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SFO Business Plan 2022-23

Director’s Foreword 

Lisa Osofsky HeadshotI am proud to present the SFO 2022-23 Business Plan, which will guide the vitally important work we do and support us in delivering our mission:

to fight complex financial crime; to deliver justice to victims; and to protect the UK’s reputation as a safe place to do business.

During my tenure, we have contributed over £1 billion to the public purse; and in the 2021- 22 financial year alone we recovered over £45 million of fraudsters’ and corrupt actors criminal gains.

I have no hesitation in celebrating our successes, whilst also acknowledging that there are things that we could do better, and recent cases from which we can learn. This Business Plan will help to ensure that we reflect and make changes arising from that learning and ensure that going forward we do our work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

We know that there is work to be done to strengthen our operations. We have already identified and initiated changes to our organisation in order to ensure more positive outcomes and to future proof our approach. I also look forward to the Altman and Calvert- Smith reviews, both of which are expected to report in May, and will provide additional insights into areas for improvement. We will act to address their findings.

As a ‘learning organisation’, our plan will adapt. Nonetheless, I am confident that the actions set out in the following pages provide a strong framework for the SFO in what will be a pivotal year for the Office. In 2022/3, ‘the year of the trial’, we will prioritise ruthlessly to ensure our resources are effectively employed to support the eight trials scheduled for court, whilst also progressing other vitally important priorities for the SFO.

To support this we are investing in our people’s skills and IT and we are launching a far-reaching change programme. These initiatives, allied with our commitment to communicating and engaging more effectively, and continuing to collaborate with partners to support the work of the SFO will make sure we are match fit now and in the future.

I am confident that what we have set out to achieve in this first year of our new strategy will lay the foundation for subsequent years – when I expect to see the significant changes required to achieve our ambitions come to fruition.

Lisa Osofsky 

Director Serious Fraud Office 


2022/23 Plan on a Page

This Business Plan outlines the key activities that the SFO will undertake in 2022-23 to deliver on our Mission and Strategic Objectives.

SFO Business Plan 2022-23: Plan on a Page


Our Organisation

The SFO is led by Director Lisa Osofsky. The Director chairs the SFO Board, which is also made up of the General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Capability Officer, Chief Financial
Officer and all Non-Executive Directors (NEDs). The organisation is superintended by the Attorney General.

SFO Organogram 2022

What we do

The SFO is a specialist prosecuting authority tackling the top level of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption.

We are part of the UK criminal justice system covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. Our work is part of the Government’s approach for combating Fraud. The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to her on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud, bribery or corruption. We also recover the proceeds of crime and assist overseas jurisdictions in their investigations into serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption. We are unusual in the UK in that we both investigate and prosecute our cases. We take on a small number of large economic crime cases and operate in multidisciplinary case teams comprising lawyers, investigators, forensic accountants and other specialists working together through the lifetime of a case. We were set up this way because the kinds of cases the SFO takes on are complicated and lawyers and investigators need to work together from the beginning. This joint structure is known as the ‘Roskill’ model.

Our People

We deliver our challenging work through teams of highly skilled and dedicated people within the SFO. We also draw upon the skills of external counsel, and work collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies, including through our active membership of the NECC, and our relationships with, for example, the NCA, the FCA, the City of London Police, Regional Police forces and Government Departments both here in the UK and overseas.

Relative to other agencies the SFO is a small organisation with fewer than 500 permanent staff. We have a broad range of subject matter experts which includes people with legal, investigative, forensic, analytical, technological, accountancy, policy, strategy and administration skills. Our brilliant people are our biggest asset.


Our Mission, Strategic Objectives and Outcomes

Our Mission

The Serious Fraud Office fights complex financial crime, delivers justice for victims and protects the UK’s reputation as a safe place to do business.

To achieve our mission we have set ourselves a series of objectives

  • To investigate and prosecute the most serious or complex cases of fraud, bribery and corruption.
  • To uphold the rule of law, deliver justice for victims and recover the proceeds of financial crime.
  • To deter criminals and require offending companies to reform in order to protect the UK’s economy and global reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.
  • To collaborate with partners in the UK and overseas to ensure there is no safe haven for those who commit serious financial crime.

Our Values

  • Integrity and professionalism: we make objective decisions whilst always being mindful of quality and value for money
  • Respect: we show respect to one another, to our external colleagues and to the wider public.
  • Openness and transparency: we collaborate and share information with each other and, where appropriate, others, explaining our decisions and learning from our mistakes
  • Excellence: we strive for excellence in all that we do

All that we will seek to deliver in the 2022-23 financial year will be in support of our Mission and Strategic objectives, and be underpinned by our shared Values.

Our Strategy

Our Strategy for 2022-2025 sets out the SFO’s approach and goals for the next three years. This will be a period of significant change for the organisation. Our Strategy articulates our commitment to acting on what we know now and what we will learn about in the weeks and months ahead to modernise, to build our skills and capabilities, to do things differently and to influence our operating environment.

Our principal goals, identified in the strategy relate to our core purpose by improving operational outcomes. We are committed to striving to:

  • Reduce the average and median length of our investigations to 3 years;
  • Deliver at least one successful outcome in over 80% of our cases (including at least one conviction or DPA) and secure, by jury or guilty plea, a 60% conviction rate of defendants (both corporate and individuals);
  • Increase recovery rates against financial orders secured on realisable assets to 75%; and
  • Secure year on year improvements to those victims and witnesses who are called to give evidence that are satisfied with the experience provided by the SFO.

Our Strategy identifies four key themes against which we will deliver, and which will collectively support the organisation in more effectively achieving its Mission.

SFO Business Plan Themes and their Meanings


Our Priorities 2022-23

This Business Plan signals the start of a period of significant change for our organisation and how we deliver our cases. It is the first delivery package arising from our new three year strategy.

This year our priorities are:

Cases before Court

We expect to bring eight trials to court in this financial year, a substantial number compared to previous years, with each trial being the culmination of many years’ hard work by our dedicated case teams. We recognise these trials are a key vehicle for delivering justice and we have a vital role in supporting the victims of these crimes. Each trial will require a huge effort and we are committed to using available resources to support these teams. 

Case progression

We will progress and prioritise our operations to ensure our cases are delivered more efficiently. This approach will help us to realise our ambitions for case progression – allowing us to inject pace at key stages of our intelligence assessment, investigations and prosecutions. We will do this by managing our limited resources and ensuring we effectively employ technology and the expertise that we have in-house or can avail of externally (specific examples include discreet instances where disclosure review is outsourced and the best use of external counsel).


We will boost our ambitious change programme within the SFO, by appointing a new senior leader to build a team with the capabilities to design, develop and implement change projects with reach across the whole organisation. This will build on and support the key areas where we have already initiated change projects such as technology.

Improving the operating environment

We will continue to share our operational expertise to inform key policy areas that impact on our cases. We will use our strengthened engagement across Whitehall and with our law enforcement partners, including the NECC, the NCA and the FCA to further the interests of the SFO and push for changes that benefit the work of the SFO by more effectively influencing and collaborating with them.


We will invest in our people ensuring that learning and development is prioritised to improve our outputs, and we will prioritise making sure our workforce is diverse and inclusive, so that we capture the benefits of different perspectives and experiences.

In totality, the activities set out in this Business Plan will lay the foundations for years 2 and 3 of our strategy delivery – where the significant changes required to achieve our ambitions will be laid down and start to come to fruition.

The key activities we will take forward this year are set out in the full Business Plan, available to download below. 



As part of the business planning cycle it is crucial that implementation of the Business Plan is monitored through the year therefore we will undertake quarterly monitoring of the Business Plan as set out below.

SFO Business Plan 2022-23 Monitoring Timeframes

This monitoring will require business areas to update the current status of delivery of the plan, including any changes to the outcomes or impacts of the actions, and also any revision in anticipated delivery date. They will also be required to include a RAG status for each area. These updates will be provided to the SFO Board.

Measuring Impact

We will develop a new outcomes framework to ensure our activity and decision-making align with our priorities, our desired outcomes and our mission.

The framework will set out clear linkage between our strategic objectives and our activities using a series of measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


SFO Business Plan 2022-23.pdfDownload