Compensation Agency committed to implementing outstanding recommenendations

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) has carried out a follow-up review of progress made by the Compensation Agency to implement recommendations contained in its initial inspection report.

The review, which was published today (Thursday14 June), examined the progress made by the agency since January 2006.
“Inspectors from CJI found that half of the recommendations contained the initial inspection report published in January 2006 had been achieved, and the Compensation Agency was fully committed to implementing the outstanding recommendations,”said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
“The Compensation Agency has already developed more accessible management information reports and more formal communication processes with its major stakeholders. 
“It is consulting with its partner organisations in the criminal justice system prior to preparing its Corporate and Business Plans, and has taken steps to include a performance target in its 2007- 08 Business Plan,” he said.
Unfortunately, the Compensation Agency has not as yet been able to facilitate the electronic transfer of completed claim application forms due to IT security issues -- a problem which creates a real frustration for Victim Support Northern Ireland.
However, CJI recognised a great deal of time and funding had been invested by the organisation in its efforts to take this recommendation forward and that it continues to pursue it.
Inspectors were disappointed to find that strong strategic links with the PSNI have still not been established, even though delays in obtaining police reports have a direct impact on much of the work of the Agency.
“The importance of this recommendation alone and the need for the organisation to develop strategic relationships with the PSNI has been fully accepted by its new Chief Executive, Gareth Johnston. Steps are being taken to rectify this situation and the development of a Service Level Agreement with the PSNI has been included in its 2007- 08 Business Plan,” stated Mr. McGuigan.
Reflecting on the findings of the follow-up review, Northern Ireland’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice said: “The follow up review has confirmed the Compensation Agency continues to deliver a valuable and necessary service to victims of violent crime.
“I am confident that the Agency will continue to deliver an essential service to a very high standard; that it will remain an interesting and challenging place to work and every effort will be made to implement any outstanding recommendations which have not yet been achieved,” he concluded.