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Community Sentences

Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the cost of the contract between the Home Office and Red Consultancy in regard to the marketing and re-branding of community sentences; when the contract started and ended; whether any analysis was subsequently undertaken as to the overall effectiveness of the exercise; and, if so, whether they will place in the Library of the House any such written appraisal.[HL7099]

The Red Consultancy was appointed through a competitive tender handled by the Central Office of Information (COI) through its purchasing framework agreements. There is, therefore, a contract between the Red Consultancy and the COI acting on behalf of the Home Office. The contract was awarded for the financial year 2004-05. It is reviewed each year and was renewed in 2005-06 and for 2006-07. The Red Consultancy received £225,000 for the first year of the campaign, including all fees and expenses for a number of projects. In the second year of the campaign, it received £265,000. This financial year, activity is planned up to the value of £275,000.

For those three years, Red Consultancy’s task has been to increase understanding of community sentences as an effective form of punishment. The work also aims to engage communities and encourage them to nominate what sort of work offenders should do. So far, the campaign is reaching on average around 30 million people each year. At the end of each financial year, a full evaluation of activity is undertaken by the Home Office’s Communication Directorate, as is the practice for all central marketing campaigns. Marketing evaluations are shared with senior officials and Ministers, but there is no legislative requirement to publish these or to place them in the House.