MPs seek details of CPS' use of advisers for Glidewell response

THE PUBLIC accounts committee has asked for more information on the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) use of outside advisers.

The inquiry comes after The Lawyer's report last week that the CPS had brought in consultants to help it respond to Sir Iain Glidewell's review of the service.

But the committee, which subjected Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dame Barbara Mills QC, to a grilling in February after she admitted having to cancel the CPS's flagship computer system, is insisting the move does not amount to a formal investigation.

A spokesman for the committee said: “The chairman, David Davis, has asked the National Audit Office to find out what this is all about before he makes any further judgement whatsoever.”

Last week, The Lawyer revealed that the CPS was using outside consultants to help it draw up its response to the draft findings of the report, whose publication has had to be delayed until May.

Since then it has emerged that the service has also hired a firm of communications consultants, Crown Communications, to help it explain the report to staff when it is published.

The CPS has vigorously defended its use of Crown Communications, but it is refusing to comment on its use of advisers to help it respond to the draft findings of the report.

They are understood to be ex-employees Derek Wiblin and Bill Clark, who helped Mills reorganise the CPS shortly after she became DPP.

A CPS spokeswoman said: “The report is still in draft form. We have been invited to provide our comments and this is what we are doing. How we do it is a matter for us.”