13 March 2008
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to offer a reward of up to £100,000 for anyone who exposes a price-fixing cartel.
Rewards will be paid only if information is accurate, verifiable and proves useful for the OFT in its anti-cartel investigations. The idea will be trialled for 18 months to see if it should be made permanent.
Cartels primarily involve suppliers rigging tender processes by colluding on prices. Simon Williams, OFT senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement, said: "We believe it is in the public interest to offer financial incentives in the hope that it will encourage more people who have good information about the existence of hard-core cartel activity to come forward."
The OFT added that although it was unlikely, those taking parts in cartels who come forward would not be offered a reward, but could be offered immunity from prosecution. It has set up a hotline for anyone who has information about cartels. Call 0800 085 1664, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org