[holding answer 29 January 2007]: Staff transfers and departures are managed at local level and the details requested are not recorded centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The Prison Service is currently working with the Health and Safety Executive to identify initiatives that will aim to reduce workplace stressors and there is ongoing work to look at the reasons why staff leave the Prison Service and also to develop a policy on stress.
Prison Service Orders provide clear guidance to governors and staff on categorisation, including moves to open conditions. This emphasises that prisoners should be assessed as trustworthy and sufficiently low risk before allocation to open conditions, given the physical security levels common to the open estate. Formal training is given to countersigning officers who endorse reviews, who forward this training to their staff; and on the OASys (Offender Assessment System), and similar assessment tools.
(2) how many members of HM Prison Service staff were dismissed for racist behaviour in each of the last five years, broken down by grade of staff member; and if he will make a statement.
Central records on disciplinary cases involving public sector prison staff are currently being revalidated by reference to records held in individual prisons for the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006. I will write to the hon. Gentleman with this information once the exercise has been completed.
Policy on the taking of fingerprints is set out in the National Security Framework, Function two - “Accounting and Control”. It states that any prisoner convicted of a criminal offence, except those committed for the non-payment of a fine, must be fingerprinted upon first reception.
Persons held under the Immigration Act 1971 must have their fingerprints taken if required for confirming their identity. Fingerprints of prisoners charged with, but not convicted of, a criminal offence may also be taken under certain circumstances with the prisoner's consent.
The Professional Standards statement in Prison Service Order 1215 contains a section on conflicts of interest which states that
“staff must bring any potential conflicts of interest to the attention of a senior manager”.
An investigating officer must, therefore, report potential conflicts of interest relating to the Commissioning Authority to the latter's senior manager.
The Professional Standards statement included in Prison Service Order 1215 contains a section on conflicts of interest which must be adhered to by all staff. In particular it states that
“staff must bring any potential conflicts of interest to the attention of a Senior Manager”.
Commission Authorities are obliged therefore, to inform a manager senior to them, but not the Prison Service Union or another appropriate body.