§ Yvette Cooper
I have today placed copies of the chief inspector's annual report in the Library of both Houses.
For the first time the annual report includes the inspectorate's new responsibility for the inspection of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). In March 2002 the inspectorate published a progress report on its work with CAFCASS ("Setting Up") which highlighted some of the difficulties the new body had faced during its first year in existence. In his latest report, the chief inspector points to encouraging signs of progress, such as the publication of CAFCASS's first corporate plan and their work on developing draft national standards.
Magistrates Courts Committees (MCCs) are seen to have contributed significantly to achieving the Government's target to reduce delay in the processing of persistent young offenders. The chief inspector reports 800W that MCCs have also handled well the transfer of warrant execution from the police to the courts. This was a major piece of work and for understandable reasons there was some slippage in performance. Some criticisms remain of MCCs ability to ensure systems are in place to manage performance at a strategic level.