The Ministry of Justice has not produced any projections of demand for services provided by (a) the Probation Service, (b) HM Courts Service and (c) HM Prison Service as a result of the economic downturn. However, the Department's Ministers and Corporate Management Board are supplied with regular statistical information about both the downturn itself, and areas of that Department's business where demand for services might be affected. This ensures that timely action can be taken where necessary.
Changes in demand for services are taken into account when agreeing allocations to departmental business groups, along with other factors such as policy considerations, inflationary pressures and the potential for efficiency savings.
The Department remains committed to living within its budget as set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. We are currently looking hard at the services we provide in order to find new ways to improve how we deliver them, while ensuring that we focus on our frontline services. We aim to drive out inefficiencies, overlap and duplication and to reduce our overheads, especially in our headquarters areas. This work should help the Department to ensure that we are able to redeploy staff to the frontline as and where appropriate.