HC Deb 09 November 2000 vol 356 cc385-6W
Mrs. Betty Williams

To ask the Solicitor-General what plans he has to amend the Law Officers' Department's Departmental Expenditure Limit and running costs limit for 2000–01. [138194]

The Solicitor-General

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates for Class V, Vote 4 (The Crown Prosecution Service) and Class V, Vote 6 (HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor) the Law Officers' Departments' departmental expenditure limit for 2000–01 will be increased by £18,486,000 from £351,061,000 to £369,547,000.

The Crown Prosecution Service's running costs limit will be increased by £15,540,000 from £229,625,000 to £245,165,000. This increase is required to fund diversity and equality issues, a performance improvement programme, training for the Human Rights Act 1998 and pilots on direct communication of prosecution decisions with victims. An increase in capital expenditure of £2,650,000 will be used to fund joint CPS/police criminal justice and trial units, modernisation of the CPS information technology infrastructure and better integration with police IT systems.

HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor's running costs limit will increase by £260,000 from £6,172,000 to £6,432,000. The increase in running costs is to facilitate action being taken by Treasury Solicitor's Department as part of their Modernising Government Action Plan. The increase in capital expenditure of £36,000 will be used to fund continued expansion of the Department's IT systems.

The increases will be partly offset by a transfer of £4,650,000 from the Home Office, an allocation of £1,500,000 from the Capital Modernisation Fund, an allocation of £1,000,000 from the Invest to Modernise Fund and the surrender of £36,000 of the Law Officers' Departments' end year flexibility of £4,565,000 as set out in Table 7 of the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper Cm. 4812 published 18 July 2000. The remainder of the expenditure will be charged to the Reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.