The Serious Fraud Office must be careful not to say anything that might compromise an ongoing investigation or a matter that is proceeding through the Court.
The following matters are considered when the SFO decides whether to issue a public statement:
- public interest
- reputational damage or harm to individuals or businesses under investigation
- level of detail required to ensure high levels of accuracy in reporting
- other information which is in the public arena – e.g. confirmation of a referral to the SFO by another agency
- investigations into the relevant matter by other organisations
- Solicitor-General guidelines – Media Protocol for Prosecutors
The SFO will not generally comment on an investigation until the point where charges (if any) are
A statement that the SFO is investigating a person or entity can cause damage which cannot be
remedied, even where it is later decided there is insufficient evidence to commence proceedings.