18. On page 75 there is a reference to the
Department strengthening its Corporate Board and corporate functions
in response to the external peer review. Can you explain how this
has been achieved and the impact this has made?
The Peer Review found that the Board did not
have the necessary mechanisms to ensure that as information and
issues were brought to it these were presented in ways that enabled
the Board quickly to get to the root of the problem and take effective
decisions that could then be swiftly implemented. It was also
important to involve a wider number of senior staff more directly
in corporate governance. This has been achieved by establishing
a proper network of sub-committees for the Board to provide greater
scrutiny on specific areas of the department's work. The four
sub-committees are the Resources and Priorities Committee (which
has been primarily focused on the Department's contribution to
SR2002); the HR sub-committee; the E Business Strategy Group;
and Policy Committee. At the beginning of 2002-03 we established
at SCS level a new post with responsibilities for ensuring proper
co-ordination between the Board and its sub-committees and to
develop the Board's ability to look strategically beyond the immediate.
As part of his responsibilities the postholder is responsible
for the departmental planning system. We also made arrangements
to make senior members of staff owners of particular PSA delivery
targets from April 2001. PSA Working Groups exist for all targets
or groups of targets, and include as appropriate, representation
from other Government Departments, the voluntary sector and other
agencies. The owners have to report on performance and progress
on a six-monthly basis to the Corporate Board. With the conclusion
of SR2002 the Resources and Priorities Committee will now take
over the work of detailed scrutiny of the PSA targets with the
Board concentrating on any areas where remedial action is required.
The Departmental Change Programme Review, which
began in co-operation with OPSR, will include in its detailed
work examination of our ability to manage effectively our programmes
and help us to identify the necessary changes to be more effective.
19. The report says that the Department is
on course to meet the HM Treasury timetable to implement and fully
test procedures in support of the Statement of Internal Control.
Can you explain the processes for identifying risks and mitigating
controls, who has carried out this work on behalf of the project
board and the timetable for completing it?
The processes for identifying the key risks
to Departmental Objectives and Targets and establishing mitigating
controls are set out in the LCD Policy and Framework for Managing
Risk, which is based upon the principles set out in the HM Treasury
Guide "Management of Riska Strategic Overview"
(The Orange Book). The process of risk self-assessment,
which is being applied to objectives and targets at each level
of the organisation, was developed by the project team in consultation
with external consultants. The Framework incorporates a standard
Template for recording the following discrete stages:
1. Defining & Testing Objectives/TargetsThrough
identifying the critical success factors and key performance indicators,
an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of internal and
external environmental factors, and identification of the stakeholders.
2. Risk IdentificationThrough workshops
and other discussions focusing on inherent risks and using the
headline risks of External, Financial, Activity, and Human Resources
to encourage discussion, consideration and capture of the full
range of risks.
3. Risk AssessmentWith a number of
risks identified, consideration is then given to the impact and
likelihood of each risk to establish which are the most significant,
using a scale of one (Very Low) to five (Very High). The discussion
that follows this initial risk assessment, is key to clarify understanding
of the risks and driving out new risks.
4. Risk ManagementHaving identified
and prioritised the significant risks, consideration is given
to the contributing factors (or root/primary causes) which determine
a risk's likelihood or impact, the current responses/controls
in place to manage the risks and decide upon their adequacy, and
finally whether anything more is required to manage the residual
risk (ie the level of risk that still exists in spite of the controls
already in place).
5. Risk Monitoring & ReportingWithin
LCD the various business areas of the LCD HQ, the Associated Offices,
Court Service, PGO, and the Executive NDPBs have their own reporting
structures which adopt the formal reporting of risk. The Departmental
level reporting of risk, which includes contributions from each
of its business areas through submission of a Risk Register to
a quarterly timetable, aims to draw up knowledge of the risks
to the Department's business and cascade strategy down.
The project board is chaired by the Director
of Corporate Services. The Project Reviewer is the Head of Financial
Systems Branch, and the Project Manager is a member of that branch.
The introduction of risk management procedures is a strand of
SDA 58, the Target Owner for which is Head of Financial Systems
The LCD Policy and Framework for Managing Risk
was published on 11 June 2002. A summary of remaining timetable
||Ongoing Risk Workshop/Training for staff|
|Key Departmental Committees (eg PSA Working Groups) to provide quarterly Risk Register and report to the Corporate Board
|Compilation of the first draft of the Departmental Risk Register and submission of Summary Risk Report to the Corporate Board
November 2002 to April 2003
|Review of supporting procedures to the SIC, including the LCD Policy and Framework for Managing Risk
|Draft Statement on the Systems of Internal Control
20. The table on page 88 shows an estimated outturn of
£84 million and projection of £69 million for current
payments by central government under PFI and PPPs in 2001-02 and
2002-03 respectively but only £1 million relates to the Magistrates'
Courts PFI. Can you provide a breakdown of these figures by project
to show what the remaining expenditure relates to?
The remaining expenditure relates to the following PPP contracts:
|Estimated Outturn 2001-02 (£m)
||Projections 2002-03 (£m)|
Probate Records Centre
|Chester Civil Justice Centre*||
* Private Developer Scheme, the rest are PFI deals.
21. Page 88 refers to Private Finance Initiative and Public
Private Partnerships. However, there is no information given on
the IT PFIs disclosed in the published resource for 2000-01 and
also in last year's departmental report. Can you please update
us on these projects?
Information on the running costs for the IT PFI deals was
included in central government expenditure in the table on page
88 of the departmental report. Figures for the individual projects,
which are also included in the answer to question 20, are:
|Estimated Outturn 2001-02 (£m)
||Projections 2002-03 (£m)|
22. Media coverage in the last few months suggest that
the LIBRA project, responsibility for which transferred to the
Court Service during the year, may be in severe difficulties.
Can you please set out what the current position is on this project
and any possible effects on the 2001-02 and 2002-03 accounts?
Delivery of the first phase of the Libra programme, to provide
a modern national infrastructure to the Magistrates' Courts, is
75% complete. The remainder will be completed by early next year.
The second phase, to provide a new standard software application,
was not delivered by the supplier when originally planned. We
are in negotiations with the Libra supplier, Fujitsu Services,
to resolve this situation and Parliament will be informed of the
outcome as soon as those negotiations are concluded.
Expenditure for 2001-02 was within the limits set for the
project. The funding position from 2002-03 onwards remains dependent
on the outcome of current negotiations. The Department does not
expect to revise the existing accounting treatment of the Libra
programme as a result of the contractual changes.
23. The Management Information System (MIS) is discussed
on page 74. This says that managers and staff in LCD HQ and the
Court Service will be able to access case level data on the system.
Are there any plans to extend the system to integrate with Magistrates'
Courts to ease the transfer of information when cases are moved
from Magistrates' Courts to higher courts?
MIS is not intended to, nor will it, support case management
of cases transferring from Magistrates' Courts to the Crown Court.
It is an enquiry, analysis and reporting tool designed to improve
the Department's understanding of the work of the courts.
The benefits of extending MIS to include some data from Magistrates'
Courts for management information purposes have been recognised,
and this option will be kept under review.
24. Page 23 sets out the target to increase the proportion
of asylum appeals completed within four months to 65% from 2002-03.
In the first quarter of 2001-02, 44.8% of appeals went through
both appeal tiers within 17 weeks. Is it possible to break down
the process time at each tier to identify where the delays are
It is possible to break down the process time not just for
each tier but for the various parts of each tier. This information
is given below for asylum appeals received by the IAA between
1 April 2001 and 31 September 2001.
Of the asylum appeals received by the IAA from 1 April 2001
to 30 September 2001, the average process times for each stage
of the appellate process were as follows:
|Adjudicator first hearing||96.5% dealt within eight weeks
|Adjudicator substantive hearing||87.3% dealt within 15 weeks
|Application to Tribunal||62.1% dealt within 21 weeks
|Substantive Tribunal hearing||59% dealt within 35 weeks
In each case, the timings are from initial receipt of the
appeal by the IAA.
25. Are there targets set for each tier? If so, what has
been performance against targets? If not, why have targets not
been set for each appeal tier?
The current target is for the two tiers combined. There are
no published targets for each of the two separate tiers of the
IAA. The IAA has set internal performance indicators broken down
for each of the two tiers for the first time this financial year.
Data will start to come on stream starting with the April figures
from the end of August. (There is always a five-month lead time:
four months to allow for the case to progress through the system
and one month to collect and collate the relevant data.)
26. The target at the Home Office for processing asylum
applications is 60% of new substantive applications to be decided
within two months. The Home Office departmental report says that
performance has improved and, if sustained, the target can be
met. This is a significantly shorter time scale than the LCD target
for appeals processing. As the proportion of appeals is very high,
is this causing a bottleneck of appeals and if so, how is the
department intending to address this?
The Home Office target and the LCD target are both expressed
as percentages to be achieved within overall periods to help improve
measurement of performance over the end to end system.
The IND process aims to make 60% of decisions within two
months. This is essentially an administrative decision-making
process. The appeal target is for a judicial process which is
much more complex and relies on judicial case management of the
appellant's appeal and of the Home Office's response to that appeal.
It also relies on the simultaneous availability on the hearing
day of appellants, their legal representatives, HO presenting
officers and interpreters. The current target of 65% within four
months covers both tiers of the Immigration Appellate Authority
and includes judicial decisions by adjudicators, by the Immigration
Appeal Tribunal (IAT) on leave to appeal, and by the IAT on substantive
appeals. The IAA also handles appeals on immigration cases, family
visit visa appeals and bail applications in relation to asylum
and immigration cases.
The Home Office made over 130,000 initial decisions in 2000-01,
effectively dealing with all their backlog of initial decisions.
Appeals are being fed through to the IAA at a current rate of
4,500 each month, which will rise to 6,000 each month from November
2002. The HO and LCD have worked jointly to manage this very significant
volume of cases. This has necessitated an unprecedented expansion
of the IAA: judiciary, staff and courtrooms, and a corresponding
increase in the number of interpreters, legal representatives
and HO presenting officers. All of these will be in place to support
the November increase in caseload and the IAA will be able to
eat further into the bottleneck of the backlog of appeals, as
well as handling all new appeals.
27. Given the link between the two departments in this
area, how far do LCD and the Home Office liaise when setting their
LCD and HO work very closely together on target setting,
on planning for the future and on the day-to-day handling of cases.
Both LCD and the Home Office have major programmes in place
to expand their capacity and improve their performance and each
Department has senior level representation on the other's Programme
In addition, a senior LCD official sits on the Board of the
Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
Joint projects involving both LCD and IND (and other key
stakeholders as appropriate) are tackling a number of key areas,
especially adjournments in the IAA. This project has used joint
working to achieve a reduction in the adjournment rate from 30%
28. Page 24 refers to the IAA trying to increase the appeals
processing capacity from 4,000 to 6,000 per month from November
2002. What is the estimated additional cost of this? What are
the longer-term targets?
The estimated additional cost for the year 2002-03 is £65.8
million. The longer-term targets will be focused on speeding up
the average time that each case spends within the appeal systemsand
the asylum system as a wholewhilst still ensuring that
the interests of justice are served both for the appellant and
Work is ongoing to assess appropriate future targets and
funding as part of the current spending review. At this time it
is expected that the Home Office and LCD will set SDAs as well
as working together to set a joint target for the "end-to-end"
asylum system. Such a target would be supported by focused funding
arrangements agreed with Treasury.
29. Suggestions have been made by the Home Secretary that
asylum seekers who appeal might be expected to return to their
country of origin or their first point of entry and appeal from
there. In general terms, what additional costs would be associated
with asylum seekers appealing from overseas and what additional
difficulties may this cause?
The IAA already hears appeals from abroad for family visit
visa appeals, either on paper or at oral hearings where the appellant's
legal or other representative may appear. Experience of these
appeals will help to inform the handling of other out-of-country
appeals and joint work between IND and LCD will aim to reduce
any potential difficulties.
The Home Secretary has brought forward measures in the Nationality
Immigration and Asylum Bill currently before the House, which
would allow the conduct of appeals from certain categories of
asylum seekers from abroad. IND and LCD are working closely on
an implementation plan following Royal Assent. This will include
an evaluation of the likely costs and savings.
30. Page 40 says that there have been changes to criminal
legal aid which is now provided through contracts with private
sector lawyers and a small number of public defenders. This is
said to have achieved value for money. What evidence is there
to support this? Can this be quantified financially?
Criminal contracting was introduced only in April 2001, and
the Public Defender Service (PDS) is still being established.
It is therefore too early to quantify improvements in value for
money. Contracting provides an assurance of what is being done
for the money paid, and improvements should follow progressively
as suppliers improve their performance, not least in response
to the challenge of the benchmark information LSC gain through
the PDS. We have commissioned researchers to undertake a full
evaluation of the performance, cost and value of the new PDS offices.
31. Page 40 also refers to individual case contracts being
applied in Crown Court cases. How do these operate, eg by day,
These are the "Very High Cost Criminal Cases" or
VHCCC contracts. Cases are managed under individual contracts
between LSC and defence teams. Payment for work is agreed on the
basis of an overall case plan and individual stage plans. Prices
are agreed for each stage and are fixed, subject to limited tolerances,
or unforeseeable circumstances. Payments are made at the conclusion
of each stage. There is no need for taxation at the end of the
case. Pricing takes place within a rigorous framework, including
hourly rates set in regulations, for both solicitors and counsel.
The LSC will arrange an Individual Case Contract (ICC) for
any very high cost case, ie a case predicted to last more than
25 days (if it proceeds to trial) or to incur defence costs of
more than £150,000. The £150,000 applies to any one
defendant, or a group of defendants if represented by the same
firm of solicitors, and includes the solicitor costs, fees payable
to counsel, or experts, and other disbursements. Since April 2001,
only Serious Fraud Panel Members can undertake very high cost
serious fraud cases.
The indications are that these contracts can save substantial
sums, but there is a substantial "bring forward" of
expenditure because lawyers are paid earlier. We will look at
how far this scheme can be rolled out in the light of the spending
32. Page 40 says the introduction of individual case contracts
in Crown Court cases is making sure costs are controlled. One
of the findings in the recent Audit Commission report, Route to
Justice, was that lawyers are boosting their fees through adjournment
and cancellation of trials, how would these arrangements prevent
this and ensure costs are kept under control? Can you provide
details of the financial saving of using QCs less?
The Audit Commission report suggested that the system was
open to such abuse. However, the very serious and lengthy cases
dealt with under individual case contracts will be subject to
strict management by the judiciary, limiting the scope for abuse.
In addition, case contracts control such behaviour, as all work
must be identified and justified in advance in the stage plan.
We would not pay for work caused by unnecessary adjournments by
the defence team.
These complex arrangements are not suitable for more conventional
cases, because contract management would be disproportionate to
the case costs involved. We already have considerable control
over cost from the use of standard and graduated fees. In the
context of Auld, we will extend these schemes and ensure that
they properly reward good and timely preparation.
The present fee structures do not, we believe, encourage
lawyers to generally prolong cases. Most payments in the Magistrates'
Courts are based on standard fees which give no incentive to spin
out cases. The Graduated Fee Scheme for advocates in the Crown
Court provides set fees, with little incentive to prolong cases.
Cases outside these schemes are paid ex post facto, when
it can be argued that there this is some incentive to prolong
cases. We are working on a defence fee structure, to replace existing
ex post facto work, which will support efficient, timely
and effective case preparation, as part of the Auld reforms.
In the year to May 2002, there was a saving of £1.16
million in payments to QCs in graduated fee cases over the previous
year. This followed the introduction of new regulations in September
2000 to control more tightly when Queen's Counsel might be allowed
for the defence in Crown Court cases. A judge may still allow
the defence a QC where the case warrants.
33. What has been the experience of the first year of
operation of the pilot Public Defender Service office in Liverpool?
The Liverpool PDS office has had a successful first year.
Key challenges have been to establish the office, recruit and
build a team of people and begin to develop a client base from
scratch. From its opening in May 2001 to the end of March 2002,
the office commenced 482 cases, 37% from previous clients or referrals
from existing clients. It is too early to make a full evaluation.
Researchers will start work shortly to do so.
34. On page 19, details are given of SDA2. This includes
the target to reduce unnecessary attendance of witnesses at Magistrates'
Courts by 10% over the period 2001-04. In the last 12 months there
has been a reduction of 3% to 50%. Can you provide details of
the reasons why unnecessary attendance arises, why the unnecessary
attendance rate is so high and what steps the department is taking
to reduce unnecessary attendance?
The Department introduced a "Cracked, Ineffective and
Vacated Trial" monitoring scheme into all Magistrates' Courts
in January 2002 (with data being collected from April 2002). This
will assist the criminal justice agencies to identify and tackle
the causes of unnecessary attendance. The main categories of reasons
that will be identified from the scheme are:
guilty plea on alternative charge;
prosecution witness absent;
defence witness absent;
right to representation problems; and
Initial data from the pilot monitoring scheme showed that
the biggest contributors were: late plea changes; prosecution
witnesses (both police and civilian) absent; defendant absent;
prosecution end case; and lack of court time. We expect data from
the scheme to be used at a local level to improve inter-agency
co-operation, and thereby performance.
35. On page 19, it says that a new monitoring scheme to
help Magistrates' Courts identify the reasons for trials "cracking"
or being "ineffective" was launched in January 2001.
Full data collection to help Magistrates' Courts Committees identify
and monitor problems in the Criminal Justice System did not start
until April 2002. Why was there a delay of 15 months between the
launching of the scheme and the start of data collection?
This is a typographical error. The scheme was launched in
January 2002, not 2001.
36. The Department implemented reforms in January 2001
to send indictable-only cases straight to the Crown Court after
the first appearance in the Magistrates' Court. Page 21 says that
this reform has not been fully evaluated but the early indications
are that it has reduced waiting times in the more serious cases.
What data is available to indicate that this reform is reducing
waiting times? When does the Department intend to carry out a
full evaluation of this reform?
The target set for the disposal of indictable only cases
when the change was implemented was 26 weeks. This period broadly
reflected the average time that these more complex and difficult
cases took to progress through both the Magistrates' and Crown
For the period January-May 2000 (a full year after implementation)
the average waiting time for indictable only offences is 17.3
weeks, over eight weeks less than the target.
It is not intended to undertake a full evaluation of the
reforms for a further six months to ensure that all the changes
brought about by the reform have settled down.
37. Page 22 says that the Department is using court capacity
more effectively to reduce surplus. Courtroom over-capacity was
reduced from 43% in 2000 to 38.5% between April and September
2001. This is said to represent a reduction of 10.5% not 4.5%.
Can you please clarify this?
The target was to reduce the level of over capacity (43%)
by 10%. A reduction of 4.5% of 43% represents a reduction in over
capacity of 10.5%.
38. Courtroom over-capacity is evidently still a significant
problem. What measures is the Department employing to reduce over-capacity?
A series of meetings has been held with Justices, Chief Executives
and Circuit Administrators/Group Managers to agree a sensible
blueprint for the Court (Joint) Estate against which all future
business cases will be measured. To date meetings have been held
covering 35 Magistrates' Court areas and the programme will be
completed in the early autumn. The meetings have identified some
60 opportunities for sharing with Magistrates' Courts where the
latter have spare hearing room capacity. In the majority of instances
this will mean moving from Victorian county courts to modern Magistrates'
Courts buildings which should result in the provision of better
quality facilities both to our customers and our staff. Feasibility
studies will be undertaken to determine whether this potential
can be realised. There would appear to be little difficulty from
a Courtroom/Hearing Room point of view. The major problem is likely
to be whether the county court staff can be accommodated in the
building as well. Magistrates' Courts generally are over-provided
with courtrooms but under-provided with office space and ancillary
39. The Department is also said to be tackling the problem
of some urban areas having too many separate court locations.
How widespread is this problem and how is the Department trying
to address this?
The problem is now much less widespread, as the Department
has made significant efforts to address the issue of separate
locations in urban areas.
The major problem was the number of separate offices for
Probate and some Tribunals. In the last few years we have relocated
offices and combined them where possible and/or sought out more
cost-effective accommodation. These include the Probate offices
in Lincoln, Leicester, Oxford, Ipswich and York, and the Pensions
Appeals Tribunal and VAT Tribunal in Birmingham and the Pensions
Appeals Tribunal in Newcastle upon Tyne. There are plans for new
build schemes to include both Probate and other administrative
offices into one building in Bristol, Exeter and Manchester.
40. Are contracts with solicitors mentioned on page 37
broken down into different categories of work?
Yes. Contracts are broken down into the following categories
Actions against the Police;
* Tolerances are included in contracts to enable contracted
organisations to undertake related work in which they do not hold
category-specific contracts. The number of tolerances is a fixed
percentage of the overall contract size, usually about 10%.
41. Are sufficient lawyers with necessary expertise and
achieving the CLS Quality mark available to cover all aspects
of the law (eg, immigration, particularly given the increase in
asylum applications an appeals)?
LSC and LCD keep the supply of lawyers under close review.
At present, there is no general shortage of lawyers willing to
undertake publicly funded legal services. There are some rural
and semi-urban areas of England and Wales where we would like
to increase supply, and we are working to expand service provision
in particular in social welfare and asylum law.
As for the future, there was a drop of 6% this year from
last in the number of solicitors' firms undertaking publicly funded
work. There is intelligence that many firms are contemplating
leaving it. Publicly funded work is not very profitable and, as
costs rise, some firms may find it in their commercial interests
to leave it. We are looking with the LSC at what we can do to
ensure a continuing service in the light of the SR2002 settlement.
42. On page 69 it states that "Community Legal Partnerships
now cover 95% of the population in England and Wales". In
which parts of the country do the other 5% of the population live?
By June 2002 coverage of England and Wales by Community Legal
Service (CLS) Partnerships had extended to 99.14%. We are confident
that we will reach 100% population coverage by the end of the
autumn, some 18 months ahead of the Lord Chancellor's target date
of spring 2004. We would prefer not publicly to name the four
areas where Partnerships have not yet been established while negotiations
continue between them and the LSC.
43. What has been the financial impact of the changes
in the funding regime for civil litigation?
The financial impact on civil litigation generally is inconclusive.
Changes in the funding regime have coincided with civil procedure
("Woolf") reforms. These have required more work to
be done before proceedingsand look to have resulted in
many disputes being settled without any, or without as lengthy
or onerous, proceedings. Test cases on costs, behind which many
other cases have yet to be resolved, have only recently been determined
in the higher courts.
We are considering commissioning quantitative research into
case management in fast and multi-track cases. This is likely
to capture information on costs in civil cases that proceed to
trial and may capture information on settled cases. The Civil
Justice Council's Costs Working Group will be commissioning data
collection to inform options for introducing fixed recoverable
costs for personal injury disputes in the pre-action protocol
and fast track periods.
As for legal aid our best estimate is that the introduction
of CFAs, and the decision to take personal injury cases out of
scope, saves around £100 million a year. This is based on
an assessment of the decline in the volume of work after 1995
when CFAs were introduced, as well as the savings from taking
personal injury out of scope in 2000. It is necessarily not a
44. Page 43 says that response to the changes has been
more gradual in complex areas of litigation. Now that two years
have passed since the changes were implemented, are there any
areas of civil litigation which LCD consider cannot be properly
served by the legal services market?
Legislation does not allow CFAs in family cases but some
forms of private provision are available such as specific insurance
policies for maintenance after divorce.
Even with test cases on cost recovery unresolved, the market
has proved innovative and is moving into areas previously seen
as risky, such as defamation and clinical negligence. Some areas
may be unpromising, for instance, where there is public funding,
cases which require substantial investigation to assess prospects
of success, or where the likely outcome is inherently difficult
45. On page 52, the Department acknowledges that there
have been teething problems with funding, managing and completing
the set-up of CAFCASS. What were these problems and how were they
CAFCASS was set up to a very demanding legislative timetable.
It was always clear that, whatever our long-term ambitions for
it, in the short term it would take considerable hard work merely
to bring together the three existing services (including numerous
local arrangements), while continuing to provide a service on
the ground. Despite the problems, we do not think anyone seriously
disputes that the creation of CAFCASS was the right way forward.
A dispute between CAFCASS and self-employed guardians clearly
took up much time and effort, and diverted attention from other
important issues. However, CAFCASS has made significant progress
on the issue of contracts for the self-employed children's guardians.
The vast majority of the guardians have now accepted the offers
Following a series of regional visits, the independent Magistrates'
Courts Inspectorate (MCSI) reported in March 2002 that CAFCASS
had generally continued to provide the same service as was provided
prior to its creation. Nonetheless, we recognise that there will
have been local variations from this overall assessment and we
are aware that there have been some specific local difficulties
due to the decisions of individual self-employed guardians about
their future in some of those areas. Where this was the case CAFCASS
has taken action, including the appointment of new employed guardians,
to ensure services are maintained. CAFCASS will appoint new guardians
where there are local shortfalls.
CAFCASS's budget was based on the historical expenditure
of the three component services, plus new cash for start-up costs.
CAFCASS's expenditure in 2001-02, on a cash basis, came in slightly
under budget. As with any new organisation it takes time to review
resource needs and drive out the greater efficiency that a merged
organisation can offer.
CAFCASS, as a new national organisation, has had to work
with the management information it inherited from its predecessor
bodies. This was not homogenous and the data was limited. CAFCASS
has, however, begun to address how this management information
can be improved across the service.
The Department is working closely with the CAFCASS Board
and management team. Rosie Winterton MP has regular meetings with
the Chairman and receives reports from him. CAFCASS is now beginning
to develop a unified service and is progressing forward with greater
purpose and confidence.
46. What information do you have on the level of satisfaction
of users of CAFCASS compared with the situation two years ago?
Two years ago no baseline existed to measure the satisfaction
of users of the services which were brought together to form CAFCASS,
as each had its own system for monitoring performance. As for
any new organisation, it is necessary to develop performance indicators
that are specific and appropriate to its operation.
One of the six key objectives, which the Lord Chancellor
set CAFCASS upon launch, was to create effective measures to assess
the quality of services it offers. In its Corporate Plan for 2002-06,
CAFCASS sets out the key indicators it will develop, and against
which their performance will be measured in subsequent years.
This includes identifying the best means of measuring the satisfaction
of children, families and other stakeholders in its service.
The best information on the performance of CAFCASS compared
with two years ago comes from the independent inspection conducted
by the Inspectorate. Its view, in its report published in March
2002, based on initial structured visits to the regions during
2001, was that:
"CAFCASS...has generally continued to deliver a service
to children, families and courts to at least the same standards
as in the previous services prior to the creation of CAFCASS."
This is a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of
the great majority of CAFCASS staff.
The MSCI report was placed in the House libraries.
47. On page 58, you forecast a shortfall during 2001-02
in the appointment of medical members of the Appeals Service and
the Mental Health Review Tribunals, adding that measures have
been taken, in conjunction with the Department of Health, to improve
the recruitment of doctors. What form have these taken and are
there any indications yet as to how successful these measures
The recruitment of medical members across the health-related
tribunals has been a cause for concern for some years. This reflects
a general shortage of consultant psychiatrists, with 17% vacancies
nationally reported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists; higher
in certain locations.
Nevertheless, in conjunction with the Department of Health,
a number of steps have been taken to improve matters. These include:
increasing the frequency of recruitment exercises
for medical members;
extending the retirement age of medical members
to 70 (and considering requests from DH to extend individual appointments
on a year by year basis between age 70 and 75);
the Department of Health increasing the fee level;
changing the criteria for appointment as a medical
member of the MHRT, to recognise part-time as well as full-time
establishing regular contact and meetings between
LCD officials and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Current
projects in conjunction with the College include a proposed schedule
of talks by officials to NHS Trust executives, medical directors
and local interest groups, in order to raise the profile of the
sending a questionnaire to existing medical members
of the MHRT asking for their opinion of the present recruitment
service, and suggestions for ways in which more members might
be attracted. The results are now being analysed;
sending an additional questionnaire to consultant
psychiatrists not presently members of the MHRT. Although the
exercise is in its early stages, results so far have been positive
and sufficient interest has been generated to warrant arranging
a new recruitment competition;
The Lord Chancellor continues to explore with
Ministerial colleagues in the Department of Health what other
initiatives might be taken to attract more medical applicants.
So far, the most promising results have been from the more
personal contact that officials are establishing with both the
profession and individual psychiatrists and the general raising
of interest in Tribunal business. As a result of this work, a
number of consultants have declared an interest in becoming members
of the Tribunal and a new competition has been organised for later
this year. It is too early yet to assess the impact of the fee
48. According to page 59, only 82% of Magistrates' posts
that Advisory Committees were seeking to fill were filled last
year, against a target of 95%. What action is the Department intending
to take to help the Committees set the ideal number of Magistrates
for a bench and realistic targets for filling those posts?
The Lord Chancellor has commissioned a National Recruitment
Strategy for Lay Magistrates and there is ongoing consultation
with the Advisory Committees regarding local recruitment and target
49. Initial legal advice has suggested that the 1958 and
1967 Public Records Acts may not be able to cope adequately with
electronic records and may be out of line with government and
business environments. On page 119 it says that PRO are proposing
to undertake a study with other government departments which may
recommend that they work towards new legislation. Can you provide
details of the departments involved in this, when you anticipate
this study may be undertaken, and the broad remit of the review?
With reference to Question 49, the Public Record Office,
as a separate government department with its own accounting officer,
has provided the answers to the Committee's questions.
An initial scoping study is being undertaken by a small group
of departments, comprising PRO, LCD (with its FOI and data protection
responsibilities), Cabinet Office, DCMS (because of its responsibility
for heritage and cultural matters), FCO (a major creator of historical
records) and the Department of the Deputy Prime Minister (now
responsible for local authority archives services). The group
will be advised by a Treasury Solicitor representative retained
by PRO and chaired by the Keeper of Public Records.
The group will meet for the first time in early August. Its
role will be to set an agenda for consideration by a working group
which is planned to report to Ministers before the end of the
year. It will consider the need for and scope of legislation to
replace the Public Records Act 1958. The aspects it is likely
to consider include:
provision for the long-term management and preservation
of electronic records of central government and the courts, so
as to preserve their authenticity and reliability;
creation of a National Archives, by bringing together
the functions of the PRO and the Historical Manuscripts Commission
(a body whose remit relates to records that are not covered by
the Public Records Act 1958)as announced by Baroness Blackstone
on 12 July;
a legal framework for the proper management of
the records of central government, with provision for standards
and monitoring equivalent legislative provision for local government
records (at present covered by the Local Government (Records)
Act 1962 and the Local Government Act 1972, s 224).
50. What is the latest state of play on publication of
the 1901 census on the Internet? How does the actual cost to public
funds of publishing the 1901 census compare with that originally
With reference to Question 50, the Public Record Office,
as a separate government department with its own accounting officer,
has provided the answers to the Committee's questions.
At the time of writing, 11 July 2002, the Public Record Office
(PRO) cannot give a firm date when the 1901 Census will be fully
functional. However, QinetiQ Ltd, who are responsible for setting
up the site and providing the online service, have continued to
make technical improvements to it. QinetiQ Ltd have been testing
the site and the PRO has also carried out its own independent
test programme. Now the final results of these tests are available,
QinetiQ Ltd and the PRO are planning to move to a phase of public
testing, from which it will be possible to decide whether the
service is sufficiently robust to give a satisfactory experience
to users. It is anticipated that this will be completed by mid
to late August.
All development costs and additional improvement costs have
been met in full by QinetiQ Ltd. The PRO is not aware of the amount
of expenditure incurred by QinetiQ, nor of the additional costs
incurred, which have been funded using independent finance. Since
1998-99 the PRO has spent £1.4 million in respect of contract
negotiations, legal advice, contract management, quality assurance
and editing of data, and independent expert loading testing for
the 1901 census service.
The PRO discharged its statutory duty of making the 1901
census publicly available by providing a microfiche set for the
whole country at Kew and by supplying local record offices and
libraries throughout England and Wales with microfiche copies
relating to their areas. The new online census website is an additional
service. It was immediately overwhelmed by unprecedented demand
and general Internet access had to be temporarily suspended on
7 January. This was done in order to enable the introduction of
improvements to the online service by the PRO's contractor QinetiQ
Ltd (formerly the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency), who
are responsible for the technical aspects of the service within
the framework of a Public Private Partnership. Since 6 February
the service has been closed down completely, to allow QinetiQ
to conduct rigorous testing of the improvements.
The PRO has apologised for the disappointment, which has
been expressed by many family historians worldwide, a disappointment
that it shares. It has been working very hard with QinetiQ to
progress the improvements and to conduct its own rigorous testing
programme. The most important consideration is to ensure that,
when the 1901 online census is relaunched on the Internet, it
successfully handles the initial demand, which it is anticipated
will be extremely high once again, and provides a consistently
reliable service to users.
51. When is the review of the Law Commission expected
to report? Will this be a normal quinquennial review? If not,
by whom will it be conducted? (page 28)
We have not yet launched the review, which will broadly follow
Cabinet Office guidance for quinquennial reviews. We will also
take account of further Cabinet Office thinking, to make greater
strategic connection between NDPBs and sponsor departments. Accordingly,
our review will examine how the Commission contributes to the
overall process of law reform and the delivery of Government objectives.
We expect to appoint a head of review shortly. The report should
be available around the end of the year.
52. What are the current staffing levels and annual budget
for the LCD's work on human rights, House of Lords reform, freedom
of information and data protection (as shown on pages 62 and 63)
and for electoral and party funding (as transferred recently);
and how do these figures compare with the last full year in which
these functions were carried out in other departments?
Human Rights and Freedom of Information/Data Protection
The staffing level and annual budget for human rights and
freedom of information/data protection work are as follows:
||2000-01 (Home Office)|
|Freedom of information and|
Staffing figure not available
LCD also sponsors the Office of the Information Commissioner
(OIC), a non-departmental public body enforcing the Freedom of
Information and Data Protection Acts. In 2002-03, the grant-in-aid
for the OIC is £14.126 million, offset by a projected fee
income of £4.2 million.
Prior to the formation of the OIC, enforcement of the Data
Protection Act was carried out by the Data Protection Commissioner
(DPC). In 2001-02, the grant-in-aid for the DPC was £4.99
million, with a projected fee income of £2.5 million.
House of Lords Reform
In 2002-03 the budget for the House of Lords Reform Unit
is £361,000, with four staff. (In the event of there being
a House of Lords Reform Bill in the next session, there is provision
for this to rise to six staff.)
For 2001-02, when the Unit was the responsibility of the
Cabinet Office, the budget was £406,000, with six staff.
Electoral and Party Funding
The former Home Office function, which is transferring from
DTLR to LCD this year, expanded from five staff to 16 last year
due in part to the work on electronic voting.
53. Does the Department measure its performance in responding
to parliamentary questions and letters from MPs? If so, what was
the performance in 2000-01 and 2001-02?
The Department does not have a set performance measure for
answering parliamentary questions. However, the Department aims
to answer all parliamentary questions within their parliamentary
target. For the House of Commons the target is within five working
days for ordinary written questions, and on the day named for
named day questions. For the House of Lords the Parliamentary
targets for answering questions is 10 working days.
The Lord Chancellor's Department has a paper system for recording
the parliamentary questions tabled to, or transferred into, the
Department. This was established when there was a smaller number
of parliamentary questions tabled to the Department. As with other
Government Departments the number of questions tabled to the Lord
Chancellor's Department has steadily increased. We are looking
to establish a computer-based system for parliamentary questions.
This will enable performance to be monitored easily against the
The limitations of the present recording system make it very
difficult to produce statistics swiftly about the Department's
performance in responding to parliamentary questions. However,
the Lord Chancellor recently answered a parliamentary question
which required the information to be collated from the records.
The question asked for the proportion of ordinary written questions
which were answered within a week, and for the number of named
day answers which received a substantive reply on the day named.
The period covered by the question was 1 June 2001 to 24 May 2002.
This is reproduced at Annex C.
The Department does measure its performance for responding
to letters from MPs. Performance against the overall 20-day target
went up from 72.99% in 2000-01 to 74.97% in 2001-02. The Lord
Chancellor has recently asked for the department to improve performance
significantly over the coming year.
54. What progress has LCD made towards the target for
delivery of services electronically? (page 73). Which parts of
LCD are most ahead? In which parts could significantly more progress
be made? What are the constraints on delivery of services electronically?
The latest return we made to the Office of the e-Envoy shows
that currently we offer 32% of our services (as defined in our
Public Service Agreements) electronically. That figure will have
increased since the return was made as Money Claim On Line and
XHIBIT have been launched in the interim.
Which parts of LCD are most ahead?
In our most recent submission to the OeE on e-Business Delivery
we suggested the following are our four most successful examples
of Electronic Service Delivery:
JustAsk! website: one of the LCD's core objectives
is to improve people's knowledge and understanding of their rights
and responsibilities. The award-winning JustAsk! website provides
free access to the range of legal information ranging from information
on the law to finding local advice providers;
XHIBIT (eXchanging Hearing Information By Internet
Technology): a modernised, joined-up Criminal Justice System (CJS)
is one of the government's key priorities. XHIBIT is a cross CJS
initiative, led by the LCD as part of its Courts and Tribunals
Modernisation Programme (CTMP), which is piloting new ways of
joined-up working, in relation to court hearings, made possible
by the application of modern technology;
Money Claim OnLine (MCOL): also a CTMP initiative,
is one of the few fully transactional online government services
available to citizens. It provides for issue of fixed amount money
claims, judgments and warrant of executions. All of these can
be completed online, unless the case becomes defended (which happens
in less than 5% of the 1.7 million issued each year);
The Court Service Web site: this web site is amongst
the 10 most used across Whitehall. Its position has been achieved
by offering a very wide range of services that are in demand from
our users of the justice system, in particular court judgments
and online forms and leaflets.
In which parts could significantly more progress be made?
As far as gaps in our online offerings are concerned, we
have identified both the Magistrates' Court and Family business
areas within LCD as being particularly in need of further development.
The next version of our e-Business plans, to be published in the
autumn, will contain proposals as to how this might be done.
What are the constraints on delivery of services electronically?
The "2005 target" is actually 100% of services
it is appropriate to deliver electronically. In LCD's case 6%
of our services have been deemed not to be suitable for delivery
by these means. These services are various types of court proceedings
for which a hearing is currently necessary in the criminal and
family jurisdictions, which, for reasons of public policy, it
is felt an electronic alternative would not be appropriate.
The speed of overall delivery is also, clearly, dependent
on levels of funding made available to the Department.
Particularly in the criminal justice arena, we are committed
to delivering "joined-up" electronic services spanning
across Criminal Justice Organisations. Thus, there is a mutual
dependency on the speed of delivery in each CJO and delivery of
the central IT, which will link all components together. The latter
part is the responsibility of the Criminal Justice IT unit, located
in the Home Office.
55. What public appointments, other than judicial appointments,
has the Lord Chancellor made in the past year to posts commanding
salaries of more than £10,000 pa; and to which such posts
are appointments due to be made in the period up to the end of
The following public appointments made by the Lord Chancellor,
other than judicial appointments, which command salaries of more
than £10,000 have been made since 1 April 2001:
Jim Shearer (non-executive member)
|Legal Services Commission|
|Sheila Hewitt (non-executive member)||Legal Services Commission
|Margaret Richards (non-executive member)
||Legal Services Commission|
|Alan Clifton (member)||Strategic Investment Board
|Andrew Hutton (member)||Strategic Investment Board
|Laurence O'Mara (member)||Strategic Investment Board
|Anthony Hewson (Chair) 1||CAFCASS
|Angela Killick (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Nalini Singh-Varma (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Pip O'Byrne (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Mike Walker (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Anne Morgan (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Peter Hargrave (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Nedine Watson-Cutts (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Judy Weleminsky (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Leonie Jordan (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Nigel Fricker QC (member) 1||CAFCASS
|Stuart Bridge (Commissioner)||Law Commission
|The Honourable Mr Justice Toulson (Chair)
1 Based on daily rate and estimated time commitment
Public appointments made by the Lord Chancellor which command
salaries of more than £10,000 are expected to be made to
the following posts before 31 December 2003.
Non-executive member (x 3)
|Legal Services Commission|
|Chair||Council on Tribunals
1 Based on daily rate and estimated time commitment
56. What information do you have on the level of satisfaction
among users of the Public Guardianship Office compared with the
situation two years ago (with the Public Trust Office)?
The Public Guardianship Office (PGO) will carry out a survey
by the end of 2002 and then subsequently on an annual basis. Once
the results of this survey are available we will be able to make
a comparison between satisfaction among users of the PGO as compared
with the situation two years ago with the PTO.
The PGO has reached out into the community by holding receivers'
open days around the country going out to find out first hand
what they see as the real issues. So far this year PGO has held
four open days and attendees have said they see this as a positive
step forward. Information collected during receivers' open days
will be used to gauge the effectiveness of services and introduce
Significant improvements have been made by the PGO in areas
where the PTO was heavily criticised, particularly in terms of
accounts collection and review and the number of visits carried
out to clients. Over 6,000 visits were made to clients last year,
including visits to new clients and all clients for whom the PGO
was receiver. The number of visits to clients whose affairs are
being managed by private receivers was more than double the number
carried out just two years ago. Following the transfer to the
PGO, a new accounts form was introduced in April last year, receivers
were asked for their views on the new form and 91% said the new
form was easy or very easy to complete. This new form and more
rigid chasing mechanisms have significantly improved the turnaround
times of the collection and review of accounts.
Despite these improvements the PGO is still suffering from
an increased level of complaints from customers. The reason for
this is that the PGO relocated to Archway and conducted a major
organisational restructuring exercise towards the end of last
year. The disruption caused by both of these exercises has had
an adverse affect on performance and therefore on service to clients.
In order to address this the PGO has formed an arrears team to
clear backlogs of work and has made plans to improve service delivery
more generally. Improvements under way include: closing down call
centres as this approach has been heavily criticised by receivers
and solicitors; moving files from a central registry to case-working
branches so telephone enquiries can be dealt with more speedily;
and investing in recruitment and training for staff. In the longer
term a new electronic records case management system will be introduced
which will end the reliance on papers files, which have exacerbated
Summary of progress for PSA and OPA targets in the
LCD Departmental Report 2000-01
||OPA Measures and
|Outturn position at
31 March 2001
||All three targets met by|
31 December 2000.
||All three targets replaced by new SR2000 SDA targetsSDA 34-39.
||4th and 6th PSA/OPA met by 31 December 2000.
|1st target: By March 2002 to reduce the duration of civil cases.
||To increase the proportion of administrative processes dealt with in target time from 92% to 95%.
||The target was met by|
31 March 2002 (94.9%). Replaced by modified Court Service key performance indicator from 2002.
|2nd target: to reduce the waiting times for all asylum appeals from receipt at the Immigration Appellate Authorities to promulgation of the Adjudicator's determination from 36 weeks in 1999-2000 to 17 weeks by 2000-01.
||The target was met by|
31 March 2001. Replaced by SR2000 SDA target 28.
|3rd target: to reduce the unit cost of civil cases in real terms.
||Not met. Superseded by 4th-8th targets.
|5th target: To reduce in real terms the unit cost of an item of originating process in the civil courts by an average of 3% per annum to 2001-02 (base 1999-2000)
||On course. Replaced by SR2000 PSA 9 and associated SDA targets.
|7th target: To reduce in real terms the unit cost of an asylum appeal by an average of 3% per annum.
||On course. Replaced by SR2000 SDA 50.
|8th target: Percentage of administrative work in the Court Service processed without significant error.
||Met. Replaced by modified Court Service Key Performance Indicator from April 2002.
||2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th, 16th and 17th PSA targets met by 31 December 2000.
||19th target is a Home Office target.|
|1st target: To halve the time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders from 142 days to 71 days.
||Replaced by SR2000 PSA 2c. Target met by March 2002.
|3rd target: Number/proportion of young offenders fast tracked.
||Metwas delivered as part of the SR2000 PSA 2c.
|5th target: To increase the proportion of victims, witnesses and jurors who regard their experience in the CJS as acceptable.
||(a) Victims and Witnesses: to improve by 5 percentage points by 2002 the satisfaction of victims and witnesses and of witnesses with their treatment in the CJS.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|(b) Jurors: to maintain at 95% the level of jurors who are satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment in the CJS whilst increasing by 5% by end March 2002 those who are very satisfied.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|6th target: to maintain the rate of 78% of Crown Court cases commencing within 16 weeks in 1999-2000.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|8th target: To achieve stability in real terms in the cost of publicly funded criminal defence services by March 2002.
||On course. Replaced by SR2000 PSA 9 and associated SDA targets.
|10th target: Average cost of a criminal legal aid bill in the Magistrates' Courts.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|11th target: Average cost of duty solicitor scheme per person assisted.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|12th target: Average cost of an act of advice and assistance (criminal).
||Replaced by SR2000|
|13th target: To reduce in real terms the unit cost of cases in the Crown Court by an average of 3% per annum.
||On course. Replaced by SR2000 PSA 9 and associated SDA targets.
|14th target: To reduce courtroom over-capacity.
||To reduce courtroom over-capacity by 10% by March 2002.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|15th target: Measures on the rights of defendants to show improvements by March 2002.
||Replaced by SR2000 SDA 4.|
|18th target: The proportion of witnesses/victims will give evidence on the day they are called.
||Replaced by SR2000 SDA.|
||The PSA target was dropped as a result of the Government's decision not to proceed with the implementation of Part II of the Family Law Act 1996. New PSA and SDA targets set during SR2000.
||Both PSA targets were met by 31 December 2000. New PSA and SDA targets were set during SR2000.
||3rd, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th and 15th PSA/OPA met by 31 December 2000.
|1st target: The Department will meet a target of 3% year-on-year gains in efficiency.
||Replaced by SR2000 Value For Money PSA/SDA targets.
|2nd target: A reduction in support costs as a proportion of running costs.
||60% of services to be reviewed by March 2002.
||Replaced by SR2000 Value For Money PSA/SDA targets.
|4th target: An improvement in the proportion of training, which contributes to improvements in job performance.
||Percentage of instances of training which contributed to improvement in job performance.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|5th target: An increase in the proportion of Ministerial correspondence and other correspondence answered within target by 5% year on year.
||Percentage of Ministers' cases answered within the Departmental deadline 95%.
||Replaced by SR2000|
|6th target: An increase in the proportion of undisputed invoices paid within 30 days.
||100% of undisputed invoices paid within 30 days.
|9th target: To contribute to a reduction in public sector sickness absence of 20% by 2001 and 30% by 2003.
||Met. Replaced by SR2000 SDA 78.|
|11th target: A target of 5% annual reduction in general procurement expenditure.
||Met. Replaced by SR2000 SDA 56 and 57.
|13th target: Use of electronic commerce where there are cost benefits.
||Dropped. Replaced by Government-wide|
e-Government SDA during SR2000.
|14th target: Use of BACS to pay all invoices by December 2002.
||Subsumed within Government-wide|
e-Government SDA during SR2000.
SR2000 PSA 2:
To reduce by 2004 the time from arrest to sentence or other
disposal for all defendants by:
reducing the time from charge to disposal for
all defendants with a target to be specified by 2001;
dealing with 80% of youth court cases within their
target times; and
halving from 142 to 71 days by March 2002 the
time taken from arrest to sentence for persistent youth offenders
and maintaining that level thereafter.
SR2000 PSA 3:
Improve the level of public confidence in the criminal justice
system by 2004, including improving that of ethnic minority communities.
SR2000 PSA 5:
Reduce the proportion of disputes which are resolved by resort
to the courts.
SR2000 PSA 6:
Increase the number of people who:
(a) receive suitable assistance in priority areas of law,
involving fundamental rights or social exclusion, by 5% by 2004;
(b) secure year-on-year increases of at least 5% in the
number of international legal disputes resolved in the UK.
SR2000 PSA 7:
Increase the enforceability of civil judgements by achieving
a 10% increase in the amount recovered per pound under executed
warrants issued in the county courts in 2001-04, with this target
to be reviewed and new targets set for 2002-04 by December 2001.
SR2000 PSA 8:
Increase continued contact between children and the non-resident
parent after a family breakdown, where this is in the best interests
of the child.
SR2000 PSA 9:
Value for moneySecure year-on-year improvements in
value for money in the delivery of the Community Legal Service
and Criminal Defence Service.
Absence of baseline and/or performance data by the 31 March
2002why are such delays arising and what action is being
taken to address this problem?
Targets needed to be reconsidered following fresh priorities
set by the Government's manifestofor example, the 10 year
plan to double the chance of a persistent offender being caught
and punished. Given the proximity of the Spending Review 2002
and the impact of funding decisions on performance, Ministers
concluded that it would be better to set targets in the light
of that. Whilst targets for PSA 2a and 2b have not been published,
criminal justice agencies are alert to the need for timeliness
and we have achieved significant improvements in performance in
with other CJS agencies, and ahead of schedule,
halved the time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders;
reduced the time from first listing to completion
for all defendants by 20% between June 1997 and September 2001;
secured substantial improvements in the time taken
to deal with young people in the youth court who are not persistent
offenders. In 2001 the average time between charge or laying the
information and completion was 57 days. This compares to 87 days
Summary of achievements in SR 2000
Persistent Young Offenders: halving from 142 to 71 days by March 2002 the time taken from arrest to sentence.
|Achieved by August 2001. This reduced to 68 days in the last quarter of 2001 and in the first quarter of 2002. The overall figures for April 2002 was 63 days. For cases sentenced in the Magistrates' Courts, the figure was 57 days (94% of all persistent young offender cases).
|78% of Crown Court cases start within their target time by March 2004.
||We are on course to achieve this target, hitting 77.6% in the financial year 2001-02.
|Reducing the time from charge to disposal for all defendants.
||Time reduced in Magistrates' Courts from 35 days in June 1997 to 28 days in September 2001.
|Dealing with 80% of youth court cases within their time targets.
||As explained above, this 80% time target has not been formally published by Ministers. The average time between charge or laying information and completion reduced from 87 days in 1997 to 57 days in 2001.
The outcome of Spending Review 2002 will determine which
new targets are set.
Data to establish the baseline is being drawn from the British
Crime Survey. It is intended that improvements in a number of
indicators included in the BCS will be monitored in order to establish
levels of confidence.
The development of a baseline is a significant achievement
in the progress of this PSA target. We have used the survey data
to establish a baseline and will receive annual reports from now
on. Statistics from CEDR report an increase in court referred
mediation from 19% in 1999-2000 to 27% in 2000-01. We also have
data from 184 cases in the commercial court which show that 52%
settled at the end of the ADR process.
For PSA target 6a, we have collected baseline data from a
survey conducted by the Legal Services Commission. The National
Centre for Social Research undertook the baseline survey. The
baseline is 30 cases receiving help in these categories per 1,000
people. Our target is 35 cases per 1,000 by 2004.
There has not been a delay when setting baseline data for
PSA target 6b. Baseline information was established during mid-2001,
with data obtained from UK courts and some ADR sources. We have
also facilitated the establishment of a cross sector/government
international legal services forum which will help consider appropriate
measures and targets in this area.
PSA 7 is a target comprising two parts. The first part is
to achieve a 10% increase in the amount recovered per pound under
executed warrants issued in the county courts. Baseline data has
always been available for this part of PSA 7. The target was to
achieve 78 pence in the pound in 2004 against performance of 70.9
pence in 2001-02. In the period April to August 2001, we achieved
78.1 pence in the pound and are on course to meet the target two
The second part of PSA 7 concerns the Lord Chancellor's Review
of Enforcement. The Department has reviewed this target in accordance
with the target deadline of December 2001 and set new supporting
indicators for attachment of earnings and other areas of enforcement.
During the first year of SR2000 new rules on Oral Examinations,
Garnishees and Charging Orders have been implemented. New national
standards for enforcement agents were introduced in April 2002.
We are on track for a White Paper in April 2003.
We are on course to establish a baseline for this target
based on information from a variety of sources, including:
analysis of court service data on private law
cases (now completed);
other departments and organisations have been
asked for information they hold;
questions were successfully placed in the ONS
Omnibus survey in October-November 2001, now included in full
survey April-December 2002;
first interim report from Family Advice and Information
Networks (FAINs) research is no available;
final report of Professor Jan Walker's follow
up research into cohort groups should be available summer 2002;
a Programme Board established to assist with delivery
of target and includes representatives from other departments
and external stakeholders.
PSA 9 cannot be measured directly, because it sets no targets.
Performance against PSA9 can only be established from performance
against the SDAs accompanying it (SDAs 22-26). We are making good
progress in delivering all of these SDAs.
Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary,
Lord Chancellor's Department what proportion of ordinary written
Questions for his Department were answered within a week of tabling
in each month since June 2001; and what proportion of questions
for named day received a substantive answer on that day in each
month since June 2001.
Ms Rosie Winterton: 340 of the 899 ordinary written
questions that were tabled to the Lord Chancellor's Department
between 1 June 2001 and 24 May 2002 were answered within one week
of being tabled, the detailed breakdown of monthly figures are
|Ordinary written question answered within a week of being tabled (%)
|April 2002|| 9.09
Performance in April 2002 was atypical because one honourable
Member asked 122 questions which required a great deal of co-ordination.
Unfortunately they were all answered two days late. In addition
the Lord Chancellor's Department answered substantively 226 of
413 Named Day questions on the nominated day, representing 54.72%.
Figures for House of Lords Parliamentary Questions for the
same period are set out in the table below:
|Inside the Parliamentary target
||Outside the Parliamentary target
|July 2001||15|| 0
|October 2001|| 8|| 2
|November 2001||14|| 6
|December 2001|| 3
|January 2002|| 4||11
|February 2002|| 5
|March 2002||10|| 4
|April 2002|| 7||10
Percentages of total