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National Offender Management Service Information Technology

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

I wish to provide the House with an update on the findings of the strategic review process of the NOMIS programme that I commissioned in August.

The House will be aware that the NOMIS programme was suspended when it was identified that there was not sufficient funding for the programme to continue as specified. An immediate moratorium on further development work was imposed while the strategic review identified recommendations for the future direction of the programme and the Ministry of Justice internal auditors carried out a review of the programme. Their findings were taken into account as part of the review and will be integrated into the revised structure of the programme.

Following the comprehensive review, which included close consultation with representatives from the Prison Service and probation areas, I have now agreed the strategic direction of the programme.

My objectives for the programme remain to:

Enable improved business continuity by replacing ailing legacy case management and offender assessment applications in public prisons and probation.

Enable more efficient and effective operational management of offenders.

Support offender management processes and thereby reduce reoffending and enhance public protection.

Provide supplier neutral information to support Commissioners.

Provide improved management information to enable improved performance.

The recommendations of the review are that:

HM Prison Service is to receive a version of C-NOMIS which will replace the existing case management system (LIDS). Three public sector prisons already use the live system. From recent analysis it is clear that the system will drive significant efficiencies when rolled out across the service.

Arrangements will be made to allow sharing of information between prisons and probation areas through a new mechanism ‘data share’ which will give read only access to core case information to support offender management.

Improvements will be made to OASys and the system will be re-developed as a single national system across probation and prisons.

Delius, a case management system already in use by some probation areas, is to be implemented where existing NPS case management systems are in urgent need of replacement.

C-NOMIS will not therefore be deployed to the National Probation Service.

We will consider options to address a range of issues associated with CRAMS (the case management system currently in use in most probation areas) including obsolete software and hardware, and compliance with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

We will take account of the current strategic reviews of offender management and offender assessment.

I have agreed these carefully costed measures on the recommendation of the governance boards of the National Offender Management Service and Ministry of Justice. We will continue to scrutinise the value for money provided by each business case as they develop.

This has been a successful review, delivering a reformed programme that is now set to provide real operational improvements for practitioners in managing offenders alongside other reforms across the Criminal Justice System.