Just Solutions International: NAO mulls investigation into Ministry of Justice's commercial arm

Labour asks the NAO to look into Just Solutions International

By Josh May

27 Oct 2015

The public spending watchdog is considering whether to launch an inquiry into the controversial commercial arm of the National Offender Management Service.

Just Solutions International (JSI) is being closed down after justice secretary Michael Gove said the government wanted to “focus departmental resources on domestic priorities”.

The National Audit Office, however, is to look into the organisation after a request from shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer.

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The watchdog will decide whether or not to launch a full inquiry after its preliminary work is completed next month. Lord Falconer said the investigation was “great news”.

“While it’s welcome that the government has now decided to close down JSI, ministers still have questions to answer,” he added.

“The government has been less than transparent about the structure and funding of JSI and it’s important that we know that this hasn’t been another wasteful shambles from the MoJ and that the interests of the taxpayer have been properly safeguarded."

The government withdrew from a planned contract that would have seen JSI provide training to the Saudi Arabian prison service, after an outcry over the Kingdom’s human rights record.

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