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Parole Board for England and Wales (Triennial Review)

Volume 570: debated on Monday 18 November 2013

My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally, has made the following written ministerial statement:

In March 2011 the Government responded to the Public Accounts 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 Parole Board for England and Wales is an independent body that works with its criminal justice partners to protect the public by risk-assessing prisoners to decide whether they can safely be released into the community. It was established in 1968 under the Criminal Justice Act 1967 and became an independent Executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) on 1 July 1996 under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

To deliver the coalition Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability across our public bodies, the Parole Board for England and Wales will be subject to a triennial review. The Ministry of Justice, as the sponsoring Department, has today launched a consultation which will last until 3 January 2014 inviting views. In line with Cabinet Office guidance, the review will consider the following:

the continuing need for the Parole Board for England and Wales—both its functions and its form; and

where it is agreed that it 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 broad range of stakeholders and users of the Parole Board for England and Wales. The review will be aligned with guidance published by the Cabinet Office: “Guidance on Reviews of Non- Departmental Public Bodies”. The final report and findings will be laid in this House.