News & what's on - Written by on Monday, September 12, 2011 23:45 - 1 Comment

Enforcement risk: SFO resources committed to bribery investigations

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We are often asked the question.  How much money does the SFO have to investigate corruption?

There has been discussion that the budgeted spend for Bribery Act enforcement is around £2 million.  While that is correct the actual SFO resources committed to it are much more and are likely to continue to be more.

On 19th July Richard Alderman and gave evidence to International Development Committee, Financial Crime and Development.

In evidence to this committee Richard Alderman confirmed that the £40 million budget in 2009-10 had been cut to about £29 million at the end of the triennial spending review period.

While this is the case the Director of the SFO confirmed that, “At the moment, the amount of resource that we commit to dealing with bribery and corruption is about £4.9 million and we have about 80 staff dealing with this area of work.  We have about 26 cases involving bribery. Clearly, at the moment all of those cases involve the pre-Bribery Act law.”

Going forward Mr. Alderman confirmed that the “estimate is that Bribery Act cases are likely to involve a resource of about £2 million a year.”

However he was at pains to point out that this sum  “is not ring-fenced within the SFO; it is simply an estimate of the cost. We will in fact be devoting much more money to that. We have already devoted more than £4.9 million to this area of work. We have a very flexible workforce that we can move between different priorities to be able to deal with this particular area.”

So. The £2 million estimate is just that – an estimate and one which is, in fact, being exceeded by more than double and it is anticipated that the SFO will in fact be devoting more money than the estimate going forward.

Our view: Hoping that improper conduct will not be discovered is a big gamble.  Don’t bet on it.


Image © Crown Copyright 2011

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[…] reminds that though the explicit budget to enforce the U.K. Bribery Act is small there will be a lot of other resources at the disposal of the […]

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