SFO elaborates on bribery and DPAs

Matthew Wagstaff has spoken on SFO’s priorities and resourcing, and the successes of its collaborations with other enforcement agencies, particularly the DOJ. He spoke of SFO’s perception that the s7 Bribery Act offence has been a big success, as has been the ability generally to hold senior management to account. He moved on to discuss the use of DPAs and the circumstances in which SFO will consider using them. He highlighted factors such as;

  • the seriousness of the predicate offending;
  • the effectiveness of any internal compliance programme;
  • whether there is a history of similar conduct;
  • whether the company has changed its culture;
  • the impact of a prosecution on innocent employees and shareholders; and
  • the extent of co-operation.  He commented that the extraordinary level of cooperation from Rolls Royce had saved it from a prosecution.

Finally, he acknowledged that SFO might consider giving more guidance on what cooperation looks like.