Finance

In considering any aspect of financial resources the PCA is guided by a number of principles and concepts:

  • Financial research and evidence is gathered and considered in the context of PCA’s belief that the rehabilitation of offenders is the best means of safeguarding and protecting the public and consequently reducing the number of victims of crime.  By drawing on the expertise of a group of advisers from Probation Trusts we ensure that business areas of the PCA are able to contribute and also receive information relevant to their needs;
  • The PCA will work with national government and local partners.  We contribute by using our detailed knowledge of what works and the financial options available.  In this way we can deliver effective public protection and reduce reoffending in a way which offers the public maximum value for money.  We will ensure that relationships with national government and other partners are honest, professional and focus on prioritised targets that really make a difference;
  • Resources need to be focused on priority areas but in a flexible way that allows strategic plans tailored to the needs of local communities to continue to be delivered.  This needs to be done with a minimum of bureaucracy using lean systems, which themselves provide value for money, so the maximum amount can be invested in front line services for the community;
  • Probation offers the tax payer good value for money and has a proven ability in spending public money wisely,  with integrity, and within budget – as evidenced by Trust’s year end accounts consistently having unqualified reports from external audit; and
  • Continued strong corporate governance arrangements will be supported by the PCA – strong Audit Committees and a belief in streamlined yet robust systems need to continue to be strengths of Probation.

Within this framework PCA work will focus on:

  • Maintaining an overview of the resources going into Probation nationally and projecting forward how the impact of any changes is felt by individual Trusts.  Specific regard is given to workforce plans and other significant issues as they emerge e.g. treatment of training resources.  Whilst much of the detailed information will rely on inputs from each of the Trusts, the emphasis will be on total resourcing rather than internal allocation across PCA Member Trusts.  The PCA is working with NOMS and other partners e.g. the Probation Association to minimise duplication of effort;
  • An understanding of total staffing resources available to Trusts and the effect of supply and demand on specific grades and roles;
  • Understanding the balance between business, operational and support functions and to be able to explain this simply via financial systems;
  • The financial consequences of current and proposed arrangements for property and premises and any changes in the asset base of Trusts; and
  • Ensuring that responses to national consultations are, where relevant, underpinned by sound financial information to evidence the PCA’s arguments.

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