The executive summary: CPS haven't put forward the true cost of in-house advocates for comparison.
The thinking goes like this:
- Barristers charge fees
- We could employ barristers, thus saving the fees
- Err, that's it.
Some of my readers may have noticed that the rest of the world is out-sourcing, sub-contracting and otherwise removing employees from their payrolls. Even the typists in the office here are employed by a service company. The cleaners by a different company again. While most companies are doing what they can to rely on short-term contracts with no obligations towards the provider of that service, we're doing the exact opposite.
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, CPS employees need pensions, sick pay, holiday pay, offices, training, development opportunities, etc. etc. Barristers don't, they get their fee, and that's it. They're on their own for everything else.
The CPS have allowed 10.2% on top of the salaries of the in-house lot to meet fixed costs. Doesn't seem like enough to cover long-term pension liabilities, let alone the running costs for a couple of huge pieces of prime central London commercial real estate.
I suppose we will shortly see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
As a brief p.s., CPS offices across London are now re-locating to police stations, despite "co-location" being one of the justifications for the creation of the CPS -- we wanted to be seen as having independence from the police. Once the big buildings are "off-budget", we will never be able to have our own offices again, as the purchase would be an enormous outlay, and it would look for all the world like money was being spent, and that just wouldn't do, would it?