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SFO pressed to cut ‘blockbuster funding’ to tackle staffing issues

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The Serious Fraud Office would be better value for money if its dependence on “blockbuster funding” was reduced, according to a government report that found the SFO’s current funding model is leading to staffing gaps.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has published a report into the SFO’s governance arrangements that detailed nine recommendations for improvement.

They include considering appointing a chief executive and reducing the size of the management board and setting up an executive management board.

The report said the “poor organisational culture of the past” had changed since the appointment of director David Green in 2012.

However, it said the SFO should rely less on blockbuster funding – used to cover large-scale inquiries – because it was leading to staffing gaps with 21% of SFO employees non-permanent.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate chief inspector Kevin McGinty says: “Whilst 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.”

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