When the RCPO merged with the CPS, the powers and duties of the predecessor office transferred to the successor. The RCPO itself was established by CRCA 2005, s. 34 with effect from 18 April 2005. Its head was the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions who was appointed by the Attorney-General (CRCA 2005, s. 34(1)). It was therefore independent from HMRC. The Director, and his staff, collectively known as the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office (‘RCPO’):
•could institute and conduct criminal proceedings; and
•were to take over the conduct of criminal proceedings which had already been instituted by HMRC.