The Serious Fraud Office has published new Strategic Areas of Focus, targeting its efforts where it believes its specialist resources can have the greatest impact in disrupting and deterring serious or complex fraud, including corruption.
The SFO will aim to have at least 40% of its cases fall within its new Strategic Areas of Focus and will update the list every 12 – 18 months.
“The SFO has developed a new Statement of Intent for 2023-27(external link) which outlines our priorities for the next four years,” says SFO Director Karen Chang.
“The SFO’s remit is broad, spanning across all sectors and industries, with the discretion to select which cases it takes. One of our priorities is Case Impact, to target cases that have the greatest potential to disrupt and deter serious or complex fraud.
“We are focused on creating a ripple effect from our work that acts to disrupt and deter offenders, through the judicial process and our work in lifting awareness and counter fraud prevention capability.
“To help us achieve the Case Impact priority, we have developed Strategic Areas of Focus to guide our decision-making and to signal to stakeholders where we are looking to focus our attention and resources.
“These focus areas are intended to be dynamic and responsive to issues that we believe are particularly pertinent to New Zealand’s economic and financial wellbeing in the current environment.”
The Strategic Areas of Focus for the next 12-18 months are:
- Corporate and commercial fraud that threatens New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business
- Misappropriation of targeted Government funding (including emergency recovery or rebuild)
- Disruption of emerging trends
- Foreign bribery or foreign influence allegations
- Fraud that targets or disproportionately harms a particularly vulnerable community or group
- Corruption of public officials where health and safety is compromised
- Frauds perpetrated or facilitated by trusted professionals or professional enablers
“The list does not represent the entirety of SFO’s caseload and we continue to encourage complainants to approach us about any allegations involving suspected serious or complex fraud,” says Ms Chang.
For more information: sfo.govt.nz/fraud-and-corruption/what-we-do/strategic-areas-of-focus/ (external link)
Our Strategic Areas of Focus are designed to help our stakeholders understand where we believe we can have the greatest impact and where we will be focusing our resources moving forward. They should not be taken as confirmation that we have received complaints or opened investigations in any of these areas, or that we will investigate all complaints within these areas.
Any complaints or referrals we receive within the Strategic Areas of Focus will also be assessed against our statutory criteria, including the scale of the alleged crime, its impact on victims, its complexity and the degree of public interest.