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How to use our publication scheme

The classes of information we intend to publish are grouped in the scheme under broad headings to describe the type of information you can expect to find. Under each broad heading, there are identifiable classes of information that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) publishes or intends to publish.

The broad headings into which we have grouped classes of information in this scheme are:

  • The CPS as an organisation
  • reports
  • business plans
  • national protocols and agreements with other agencies
  • performance management information
  • prosecution policy and guidance
  • Equality and Diversity policy and guidance
  • Human Resources policy and guidance
  • Finance policy and guidance
  • Business Information Systems policy and guidance
  • Communications policy and guidance
  • minutes of meetings.

The classes describe one or more documents setting out formal information, policy or conclusions on the subject indicated. Under each class there can be found:

  • a brief description of the information available within the class
  • an indication of how the information is made available (for example on a website or by post)
  • details of any charges for providing the information
  • some classes also include additional information under notes to help you.

Information on our website may be downloaded without the need to make any payment to the CPS. The publication scheme also indicates where paper copies of some documents are available for free. Where individuals can demonstrate that it is not practicable for them to access the information electronically via the website, and where the publication scheme does not indicate that paper copies of the information are available, we will consider the most appropriate method of providing access. Information indicated in our scheme as being available by post will be sent to you promptly, and definitely within 20 working days of the request being received.

There will be a charge for providing some of the information included in our scheme. Any charges payable under the scheme will need to be paid in advance.

Unless otherwise indicated, information published under the scheme may be copied for personal use without the need to make any payment to the CPS.

Publication of some documents (such as minutes of meetings) may be delayed to allow actions to take place. Sometimes information may not be provided where, in the view of the department, particular information should not be disclosed as a matter of confidentiality, unwarranted invasion of privacy, commercial sensitivity or other specified grounds including the public interest.

Generally, access will rarely be provided to criminal case file data as most of it falls within the privacy provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. However, each application for information will be considered separately and a decision about provision of information will be made on a case-by-case basis.

If any information within a class is considered to be exempt in accordance with the exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, this will be made clear within the relevant document. Any exemptions relied upon will be specified and explained.

This publication scheme is not retrospective. We therefore do not undertake to publish information created and held by the CPS prior to the end of June 2003.

Information falling into the classes will be retained according to the CPS retention and disposal schedules, which have been created on the basis of guidelines provided by the Public Record Office.