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Bribery Laws

Volume 584: debated on Tuesday 8 July 2014

6. What steps he is taking to ensure that offences against bribery laws are prosecuted successfully.


The CPS is the principal prosecutor of domestic bribery, and the Serious Fraud Office has lead responsibility for enforcing the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010 in respect of overseas corruption. I hold regular meetings with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the director of the SFO to discuss issues affecting their respective organisations. I am satisfied that both organisations are well positioned to enforce bribery laws, as is well illustrated by the major investigations into cases of suspected foreign bribery that the SFO has commenced.

If the SFO wants to investigate a major bribery case, it has to go cap in hand to the Treasury to beg for funds. What steps is the Attorney-General taking to ensure that the SFO is not just independent, but seen to be completely independent?

I do not think that the SFO does have to go cap in hand to the Treasury. The SFO can go to the Treasury for special funding. The difficulty has always been that some cases require a lot of funds, and if they are not being inquired into, the SFO is probably receiving more money in any given year than it needs. I accept that this is an issue, and the hon. Gentleman is right to raise it, but I am satisfied that the SFO has not been prevented by financing from investigating any cases it wishes. That is a good starting point.