§ 61. Mr. William Powell
asked the Attorney-General whether any preparatory steps are being taken with a view to the establishment of the serious fraud office provided for in clause 1 of the Criminal Justice Bill; and whether he will make a statement.
Following the Second Reading of the Criminal Justice Bill, an interdepartmental working group chaired by my legal secretary has been established to oversee the necessary preparatory work. This will include drawing up a comprehensive assessment of its functions, planning its mode of operation and liaising with police service on matters of mutual interest. In addition, preliminary steps will be taken on staffing arrangements and as regards accommodation. But the role of the working group will be an interim one until it is possible to appoint senior managers and for them to assume effective control.