David Green, Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, shares the experience of the pursuit and prosecution of high level fraud, bribery and corruption, and details important considerations for the development of similar agencies.
The Commonwealth has a vital role to play in the fight against corruption and is particularly wellplaced to do so. The London ‘Ending Impunity’ Conference organised by the Commonwealth in May 2016, followed by the London Anti-Corruption Summit, were both occasions allowing the powerful articulation of the harm caused by corruption. Further, the Commonwealth has common standards: “no vested interest other than a desire to support member countries”; it has convening power, and geographical reach into Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands. Building on those advantages, there is huge potential for the Commonwealth to be a beacon for anticorruption and a bridge between wealthier and developing nations in this respect.
The UK experience
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has jurisdiction in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and was established in 1988. Our statutory remit covers the most serious and complex cases of fraud and bribery: cases which undermine UK financial and commercial interests in general and the City of London in particular. Our corruption cases typically concern bribery by companies with a link to the UK that pay bribes in order to secure commercial contracts abroad…
Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office