Private sector involvement in the criminal justice arena has recently grown in the European correctional landscape. CGL Companies with the support of the US Embassy in Bucharest, the Romanian Senate Legal Committee, the Romanian Ministry of Justice, and the Romanian Prison Service organized in Bucharest the thematic roundtable “Innovation in the Justice Sector: Outsourcing Services – Roundtable on Exploring Public-Private Partnerships“.
IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Qualify Just) participated in this restricted roundtable that took place on 17th October 2013 at the House of Parliament in Bucharest and focused on understanding the issues involved in PPP; the models of PPP and recent experience of current key users in Europe and elsewhere (from tendering to contract, to monitoring, to assurance); and the added value that can come from PPP.
At the roundtable, senator Tudor Chiuariu welcomed the participants and presented some of the political and technical challenges and opportunities for the involvement of private players in the development of public infrastructures that arise from the approval of the new PPP law in Romania. Mr Ed Wozniak, CGL director, reinforced some of the current challenges for correctional systems, namely the ones that derive from existing old infrastructures and the increase in the prison population.
Mr Robert-Marius Cazanciuc, minister of justice, announced the Romanian government intention to embrace PPP as an opportunity to finance justice infrastructures, namely in the correctional sector and the need for safe, long, sustainable relations for both public and private partners. Political and technical challenges and the new provisions in the Romanian PPP law have been addressed both by Secretary of State of Finance Ministry, Mr Enache jiru and Mr Ciprian Gorita, counsellor to the minister (department of public infrastructure and foreign investments).
Mr Catalin Bejan, general director of the Romanian prison administration presented the main current and future problems to be addressed by the prison system and the need for new models for financing that could be addresses through PPP schemes. Following Mr Bejan, judge Ms. Catrinel Brumar also discussed the detention conditions in Romania and the need to comply with EU and international standards.
Founder and vice-president of CGL Bob Goble brought an overview on global experiences and perspectives on the use of PPP in the correctional sector, reinforcing CGL companies expertise and leadership in this field. On the other hand, Mr Stephen Carter (also founder and CGL VP) presented CGL experience and its effective approach to Master Planning.
Former head of justice and care at G4S, Mr David Banks, presented the UK experience in the outsourcing of justice services. Mr Banks made a comprehensive explanation of different possibilities to outsource justice services, the necessary setting of performance requirements and standards and the key features of an effective 3P relationship, namely, a “clear articulation of desired outcomes; the early engagement with potential supplier consortia; the effective pre-tender preparation leading to clear detailed specification; and an extensive dialogue with bidders prior to selection”.
Mr Ed Wozniak (formerly Scottish prison system) presented the Scottish experience introducing the private sector in prison management and the opportunity this has been to bring innovation to the way correctional operations are rune. According to Mr Wozniak, the introduction of private partners challenges the status quo and introduces innovation not only in prison planning and construction but also in prisons operation.
Mr Eugen Balco, Ms Ana Dabija and Mr Ivica Simac, director generals of the Slovakian, Moldavian and Croatian prison systems, presented the situation in their respective countries regarding the main challenges that their prison systems face; the current conditions of detention; and future plans for renewing and eventually building prison facilities.
The roundtable was closed by Senator Tudor Chiuariu that reinforced the importance of sharing experiences with private partners, but also with prison administrations from different countries in exploring the possibilities for the use of Public-private Partnership mechanisms in the justice sector in Romania.
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