After months of speculation, the coalition has finally published its plans for privatising probation through outsourcing. Essentially, up to 70% of probation's core work will be put out to competitive tender. Companies likely to bid for the work include Serco, Sodexo and maybe even G4S. The voluntary sector has also been asked to play a part in the sale, but because the schemes are likely to be based on "payment by results", the vast majority are unlikely to be able to compete, as they have no spare capital to risk on such schemes.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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