Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Reference number: Cm 8348
We are seeking your views on proposals to introduce a new enforcement tool: Deferred Prosecution Agreements.
Treating economic crime more seriously and taking steps to combat it more effectively are key commitments in the Coalition agreement. We need to develop new tools for prosecutors to use alongside existing methods, to give them the flexibility to secure appropriate penalties for wrongdoing, at the same time as achieving better outcomes for victims. We believe that these proposals will enable prosecutors to take more effective action against commercial organisations which commit economic crimes like fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering.
Under a DPA, a prosecutor would lay but would not immediately proceed with criminal charges against a commercial organisation pending successful compliance with tough requirements such as financial penalties, reparation for victims, confiscation of the profits of wrongdoing and measures to prevent future offending.
Why We Are Consulting
Our ambition is to ensure that a higher proportion of economic crime is identified, investigated and dealt with. DPAs are a tool that seeks to achieve these goals whilst being transparent, clear and consistent.
We hope that you will consider our proposals carefully to help ensure that they are sensible, proportionate and will make a genuine difference when they are introduced.
A total of 75 responses to the consultation were received from a variety of sources including key prosecutors, members of the public, members of the judiciary and legal profession, businesses, academics and regulatory bodies.
There was strong support for the proposals in the consultation, with 86% of respondents agreeing that Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) have the potential to improve the way that economic crime committed by organisations is dealt with. The responses confirmed that the DPA model is a sensible and pragmatic means of identifying and penalising more corporate offenders.
This document is the post-consultation report for the command paper ‘Consultation on a new tool to deal with economic crime committed by organisations: Deferred Prosecution Agreements’. It covers the background to the consultation, a summary of responses, a detailed response to the specific questions raised in the consultation and the next steps.
The impact assessment and equality impact assessment accompanying the consultation have been updated to take account of evidence and comments provided by respondents, as well as policy developments that occurred following the consultation period.