With reference to the article by William Boyce QC and Rachna Gokani, it is wrong of them to say of the SFO ‘…At every turn, prior authority is required from internal managers for expenditure regarded as essential by the case lawyers. Delays in authorisation are inevitable and case-damaging caps on expenditure may be expected…’
I do not think any of our current case controllers would recognise this picture.
While our core budget, like that of any other government department, is constrained, we have access to additional ‘blockbuster’ funding from HM Treasury for particularly large cases. Last year, this amounted to £24m, which included provision for Libor (on which we now have about 70 people working full tilt, with 12 people so far charged and awaiting trial), and the Rolls-Royce and Barclays Qatar investigations.
None of these cases, nor any others, are stalled due to internal financial processes. The SFO is clear that its remit is to tackle the most serious fraud, bribery and corruption. There is always more work to do, but we do not decline or delay cases on cost grounds.
David Green CB QC, director, Serious Fraud Office