Stop planning, start managing
Hundreds of prisoners, including murderers, rapists and robbers, have absconded from open prisons in a further embarrassment for a Government reeling from a series of Home Office blunders.
Prison Service figures show that offenders have been escaping from Leyhill Open Prison, Glos, at the rate of almost two a week for three years.
It is one of 13 open prisons in England. The Home Office last night refused to give absconding rates for the others, but did not suggest they would be any less serious.
Robbery and burglary offenders were the main absconders. But 22 murderers and seven rapists have fled Leyhill since 1999.
The Home Office suffered another bad weekend after admitting that hundreds of people had wrongly been labelled as criminals - pornographers, thieves and violent robbers - because of errors by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
The disclosure that more than 2,700 people were affected came as ministers and officials continued to grapple with the fall-out from the foreign prisoners fiasco.
The Home Office described the errors as "regrettable" but refused to apologise.
It said the problem arose from checks carried out by the CRB on people applying for jobs in positions of trust with young people and vulnerable adults. In a "tiny proportion" of cases, there had been "mismatches".
A spokesman said: "We make no apology for erring on the side of caution. We are talking about the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
"This is not about the CRB making 'mistakes':
No apologies? If I had been wrongly labelled as a Nonce to a local school and failed to get a job I would be down to m'learned friends first thing and enquiring about suing the arse of someone.
It is amazing what the media discovers once it starts to actually look at a government department instead of just regurgitating press releases. And the deepening fiasco shows what happens when the people running an enterprise are always planning changes, new initiatives, and reorganisations rather than the more boring task of actually managing the bloody thing - a curse that doesn't only affect the Home Office, or even government but many private firms as well.