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SFO resource deficit endangers anti-bribery effort

The UK Government must strengthen its anti-bribery effort by ensuring that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has adequate resources to investigate and prosecute bribery, warns anti-corruption group Transparency International UK.


6 September 2012 – In a new report published today, Exporting Corruption, Transparency International reveals that although UK bribery cases increased over the past year, cutbacks to the SFO could see a decline in future UK enforcement. The Government has cut more than a third of the SFO’s budget in the last four years, hampering the prosecutor’s ability to tackle complex and damaging bribery cases.

If the Government is serious about fighting corruption, it should not be cutting resources for enforcing the legislation designed to do just that.” said Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK. “We must ensure that the SFO is not outgunned by those it should be prosecuting, who incidentally can usually afford the best legal advice available. The SFO should never be in a position where it is unable to investigate and prosecute cases due to a lack of resources.

International comparisons

Governments across the world must do much more to encourage clean resources-resources-business and punish corporate crime, according to the TI Report. It shows that 18 out of 37 countries have not yet brought any criminal charges for major cross-border corruption by companies, while only 7 countries, including the UK, are actively enforcing anti-bribery law.

  • There were 144 new cases worldwide in 2011, 6 of them in the UK
  • Over 250 individuals and almost 100 companies were sanctioned as a result of anti-bribery cases up to 2011. 66 people have gone to jail for the crime of bribing overseas officials in resources-resources-business deals since OECD countries agreed to make it a crime in 1999.
  • The United States shows the highest enforcement with 275 cases completed by the end of 2011. Germany is the only other country to have completed more than 100 cases (176).
  • Canada is still the worst performing G8 country, but with 34 on-going investigations, it joins Australia and Austria as the most improved enforcers, all three having completed their first major case in 2011.
  • Japan and France are the biggest economies that have brought less than 10 major cases.

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Read 3511 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

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