Crown Prosecution Service

Attorney-General written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Attorney-General how much of the (a) £14 million underspend identified in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) annual report 2012-13 and (b) £12 million underspend identified in the CPS annual report 2011-12 was carried forward.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald The Solicitor-General

There is no scope for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to carry forward the underspends against its vote reported in its annual accounts. However, under budget exchange, the CPS may reduce its vote by taking a supplementary estimate in advance of the financial year end. Where a Department uses budget exchange, it receives a corresponding budgetary increase in the following year.

In 2011-12, the CPS surrendered £2 million under budget exchange, in return for an increase in budget in 2012-13 of £2 million. In 2012-13, the CPS surrendered £14 million in return for an increase in budget of £12 million. The CPS follows Treasury guidance in maintaining budget carry forwards within prudent limits, and recognises that Departments are under no obligation to surrender their entire forecast underspend.

The CPS aims to spend the right amount of money each year that is needed to fulfil its statutory functions. To achieve this, the CPS maintains an effective system of financial control and closely monitors expenditure against its internal budgets and its overall vote.

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