More ‘diligent’ auditing required to halt bribery

Auditors should be sifting ‘more diligently’ through company accounts to root
out bribery by UK companies overseas.

Officials of Global Witness made the demand in response to
being considered
by the Serious Fraud Office that companies could cut deals
to admit bribery in return lighter sentences.

In a letter to the Financial Times the Global Witness officers said:
‘The SFOs capacity to investigate foreign bribery should be massively
reinforced, not pared back. We also need a crackdown on offshore tax havens that
launder bribes and a requirement for auditors to sift more diligently through
company accounts, especially in high-risk industries such as oil and arms.’

Global Witness argues there is only value in cutting deals if there is a real
fear of being prosecuted and currently the SFO does not present that fear.

Proposals for plea bargaining are due to emerge as part of a consultancy on
the work of the SFO triggered by its new director Richard Alderman, according to
The Sunday Time.

Alderman has already proved controversial by saying that the SFO should
involve itself in more consumer fraud cases, a suggestion that was widely

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