMPPS and the Deputy Director of Prison Maintenance and Change. He did not bring his FD, Mike Driver, surprisingly, since the talk was largely about money. [But perhaps someone had recalled that at a previous session, Driver told a gobsmacked Justice Committee “I would say that we have a very good financial management regime within the organisation.” That would not have gone down well on this occasion.]
The hearing was never going to be easy. Because what the NAO reported was that prisons remain dangerously overcrowded, with a big mismatch between the type and location of available and places needed, that the programme to create 10,000 new places by 2020 had created precisely 206 places, with not one new prison opened, that a ballooning budget deficit of near £1bn a year had meant available capital had to be switched to current, that plans to close old prisons with poor conditions had almost entirely failed, that MoJ had failed to keep pace with a rising backlog of essential maintenance, so that an increasing number of places had to be taken out of use while conditions in many prisons were appalling, and that contracting of FM had been an unmitigated disaster ending with the collapse of Carillion, and all this while prisons were less safe, less decent than they had been for many decades.
Now you might think that if that was the wicket you were going in to defend, you’d have sent hours and hours mastering the facts, preparing your response to the inevitable criticism and to shoulder responsibility for this avalanche of failures.
But not Richard Heaton.
In all my years as a civil servant, and my own appearances before the PAC and other Committees, I have never seen anything remotely like it. Heaton had not mastered quite basic facts, did not appear to feel that he personally had anything to answer for, did not seem to think that anything – including the Committee- mattered very much.
He was not, however, short on explanations for all these disasters. Turns out that it was either all someone else’s fault – impliedly, his immediate predecessor, Ursula Brennan's - or alternatively, the fiscal equivalent of the wrong sort of snow. Here is the complete list of his excuses:
“My predecessors landed me with this shit” plus “Fate was unkind to me”. Not me, Guv!
Heaton has obviously never heard the maxim that when things have gone really badly wrong, 10 excuses are 10 times less credible than 1. Or that the most powerful defence in the language is, “I’m sorry, I got it wrong”.
When Shabana Mahmood rightly pressed him to be a bit more precise about how the Department came to get so many things so wrong, Heaton replied: “Maybe we suffered from group think…maybe we were not rigorous enough, maybe our forecasting was not good enough, but without a historical exegesis…I do not think I can be more precise than that”. The mandarin equivalent of ‘whatev’. But I do believe him. I do accept that he is quite unable to be more precise.
For indeed Heaton is not a man for detail. How many places would the 4 new prisons just announced give? How many prisons hold women? Could MoJ do lease back of new prisons? How much had he got for Holloway? Don’t ask me. Why did you underspend on maintenance by £24m? The answer: “..we did not see the figure. We just cannot [inaudible] where the underspend was”. Don’t ask me, I’m only the Accounting Officer. If all his evidence had been inaudible, we might be better informed.
His language was striking. Heaton seemingly wishes to appear hip, relaxed, casual, none of that old-world Sir Humphrey stuff. In so doing, he seemed to me to signal a fundamental lack of seriousness and respect. The FM and probation contracts were ‘kind of doomed’. Oh, well, that’s really helpful. The 2019 budget “gave us the money we needed to keep the lights on” and “a good slug of capital” (Heaton the fiscal alcoholic. “Gimme anther slug, willya. And leave the bottle!”)
When it comes to the future – which Heaton much prefers talking about than all that dead old history, man – Heaton is as rhapsodic about the wonders to come as he is short on details, such as when, or at what cost, or what risk. The Justice Committee chair, pressing him, says ‘There’s no overarching strategy for dealing with any of these things, is there?’ Heaton replies that the Committee has had ‘the ingredients of a strategy’ and that “I hope you would not observe a lack of strategy if you were to revisit this, I say in 6 months” i.e. after I’ve escaped. Towards the end Heaton became quite the visionary: he hoped MoJ would carry on way beyond the 10,000 new places, building more and more prisons…glorious. (No sense at all of the fiscal, social indeed moral case for not having more and more prisoners. Or of the long experience that if you build more capacity, some politician will fill it up again, and then overfill it.)
Heaton has however given us more insight into the extraordinary catalogue of failures in MoJ in recent years than he thinks. An organisation headed by such a man, a man without the least concept of what leadership entails, a man so disdainful of detail, so unable to take personal responsibility, could never flourish. The MoJ rotted from the top down.
The story extends to two other serious failures.
As ever when someone fails in a job by so wide a margin, questions must be asked about those who appointed him – and who kept him in office when it was clear it was quite beyond him: Cabinet Secretaries Jeremy Heywood and Mark Sedwill. Why did Heywood appoint someone so unsuitable by reason of his experience – Heaton was a Government lawyer of no real management experience – and temperament, to a massively difficult management job, £8bn complex spend and a huge variety of services, employing 70, 000 or so staff right across the UK?
This is more than bad judgement in one case. The mandarinate have never really squared two completely different jobs at Permanent Secretary level: giving advice to Ministers (not that they seem to want it much, nowadays) and dealing with Parliament, media etc on the one hand, and managed huge, complex, costly public services under great stress. The Agency concept was an attempted solution: separate the two out. That worked well until MoJ brought all the corporate and support services, including procurement, back to the centre of MoJ, with on the whole, bad results. This matters: insiders tell me of crucial discussions about funding andmanagement of prisons from which those with operational experience were excluded. And I know from my own time how necessary their input was when the going got tough.
Second, there is another failure here: the failure of the PAC and Justice Committees to do their jobs. As an interrogation of the chief of Department where financial control has broken down, where public services had been badly damaged, where contract after contract has gone bad, their sessions were laughably shallow. As I have noted before (1), this is partly this is the inevitable result of rushing through so many inquiries in a Session, and of interrogation by a Committee of members, each with their own personal interests and issues. It is also the case that so long as Committees only call those currently in post, and absolve their predecessors, it will be to easy to maintain, as Heaton did, that it was all the fault of those who came before, and that all he did was try to clear up the appalling mess they left, disgusting, isn’t it, some people! Committees should have power to call predecessors in post (but then they’d have to call Grayling, wouldn’t they?). It would have been interesting, for example, to hear Ursula Brennan's response.
And that exposes a delicate cultural issue too. The PAC has the reputation for being fearsomely tough and critical. And appearing before it is quite a challenge. But I’ve noticed again and again, how Committee members, especially chairs, seem to want to avoid too direct a challenge. I noted that in my book, regarding the misappropriation of £200m by SERCO/G4S (1). I note it again here. Here’s the chair to Heaton: “glad to hear you are so upbeat” and offering him “muted congratulations from the PAC” (for what!?). And then cutting off Mahmood, who seems one of the sharper minds on the Committee, in mid-sentence as she told Heaton that MoJ’s litany of failures were ‘inexplicable’: “I think, Ms Mahmood, this is also about, once a mistake is made, how long it takes to unpick it, which is a salutary lessons for Whitehall and Westminster indeed”.
“Whitehall and Westminster indeed”. Indeed. As I have often noted, for all the conflict that their can be between Ministers and top civil servants, there is also a profound and (for the laity) sinister congruence of interests. Neither are keen for awkward truths to get out, or to spend too much time analysing the fruits of their actions and decisions. That was surely the real burden of ‘Yes Minister’. It is the price we pay for not separating out Executive and Legislature. Not much less than afifth of MPs are the Government payroll - and maybe another fifth hope to be soon. The watchdog is self-neutering.
In talking of Heaton’s and the MoJ’s failure, I do not - of course - suggest that failing is in itself morally blameworthy. I am not Michael Howard. Anyone who thinks they’ve never failed is a dangerous fool. In my book, and since, I’ve made it clear that I made mistakes in my time. The question is, do you scrutinise your own record, do you own your failure, do you show remorse, do you put it right, do you learn. I don’t think, on this showing, that any of those things can really be said of Heaton.
Heaton will shortly, leaving almost every part of the justice system in a worse state than it has been in living memory. Likely he will be replaced by some creature of Cummings choosing. MoJ must be dreading his or her arrival. But then, could they really do any worse?
(1) My book, ch. 5
Robert Buckland is going to build another 4 prisons. Unfortunately, he has forgotten quite why.
A degree of amnesia is perhaps understandable. A succession of Tory Ministers has been announcing plans to build 10, 000 new prison places for such a long time, it’s almost become a ritual divorced from reality, like Harvest Supper.
Let’s help restore that memory!
Nearly 5 years ago, Michael Gove announced plans to build 10, 000 new places in 9 new prisons. That would have allowed old prisons with poor conditions and facilities, and high running costs, to be closed, demolished and those sites used to build 3, 000 new homes, the sale receipts partly paying for the prisons. In the process, the estate would be configured to better match demand and supply. New gizmos would make new prisons whizzier. It really was a most cunning plan. A few months later, his successor, Liz Truss, confirmed the plans, promising 5 new prisons would be open by 2020. That is to say, today. The number actually open today is…none. Just two are being built. They will open in 2021.
Why did the plan fail so spectacularly? After all, in my day we built and opened new prisons within 40 months of going to tender. Though we were never quite so stupid as to plan to open 5 prisons in one year, knowing how difficult it is to open a new prison (none more so than the last publicly built and run prison, Berwyn, which remained troubled and half empty for years after opening). But back then, HMPS was headed by people who knew all about prisons, as opposed Jo Farrar, who knows all about running Bath Council, and prison building was handled by HMPS itself, not the incompetents who inhabit the centre of MoJ nowadays.
The reason for the failure was MoJ’s almost unbelievable incompetence. As the NAO helpfully documents (they’ll have to go, won’t they, Dominic?), two full years was spent shuffling paper back and forth between MoJ and Treasury. MoJ’s disastrous loss of financial control (see here) meant that capital had to be switched into current to plug the £1bn deficit in the budget. MoJ therefore had to look to private finance, not because it was better value, but because the cost could be spread over 25 years (prisons on the never-never). But (as I explained in my book!) PFI was never going to look as good as it had in the ‘90s, now that the public sector had got much improved its ability to build faster and cheaper, while the cost of public borrowing had plummeted. So HMT rejected their proposal. And then pulled the rug out from under MoJ by abolishing private finance altogether. So, back to the drawing board….
Last August, Buckland, Truss’s successor but two (do keep up!) announced (again) a programme to build 10,000 new prison places. No, not those 10,000. Another quite new 10,000. No dates promised this time – someone had learnt a lesson, indeed they only have one site as yet. And the reason for building them had changed. Not to close intolerably inefficient and unsuitable old prisons – what an idea! But to accommodate Johnson’s plan to lock prisoners up for longer. Although no estimate of how many places would be needed has ever been produced.
The latest announcement is still with the 10,000 figure: but the rationale has largely disappeared. It’s not to relieve overcrowding (surely no-one would build prisons just for that remnant of liberal hand-wringing! Overcrowding is nothing to worry about, bar the occasional lethal pandemic, of course), not to close old prisons, not to accommodate Johnson’s extravaganza – which is no longer so much as mentioned. (Why not, I wonder? Cummings was so proud of it only last year. Caution stirring in HMT at last?)
The ‘reasons’ now advanced are…well, absurd.
First, to reduce reconvictions. The idea is that shiny new prisons with shiny new gizmos in them (politicians, like children, are irresistibly attracted to shiny new gizmos that whirr and buzz) will be ever so much better at preventing reoffending. (Not, however, so much better than we can ever stop building new prisons – oh, dear no). The evidence for this is, well, nil.
In fact, we know perfectly well that this rationale is nonsense:
And it can’t boost local economies quite so much as they boast. Because as Treasury claim, a tad unfortunately, in the same press release, the prisons will in fact be prefabricated and transported to the site to be assembled (“Components, such as concrete walls, and pipework for water and electricity are built by companies around the country using modern, standardised processes and assembled on site.”). So, not locally. (Treasury, in that blissful state of near total ignorance of what Government’ have done previously which characterises Government today, clearly do not know that the first PFI prisons did that a quarter of a century ago. Prefabrication off-site is as exciting an innovation as cardboard.)
The wilful ignorance, serial incompetence and cynicism of the MoJ is unforgivable. Particularly since this programme, like everything else done by Government nowadays, will be paid for by forced borrowing from future generations. Johnson plans to lock up more of the younger generation and for longer, then force them and their children to pay for it. Government Debt, which the Tories made such a fuss about when it was only 80% of GDP, and used to justify destructive cuts in prisons, the police, legal aid, has in recent months reached 100%, a level last seen in the early ‘60s when we were still paying off war debt. And as Johnson builds, and the economy slumps, and millions are unemployed the debt will rise much higher. War debt was finally extinguished only by the rapidly rising growth rates of the late 50s and 60s. Does anyone seriously expect to see such growth again – post COVID, post Brexit, post global warming? This debt may even outlast the prisons we are now building.
This plan disgraces everyone involved.
From latest Inspection report on Berwyn, HMPS' flagship brand new state of the art rehabilitative prison, opened just 3 years ago
"One of the greatest challenges...was the lack of activity places. It is difficult to understand why and how the procurement of work and training places for a new prison could be so delayed...some [places] were of inadequate quality...Even those that were available were not fully used. Many prisoners were unemployed...staff did too little to support a sound work ethic. The prison was struggling to develop its approach to offender management and resettlement.....There had been no assessment of current need.....Too few offending behaviour programmes to meet need." Etc., etc.
The other day I was expressing sceptism about the launch of yet another strategy by Government to make a better go of outsourcing. I commented on the almsot total lack of proper objective evaluation of the success or othewise of outsourcing, which has gone much further in England than in any other country. I was asked what I thought such evaluation would look like. As the LinkedIn post has vanished, here is my answer:
That is an extremely good question.
A proper objective evaluation would have to be carried out by someone both expert and independent of both commercial and union interests and of Government. It would establish whether there are credible measures of performance, if not, suggest them, look at the data for both sectors, and establish the true costs of each sector. It would look at possible side effects, and at how costs are reduced – whether by reducing wages so far as to propel workers into poverty, for example. It should also consider the type outsourcing – they are many very different types of course, some allowing direct inter-sector competition but many not – and at how well competition has been managed and how it could be managed better. And how well contracts are being managed. And it would look at overall benefits, for exmaple, whether it has stimulated improvement in the public sector.
It would cost a little to do well – by rough reckoning maybe one five hundredth of one per cent of the value of outsourced contracts, per year. But at present, it isn’t done at all. I dont know of one, apart form my own study on prisons. That's not because I'm cleverer than others - it's because I bothered. MoJ has stopped doing it for prisons. When I asked DH what studies they had done for healthcare and social care, they said none. The King’s Fund library has almost nothing. Think of the upheaval that readying the NHS for competition caused under Cameron - and nothing to show for it!
No one has a clue. And yet this huge experiment in out sourcing by far (proportionately) the biggest in the world, rolls on, year after year, in a state of perfect ignorance, unless and until we learn something from the many procurement disasters. For which no Minister and no official ever suffers any consequences whatsoever.
There are two reasons why this has become much more urgent. First, we seem to be witnessing more and more disasters in Government procurement – probation contracts, Birmingham prison, FM contracts, Turkish PPE and Chinese COVID tests, witness the flood of single supplier tenders in recent months and of course, almost anything done by MoD. Second, the coming fiscal and social crisis, triggered by COVID, but coming on top of years of cuts, especially in local government, makes it vital that procurement isn’t for the same old same old, cheaper but degraded, but for a new way of meeting need. So, we are asking an institutionally incompetent Government to be suddenly much cleverer – but without bothering to evaluate what is has done so far.
Sound good to you?
Interesting piece by David Gauke, one of the liberal Tories sacked by Johnson, who says he initially supported the Government on COVID, noting the exceptional and novel challenges it poses, but that he ceased to do so as the sheer number of disasters and misfires mounted up. He makes the point: "A Government that shows humility and honesty will retain the benefit of the doubt, but that runs counter to a ‘never apologise, never explain’ ethos. "
So true. 'Sorry' is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of any leader (if genuine and if not over-used - and if leading to real improvement), but the more insecure and autocratic the leader, the more it feels to them like weakness to admit they have done anything wrong or failed in any way. I think of the way Martin Narey, my boss, used to go on the media immediately and admit that something that had just gone terribly wrong in prisons WAS indeed terribly wrong and could not be defended. He thus disarmed criticism before it was fairly launched. Johnson, and especially Trump, represent the polar opposite: never apologies. And boy! does that not work!
The other day, someone contacted me about my book – yes, it still happens, every third blue moon – and I thought to have a look again at the latest performance ratings for prisons, for 2018-19, published nearly a year ago. Remember, back when COVID was just a misprint for ‘Corvid’?
When I was the Director responsible for Government research and statistics dealing with correctional services, the statisticians were people of complete integrity. They might make mistakes, sometimes, but you couldn’t get them to play politics, indeed publications were sometimes held up for months because Ministers wanted them to say things that the scientists said were misleading.
Nowadays, for the MoJ, spin is all. The bulletin for the 2018-19 ratings is so very proud at the progress being made. “13% of prisons were rated as having exceptional performance, the highest rate since 2014-2015”. And “more prisons were rated as having acceptable or exceptional performance than in 2017-18 or in 2016-17” and “there were fewer prisons where performance was rated as of concern or of serious concern”.
Slight problem: the same bulletin says such comparisons are rubbish. It says in the small print that because a new rating system was introduced in 2018-19, “comparisons cannot be made to performance rating s from 2017-18” (since they were derived from a different system) or with ratings before 2017-18 since those were based on a yet another different, earlier, system. Clear enough! One of the banes of Government stats is that these breaks in series occur all the time, yet what people often most want is to see a trend. Happens all the time with accounts, too.
Yet the authors of the bulletin immediately break their own rules!
I think I’ll ask the UK Statistical Authority to offer MoJ some help in understanding their own bulletins.
What is even more dubious is the choice of 2014-15 as the benchmarking year. Why that particular year? Why not an earlier year? Because any earlier year would remind us that the prison (and for that matter, probation) services were in a good state in 2010 – when the Tories came in. Why not benchmark on 2010-11, when not one single prison was rated as having performance causing serious concern. Not. A. Single. One. Compared to nearly 1 in 7 prisons last year. (Since MoJ ignores its own rules on past comparisons, why shouldn’t I?). Even more damning, in 2010-11 nearly every prison in the country, an astonishing 98%, were rated as either ‘exceptional ‘or meeting the majority of targets. In 2017-18, before the figures were conveniently ‘improved’ in 2018-19 by introducing yet another a new system, half of all prisons were failing.
MoJ play the same game with staffing numbers, comparing todays’ numbers with the year numbers were lowest and announcing the result as a triumphant x% increase. But the true baseline in 2010, before the Tory cuts started. Which would show that in our prisons, today, we have 16% fewer front line staff on our landings than we had in 2010. Which, in the opinion of everyone except Tory Ministers, and their stooges in the MoJ, is the reason the prison service has been brought so low, that foreign courts bar transfer of prisoners to the UK on humanitarian grounds. In the same way a slight fall in stats such as assaults or self-harm are trumpeted, ignoring the fact that they are nevertheless still over twice as high as when the Tories came in.
The MoJ hope we are too stupid, too lazy, to realise the extent of the damage Tory policies have done not just to prisons and probation, but to every single element of our justice system since they came to power in 2010. Well: I’m not. Nor, I hope, are you.
Woken at 5 a.m. by a blackbird just outside our bedroom, singing its head off. Our most beautiful songster, I think. Rather that than the show-off nightingale. After 20 minutes or so, pigeons started a throaty ostinato, then distant crows cawing, then at about 5.45 the electric twittering of our sparrow hedge. And I felt such deep longing to be in harmony with the natural world, that I felt like crying.
We shall miss these days, when COVID is over. That sounds strange, but it’s true. Yes, suffering surrounds us like a sea, stretching limitlessly in every direction, stretching to every country and far, far into the future, as the tide of damage, economic, mental, spiritual, political, diplomatic, rolls on and on. And yes, it is terrible.
But sometimes, it feels like we are also being shown something, something we always longed for, but thought could never be, shown it actually can exist. That for a moment, it does exist. That if we just restrain ourselves, the natural world we have been so relentlessly despoiling will come roaring back, and it will be immensely healing. That the air can be fit to breath, the sky truly blue instead of a film of muck, the quiet overwhelming, bringing us back to our true selves. And that we can just peel off all the labels that help divide us, Chinese, Italian, English – or Brexiter or Tory or white or male or middle class or all the others – and realise with a sudden rush of recognition that, faced with this awful challenge, we are all one. Not that we should be, but that we already are. And that as one, we could be unstoppable, there would be nothing we could not do.
But it cannot last. Already the traffic here is about half way back to normal. Already I can taste the diesel fumes in my throat, my senses heightened by breathing clean air for the first time since …when? Already work has restarted on the development near us. Already the stupidity, division, of politics, the pointless, insulting tribalism and point scoring, is starting up again. Soon we will all go back to exactly the same ideas and standpoints and feuds we had before. Soon the second home owners will rush off to their places in the country or in France, we will start booking fights and hotels, buy another machine, and another…. We will miss the opportunity to change the way we think, act, organise, produce, consume, live.
And when we go back to traffic jams all day long, and breathing air acrid with fumes, and peering at skies crowded with vapour trails and Heathrow Hell and busyness and rush everywhere and everywhere Nature and peace being trashed and trampled on, we will miss these days like a dream of something better, something we truly do not deserve. For it is a dream that belongs to some other species than Man. We are too busy, too greedy, too lacking in wisdom, restraint, kindness.
We shall miss these days. And we shall never see them again.
Didn't there used to be something called the 'Labour Party'? Headed by Clem Kinnock or someone? If you see it, please don't approach it, as it may be toxic, but call a vet.
Meanwhile, since we no longer have any politics in this country, here's some recent glass, made since I started learning painting on glass from the very gifted Anna Gillespie of Charlbury.
Now HERE'S a leader!
Listen to these old soldiers, and weep: here
A surprising, and potentially explosive, twist to the ongoing SERCO fraud scandal (see previous blogs):
The shareholders, including the BBC, BA and Shell Pension Funds, are suing SERCO in the wake of disclosure, in a court hearing last summer, that SERCO’s margins on the tagging contract had been way ahead of forecasts as early as 2006. Presumably they will claim that SERCO’s concealment of their true profit margin artificially inflated share prices, and that eventual discovery of this led to a catastrophic collapse in the share price and thus the pension funds’ assets. Potentially, the claim could be for many hundreds of millions.
This is of particular interest given that Judge William Davis observed last summer that the fraud had been organised by and for the benefit of the SERCO main company, but that no ‘directing mind’ within the main company could be identified and charged. It will be interesting to see the argument run, that SERCO is not liable for the civil suit, because no one was actually directing the company.
In a recent post, I said that the SCERO/G4S electronic monitoring scandal (“this one will run and run” – Serious Fraud Office) had given rise to many scandals, one nesting inside the other, as it were.
Another has come to light. The Financial Reporting Council, regulatory body for accountants, actuaries and auditors, has published findings against Deloittes and two auditors. The findings were of misconduct in:
failing to respond to clear indicators of the risk of potential fraud on a UK Government Department, despite such indicators being visibly set out on the SERCO Geographix audit file (for the years in question)
failing to comply with important audit standards and included failings in relation to identifying the risk of fraud or material misstatement and the exercise of professional scepticism.
These are the accounts which, the SFO alleges, were manipluated so as to enable SERCO to give a false account of the profitability of its electronic monitoring contract to the MoJ.
Deloittes was fined £6.5m and the individuals also fined. Deloittes was also severely reprimanded and required to put in place extra training.
It perhaps may be a good idea for Deloittes to look for a new trainer, as previous fines and severe reprimands against Deloittes for professional failings in the Aero Inventory and MG Rover cases (2016 and 2015) have clearly not had the desired effect. They were also damned by the House of Commons Select Committees' inquiry into the Carilion collapse. Either Deloittes is out of proper control or it cynically shrugs off such reprimands, severe or not, as the price of doing business. With a turnover of over $40bn, the fines are loose change; as for reputational damage – well, it's not entirely clear that how easy it would be possible to damage Deloittes reputation.
Corruption is contagious. I hasten to add, I am not suggesting used dollar bills were handed over to Deloittes in brown envelopes: it’s clear from the FRC report that is not what happened. But in a way, frank corruption like that is easier to guard again, investigate and deal with. No, what I mean here is a sort of moral contagion: when one person, or company, decided to cut corners and bend the rules, then other bodies, other companies and individuals adjacent to the wrong doer, or doing business with it, may well come under pressure to turn a blind eye, not raise awkward questions, in short, not to exercise ‘professional scepticism’.
No such action has occurred in relation to G4S, further evidence that in accounting terms, the two companies dealt with the issue in different ways, as I noted in my last piece.
I was formerly Finance Director of the Prison Service and then Director of the National Offender Management Service responsible for competition. I also worked in the NHS and an IT company. I later worked for two outsourcing companies.
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