Serious Fraud Office (New Zealand)
21 Queen St,
|Annual budget||Vote Serious Fraud
Total budget for 2014/15
|Minister responsible||Hon Michael Woodhouse
- Minister of Police
|Agency executive||Julie Read
- Chief Executive / Director
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) (Māori: Te Tari Hara Tāware) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with detecting, investigating and prosecuting financial crimes of a serious and complex nature in cooperation with the New Zealand Police.
The SFO is based upon its UK counterpart as established by the Serious Fraud Office Act 1990.
Suspects questioned by the SFO have no right to silence and must answer questions and produce requested evidence, even if it incriminates them. However, evidence at an interview cannot be used against a suspect at his or her trial, unless he or she gives evidence which contradicts their SFO interview. Witnesses can also be required to answer questions under compulsion. Such interviews enable people with confidentiality agreements with clients to speak freely to the SFO without fear of retribution from their clients. These provisions do not override legal professional privilege. Anyone who refuses to comply can be prosecuted and could be fined or jailed. Prosecutions are extremely rare and no one has been jailed for this offence.
Proposal to replace the SFO
- SFO Act s.27
- SFO Act s.45
- Newstalk ZB (2007-09-11). "SFO to be scrapped in favour of new Organised Crime Agency". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- NZPA (2008-12-10). "Serious Fraud Office saved from axe". Stuff.co.nz (Farifax). Retrieved 2010-10-21.