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Friday 18 November 2016

FDA tells Scottish Parliament that prosecution service faces ‘reliance on goodwill’

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee is taking evidence on the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), amid concerns over whether the department has the right resources to meet the increasing workloads and demands of the Service.

The Procurator Fiscal section of the FDA has provided written and oral evidence to the Justice Committee inquiry. The union’s evidence highlighted to the Committee that the COPFS budget in the current year would mean a projected 21.5% cut in real terms between 2009-10 and 2017-18, stating that COPFS staff “have been set an unrealistic task”.

FDA Vice President and Secretary of the Procurator Fiscal section of the union, Fiona Eadie, said: “We have long argued that the resources provided to public service departments must match the service commitments required of them. In our view, the continuing downward pressure on the COPFS’s budget is incompatible with these increased demands and maintaining the world-class Scottish prosecution service.

“While we have welcomed the COPFS 's plans for new initiatives and approaches to our work, designed to enable the COPFS to deliver despite that financial pressure, there is an ever increasing reliance on the goodwill of prosecutors, which is not sustainable and risks decisions being made as to what work cannot be done.” 

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