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SFO closure endangers UK’s clout on corruption

As Transparency International today launches its 2011 progress report on enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the organisation’s UK Chapter has voiced grave concern over reports that the Government intends to close the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

25 May 2011 – The TI Progress Report on Enforcement of the OECD Convention which covers 37 countries, notes that the UK has prosecuted 17 bribery cases and conducted 26 investigations. Due to the positive actions of the SFO and the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit of the City of London Police the UK has, for a second year, been ranked in the ‘active enforcement’ category – the top tier for enforcement action on bribery of foreign officials, alongside the USA, Germany and other leading countries.

While welcoming this improvement, Transparency International UK is strongly concerned that the UK may slip back due to the Government’s muddled approach to enforcement against foreign bribery and poorly-conceived proposals to replace the SFO.

Chandrashekhar Krishnan Executive Director of Transparency International UK, said “It is in the UK’s economic self-interest to create bribe-free international resources-resources-business, but the reported closure of the SFO without any public consultation threatens to reverse the UK’s improving enforcement record. The proposed alternative will downgrade corruption as a priority and starve it of dedicated resources. This will disadvantage all honest UK companies.

“If this Government is to convince others in the G20 and OECD to create a level playing field the UK’s record on combating corruption must be beyond reproach. However, in the light of the delays over the Bribery Act and the near-invisible Anti-Corruption Champion, the proposal to abolish the SFO seems like further evidence that the Government does not take corruption seriously. “

To download a copy of the report click here

A group of NGOs including Transparency International UK, have written a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the reported closure of the SFO. The letter can be downloaded here



Read 2335 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

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