Union challenges CPS use of consultants

The union representing senior civil servants has asked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to provide all its staff with a copy of the Glidewell report, rather than using outside consultants to “put a spin” on it.

In a sharply worded letter to CPS director of corporate services David Nooney this month, the First Division Association (FDA) reveals its concern at “the gravest anxieties and apprehensions of the CPS staff”.

The letter follows last month's revelation by The Lawyer that the CPS was hiring outside consultants to explain the review to staff and the public.

The review was originally due to be published last December, but its publication has now been delayed until May.

In the letter, FDA convener Kevin Goodwin asks senior management to reveal the consultants' costs and questions the use of “scarce” CPS resources on explaining the report to staff, rather than “simply providing all staff with a copy of the review”.

The CPS has defended its use of Crown Communications, the outside consultancy that will help it explain the report to the public, but has refused to comment on its use of advisers to help it explain the report to staff.

These advisers are understood to include ex-employees Derek Wiblin and Bill Clark, who helped Director of Public Prosecutions Dame Barbara Mills QC reorganise the CPS shortly after she became DPP.