World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Asset Recovery Agency

Article Id: WHEBN0005556623
Reproduction Date:

Title: Asset Recovery Agency  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Corporation sole, National Policing Improvement Agency
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Asset Recovery Agency

Assets Recovery Agency
File:Assets Recovery Agency logo.jpg
Non-ministerial Department
Crown status: Yes
Legal basis: Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Established: 2003
Disestablished:1 April 2008
Sponsoring department: Home Office
Current head:

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was a non-ministerial government department in the United Kingdom. It was established under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to reduce crime by confiscating the proceeds of any crime. It was granted a new power of civil recovery through the High Court, and could also take over the powers of the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to levy tax without identifying a source for taxed income.

The ARA became operational in February 2003, but it failed to meet its targets for the confiscation of criminal funds.[1] It was announced in January 2007 that it would be merged with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which was established in 2006. Provisions to achieve this were contained in the Serious Crime Act 2007. There were also proposals for other law enforcement agencies, such as HMRC, to be given similar powers of civil recovery at the same time.[2] On 1 March 2008, the transfer of the Director and staff of the Assets Recovery Agency, its property, rights and liabilities to SOCA and the National Policing Improvement Agency started in anticipation of the Agency's abolition.[3][4][5] The Agency ceased to exist on 1 April 2008.[6]

Background

The setting up of the ARA was a key aspect of the POCA, which the Government's intended to take the profit out of crime, aiming to dismantle and disrupt organised crime gangs by confiscating the financial proceeds of criminal acts. It brings together previous legislation, such as the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 and Part VI of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, with the changes recommended in a comprehensive report of a study conducted by the Performance and Innovation Unit of the Cabinet Office in 2000.

POCA strengthened the legislation relating to seizures of cash, money laundering, investigatory powers, and restraint and confiscation procedures. Previously, only profits from certain crimes, such as drug trafficking, were liable to confiscation.

The Agency had three strategic aims:

  • To disrupt organised criminal enterprises through the recovery of criminal assets, thereby alleviating the effects of crime on communities.
  • To promote the use of financial investigation as an integral part of criminal investigation, within and outside the Agency, domestically and internationally, through training and continuing professional development.
  • To operate the Agency in accordance with its vision and values.

Powers

The powers of the ARA were mostly limited to England and Wales and Northern Ireland, although its taxation powers extended to Scotland. Its main offices were in London, with a second office Belfast. In Northern Ireland, the Director consulted with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In Scotland, civil recovery was achieved through the Civil Recovery Unit of the Scottish Government.

The functions of the ARA were categorised into four types:

  • Confiscation proceedings;
  • Civil recovery proceedings;
  • Taxation of income or gains which are suspected of being derived from criminal activities;
  • Control and supervision of the training of financial investigators in the UK.

Director

The ARA was headed by a Director, the first of whom was Jane Earl. Alan McQuillan, a former Assistant Chief Constable in the R.U.C., was appointed as the new director in 2007. The Director had to carry out his statutory functions with a view to the reduction of crime. The Director reported to the Home Secretary, but was operationally independent.

By 2005, it had 180 staff, and an annual budget of £15.5m, but it recovered only £4.6m. It had more success in freezing criminal's assets, with £68.45m frozen in June 2006, but found its actions were frustrated by lengthy and expensive court cases.

Independence

The ARA was a non-Ministerial Department, meaning it answered to Parliament directly rather than to a Minister. As an independent government department, the Agency acted completely separately from the political arena and from political interference, and adopted cases on the likelihood of a successful outcome, rather than for any political or other reasons. To this end, Agency operations were carried out when the juncture was right logistically and operationally.

See also

References

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.