Ad hoc funding for fraud cases
The organization saw a 62 per cent increase last year from £4.1 million to £6.6 million, according to law firm Pinsent Masons which compiled the data.
The SFO, which has had its budgets cut by around £16 million in the last five years to its current level of £38.7 million with another fall to £33.3 million next year, is allowed to keep some assets seized as a results of its investigations through the Treasury’s Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS).
Ad hoc funding
However, the UK Government has agreed to provide ad hoc funding for large cases including extra funding for a probe into LIBOR issues. Pinsents partner Barry Vitou says that the £2.5 million increase in the SFO’s income from the asset recovery scheme only just makes up for ongoing cuts to the SFO’s operating budget which was cut by £1.2 million in the same period. He said that whilst ad-hoc funding was welcomed, “SFO funding must be consistent and sufficient to enable the SFO to plan ahead with confidence.”