A catalogue of errors

The Westminster Public Accounts Committee has given the Assets Recovery Agency a complete mauling. Chairman, Edward Leigh said:

“It was ill-planned and recovered only about a third of its expenditure. Far too few cases were ever referred to it, its management information systems were in a mess, it prioritised cases badly and it underestimated the time it would take to pursue them. The Serious Organised Crime Agency will have to learn from these mistakes. Otherwise few criminals will suffer sleepless nights worrying about losing the proceeds of their crimes.

The ARA will be wound up next year and its powers transfered to the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Full report here (pdf file)

  • Am I right in saying that this report seems to be referring to the UK-wide operation and not specifically to the Northern Ireland one (which admittedly does feature quite prominently)?

  • Ah, this may be useful.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7041034.stm

    Particularly:
    We actually reached the turning point last year where we recovered more than the base funding we get from the Treasury each year,” Mr McQuillan said.

    Fair enough it’s taken a while, but it seems a shame to effectively give up on it now (which is what I fear could happen when it’s merged into SOCA).

  • Rubicon

    That same BBC story quotes McQuillan defending the ARA policy of persuing criminals through the courts rather than making out of court seetlements with them. If the ARA was criticised for not having made “cheaper” deals with the criminals then it would appear unfair criticism.

  • you dont’ need to justify it by whole much it takes in versus how much it cost, you talking stolen money from criminals…