Press release

Prisons and probation ombudsman named

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The preferred candidate to be the next Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales has been announced today.

Nigel Newcomen CBE, currently Her Majesty’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons, has been selected after a rigorous and open selection process, which took into account the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice as best practice.

The Justice Secretary has invited the Justice Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing and will consider the committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

Notes to editors

  1. The office of Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales was established in 1994 to provide independent and effective adjudication of complaints from prisoners. The remit was expanded in 2001 to include Probation complaints, and further expanded in 2004 to include investigation of deaths in prisons, Approved Premises and immigration custody. The investigation of complaints from immigration detainees was added to the remit in 2006. 
  2. The Ombudsman works to Terms of Reference set by the Justice Secretary and reports directly to him.  The Ombudsman reports to the Home Secretary on the immigration aspect of the remit. 
  3. Nigel Newcomen was appointed as HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons in 2003. He joined the Home Office in 1991 and held a number of senior posts prior to his appointment as HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons. 
  4. Pre-appointment scrutiny hearings enable select committees to take evidence from candidates for certain key public appointments before they are appointed. Hearings are in public and involve the select committee publishing a report setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for the post. The hearings are non-binding but ministers will consider the committee’s views before deciding whether or not to proceed with the appointment.