Investigating Compliance Comprehensively

April 26, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Yes, you have put an extensive amount of time and effort into implementing an efficient compliance program but sometimes, though it may be difficult to accept, compliance failures, slip through the cracks. When these incidents occur it is completely necessary to conduct a full-on investigation in order to find out exactly the source and everyone involve with the breach of compliance.

With this investigation, it is necessary to take note on how to better improve the compliance program to prevent future compliance failures. Dealing with an investigation into fraudulent activity will never be an easy matter. Yet, by breaking it up into steps, from conducting interviews, collecting evidence and verifying the credibility of the claims, you may be able to get this whole unethical experience put in the past.

The first course of action you need to take once you are notified of any sort of illegal infraction within your company is to notify your in-house legal team as soon as possible so they can advise you of any further measures in the initial investigation. Once evidence is found to support the claim, external counsel needs to be notified in order to substantiate the truth of the claim.

There are a couple of benefits by calling in an external counsel to investigate a fraud claim, and one of these is because it brings a comprehensive and alternate understanding to the matter. The other advantage that it brings is the important aspect of attorney-attorney client privilege. With such matters as fraud risk management, it is best to keep it out of the public eye, it will reflect poorly on a company if they have problems internally, no matter who is deemed guilty.

Now that you have done the preliminary investigation you will have to now have to decide whether you want to have an external team investigate the situation or have your own personal involvement and have your own team of well-trained and educated employees conduct a thorough enquiry. Both ways of examination both have their pros and cons but if you examine the needs of your company carefully, you can find out which direction is the most appropriate for the organization.

Using your own employees is a way to save and also a way to save time because they will already know the way your organization operates. Benefits aside, some companies still hire outside consultants to investigate fraudulent activity. There is a certain advantage that comes with hiring external investigators because they have the ability to step outside of the circumstances and provide insight that someone on the inside would not be able to step back and see.

They also have experience with other situations and the knowledge necessary to provide an appropriate and concise investigation. Also you may require specific skills for a comprehensive investigation for example: linguistic analysis, digital forensics, knowledge of accounting, jurisdictions, or the understanding of foreign policies. This would require you to hire external help that has the applicable and thorough knowledge that you need.

In the second part of this article, we will explore in more detail how to handle external consultants when it comes to pursuing your investigation.

Corporate Compliance Insights is a knowledge-sharing forum designed to educate and encourage informed interaction within the corporate compliance, governance and risk community. Additionally CCI offers an events calendar, professional company directory, leadership library and compliance jobs board. Visit http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com

Article Source:
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