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Youth Justice Board Triennial Review

Volume 556: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2013

In March 2011 the Government responded to the Public Administration Select Committee report “Smaller Government: Shrinking the Quango state” setting out the coalition’s plans for reforming the public bodies sector. It includes the requirement to undertake triennial reviews of Executive and advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).

The Youth Justice Board is an Executive non-departmental public body of the Ministry of Justice established in 2000 by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Its principal aims are: monitoring the operation of the youth justice system in England and Wales; advising the Secretary of State for Justice on the operation of the youth justice system, national standards, and on how to prevent offending by children and young people; making grants to youth offending teams and other organisations to support development and delivery of good practice; placing young people in custody; and providing secure accommodation for both remanded and sentenced children and young persons.

To deliver the coalition Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability the Youth Justice Board will be subject to a triennial review. As part of the triennial review process, the Ministry of Justice, as the sponsoring Department, has today launched a consultation which will last until 15 February 2013 inviting views. The review will be conducted fully in line with Cabinet Office guidance: “Guidance on Reviews of Non Departmental Public Bodies” and will consider the following:

the continuing need for the Youth Justice Board to carry out each of its functions in their current form; and

where it is agreed that the individual functions should remain, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

In conducting the triennial review, officials will be engaging with a range of stakeholders of the Youth Justice Board. In addition, the triennial review will take into account evidence collated during previous reviews where still relevant.

In 2011, the Government decided not to pursue abolition of the Youth Justice Board as part of the Public Bodies Act 2011, re-stating their commitment to maintaining a distinct focus on the needs of children and young people in the youth justice system. It is against this backdrop that this triennial review is taking place.

The final report and findings will be laid in this House.