§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Solicitor-General what new steps her Department took in 2001–02 to consult the users of its services about their wishes and expectations; and if he will publish the findings. 
§ The Solicitor-General
[holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Treasury Solicitor's Department has carried out an extensive consultation exercise with clients in the course of the Quinquennial Review of the Department. The findings were reported and published by the Attorney-General on 3 May 2001. In addition, the Treasury Solicitor's Department carried out annual client satisfaction surveys which seek client Departments' views on the legal service it provides and whether those services meet their expectations. These surveys figure among the SDA targets for the Treasury Solicitor's Department, progress on which will be published in the Department's 2002 departmental report.
The Treasury Solicitor's Department has also recently adopted a client care policy at the core of which is regular contact and discussion with recipients of the legal services they provide.
The concept of user service satisfaction is not easily applicable to the duties of my own Department, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, the primary function of which is to give legal advice to Government, or to the prosecuting authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. However, in relation to the 927W CPS, following the recommendation made at the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry that the CPS should communicate information about its casework decisions direct to victims rather than the police, the CPS launched its Direct Communication with Victims (DCV) scheme in October 2000. Under this scheme the CPS provides reasons to victims whenever it either drops or alters a charge substantially and, in certain cases, it offers to meet face to face to give a fuller explanation if required. In this way the CPS is able to take into account the wishes and expectations of its users.