Crown Prosecution Service

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Performance Within The Crown Prosecution Service


The paper is structured as follows. First a review of the relevant literature of ABB is presented. A description of the research method adopted is then given. Next, the results of the empirical study are outlined. Finally, a discussion of the results, together with some concluding remarks, are presented. The CPS had implemented an ABC system since 1995 (Section 4.2 for details). The intention to extend ABC into resource planning was raised during re-organisation in 1999 (reasons of which are discussed in Section 4.1). The CPS has formally adopted the ABP system since 2000 as the only tool for resource allocation across the 42 Areas.

Table of Contents






Literature review8

History of The Company12


Research methodology20


The results of the case study22

The antecedents of the ABP system22

Prerequisite of ABP - a time-based ABC system325

Implementation of the ABP system28

The ABP framework29

Challenges encountered during the implementation of the ABP model30

Accuracy of variable measures in the ABC system30

Uncontrollable factors32

Internal inflexible workforce32

Reliance on other agencies34

Emerging benefits of ABP35

Improved efficiency in the budgetary process35

Horizontal process mapping and creative management36

Informed decision making37


Roles of ABP in organisational changes - informed planning38






With the advent of a Labour government in 1997 the UK Treasury increasingly attempted to encourage agencies to adopt appropriate performance measurement systems (e.g. league tables) both to justify the effective use of public funds and to demonstrate improvements in quality of service (Clatworthy and Mellett, 1997; Lapsley, 1999). To a large extent this was achieved by the adoption of improvement-oriented management and accounting techniques from the private sector (Goddard and Ooi, 1998). Consequently, techniques originating in the private sector, such as total quality management (TQM), business process re-engineering (BPR), balanced scorecard (BSC) and activity-based costing and cost management (ABC/ABCM) became increasingly common features of the public sector (Pollitt, 1993; Brimson and Antos, 1994, Mitchell, 1996; Gurd and Thorne, 2003; Lapsley and Wright, 2004).

Activity-based costing (ABC) systems have provided a basis upon which a variety of activity-based cost management (ABCM) techniques have been developed (Innes and Mitchell, 1995; Innes et al., 2000; Bjørnenak and Mitchell, 2000). One ABCM technique which has been heavily promoted in the professional journal literature is activity-based budgeting (ABB) (Brimson and Fraser, 1991; Brimson and Antos, 1994/1999; Sharman, 1996; Kaplan and Cooper, 1998). It was advocated as one of two alternatives1 to more traditional budgeting approaches in recent developments in budgeting practice (Hansen et al., 2003). It has been suggested that ABB has considerable advantages in the planning and cost control aspects of budgetary practice and that these are manifest both in the ex ante setting of budgetary targets and in the ex post generation of feedback information for management. However, detailed empirical studies, which report practical ABB applications, particularly in the public sector, are limited (Lapsley et al., 2003). Moreover, with a lack of studies which capture the longitudinal nature of the design, implementation and use of ABB system it is difficult to ascertain the ultimate outcome of ABB implementation over traditional budgeting ...
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