(2) what assessment he has made of the delivery of unpaid work requirements in probation areas in Wales against timetables in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08.
The National Offender Management Service monitors the commencement of unpaid work requirements in two ways:
(i) Probation areas are required to provide a quarterly report which monitors the average number of days which elapse between initial health and safety instruction and the first work session for offenders sentenced to unpaid work.
(ii) Probation areas also undertake monthly sample inspections of case files in order to monitor compliance with National Standards. For offenders sentenced to unpaid work, these inspections monitor the percentage of offenders for whom unpaid work was arranged within the National Standards requirement of 10 working days following sentence.
In the period October 2005 to March 2006, the average number of days which elapsed between initial health and safety instruction and commencement of work at the work placement for offenders in Wales was 5.5 days. In 2006-07, the figure was 6.2 days and from April 2007 to December 2007, it was 5.5 days. Data for the early part of 2005 and the full year 2007-08 is not available.
Sample case file inspections during 2005-06 found that, in 90 per cent. of files inspected, unpaid work was arranged within 10 working days following sentence by probation areas in Wales. In 2006-07 and from April 2007 to December 2007, the figure was 94 per cent. Data for the full year 2007-08 is not yet available.
Figures are obtained from large-scale administrative and monitoring systems which may be subject to data input errors.