Transparency International-USA slams SFO

The UK’s fraud office has been slammed for failing to bring to court foreign
bribery cases.

Nancy Boswell, the president and chief executive of Transparency
International-USA, was commenting on the Serious Fraud Office in a letter to the

Boswell said the SFO’s termination of the high-profile investigation into
foreign bribery allegations against BAE Systems cast doubt on its ‘commitment’
to fighting corruption.

‘Against that backdrop, the Serious Fraud Office’s consideration of the US
approach to confronting foreign bribery can be worthwhile if properly adopted,’
she said.

She suggested the SFO consider ‘deferred prosecution agreements’ as a tool
when dealing with companies.

‘Far from letting companies off lightly, such agreements generally require
companies to admit any wrongdoing, pay stiff penalties, co-operate in ongoing
investigations (which can lead to criminal prosecution of individuals), and –
vital to future prevention – to implement anti-bribery compliance programmes and
engage an independent compliance monitor for up to three years to ensure
implementation and to report back to the government on its findings,’ she said.

Further reading:

wants plea-bargain system for bribery cases

SFO chief faces fresh round of criticism

Fight against corporate crime under threat

SFO’s weaknesses detailed in De Grazia review

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