HC Deb 30 October 2000 vol 355 cc219-20W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Solicitor-General what assessment he has made of the(a) resources and (b) quality of the staff of the Crown Prosecution Service. [134784]

The Solicitor-General

The resource position for the CPS has been challenging since 1994–95 but the SR2000 settlement was a good one. As a result the CPS budget in 2003ߝ04 will be 8 per cent. higher in real terms than in this year. This is on top of the additional funding of £15.8 million for 2000ߝ01 announced on 26 June 2000.

The quality of staff is assessed by the CPS through the performance appraisal system, whereby staff are assessed individually against the performance standard appropriate to their job. The quality of staff is also benchmarked externally by involving staff outside the Service in recruitment panels and in opening up selection exercises to outside competition. I have been impressed on my frequent visits to CPS offices around the country by the commitment and professionalism of staff.

Mr. Dismore

To ask the Solicitor-General if he will make a statement concerning the Commission for Racial Equality's investigation into allegations of race discrimination in the Croydon branch of the CPS. [134333]

The Solicitor-General

The Commission for Racial Equality announced its decision to conduct an investigation into allegations of race discrimination in the Croydon Branch on 28 July 2000.

The Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service met on 28 September to discuss the way in which the investigation was to be carried out.

Following that meeting, on 3 October the Crown Prosecution Service received a request from the Commission for detailed information on the Croydon Branch to be sent to the Commission by 27 October. This information was forwarded to the CRE on 26 October.

The investigation is ongoing.