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Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe) requested his private office to draw up a list of the chief officers of probation and chairs of probation boards who were thought to be positive supporters of the Offender Management Bill; for what purpose this list was intended; and whether any persons named on the list were subsequently appointed probation area chairman as of 1 April 2007. (134014)

It is entirely normal and appropriate for a Minister to seek the views and opinions of stakeholders throughout the progress of legislation. This can seek to identify positive supporters of the legislation and I requested information on stakeholders throughout the legislation process. This is in line with the ministerial code. The process for appointment of chairs of probation area boards was one of free and open competition following the best practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.