Soca chairman resigns after failing to declare interest in private firm

Jamie Clark MM blog

Serious Organised Crime Agency chairman Sir Ian Andrews has today quit the organisation after failing to declare an interest in a management consultancy firm.

Andrews resigned today after failing to declare he was a director of Abis Partnership in the Soca register of director’s interests, which he is required to do.

Andrews became SOCA chairman in 2009 and his four year term was due to expire next week. However, he was set to stay on until October when Soca will be abolished and replace with the National Crime Agency.

An interim appointment will be made in due course.

In a letter to Home Affairs committee chair Keith Vaz, Andrews says it was a ”genuine and unintentional” error but he felt he had to resign for not maintaining a standard of integrity expected of someone running a public body.

He says: “This is a huge disappointment to me personally because I have been assiduous about avoiding conflicts of interest throughout a public service career spanning almost forty years.

“I very much regret that this may damage the reputation of an Agency with which I have been immensely proud to have been associated for the last four years and which I was looking forward to seeing into the new National Crime Agency, of which I remain a strong and committed supporter.”

Home Secretary Theresa May says: “It is with regret that I have accepted Sir Ian Andrews’ offer of resignation as chairman of SOCA.

”Sir Ian has had four decades of distinguished public service in roles ranging from second permanent secretary and chief executive of defence estates, to his current position as the chairman of SOCA.”