The Ukrainian Parliament recently passed a new Law on Probation which will transform the existing Criminal Executive Inspection Service (CEIS) into a modern European Probation Service fully compliant with the Council of Europe Probation Rules 2010. This is part of a larger strategy to reform the Ukraine Justice Sector, which is being supported by a project funded by the European Union, and to which the UK, amongst other member countries, are providing expert assistance.
The range of activities and tasks to be undertaken by the new Service is complex and yet to be finalised, but it is likely to include: risk/needs assessment, pre-trial reports, case management, community work, the supervision of conditions and the delivery of a range of interventions and programmes. The CEIS has identified the need for an electronic Case Management System to enable staff to manage this workload efficiently and effectively.
The Service will require a national IT infrastructure to facilitate access to the Case Management System from a range of locations including the 600 or so locations at which probation staff will be based. It is unlikely that the development of a complex system such as this can be delivered in-house by the Ministry of Justice, and the expectation is that a procurement process will lead to contracts with a software development company and an infrastructure supplier.
This will require the CEIS and the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to possess the capacity to be an ‘intelligent customer’ with the ability to project manage the process of software development, IT infrastructure building, the implementation of both and eventually the support of the system. The CEIS sought assistance from the European Commission delegation to review the work already done in collaboration with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice IT department and to conduct a gap analysis and needs assessment and provide recommendations to ensure that the subsequent specification and procurement process is successful. Peter Murray, who recently joined TQMI after a career of 36 years in the Probation Service, was identified by the delegation lead for probation service development as an international expert on probation case management systems who could provide this assistance.