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National Offender Management Service

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total expenditure of the National Offender Management Service head office and regional offices in financial years 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09. [HL5291]

NOMS HQ administration costs (as used in the Supply Estimates and MoJ resource accounts) in 2008-09 were £74 million; or £151 million if public sector prisons' administration costs are included. This is 1.7 per cent or 3.1 per cent respectively of the total NOMS resource expenditure.

The total resource expenditure of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) HQ is as follows:











The figures are as recorded in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Departmental Annual Report 2008-09 except for the 2008-09 figure, which was an estimate and is as per the MOJ annual accounts.

The major component of this expenditure relates to services which transferred from HM Prison Service and from the National Probation Directorate and are either front-line services, such as electronic monitoring and prisoner escort service, or in support of front-line services, such as prison property maintenance. Although this expenditure is managed at NOMS HQ, it is not simply the head office function. For example, the following table provides an analysis of the £1,193m expenditure in 2008-09:

£ million

Prison and Probation Property


Electronic Monitoring


Prisoner Escort Service (includes Operation Safeguard)


Payments to Probation Trusts


Other Programme expenditure


Administration Costs expenditure


Total resource expenditure


The £570 million expenditure on Prison and Probation Property relates to costs associated with the custodial and the probation estate including: capital charges; estate management including major maintenance; and, where applicable, rent, rates, insurance and utilities.

Electronic Monitoring (i.e. tagging of prisoners on licence or people on bail) and prisoner escort services are outsourced national contracts managed centrally. Payments to Probation Trusts are the allocation by NOMS of the funding for their running costs. Other programme expenditure includes other expenditure related to front-line services, for example: grants and payments to the third sector (e.g. for voluntary Approved Premises); payment to the Department of Health for drug treatment; and IT support. Administration costs cover the central NOMS functions of finance, HR, policy making, NOMS board, etc.

Care should be taken in comparing figures over time. The components of NOMS headquarters have changed over time as a result of changes in the management of certain functions. For example, from 1 April 2008 NOMS became an agency and certain services transferred to the Ministry of Justice centre; at the same time, some expenditure which had previously been included in HM Prison Service and so classified as public prisons now falls into NOMS headquarters.

The above annual expenditure figures include expenditure on the regional offender managers’ (ROM) offices.