Governance at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has improved significantly since the appointment of David Green as director, a report out today has found.
The HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate report discovered that the fraud squad had achieved a fundamental shift in its leadership over the last four years.
In particular, the report praises the agency for turning around staff morale, improving engagement with stakeholders and developing more effective quality control and risk assessment measures.
"SFO cases are complex, lengthy and difficult, with huge amounts of information to analyse and there are often multiple paths that could be taken," noted chief inspector of HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Kevin McGinty. "The current director recognised that challenge to the decision making processes is vital and built this function into the organisation’s structure."
However, the report highlighted a few areas where the SFO could improve, such as improving awareness of value for money, particularly in reference to blockbuster funding, considering appointing a chief executive and improving reporting lines between committees and the board.
McGinty continued: "Serious consideration should…be given to pursuing a change to the funding model in order to provide better value for money.
"While blockbuster funding has allowed the SFO to pursue cases it would not otherwise have had the resources to take on, increasing core funding would provide the SFO with the ability to build more capacity and capability in-house."
David Green, director of the SFO, said: "I welcome this helpful and positive report on the governance of the SFO. I am pleased that the progress we have made since April 2012 [when Green was appointed] is recognised.
“The Inspectorate’s recommendations for further potential reform are already being carefully considered – these include the recommendation to appoint a chief executive/operating chief, changing the structure of the management board and giving new consideration to our funding model.”
Green had his contract for his role extended until 2018 earlier this year, having been originally due to step away from the job in April.