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Paul Goggins: Ex-offenders are eligible for employment in the National Offender Management Service, although they may be required to declare any convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the National Offender Management Service will be taking to ensure that the prisons and probations work force will be diverse, competent and professional, as described in the NOMS Vision Statement. 
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Chief Executive, Martin Narey, is committed to place diversity at the heart of NOMS. A permanent diversity impact assessment process will be in place and a NOMS race and diversity strategic
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framework is being developed that will be aimed at not only ensuring compliance with legislative requirements, but at also promoting best practice in diversity across NOMS.
Planning has begun on the creation of a learning and development strategy for NOMS. Working closely with Skills for Justice (the Sector Skills Council for the justice sector) and regional probation training consortia, this strategy will identify new learning programmes and qualifications needed to support the development of NOMS.
As the offender management model is now being developed, a particular priority is to define the occupational standards and competencies needed to undertake this critical new role, and hence to develop supporting learning programmes.
The Prison Service and National Probation Service are also developing proposals for an integrated approach to leadership and management development for managers across NOMS. An early output has been the creation of an induction and development programme for the 10 Regional Offender Managers.
Paul Goggins: We have already published Patrick Carter's independent report Managing OffendersReducing Crime", which sets out the case for a National Offender Management Service, and the Government's response Reducing crimeChanging Lives" which accepts that case.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2005, Official Report, column 1421W, to the hon. Member for Walthamstow, on the National Offender Management Service, which regional offender managers will be responsible for each probation area in 200506; and whether the Prison Service budget for 200607 will need to be agreed unanimously by regional offender managers. 
Paul Goggins [holding answer 10 March 2005]: The Regional Offender Managers were appointed to cover geographically the nine government areas and Wales. Their remit covers all the probation areas within their region. The prison service budget for 200607 will be agreed by the Director General of the Prison Service and the Regional Offender Managers.
Paul Goggins: No information is available on the number of officers granted medical retirement specifically due to work-related stress. The following table contains information on the total number of prison officers, senior officers and principal officers granted medical retirement since 1998 for any reason, within public sector establishments. Information on medical retirements is not available for 1997. The Office for Contracted Prisons does not collect information on medical retirements as privately managed prisons are not contracted to supply this information.
|All officers medically retired|
Paul Goggins: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) undertook a survey of mental ill health in the prison population of England and Wales in 1997. A copy of the survey is available on the ONS website at www.statistics.gov.uk.
Comparable information for Scotland may be obtained from the Scottish Executive. While the institutions in Northern Ireland are devolved, responsibility for such information rests with Ministers in the Northern Ireland office.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) proportion and (b) total number of prisoners' initial test results under the mandatory drug testing programme have subsequently proved inaccurate in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) has recently published a review of the impact of corrections on re-offending (Home Office Research Study 291). The report, including references, is available on the RDS website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether performance by the National Probation Service against its performance measure on enforcement improved (a) during 200304 and (b) between April and September 2004. 
|Month||Breach action taken within 10 days|
|Month||Breach action taken within 10 days|
The results for the half-year to September 2004 show an improvement of eight percentage points on those for 200304. This is very encouraging and continues the upward trend of recent years: in 200102 enforcement stood at 53 per cent. rising to 64 per cent. in 200203 and again to 77 per cent. last year. The NPS is now closer than ever to achieving its enforcement target of 90 per cent. and I am optimistic that the 85 per cent. achieved in the first six months can be increased by the end of 200405.
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