News & what's on - Written by on Thursday, May 18, 2017 14:04 - 0 Comments

Announcement of SFO merger into the NCA must be followed with detailed plans and assurances now

Print Friendly

harlequin-fraud-office“We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency, improving intelligence sharing and bolstering the investigation of serious fraud, money laundering and financial crime.”

In these few words in the Conservative Party Manifesto the fate of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was sealed.

With a Conservative Government considered a racing certainty with the pundits only arguing over the size of the landslide majority  the SFO’s future (or lack of it), merged into the National Crime Agency, is now only a matter of time.

Against this backdrop the focus must shift from the seeking to prevent the SFO takeover by the NCA and should now be on what the merged entity looks like and making good the manifesto pledge that the end of the SFO signals a strengthening of Britain’s response to white collar crime.

As any comms person will tell you  in circumstances like this, first and foremost, PR must be targeted to those working for the SFO.

Like any organisation the SFO is only as strong as its people.  Plans must first be shared with, and assurances given to, those working for the SFO to prevent atrophy of staff, or worse, a mass exodus – either of which would make the ‘merger’ of the SFO into the NCA meaningless.

Second, it is imperative that detailed plans on the future of the ‘SFO’ within the NCA are published and consulted upon more widely to ensure the manifesto pledge to strengthen the response to white collar crime is delivered.

The battle to keep the SFO was never about maintaining an organisation for the sake of it.  Instead it was about a fear that the end of the SFO would signal the end of a focus on the part of law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of serious fraud.

Against a backdrop of Brexit it has never been more important that when it comes to doing business, the UK being considered a safe place with a level playing field for all.

David Green has got his work cut out in the final year of his tenure.

 

Share Button


Comments are closed.

Brought to you by...

Barry Vitou &
Richard Kovalevsky Q.C.

The views expressed on this website are those of Barry Vitou & Richard Kovalevsky QC and/or our guest authors from time to time. Please see our terms of use

in association with...

Our Tweets

Friday, August 11, 2017 20:40

Former DoJ chief Sally Yates on being fired by Trump https://t.co/lmCjHKXJBj via @FT

Sunday, June 11, 2017 8:18

Opinion: As debate shifts from future of SFO to future of Theresa May we say: At last, fund the SFO properly. https://t.co/PwuCqHPkTq

Friday, June 9, 2017 12:21

SFO cat uses up another life! SFO set to stay after Theresa May's authority is seriously undermined.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:44

Opinion: Conservatives must answer two basic questions about the plan to merge the SFO into the NCA https://t.co/OREkjacH2H

Thursday, May 18, 2017 21:07

Announcement of SFO merger into the NCA must be followed with detailed plans and assurances to SFO plans now https://t.co/Sbq5zt9yWP