§ Mr. Crausby
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for privatisation of prisons in Britain. 
§ Mr. Boateng
There are no plans to privatise prisons in England and Wales.
There are currently eight prisons whose management is contracted out to the private sector with three more due to open by 2001. Following the competition for the management of Buckley Hall and Doncaster prisons, I announced on 22 October that there would be further competitions as contracts fall for renewal. The next contracts to expire are for Blakenhurst and Wolds prisons. The management of Manchester prison will be competed for prior to the expiry of the Prison Service service level agreement on 15 October 2001. As was the case with Buckley Hall and Doncaster, the Prison Service will have the opportunity to make an in-house bid in these competitions. I also announced that continually failing prisons in the public sector would be market tested; proposals for this are being developed.236W
Responsibility for prisons in Scotland is a matter for the First Secretary of the Scottish Executive, and responsibility for Northern Ireland prisons lies with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.