SOCA chair voluntarily resigns after failing to declare potential conflict of interest

Sir Ian Andrews has announced he is resigning from his position as chair of the Serious Organised Crime Agency after failing to declare a potential conflict of interests. In a letter to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz, Andrews apologised for what he said was both a “genuine and unintentional oversight" when he failed to declare he became a director of Abis Partnership – the company through which he provides management consultancy services to clients he did not declare. Andrews’ original four year appointment is due to expire at the end of this week, but it was meant to be extended to cover the remaining life of SOCA. However, given the standard of integrity expected of the head of a public law enforcement agency, he said he felt there was no choice but to resign. He said this was a “huge disappointment” given his rigour in avoiding conflicts of interest in a public service career spanning nearly forty years. “I very much regret that this may damage the reputation of an Agency with which I have been immensely proud to have been associated for the last four years and which I was looking forward to seeing into the new National Crime Agency, of which I remain a strong and committed supporter.”