Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
QC AND PETER
10 FEBRUARY 2009
Q196 Chairman: Mr Green, Director of
the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office and Mr McNaught, Head
of Litigation and Enforcement Team in the Health and Safety Executive
welcome to you both. You wanted to say something initially, Mr
Green, about the nature of your work.
David Green: Yes; indeed. I thought
it might help if I explained to the Committee just in a couple
of minutes what the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office is,
who we are, what we do and how we fit with the CPS. RCPO is a
specialist prosecutor serving both HM Revenue and Customs and
the Serious Organised Crime Agency, established in 2005 under
the Act which merged Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise into
Revenue and Customs. At the same time, that Act took the prosecution
function out of those predecessor bodies and set it up in a new,
separate and independent prosecuting agency. RCPO is notrepeat
notpart of HM Revenue and Customs. RCPO prosecutors have
the same relationship with HMRC investigators as the CPS do with
the police. As with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the
Director of the Serious Fraud Office, as Director of RCPO I operate
under the superintendence of the Attorney General and we prosecute
all types of tax offences including missing trader intra-community
fraud in VAT, excise and duty fraud on alcohol, tobacco and oils,
drug smuggling, money laundering, strategic export controls and
sanctions violations. In other words, our work really coalesces
under the headings of tax and borders. All these are obviously
acquisitive crimes and naturally we have expertise as well in
the confiscation of criminal assets. Whereas generallyand
I mean generallythe CPS is the public prosecutor, prosecuting
cases where the victims are individuals, RCPO is a government
prosecutor prosecuting cases whose victims are all taxpayers or
indeed society as a whole; one thinks of tax offences or drug
smuggling. That said, we of course work very closely with CPS
and indeed the Serious Fraud Office at a corporate level through
the law officers' departments and the Attorney General's Strategic
Board. We have regular liaison with the CPS on policy initiatives
and the formulation of guidelines on new tools for the prosecutor
such as serious crime prevention orders. Our confiscation specialists
in both organisations speak with one voice and perhaps the best
example with which I will leave you of our working together with
the CPS is in our work for the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Since January 2006 CPS and RCPO have both prosecuted for SOCA
under what is known as the dual prosecutor model. The system now
works seamlessly and prosecutors speak as one to SOCA. By agreement
RCPO prosecutors, in line with our expertise, prosecute most cases
of large-scale drug importation, related money laundering and
weapons smuggling investigated by SOCA. I hope that is of some
assistance to explain who we are and what we do.
Q197 Chairman: Yes; very helpful.
You are both United Kingdom agencies.
David Green: I am England and
Q198 Chairman: But of course Revenue
and Customs is a United Kingdom body.
David Green: Yes; it is indeed.
Q199 Chairman: In Scotland the prosecutions
are carried out under the authority of the Crown Office and the
David Green: Indeed.