Chapter 3 – Current and Future Work Programme
It is important that the work of the Inspectorate is relevant to the issues impacting on our communities and within the justice system. In selecting topics for inspection, the Inspectorate adopts an objective risk-based assessment which is informed through consultation with our stakeholders. We also take account of the overarching strategic priority of COPFS to achieve operational effectiveness in all cases.
There are a number of different types of inspection work that can be undertaken by IPS.
We will continue to use thematic reviews to scrutinise areas of work that benefit from a holistic approach. These can be focussed on specific types of case work or business approaches. We will highlight good practice and make recommendations designed to drive improvement and enhance quality.
A robust follow-up process is a critical part of an effective inspection regime and during 2014, the IPS has embarked on a detailed analysis of whether there are any outstanding recommendations from previous IPS reports that require further examination and review. Through this process, IPS is undertaking a follow-up review of the Community Engagement report published in June 2011. In addition, we have introduced a continuous rolling programme following the publication of all reports to monitor the progress made by COPFS in implementing our recommendations and will undertake formal follow-up inspections where necessary and appropriate.
IPS is a member of the UK-wide Heads of Inspectorates Forum which affords an opportunity to compare methodology and learn from the experiences of other mainstream UK inspectors and regulatory agencies. In addition, the legal staff are members of the International Association of Prosecutors which provides an opportunity to network with prosecutors from around the world.
Given the close association between the police and COPFS, IPS regularly meets with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland to consider areas where joint inspection of cross-cutting issues would be of benefit. In addition, IPS liaises with Audit Scotland and the other inspection bodies within the criminal justice system in Scotland to ensure there is no duplication of work but rather that reviews undertaken by IPS complement work undertaken by other inspectorates.
- Thematic report on the management of statutory time limits in solemn proceedings
- Follow-up report on Community Engagement
- Thematic report on the Response and Information Unit (deals with complaints)
- Thematic report on Disclosure
- Follow-up report on Health and Safety Division
- Follow-up report on the Knowledge Bank
- An audit of the procedures governing organ retention
The programme is kept under continual review and altered as necessary to respond to any new challenges or developments which provide identifiable risks for COPFS and the wider criminal justice system.