Committee of Public Accounts: Press Notice

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: The Assets Recovery Agency

It wouldn’t be surprising if some criminals were to develop a ‘they can’t catch up with me’ mentality given the Assets Recovery Agency’s record. The Agency have spent £65 million, but only managed to recover £23 million; they have no complete record of the cases referred to them; they have worked on over 700 cases, but only managed to recover assets in a meagre 52. And an astonishing 90 per cent of the financial investigators they have trained haven’t completed the courses they need to, to remain accredited.

The criminal fraternity must be lying back on their sun loungers laughing into their champagne glasses at the mess those trying to catch up with them are in.

The Agency was recently rebadged, but without taking serious measures to get to the heart of its difficulties, such cosmetic surgery will bring little hope of a greater proportion of criminals’ ill gotten gains ever being recovered.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Luke Robinson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 5693 or 07917 488549.