Fraud will flourish under the Conservative's plans for the SFO

Outlined in the Conservative’s manifesto are proposals to incorporate the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the National Crime Agency (NCA). 

Responding to the proposals, Alexandra Runswick, Director of Unlock Democracy, said:

“The Conservative Party’s proposals to incorporate the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency could fatally undermine the body’s independence, and incentivise the politicisation of investigations. Bringing the Serious Fraud Office under the responsibility of the Home Office could open the UK to new risks of corruption and while this policy may be in the interest of some Conservative Party donors, it’s not in the interest of our democracy.

“Just this week the subject of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, Ayman Asfari, made a £50,000 donation [1] to the Conservative's general election campaign. If the Conservative’s proposals went through then ministers would have a vested interest in protecting high profile donors like Mr Asfari. The value of an agency to tackle fraud and corruption lies in its independence - which includes independent from the reaches of government. If the Conservatives are serious about tackling corruption they must reconsider this proposal and commit to properly funding an independent watchdog.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/227227/2017-UKPGE-Pre-poll-donations-and-loans-summary-document-Week-1.pdf