Adequate Procedures - Written by on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 17:25 - 1 Comment

“Don’t believe everything you read in the papers” – SFO “staying as it is” Home Secretary tells Parliament

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“Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers” was the Home Secretary, Theresa May’s response to the Times story (we reported on here) that the SFO is under a 12 month review following a question from Catherine McKinnell MP (Shadow Solicitor General).

The Home Secretary went on to say that “…there is no suggestion that the SFO has been put under 12 months notice…the SFO is continuing to operate and exist as it has done…” [skip to 36 minutes and 10 seconds in for the exchange on the embedded clip] For those of you unable to watch iPlayer the written Hansard record is here.

The SFO, and in particular its Director, Richard Alderman and outgoing General Counsel Vivian Robinson QC, will be pleased with this outcome though will be disappointed that the announcement today did not include reference to the creation of new powers to enter into Deferred Prosecution Agreements. However the FT reports that the Attorney General will be looking into these.

In the words of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might find, you get what you need”

The confirmation in parliament that the SFO has been saved is a significant victory for the SFO and we hope that it can now put behind it the recent months of uncertainty which have been marked by departures and low morale at the organisation.

The certain future of the SFO is good news for business who can now be assured that the reasonable enforcement approach detailed by the SFO over recent months is now secure and that if they wish a dialogue can take place with the SFO in the certain knowledge that the organisation will be in existence in a years time.

Video © BBC Democracy Copyright 2011

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