16 January 2020
The Ministry of Justice have extended the maximum length of Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) contracts to two years, a move called for by the Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA).
The DPS, launched in September 2018, allows governors to purchase smaller, more specialist or short-term education services to meet the needs of their prisoners.
The Prisoner Learning Alliance has been working with Clinks and the NCJAA to advocate a longer maximum contract period on the system. PLA evidence submitted to the Justice Select Committee last summer informed their recommendation to the MOJ that the contract length should be increased.Read about the evidence PLA submitted to the Justice Select Committee
Short contracts cannot offer suppliers enough security and make it difficult for prison managers to plan consistent services. They are particularly problematic for providing information, advice and guidance services, which is about half of the overall DPS spend at the moment. Most importantly, prisoner learners were losing out. Increasing the contract length will mean that suppliers and prisons can plan more effectively and provide better quality education services.
While we would still support a further extension to the maximum contract length, and will continue to push for this, we are delighted that from next month contracts can run for up to two years.
Francesca Cooney, from the PLA Secretariat, said, “While we would still support a further extension to the maximum contract length, and will continue to push for this, we are delighted that from next month contracts can run for up to two years. We are very grateful to all our members who provided us with information about the impact of the DPS, which was invaluable in making the case.”
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