22 August 2007 | Antony Barton
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has begun the procurement process for a system that will allow the electronic presentation of court evidence.
It has issued a tender notice for an Electronic Preparation and Presentation of Evidence (EPPE) framework agreement to cover scanning and presentation hardware and software. It seeks a "limited panel" of providers of EPPE, replacing 71 suppliers currently used throughout CPS London and its headquarters.
The CPS has experimented with EPPE in court cases before. In a recent complex fraud trial, R v Doglov, the case required around 50,000 statements and 1,200 exhibits, taking two years to bring to court.
EPPE services provided by two suppliers, including the use of DVDs and laptops, meant the case was concluded in three weeks, rather than the expected minimum of eight.
A CPS statement said: "The impact of EPPE is, in principle, savings in photocopying, preparation and trial time for the prosecutor, caseworker, both prosecution and defence counsel and court process overall. This makes the justice process more cost-effective and efficient in its delivery, and the CPS is aiming for a 25% reduction in EPPE costs."