So whose neck next goes on the block?
If you’re a betting person, the head of the Corrections Department wouldn’t be a wild wager.
Corrections Minister Judith Collins has asked the State Services Commissioner to establish who is accountable for serious failings identified by the Auditor-General’s report into the management of offenders on parole.
As she said in a media release –
The damning report looked at case files of 100 offenders on parole between May 2007 and May 2008. Of the 100 case files examined, the audit found that in most of them Corrections did not follow one or more of its own sentence management requirements.
The audit led to 20 recommendations, most of which urge Corrections to follow its own procedures.
Collins expressed deep disappointment and concern at the findings of the Auditor-General into how the Department of Corrections managed offenders on parole.
“It identifies serious failings which have put the safety of the public at risk.”
Hence she has asked the State Services Commissioner to work with Corrections Chief Executive Barry Matthews to establish who is accountable for the deficiencies identified in the report and what should be done to restore public confidence.
Collins has asked the commissioner to report back within 10 working days.
She does acknowledge there are staffing and resourcing issues.
The report notes that Corrections has 10 percent fewer probation officers than it needs to manage offenders in keeping with parole requirements due to increasing numbers of offenders on community based sentences.
I will be supporting funding to recruit and train more staff, although – as the report points out – this isn’t the whole answer.
But the report gives her a handy platform from which to to take a ping at the previous government “for increasing the number and complexity of community based sentences without thorough consideration to support, resourcing or training of probation staff.”
The document “is a report card of the failure of their law and order policies.”
Questioned on Checkpoint, she emphasised that she won’t be doing any sacking. She can’t fire anyone because she is not the employer.
That’s the State Services Commission’s responsibility.
If it needs a weapon for lopping heads, Alf suggests, it could do worse than borrow Collins’ tongue.
It is very sharp.