Minutes of the CPS Board meeting on 25 November 2015
Alison Saunders (Chair)
Helen Starkey - Item 3
Steve White - Item 3
Stephen Shaw - Item 6
Jack Newby - Item 7
Dave Cass - Item 8
Item 1: Minutes and Actions of Last Meeting
1. The minutes of the last meeting held on 24 September 2015 were agreed. Progress was noted against the two actions arising.
Item 2: Diversity & Inclusion
2. Apologies were noted from Sue Owen. This discussion would be deferred to an early 2016 meeting of the CPS Board.
Item 3: People Survey Highlight Results
3. The Board was briefed on key findings of the 2015 CPS People Survey results.
4. Members welcomed the positive picture - of the nine themes in the survey CPS had maintained or improved in all of them.
5. The 1 percentage point increase in CPS Employee Engagement Index (EEI) was considered particularly significant given the degree of change the organisation had experienced over the course of the year and also the uncertainty surrounding the Spending Review.
6. Further investigation would be undertaken to better understand particular aspects of the survey response, including the high "prefer not to say" element in the demographics. Some targeted work would also be done in specific places and for specific groups.
Item 4: Strategic Update
7. The Director updated the Board on the following matters:
- Criminal Justice Board
- Meeting with the shadow Attorney General, Catherine McKinnell MP
- Feedback from visits to CPS Areas
- Senior staff recruitment
- 8. Discussion took place on quorum for the CPS Board and two of its committees. A paper would be provided out of committee for Board members' consideration [ACTION N1].
9. The Chief Executive advised the Board of preparations for the upcoming CPS Senior Management Conference. This would be the start of a wider conversation with staff about our aspirations for the future of the organisation.
10. It was noted that CPS had been shortlisted for a Public Sector Equality Award at the Pink News Awards 2015. The Violence Against Women Strategy Managers had also been commended by the Metropolitan Police in recognition of significant work done around rape.
Item 5: Spending Review
The CPS Spending Review settlement was discussed.
Item 6: Independent Assessor of Complaints Report
The Independent Assessor of Complaints (IAC) presented his bi-annual report covering the period of April to September 2015.
13. The Board commented that these were very useful reports which showed the positive impact of the IAC on the approach to CPS complaints handling since the establishment of the IAC office in 2013. Coupled with the introduction of the Victims Right to Review Scheme (also 2013), it had helped to promote a more positive culture in the organisation.
14. The importance of disseminating good practice and learning from the IAC's work was emphasised. It was suggested that it would be beneficial for the IAC to attend a meeting of the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP) group. [ACTION N2]
Item 7: Q2 Corporate Performance
Corporate performance for Quarter 2 was reviewed and noted.
16. The Board queried the status ratings of some of the projects set out in the CPS Business Plan 2015-16. A view was taken that where an initiative had been subject to external review - such as HMT Major Projects Authority - this rating should take precedence. The CJS Common Platform was cited as an example.
17. A view was also taken that a green rating should be reserved for projects close to completion and properly embedded. On this basis some of the green and amber/green ratings currently awarded to projects in the plan were considered premature.
18. It was agreed that the status ratings for all projects in the CPS Change Portfolio should be reviewed for accuracy and recalibrated in light of the Board's comments [ACTION N3].
Item 8: Q2 Area Performance
Highlights from the report on Quarter 2 Area performance were provided. The Board noted performance trends, comparative performance and national performance for the quarter.
20. It was noted that Custody Time Limit (CTL) failures had been re-introduced as a high weighted measure from Q2 2015-16. This was to recognise the seriousness of failures.
Item 9: CPS London Performance
The Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) and Area Business Manager (ABM) for CPS London attended the meeting to discuss the performance of the Area.
22. Discussion covered performance in both the magistrates' and Crown Court, as well as in rape, domestic violence and sexual offence cases.
Item 10: AOB
The Board joined the DPP in noting their thanks to Jim Brisbane in his role as Chief Operating Officer. He would move to the new role of Internal Assurance Officer from January 2016.
Date of next meeting: 24 February 2016