Inspection of CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division (Jan 19)

Date of publication
29 January 2019
Inspection
Organisation
Crown Prosecution Service
CPS Region
Casework Divisions
Inspection type
CPS Areas and Headquarters Reports

HMCPSI inspection of International Justice and Organised Crime Division
Inspectors from HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) looked into the effectiveness of the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division. The inspection looked at governance and leadership; risk and knowledge management; performance improvement and resource management; and stakeholder management and public confidence.

Inspectors identified that senior managers were both visible and approachable. Regular team meetings took place across the Division, and the reporting structure allowed managers to fully engage with staff. However inspectors noted that there was an issue with recruitment for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons being that as the majority of the Division was based in London, many CPS lawyers were unable to apply to work at the Division due to geography. The 2017 Civil Service People Survey also showed a number of concerning scores relating to staff welfare – over 30% of staff in the International team indicated that they had been subjected to discrimination, bullying and harassment. However inspectors note that the senior management team has been proactive in dealing with this, and has implemented a number of structural changes within the unit to give greater support to overseas staff.

Inspectors found that despite the challenging casework undertaken by the Division, all work was delivered to a high quality. Both internal and external stakeholders supported this view. However it was noted that there was not a comprehensive or cohesive risk management strategy in place and inspectors suggested that a risk register including strategic, operational, casework and project risks should be developed immediately. Similarly it was also recommended that knowledge management needs to be more effective and ensure that sources of expertise were shared widely across the CPS.

Although inspectors identified that high quality work was being produced, further improvement needed to be made to ensure that there was an effective performance framework across the whole department. Inspectors also found that the Division had a good grip on its financial management. The Division’s stakeholders include foreign governments, international judicial and legal organisations, foreign police and investigative services to name a few. Inspectors found that the Division worked effectively in influencing and working with partners, stakeholders and users. Despite the fact that the Division undertakes some of the most challenging casework, feedback from stakeholders, both internal and external, showed that that work was always of a high standard.

This was a positive report, although there were a few recommendations made including:

  • there needs to be a comprehensive and coherent risk management strategy in place
  • the Division needs to ensure that the approach to knowledge management is effective, and captures knowledge, learning and good practice
  • the Division needs to develop an overarching communication and staff engagement strategy

The International Justice and Organised Crime Division was set up in January 2016, and has over 150 members of staff. This includes a mix of lawyers, paralegal officers and administrative staff split up between four teams: Extradition, International, Organised International Strategy and Policy. The fieldwork for the report took place in October 2018. Inspectors spoke with members of the judiciary, investigating authorities, other government departments, representatives of partner agencies nationally and internationally, staff within the Division and stakeholders across the CPS Areas and Headquarters.

CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division (Jan 19) (292.82 kB)