FDA must be consulted

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534

I welcome the call by the Director of Public Prosecutions for the FDA and management to work together in the CPS (interview with Dame Barbara Mills QC, The Lawyer, 1 July).

The FDA has always sought a responsibly funded and organised CPS which can provide both a proper service to the public and career opportunities for our members. However, cuts in funding and the number of lawyers mean our members are now so concerned that they cannot perform their jobs to the standard they would wish.

The FDA's decision to carry out and publish an attitude survey of CPS members was not taken lightly. We believed it was right to voice our members' concerns in public, not to "harm the service", but to seek real improvements.

Following the attorney general's decision to create a chief crown prosecutor for each police force, the FDA asked to be consulted on the new posts. However, the announcement that restructuring may lead to redundancies, without consultation, has undermined the confidence of the dedicated pros- ecutors we represent.

The FDA has made a number of proposals aimed at implementing the reorganisation while keeping job losses to a minimum. We await a positive response from the department so that we can work together for the benefit of the service.

Jonathan Baume

FDA general secretary.