11 Aug TaxPayers’ Alliance Hits Out at SFO Over Keydata Investigation
The FTAdvisor is reporting that the TaxPayers' Alliance has criticised the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the handling of the investigation into Keydata Investment Services after the SFO admitted it had no record of how much taxpayer money was spent during the investigation.
Emma Boon, campaign director for the alliance, said it was “unacceptable” that the group had failed to keep records over the course of the two year probe. She added "It is totally unacceptable that the SFO will not account for how it is spending taxpayers’ money. Records must be kept and it is absolutely within reason to expect it to provide at least an estimate of what any given investigation has cost.
"Simply saying that resources are deployed across various cases
does not offer the public a decent insight into whether or not they are getting value for money out of the SFO or any particular investigation. The SFO must be accountable for how it is spending taxpayers’ money."
The failure to record the information was revealed after a Freedom of Information request showed that there was no information to be requested. This prompted the SFO to release a statement which said "It is not possible to provide a figure for how much money was spent to investigate Keydata, owing to the way in which the SFO deploys its resources across cases.
"We are unable to isolate resources to a degree that would provide accurate information within the allowable costs limit."
The SFO has already dropped the investigation due to insufficient evidence earlier in the year after launching it in 2009
Colin Parkin, director of Lincolnshire-based IFA Ample Financial Services was also angered by the SFO's response, stating "It is ludicrous the SFO says it cannot provide information on how much the investigation cost.
Surely if it spends money, it must be accountable for where it goes."