4 REVIEW OF INSPECTION
In September 2007 the Crerar Review (commissioned by Scottish Ministers) was published. Its remit had been to evaluate the current system of regulation, audit, inspection and complaints handling. It was the most recent in a line of reports looking at the philosophy of inspection and in keeping with developing methodology stressed that the primary responsibility for improving services lay with the organisations themselves and rigorous self assessment should be pursued.
A risk based approach focused on the user should be used by inspection bodies and the report suggested the creation of a single inspection body. On the topic of self assessment the report stressed that it had to be robust with some organisations further advanced than others and inspectorates should assist organisations evolve rigorous self assessment models. There should be a move away from routine cyclical inspection to more focused thematic reviews.
The broad thrust of the Crerar Review was accepted and 2009 should see further implementation once an agreed way forward has been decided.
In keeping with other inspectorates the Inspectorate of Prosecution has reviewed its business programme and a temporary halt has been agreed with the Lord Advocate on the Area Inspections. This is pending consideration of the Service's proposals for enhanced self assessment.
In January 2008 the Crown Office published a Review of the Senior Structures in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. Since the publication of the Jandoo Report in 2001 (which led to the creation of the independent Inspectorate of Prosecution) the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has undergone considerable reorganisation with the creation of 11 Areas producing a framework within which increased self regulation became possible including the creation of a National Database and a strengthening of Management Information Division in Crown Office. At that time it was expected the new Inspectorate would have a role in reviewing the arrangements for self regulation to ensure they were operating consistently across the Service and providing effective performance management information which was acted on.
The 2008 Senior Structures Review built on these changes recommending the creation of a Chief Operating Officer post (now titled Chief of Strategic Delivery) to strengthen strategic planning capability at the centre. This new command would be expected to take on board assurance of quality and application of best practice. A standard approach was recommended for Area Fiscals to use as self audit of marking decisions and quality of operations including quality of case preparation. At the time of this report the new unit was in the process of being created. A close working relationship between it and the Inspectorate is expected to develop.