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Prison Service: Professional Standards Unit

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 23 July 2007, Official Report, column 791W, on the Prison Service: Professional Standards Unit, (1) whether an independent appeals process is available to address concerns about the standards of a commissioning authority; and if he will make a statement; (157716)

(2) what mechanisms are in place to ensure that a commissioning authority meets its obligations and has made the appropriate quality checks; and if he will make a statement.

Prison Service Order (PSO) 8460: Conduct and Discipline explains the mandatory requirements for all aspects of the disciplinary process, including the role and responsibilities of the commissioning manager and appeal authority. There are no formal mechanisms in place to review the actions of a commissioning manager. However, there is a right of appeal against all formal disciplinary outcomes and any concerns regarding the decisions or actions of the commissioning manager can be raised at that appeal. The appeal authority would normally be a more senior manager than the person making the original disciplinary decision.