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Guidance, policy and protocols

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SFO case acceptance: Statement of Principle

Director David Green QC CB refocused the SFO’s approach to case acceptance in 2012, as follows:

The SFO investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes cases of serious or complex fraud (including cases of domestic or overseas bribery and corruption) which, in the opinion of the Director of the SFO, call for the multi-disciplinary approach and legislative powers available to the SFO. In deciding what cases to adopt, the Director will take into account all the circumstances of the case and consider:

  • whether the apparent criminality undermines UK PLC commercial or financial interests in general and in the City of London in particular,
  • whether the actual or potential financial loss involved is high,
  • whether actual or potential economic harm is significant,
  • whether there is a significant public interest element, and
  • whether there is new species of fraud

If you wish to make a report, find the right place to report your information or raise your concerns using our secure reporting form.

Codes and Protocols

In codes and protocols are documents which govern the SFO’s work and aspects of its relationship with certain other bodies.

Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) were introduced on 24 February 2014. A DPA is an agreement between a prosecutor and an organisation which could be prosecuted, under the supervision of a judge. Information, background and guidance on how the prosecution approaches these agreements is published in Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

Bribery Act guidance

Bribery Act: Guidance on adequate procedures facilitation payments and business expenditure.

Corporate self-reporting

Guidance on corporate self-reporting.

SFO Operational Handbook

The Operational Handbook sets out standard processes, instructions and guidance on the conduct of SFO casework. It is intended as a practical reference guide for staff and reflects, rather than dictates, best practice. The handbook is constantly updated in line with changes in legislation and other developments. The externally-published version, which is redacted, will be updated periodically.

Social media policy

A policy on the SFO’s usage of social media platforms.

Complaints policy

How to make a complaint about the SFO.

Information usage disclaimer

A disclaimer on how information obtained by the SFO is used.

Copyright disclaimer

A disclaimer on how material held on the SFO website can be used.