I am today publishing the Government response to the “Consultation on a new enforcement tool to deal with economic crime committed by commercial organisations: Deferred Prosecution Agreements1”.
Economic crime is far from victimless and has a pernicious and damaging effect on our economy and on that of the wider world. Options for dealing with offending by commercial organisations are currently limited and the number of outcomes each year, through both criminal and civil proceedings, is too low. The Government’s consultation paper set out their proposals for an additional tool for prosecutors to deal effectively with white collar crime committed by organisations, the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).
Some 86% of responses to our consultation agreed that DPAs can play a vital role in helping to overcome the challenges of bringing organisations that commit wrongdoing to justice. There was widespread support for an approach that ensures that redress is available, with wrongdoing seeing the light of day, victims properly compensated and offending organisations facing stringent sanctions. Respondents also endorsed our proposed operational model and processes.
Primary legislation is required to provide for deferred prosecution agreements and accordingly the Government are today tabling amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill which is currently being considered by the House of Lords.
Copies of the document have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, in the Vote Office and in the Printed Paper Office. The document is also available online, at: www.justice.gov.uk/consultations.
1Command Paper 8348, 17 May 2012.