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Serious Fraud Office

Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made any assessment of the current morale of officials in the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) compared to the level prior to the Government’s intervention into the SFO’s investigation of BAE Systems.[HL1422]

The Government did not intervene into the Serious Fraud Office investigation of BAE Systems.

The SFO Statement published on 14 December 2006 made it clear that the decision to discontinue the investigation into the affairs of BAE Systems in connection to the Al Yamamah defence contract had been taken by the director of the SFO, following representations made both to the Attorney-General and the director concerning the need to safeguard national and international security.

Morale within the SFO remains high. The SFO has a heavy and continuing case load across a wide variety of investigations apart from those relating to overseas corruption. SFO staff members are professionals and are well used to ongoing assessment of the various factors that may affect the continuance of an investigation. They recognise that not all investigations result in prosecution.