§ Charlotte Atkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she has reviewed the arrangements for the delivery of probation services in Northern Ireland. 
§ Marjorie Mowlam
My Department has completed a quinquennial review of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), including a prior options study of all its functions. I have accepted the main recommendation from the report of the study that PBNI should continue as a non-departmental public body (NDPB). A Management Statement has been prepared for PBNI which will operate 71W from 1 April 1999. I have, therefore, confirmed NDPB arrangements for PBNI for a period of three years from that date, subject to the findings and outcome of the Criminal Justice Review.