asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the advertisement in the Guardian of 7 February for a successor to Sir David Ramsbotham as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales from 1 August 2001:
- (a) why Sir David is to be retired on that date;
- (b) when and how he was told he was to be retired on that date; and
- (c) who told him he was to retire on that date. [HL716]
§ Lord Bassam of Brighton
Sir David Ramsbotham was appointed for a period of five years, which expired on 30 November 2000. The terms of his appointment allow it to be extended for a maximum period of three years by mutual agreement.
The Home Secretary wrote to Sir David on 19 April 2000 to tell him of his decision to offer Sir David an extension of appointment until the end of July 2001. Sir David replied on 27 April accepting the extension to his appointment. The Home Secretary announced in Parliament on 9 June that Sir David would retire on that date (Official Report, cols. 392W–93W).
In a post as high profile and demanding as that of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, we consider it right to look for a fresh focus from time to time on the difficult issues that confront the Prison Service. Sir David will have served nearly six years by the time he retires, and the Home Secretary's judgment is that the time is right for the post to be re-opened to competition.