Serious Fraud Office requests ‘blockbuster’ funding
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has asked the Treasury for extra funding amounting to 60% of its budget to pay for major investigations.
A written ministerial statement by solicitor general Robert Buckland QC (pictured) said the SFO is also asking for a cash advance of £15.5m from the contingencies fund to meet ‘an urgent cash requirement for existing services’ to tide it over until parliament approves the full £21.1m of extra funding.
The request for the 'blockbuster' funding comes in addition to a £10m top-up the fraud agency has already received this year.
The latest request amounts to more than 60% of the SFO’s £33.8m budget for the 2015-2016 financial year. Along with the additional £10m, this puts the agency’s budget at almost double what was originally allocated.
If the funding request is granted, this will leave the fraud agency’s annual budget set to hit £64.9m this year, up 13% from the £57.4m the agency received last year.
Buckland said that the funding would be used to cover the cost of ‘significant investigations and the settlement of material liabilities’.
The application for additional funding comes days after the office announced that it will next month charge 11 individuals accused of rigging the Euribor interest rate.
Other ongoing investigations include alleged bribery at engineering group Rolls-Royce, claims of overseas corruption at GSK and a probe into commercial arrangements between Barclays and Qatar Holdings.