SFO must rebuild its capabilities, minister says
The Serious Fraud Office must rebuild its capabilities and work more effectively with other regulators, the minister in charge of it says.Judith Collins said the SFO had suffered from years of political neglect and recent experiences had shown the oversig
The Serious Fraud Office must rebuild its capabilities and work more effectively with other regulators, the minister in charge of it says.
Judith Collins said the SFO had suffered from years of political neglect and recent experiences had shown the oversight and enforcement or rules designed to protect investor interests were not up to scratch.
"I can't help but think how many investors might still have their life savings today if business regulations had been more robust and the SFO had been well supported, well resourced and backed politically over the past decade," she said in a speech to a business audience in Auckland.
"At a time when there was a pressing need to boost oversight of the financial services industry, the Clark government signalled its intention to disband the SFO."
The previous government had intended merging it with the police, but National stopped the move when it won the 2008 election.
Ms Collins said the Government was strongly supporting the SFO as it rebuilt its capabilities.
"There is no place for cowboys when it comes to people's savings...investors must have the confidence that their money will be safe in the productive sector."
Ms Collins said she expected the SFO to work closely with receivers, the business community, professional organisations and others who had an interest in a corruption-free New Zealand.
"It will also be crucial that the SFO works more effectively with other regulators to ensure a speedier, united response to cases of suspected fraud.
"Perhaps more importantly, it will be expected to set clear priorities based around their impact on the public and the New Zealand economy."
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