Corporate Offences

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 13th November 2012.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price Conservative, Thurrock 11:30 am, 13th November 2012

What progress he has made in tackling corporate offences of fraud, bribery and money laundering.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

The coalition has a clear commitment to tackling corporate offending: we implemented the Bribery Act 2010 from July 2011; we published the “Fighting Fraud Together” strategy, which is led by the National Fraud Authority; we established the Economic Crime Command in 2011, as part of the National Crime Agency; and we introduced provisions on deferred prosecution agreements in England and Wales in the Crime and Courts Bill.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price Conservative, Thurrock

Clearly the infrastructure is in place for prosecuting these offences. Will my right hon. Friend work closely with the Serious Fraud Office to ensure that prosecutions are brought against corporate bodies when offences have been committed?

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

My hon. Friend makes an important point, but of course the SFO acts independently of Government. As I said, the Government take all forms of economic crime seriously and what we can do is provide the SFO and other prosecutorial bodies with the tools they need to carry out their roles. That is why, for example, we introduced clauses to provide for the deferred prosecution agreements, which we think will be a valuable tool. They have tough requirements, such as a financial penalty, reparation for victims and repayments of profits. That kind of practical tool in the hands of the prosecutors will make us much more effective at fighting economic crime.