The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is in discussions with the Treasury over possible funding changes that could mean it has a bigger annual budget.
At present, the SFO has a basic annual budget of £31M. But it can ask for extra funding for what have been termed “blockbuster’’ cases; which require huge additional resources.
Observers have previously criticised funding for the SFO for hampering its effectiveness. They have argued that one-off blockbuster funding provides much-needed resources in a special situation but does little to help the SFO attract and retain the best talent.
Some supporters of the SFO have argued that a bigger budget is necessary if it is to be as effective as possible. They claim that case-by-case funding and the current annual budget stifle its attempts to plan for the long term and make the most efficient use of its resources.
What must be remembered, however, is that the SFO is far from being a weak and ineffective agency. It has a range of unique powers that it can use when investigating suspected wrongdoing and has, in recent years, shown a more shrewd use of these powers when deciding how to pursue cases.
Anyone investigated by the SFO must, therefore, know exactly how to respond to it. Failing to take the appropriate legal advice could prove a costly mistake.
Read our article: THE SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE, WAYS TO DEAL WITH IT