The chairman of the UK’s cyber crime fighting body, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), has resigned after admitting that he failed to declare a potential conflict of interest.
Sir Ian Andrews had his resignation accepted by home secretary Theresa May after he failed to declare the fact he is the director of Abis Partnership, a firm through which he provides management consultancy services.
Although he declared providing the consultancy work, he did not provide information on the company itself. In a letter published by Soca, he also wrote to the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, explaining that he now felt he had no choice but to resign.
“I have realised that I had failed to register, as I am obliged to do under the SOCA Code, that I became a director of Abis Partnership Ltd – the company through which I provide management consultancy services to clients whom I did declare,” he said.
“I have no explanation for this other than it was both a genuine and unintentional oversight but it is nonetheless inexcusable: and the responsibility is mine alone."
May said she accepted the resignation but did so with “regret”, adding that an interim appointment will be made in due course.
“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,” she said.
The resignation comes a few weeks before Soca will officially disappear to be replaced by a wider National Crime Agency (NCA), which will offer a more complete centre to tackle issues such as cyber crime and organised crime.
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