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Prisons: Contracts

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 194129, tabled on 21 November 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reasons his Department is not running in-house bids for the operation of (a) HMP Wellingborough and (b) HMP Glen Parva.

Answered on

26 November 2018

The Government is committed to a diverse market of prison operators and competition for custodial services remains an important way of achieving that and driving quality of operations and innovation across the system. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service will not be bidding in the competition to operate the new prisons at Wellingborough and Glen Parva but will instead provide a ‘public sector benchmark’, against which against which potential operators’ bids can be assessed. It is right that the prison service focuses on getting the basics right in prisons, however where bids do not meet sufficient quality or value for money thresholds it will act as the provider.

HMPPS will soon launch a competition to establish a framework of prison operators, from which the operator for the new prison at Wellingborough and potentially further prisons will be selected. This process will enable us to undertake rigorous financial and operational assessment of bids put forward by any existing or potential operator to ensure they are of sufficient quality, value and affordability.

As set out on the 26 June at the Justice Select Committee and in the 2017 manifesto, we remain committed to building up to 10,000 modern and decent prison places. The Chancellor reaffirmed this commitment in the Budget, announcing that we intend to build the new prisons at Wellingborough, which is due to open in 2021 and Glen Parva, which we expect to open in 2022, through public capital.

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