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Departmental Prosecutions

Volume 542: debated on Tuesday 20 March 2012

I have agreed with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Secretary of State for Health arrangements between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health (DH) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the conduct of prosecutions.

Currently DWP and DH prosecutions are conducted by in-house prosecutions teams within those Departments. Under the forthcoming change, the conduct of such prosecutions will be assigned by the Attorney-General to the Director of Public Prosecutions under section 3(2)(g) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.

The transfer will take place from 1 April 2012.

Transferring these functions will allow DWP and DH to draw directly on the CPS’ expertise and resources and to better accommodate fluctuations in prosecution volumes. Arrangements are in place to ensure partnership and accountability between the three organisations.