I have today laid before Parliament a public consultation document: Consultation on an order giving legal effect to the administrative merger of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office.
The merger of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) has already been achieved administratively. The merger took place on 1 January 2010 and is safeguarding and delivering improvements to the already high quality work on serious and complex cases. It is also providing increased value for money by minimising duplication and driving economies of scale. The benefits include an enhanced international capability, a specialist tax prosecution service and a joint prosecution approach to cross-border crime.
The two organisations, however, remain legally distinct. I believe it is desirable for them to be one organisation legally as well as operationally. An order under the Public Bodies Act 2011 would achieve this objective.
The purpose of the consultation exercise is to seek views on whether we should give legal effect to the administrative merger and whether the approach we are proposing would achieve the desired effect.
The consultation closes on the 22 May 2012. I will carefully consider the consultation responses before bringing forward any order giving legal effect to the administrative merger of the CPS and RCPO.