Anti-corruption groups have warned the Serious Fraud Office not to replace criminal charges with deferred prosecution agreements, which face increasing criticism in the US.
DPAs allow companies to pay fines and comply with other measures in exchange for the suspension of a prosecution as long as there is no further wrongdoing. If a company is prosecuted, it can be barred from government tenders and other licences in some jurisdictions.
In a letter to David Green, the SFO’s director, Transparency International, Corruption Watch and Global Witness said the deals should not become a common way to resolve investigations and should be subject to court approval in a public hearing. Granting immunity to individuals should be avoided while companies that are granted DPAs should be given fines of “significant deterrent value”.
The original article can be found at www.ft.com