SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 13:38 08/12/2013
Serious Fraud Office faces cutback
By Andrea Vance – Sunday Star-Times
A 25 per cent funding cut means the Serious Fraud Office will take on less cases, MPs were told this week. Funding to the agency is forecast to decline by 24.7 per cent from $10.180 million in 2013/14 to $7.670 in 2014/15. Parliament’s law and order select committee heard that the number of complaints received has more than doubled from around 200 to 435. But chief executive Julie Read told MPs the agency will have to prioritise the work it does, taking on two out of six low level cases as a deterrent.

“I think it is fair to say that the way we prioritise cases probably changed at the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis overall…I’ve anticipated that foundation will continue but we may have to adopt some additional tactics depending on the nature of the cases.”
–Julie Read

The committee heard the agency is starting to see more corruption and bribery complaints often at the lower level, than bigger finance company cases. In the year ending June 2013, 30 new investigations were launched.
Read more

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

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5 responses to “SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference

  1. Anonymous

    John Key. National Ministers. Corrupt. Corrupted. Corrupting. Corruption.

    Key search terms that belong together.

  2. Well it had to happen. The whole idea of the SFO was to act as a disincentive to would be fraudsters, with the threat of exposure by the office. That has brought about obvious howls of anguish and embarrassment to people in high places. Result, some prominent folk, knights of the realm even, have been exposed for what they are, and they don’t like it. Hence we see the slow removal of the office’s resources whilst the cases escalate. What other conclusion can one come to but that it is a protection racket subtly being initiated. DIA could well use the same excuse, just give it time. We don’t have to look far to see where the pressure is being applied from.

  3. New head of the Serious Fraud Office uses gun on her foot.

    During the course of her presentation, she made the comment, “We are very fortunate to have Justice Heath as our trial judge”.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Mar 2014
    SCF fraud trial delayed
    Comments made at an insolvency law conference last week by the boss of the Serious Fraud Office has delayed the start of New Zealand’s biggest ever fraud trial. SFO director Julie Read referred to Justice Paul Heath, presiding over the South Canterbury Finance (SCF) trial starting in Timaru today, as “our judge” while speaking at the 13th Annual Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Conference in Auckland last week.
    Read more

  4. Martin Legge

    The Government should be slashing the budget of the Auditor General’s Office and Audit NZ and putting those savings into the SFO and the NZ Police to specifically deal with the exponential growth in white collar crime and the high level of corruption now tolerated in this small country. It’s only got this way because of the softly, softly approach that has involved tricky lawyers, accountants and businessmen accustomed to fudging audits and fobbing off auditors. Slashing SFO’s budget is a clear sign that this Govt does not want to know about white collar crime – it’s expensive and embarrassing and often connected to government agencies not doing their job. They want the public to believe that saving lives on our roads, family violence and gangs are all that is bad in NZ!

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