On June 1, 2021, the Serious Fraud Office recently pledged to improve its complaint handling procedures based on the results of a report published on February 25, 2021 by the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI). The Director of the SFO Lisa Osofsky stated that SFO accepted all of the findings of the HMCPSI and intended to act upon its recommendations to improve the handling of complaints and address several other procedural issues within the next two months.
The SFO’s improvements include a plan to restructure its complaints policy and simplify its procedures by implementing a “two-stage process” for all formal complaints. Osofsky plans to remove informal complaints from the first stage of procedures, while still preserving the existing policy of resolving issues informally before issuing formal complaints. The agency also intends to enhance SFO timescales, signposting, and quality assurance, and implement a process to learn from previous complaints to improve future responses.