Clause 34 - Conduct of prosecutions on behalf of the Office

Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 18 January 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill. 

Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I shall speak briefly to the clause because I have one or two general points to make may that be of interest, particularly to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory), who is not yet in his place.

I draw attention to the clause because it is a new provision. It permits the director of the RCPO to appoint legally qualified persons who are not employed by him to institute, conduct and advise on prosecutions following HMRC investigations. Appointed persons will need to have the same legal qualification as RCPO prosecutors. The director may appoint such persons on a single set of proceedings or on a specified class of proceedings. Those persons must act in accordance with any instructions given by the director or a designated Revenue and Customs prosecutor. Such flexibility in staffing will be essential to the director, so that the director can properly meet all the requirements of the substantial number of prosecution cases that the RCPO is expected to conduct.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 34 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 35 ordered to stand part of the Bill.