Corporate investigation – what it is and what it entails
Extensive examinations of an organization, business or corporation are known as corporate investigations. The whole point of a corporate investigation is to find out whether staff, management or third parties have committed any kind of unlawful activities. A corporate investigation normally occurs after an issue has been reported by someone (a whistle blower), the whole aim being to find out:
• Exactly what happened
• The person responsible for what happened
• Why it happened or how it was allowed to happen
• Are we liable for what happened or at risk because of it
A corporate investigation is normally conducted by specially trained investigators, often licensed private investigators. They have experience in examining a company’s financial accounts, evaluate communications, interview members of staff and will even, if necessary, go undercover. Investigators, depending on the type of investigation, will work with the companies legal department in order to collect and scrutinize evidence.
Organizations will sometimes try to conduct their own internal investigation, but this is not a good idea. The resulting, usually inevitable, conflicts of interest that occur from such an investigation, no matter how well it is handled by the organization, will fail to satisfy external stakeholders.
A corporate investigation is usually started by an organization not only to stop unlawful activities but also to show staff, board members, clients as well as the authorities, that they take such issues seriously and will not excuse this type of behaviour or give protection to role players.
Once the culprits have been identified, the necessary action is taken and the information regarding the investigation offered to the board and/or the authorities, the organization can salvage its reputation, re-establish integrity and return to work as usual.
What type of things does a corporate investigation cover?
A corporate investigation firm such as Are They Safe deal with all types of illegal activities and misconduct carried out by staff, management and external parties. Basically, if you are under the impression that someone has or is currently in the process of doing something illegal and you want to know if it did indeed happen, what it was that happened and who is involved, then it would be necessary to hire a you would hire a corporate investigation firm such as Are They Safe to assist you.Normally a corporate investigation covers the following:
Violations regarding the law or other regulations – making legal problems worse can be avoided if the issues are investigated and the people involved, identified. There are times when authorities will request a company to carry out internal investigations and there are times when a company will conduct an investigation out of their own, to demonstrate their compliance and co-operation with the authorities.
Data violations – the theft, loss or hacking of data is a serious offence and an issue that is becoming an increasingly common problem for companies. Often, proprietary data loss is not because of sophisticated hacking but is rather the result of an angry member of staff or security privileges where an outsider was allowed inside the premises to get access to classified data.
Staff problems – these types of issues can be anything from a dispute resulting from the hiring procedure, for example, discrimination lawsuits, to employee misconduct. Usually, corporation investigations uk look into the following:
• Infringement of intellectual property rights
• Sexual misbehaviour
• Violation of civil rights
• Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Financial misdemeanours – this is an incredibly common problem in many companies. In fact, more than 75% of staff members have admitted theft from their employer at some stage. The types of misdemeanours that corporate investigations examine include:
• Vendor fraud
• Money laundering
• Accounting irregularities and violations
• Missing inventory, unusual write-offs and so forth
Intellectual property infringement – these types of corporate investigations could involve, as is very often the case, staff theft of intellectual property or simple corporate espionage.
Corruption – an organization’s business performance and public trust can be damaged by corruption. The things that an investigator will look for are bribes, inappropriate behaviour by staff in relation to representatives or other companies, public officials, as well as improper payments.
Defamation and libel – defamation and libel can include all types of things, from fraudulent reviews to false claims by competitors. Individuals involved will be identified by the investigators so that cease and desist papers can be served, the offending reviews removed, or other apt action taken.