§ 34. Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the progress of his plans to reorganise the Crown Prosecution Service. 
I announced in May last year the decision to divide the CPS into 42 areas coterminous with police areas. The report of the Review of the Crown Prosecution Service which I published on Monday endorses that decision and makes detailed proposals as to how that should be effected, and they are being considered. A first major step will be the selection of the 42 chief crown prosecutors and the new DPP will proceed with that once in post.338W
In 1996, proceedings were discontinued in respect of 153,274 defendants, or 12 per cent. of completed cases. In 1997, proceedings were discontinued in respect of 161,461 defendants, or 12.2 per cent. of completed cases.
The CPS is using information technology to increase the speed and efficiency of its internal communications, facilitate its case tracking and performance management and, through a Private/Public Partnerships Initiative, is examining a possible solution for its future IT needs in close collaboration with CJS partners.