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Prisons: Catering

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice if she will list the prison establishments that have reported difficulties with catering deliveries following the introduction of the shared service centre; what the cost of the shared service centre project has been; which prison establishments have returned to purchasing from local shops for catering purposes; and if she will make a statement. (140055)

Difficulties with catering deliveries cannot directly and definitively be attributed to the introduction of the shared service centre. As such there are no comprehensive central records that detail them exhaustively and compiling such a record would be prohibitively expensive.

The total cost of the shared service centre project is £84.8 million. This excludes capital costs and ongoing running costs.

Purchasing from local suppliers on an ad hoc basis is a recognised and legitimate contingency measure when failures are experienced in the main supply chain for foodstuff. For example, recent difficulties getting the bulk supply of long-grain rice from North America has caused the Prison Service to purchase existing stocks from local suppliers.