UK Bribery Act – SFO revises guidelines

10 Oct, 2012

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has reviewed its policies on facilitation payments, business expenditure (hospitality) and corporate self-reporting.


The purpose is to restate the SFO’s primary role as an investigator and prosecutor of serious or complex fraud, including corruption, ensure there is consistency with other prosecuting bodies and meet certain OECD recommendations.


This follows launch of a review into the SFO’s guidelines on the much publicised Act, by the organisation’s director, David Green.


The changes mean that those who admit failings to the SFO will no longer be able to assume that they will not be liable for criminal proceedings.


According to the Financial Times, through its website, the SFO said: “The SFO encourages self-reporting and will always listen to what a corporate body has to say about its past conduct: but the SFO offers no guarantee that a prosecution will not follow any such report.


“The SFO is primarily an investigator and prosecutor of serious and/or complex fraud, including corruption. It is not the role of the SFO to provide corporate bodies with advice on their future conduct.”


In a statement from Mr Green, he said that he wanted to ‘re-emphasise that all decisions to prosecute unlawful activity will be governed by the Full Code Test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the applicable joint SFO/CPS prosecution guidance’.

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