Guidance on ABWOR expenditure changes

Changes to the initial authorised expenditure limit in Criminal ABWOR when a Criminal Justice Social work report (CJSW/SER) is likely.

As part of the increase in fees , which happened earlier this year, it has been recognised that the initial limit of authorised expenditure in ABWOR cases is no longer high enough to accommodate add on fees which can be claimed if a Criminal Justice Social Work Report (CJSW) is considered at one of the first 2 deferred sentence hearings.

As a result of this a new question has been added to the ABWOR details page of the application which allows the user to advise if a SER/CJSW is likely. Once Yes is selected to this, and the application has been submitted, the online system will now automatically generate an increase in authorised expenditure to cover the additional cost of the SER/CJSW.

The new authorised expenditure limits which will apply, when Yes is ticked to the “Is an SER/CJSW report likely” question, are £600 in the Sheriff court and £250 in the Justice of the peace (JP) court.  The SER/CJSW increase will be granted from the date the ABWOR application is submitted to the Board.

Another change has also been made to the expenditure limit in JP cases, when Yes is ticked to the SER/CJSW question, and a Special reasons proof (SRP) is heard.  In these cases the expenditure limit will increase to £400 to cover the cost of the SER/CJSW and the SRP.