Chris Evans, the Member of Parliament for Islwyn, has hit out at a prisoner tagging programme which has been described as a ‘catastrophic waste of public money’ by an influential parliamentary committee.
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, of which Chris Evans is a member, made the damning comments after conducting an inquiry into the Ministry of Justice’s delivery of a new generation electronic monitoring programme for offenders.
In a report published this week, the Committee said that electronic tags are supposed to be a cost-effective alternative to custodial sentences. However, the report criticises the Ministry of Justice for an overly ambitious, complicated and poorly delivered programme which resulted in a ‘catastrophic waste of public money’.
Mr Evans said: ‘This is a tragic waste of public money which could and should not have happened. I think this case shows a fundamental lack of common sense on the part of the Ministry of Justice and taxpayers are the ones paying the price.
‘This project was fundamentally flawed and over-complicated, and I am very relieved the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry uncovered this catastrophic waste of public money so that those responsible may be held to account.
‘The Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking 16 other major projects and it remains to be seen whether the department will learn from the mistakes it has made in this case. The committee will be monitoring all other Ministry of Justice projects very closely to ensure this never happens again.‘