Private jail costs ' pounds 1m a year extra'
Thursday 16 June 1994
The Wolds, a purpose-built prison for 320 adult remand prisoners in Humberside, is expected to cost the Prison Service pounds 25.18m to run over five years. Group 4 won the tender to run it from 1992 at a cost of pounds 21.5m.
The director-general of the Prison Service, Derek Lewis, told the Commons Public Accounts Committee that in 1993-94, payments made to Group 4 for running the Wolds were pounds 5.98m.
George Mudie, Labour MP for Leeds East and a member of the committee, said afterwards: 'It's gone up from pounds 21.5m over five years to more than pounds 28m.
'They were not the lowest tender (the lowest was pounds 19.5m) . . .
They have deliberately, either through incompetence or other reasons, hidden other costs so that comparisons look good.'
A report in March by the Comptroller and Auditor General found the average operating cost per prisoner at Wolds was expected to be less than pounds 350 a week, compared with the pounds 494 a week average for the Prison Service.
Mr Lewis told the committee that in addition to the pounds 21.5m contract, operating costs had to be added, including maintenance of pounds 500,000 a year.
A Treasury spokesman said it was still too early to quantify the difference in value for money between the Wolds and other prisons.
Today in the Premier League, Everton face Manchester United, and Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. A victory for Jose Mourinho's side, and they could win the Premier League title as soon as Wednesday with a win over Leicester.
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