News

Final Friday News! Intersol delighted to formally partner with Obsey to deliver Extraordinary GRC solutions.

Another exciting and positive step forward in the development of a truly global world-class team that can bring their joint expertise to bear to reduce costs, manage risks, enhance reputation, and even increase revenue.

 

 

Media Release Friday 24th March 2017

Intersol partner with Obséy, to support delivery of innovative and fresh solutions for Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC)

UK based Intersol Global – renowned experts in supporting organisations to implement Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®), and Dublin based Obséy who provide solutions for all of your GRC requirements, announce that they are now partnered to deliver an even greater range of solutions to help address todays massive GRC challenges.

Intersol’s contemporary methods have helped global businesses significantly reduce costs and risks, enhanced reputations, supported systemic organisational change, and even increase revenue.

Obséy put your GRC needs at the heart of everything they do, not just giving advice and providing recommendations, they have a full suite of solutions, from consulting and resourcing, to technology. A holistic service provided at a realistic cost.

Together Intersol and Obséy will work with you to determine a solution that best fits your requirements, designing and delivering a bespoke range of services and enabling delivery that exceeds expectations and is ‘extraordinary’.

For more information and a confidential exchange to understand how we add value and save your money and reputation please contact:

info@intersolglobal.com or enquiries@obsey.com

See original media release here: Intersol and Obsey Media Release

 

“ING Drops After Saying Probe May Lead to Significant Fines”, and “Banks Trimming Compliance Staff as $321 Billion in Fines Abate”.

Contrasting articles published within 8 hours of each other by Bloomberg, seems slightly ironic! Links to both articles, courtesy of Bloomberg, can be found at the conclusion of this piece but in the meantime here’s a case study that exemplifies why and how we are the best at what we do and what might help banks and other financial services achieve the 5 R’s – Reduce costs, increase Revenue, and Reduce Risk to Reputation, doing more with less.

How can Intersol Reduce costs, increase Revenue, and Reduce Risk to Reputation

Bank – Case Study

 Three imperatives for training combined to prompt a global bank to secure the continuing services of Intersol Global via Moodys to provide Investigation and investigative Interview skills training for their internal audit team.

  1. The bank was required to demonstrate to regulators that they were strengthening the internal audit function and that the function was an effective control
  2. A new global centralised structure and methodology for internal audit meant they needed to implement globally consistent standards of professional practice
  3. The function had created a new competency framework defined specifically for the global internal audit function that meant they needed to implement training that would support internal auditors to develop and enhance those competencies

For the first time, they were seeking non-­technical training designed specifically for internal auditors.

This was recognised as a particular need to help them shape the perception of the global function as a value-adding partner to the business.

Intersol Global Consultants customised a 2-day ‘Effective Audit Conversations’ course that is being rolled-out to over 900 of that clients audit delegates worldwide.

Intersol Global associates were chosen because of their:

  • Ability to demonstrate customisation and applicability specifically to internal auditors
  • Internationally recognised, award winning subject matter expert practitioners delivering the training
  • Leading experts from audit, law enforcement, and psychology collaborating to design the course
  • Global reach
  • High proportion of practical learning methods and applicability of the ‘tools’ from the course
  • Demonstrable alignment of course content with the IIA competency and the IIA International Professional Practices Framework

Feedback from delegates has been consistently excellent and contributed to the launch of the first accredited vocational qualification for auditors with the regular comment:

“I wish I’d had this training and skill years ago when I started out in audit, it’s absolutely essential”

The business has achieved the 5Rs and perhaps most significantly reduced audit meetings from 4 or 5 to 2 or 3 by being more objective, focussed and understanding the non technical skills required to engage with stakeholders.

Contact info@intersolglobal.com for more information about this and similar GRC projects.

Links to articles here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-22/ing-drops-after-saying-probe-may-lead-to-significant-penalties and here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-23/banks-trimming-compliance-staff-as-321-billion-in-fines-abate

‘The Dirty Dozen’ – A ‘Gap Analysis’ of 12 Common Causes of Flawed Serious Sexual Offence Investigation

On the eve of the 2017 annual National Working Group (NWG) for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), at which Intersol are exhibiting, the author is moved to reflect on a piece of work that fell out of reviewing and making recommendations on many high stakes investigations across several continents that they may of benefit to all investigators and do something to contribute to the securing of justice to the many that are repeatedly failed by Criminal Justice Systems worldwide. Intersol’s CJ division retain a healthy interest in, and commitment to, the very best of Case Management, in the firm belief that miscarriages of justice not only include the innocent being wrongly convicted but also the guilty evading justice and creating more victims and ruined lives.

So, in summary:

Are you?

  • Happy with sub-standard, poor, or average Case Management?
  • Relaxed about damage to individual, organisational, or institutional reputation?
  • Comfortable with taking a high level of risk for yourself and others?
  • Uninterested in adding value or reducing costs?

YES? Then read no further, unfortunately we can’t help you.

NO? You really value these qualities? Then read on.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 outcomes from reviewing dozens of serious, high-stakes investigations, outcomes that have already helped inform decision makers and improve service delivery, a dozen reasons why we developed Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®) and a level 3 OFQUAL investigative interviewing accreditation. Intersol are passionate about reinvigorating the investigative interview as the ‘golden thread’ of ECM, not just an inconvenient adjunct to it.

  1. Investigation (confirmation) bias ‘police case’ theory, and assumptions. Fatal when combined with poor forensic interviewing, subjectivity, and closed minds.
  2. Disproportionate energy expended investigating complainants/witnesses.
  3. Poor strategic investigation and forensic rationale, interview planning and preparation, and crude tactical use of evidence.
  4. Dislocated inter agency approach, ‘silo’ ring-fenced practice, and poor intelligence analysis.
  5. Lack of urgency, failure to recognise risk, reinforces offending acceptance.
  6. Missed evidential opportunities – CCTV, H-H, key witnesses, scientific, EBC etc.
  7. Interviews lack structure, objectivity and IO rarely involved in the interview process.
  8. 3rd party unused material not disclosed with timeliness. Ignorance and confusion about ‘intelligence’ and its conversion to information and evidence.
  9. Poor tactical choice of investigators and interviewers and forensically unacceptable interview quality.
  10. Confusing ‘Engage and Explain’. Not understood either by interviewer or interviewee. Accounts not clarified, lack of relevant Fine Grain Detail, and poor evaluation.
  11. Poor or missing ROVIS leading to flawed decision-making. S.I.O. entirely reliant on I.O. ‘write-ups’ or verbal presentation – attendant dangers of inner editor.
  12. No evidence of a pre-interview suspect briefing strategy, compounded by unacceptably poor suspect interviews and frequent ‘re-bails’.

If you know or in contact with anyone or any organisation who you think would benefit from an objective discussion about these findings or shares a passion for excellent investigation and interviewing please feel free to forward this post to them and contact us at info@intersolglobal.com

If you are attending the NWG conference please feel free to pick up a free pen and have a more detailed chat!

Why people commit white collar crimes (and how to stop them). An article courtesy of Alice Brightsky and FCPA blog.

At Intersol we are committed to supporting organisations who are determined to secure and enhance their reputation and brand value by endorsing an appropriate culture from the boardroom down. We do it by working with them, supporting and developing staff wherever there’s a need to manage and conduct fact-finding interviews. Accurate information is the lifeblood of an organisation, ‘the difference that makes the difference’, and this article endorses much of that philosophy.

“We’ve all heard of them, the Bernie Madoffs and Michael Milkens whose cinematic crimes have painted our perception of white-collar criminality. However, while wrongdoers such as Madoff and Milken are rightly villainized for their misdeeds, their dramatic schemes tend to occlude the far more common phenomenon of smaller-scale white-collar crime. By focusing on the “big fish,” we risk missing the reality that many white-collar crimes are committed not by operatic fraudsters, but by essentially decent people pushed to the brink by a combination of human pressures and poor business culture.  By most accounts, the perpetrators of many white collar crimes were not career criminals who set out to defraud their employers, clients, and shareholders, but rather businessmen and women possessed of strong ethical compasses who committed criminal acts in response to overwhelming personal pressures. Presented with personal obligations and difficulties (e.g. financial woes, family demands), a poor workplace culture, and the opportunity for wrongdoing, these typically honest people succumbed”.

The full article courtesy of the FCPA blog can be found here.

 

Intersol management team look forward to attending 2017 iiirg annual conference in California.

Intersol Global are again delighted to sponsor this tears conference and Masterclass in Monteray, California, and will be represented by several associates and Board members. The central themes of intelligence interviews, ‘high interest group’ interviews, and strategic interview management are core skills of our team having led the way in all these areas of business in the UK. It is hoped that we will also have opportunity to present practitioner case studies that evidence the way in which empathy and rapport have significantly contributed to recruiting intelligence sources, de-briefing, saving lives, and securing justice.

If you are looking for globally recognised experts who have ‘dust under their badge’, and have ‘walked the walk’ at the highest level of high-stakes investigation then contact us. Visit us at our stand, come and discuss strategic investigation, interview planning, and tactical use of evidence with practitioners who have done it and withstood scrutiny form the highest judicial authority. Take time to chat informally with subject matter experts who wrote the strategies for the first corporate manslaughter investigations in the UK, interviewed the most challenging of psychopathic serial killers, and developed strategies and tactics for the first Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) investigations that secured convictions for dozens of rapists. Intersol have successfully transferred these skills innovatively, proportionately, and contextually to the private sector and now support regulators, HR, legal, corporates, and financial services to reduce cost and risk whilst enhancing their reputation.

If you really want to understand the application of forensic psychology and tactical use of evidence at the extreme limits of investigative interviewing context we are the team to speak to, we set the standard. Don’t settle for anything less, where information is key, we are the ‘difference that makes the difference’.

See link to conference details IIIRG CONF A4 FLYER-2017 WEB and we look forward to joining all delegates. If we can be of any assistance to any reader or you’d like to understand our services more please contact us at info@intersolglobal.com

If Advocates Investigate do Investigators Advocate? A Role Confusion at the Heart of Injustice?

Awakening to yet another report of ‘fudged’ life changing investigation, this time centred on child abuse in Ireland, rekindles concern that the phrase investigation is far too readily banded about without real consideration of the impact of an investigation or the qualities and competencies of those nominated to conduct them. (see http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/grace-inquiry-to-cover-all-47-children-in-home-nz9lhrxj6?CMP=TNLEmail_118918_1441247). Speaking at a recent Health and Safety conference I counted the word ‘investigation’ used over 50 times before I presented and challenged the audience to help clarify their collective understanding of its meaning. They struggled and there was no satisfactory explanation of the core competencies or qualifications required by those often charged with the responsibility of high stakes investigation and/or case reviews.

So, before expanding further, please reflect for just a moment on any issue that impacts your health or that of those you hold dear. Would you entrust that responsibility to an unqualified, unregistered, unregulated nurse or doctor? In its simplest, crudest form would you want a podiatrist to extract your tooth, a dentist to do your by-pass surgery? It really is that simple, there would rightly be outrage if you discovered that a nurse caring for you was unqualified to do so (just one evidenced example that resulted in a serial killing: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/18/stepping-hill-hospital-poisonings-operation-roxburg-manchester-police-victorino-chua).

Like so many I have lost count of the number of public enquiries, serious case reviews, institutional abuse investigations ongoing globally at any one time. Are the lessons ever learnt, even more significantly applied? I’ll let the reader reflect on that but add a few objective observations to help decision-making! The stock reporting phrase goes something like: ‘A (named) Barrister has been appointed to lead the investigation’. At its simplest level lawyers advocate and investigators investigate, the latter hopefully impartially in a search for verifiable facts and the truth, NOT looking to attribute blame, exploring ALL avenues not just those that fit a ‘case theory’, confirmation bias so often being the root cause of flawed investigation and outcomes.

An advocate is defined as: A person who speaks or writes in support or defence of a person, cause, etc. A person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor. A person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law.

An investigator as: A person who examines, studies, or inquires into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail. To search out and examine the particulars of in an attempt to learn the facts about something hidden, unique, or complex.
Both are highly skilled roles but uniquely different, the investigator ‘feeds’ the advocate.
Might this, a confusion of role, be a significant contributor to the root cause of such systemic failure, repeated mistakes and flawed investigation?
When those lines become blurred, lawyers presenting as investigators with NO investigative or interviewing training, when investigators have NO regulated external governance or workplace competency review, when, in a hierarchical system, rank equates to competency, is it a surprise that what’s left is a toxic mix that is destined to fail and lessons never learned?
As they say in my old trade, I have a view but ‘NO COMMENT’!
Finishing with a positive tone, that’s the reason we created the first OFQUAL externally verified qualification for those who interview in any context with the aim of systematically studying or examining in detail the particulars and facts about something hidden, unique, or complex. If that process is undertaken with an open mind, thoroughly and robustly, ethically, and with unconditional positive regard, accurately recorded and reported, the decision makers will be much better placed to make properly informed decisions and advocates better placed to advocate.

Maybe? Canada has had a tax whistleblowing program for four years, the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP).

Whistleblower1

The OTIP pays individuals who qualify for the program and provide information to CRA regarding international non-compliance by Canadian taxpayers.

The program began as part of the Economic Action Plan 2013, through which the Government of Canada committed to investing CDN$30 million ($22.8 million) over five years to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

At the close of 2016, the OTIP had received some 3,000 calls, reviewed over 300 written submissions, and entered into over a dozen contracts with informants. We suspect that as the OTIP becomes better known and begins making sizable reward payments, the popularity and effectiveness of the program will grow even more.

Who is Eligible? Both the informant and the information provided must meet certain eligibility requirements to fall within the scope of the OTIP.

The informant must be an individual, and must not belong to a class of ineligible persons. Ineligible persons include, most notably, individuals convicted of tax evasion in connection with the situation of non-compliance being reported, employees of CRA, and other government employees who acquired the relevant information in the course of their employment duties. In addition, taxpayers cannot provide information concerning their own non-compliance.

Read the full FCPA blog article here: http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2017/3/3/caylor-and-sorensen-report-a-canadian-tax-evader-and-make-mo.html

Observation from the UK perspective:

The UK authorities, be they regulatory or statutory, do not in principle authorise, sanction, or recommend the payments of ‘rewards’ for a host of compelling reasons, but every international justice system has its differences and idiosyncrasies of course and must be respected and accommodated accordingly.

At Intersol we believe that the key to the process is an open-minded thorough interview and de-brief process that both secures, protects, and achieves the very best information and evidence from the interviewee (whistleblower having all the associated judgemental association), presenting them as credible witnesses of truth, with value to offer, whilst identifying and exposing those with malicious or mischievous intent.

It is our experience that organisations globally have lots of ‘what to do’ policies in place but no support with the ‘how to do it’. That’s our specialist area of business.

If you’d like to know more please feel free to contact for discreet initial advice.

 

 

Sat on Timebomb

Californian based bank, Merchants, fined $7,000,000.00 for impeding compliance staff.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Monday fined Merchants Bank of California $7 million for impeding compliance staff and threatening to fire staffers who wouldn’t process suspicious transactions.

Merchants Bank didn’t give compliance staff “the necessary level of authority, independence, and responsibility” to run the anti-money laundering program. For example, customers from high-risk jurisdictions weren’t flagged or subjected to required diligence.

Many of the bank’s unreported suspicious transactions were conducted on behalf of money services businesses owned or managed by Merchant Bank insiders. The insiders “encouraged staff to process these transactions without question or face potential dismissal or retaliation,” FinCEN said..

Bank insiders also directly interfered with the AML staff’s attempts to investigate suspicious activity related to the insider-owned accounts, according to FinCEN.

Full article courtesy of FCPA Blog here

 

False Confession

Amanda Knox: Why Do Innocent Women Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit?

“What we think in this situation,” said the first detective, “the other babies are screaming, crying, whatever. You’re taking care of them by yourself. You have Ben in your hands, he starts acting up and, you get mad at him and you throw him on the floor.”

“You threw him on the floor?” asked the second detective.

Transfixed by her accusers, Melissa nodded, “Yeah.”
What a great example of inappropriate investigative interviewing, particularly impactive when interviewing a vulnerable interviewee, yet advocated, indeed even encouraged, by some interviewing models preferred in many countries.
By all means have (and try to verify) a working hypothesis but to frame it in such a forensically inappropriate (leading) question is wrong.
Some interview ‘models’ encourage confession culture, permitting deceit to secure it, a most dangerous place without checks and balances.
The PEACE framework (for framework is what it is) originating in the UK in the early 1990s goes some way to secure against this but exponents of the framework who are neither current nor understand its subtleties are misguided to take a view that it is a ‘cure-all’ for global miscarriages of justice. It is not a ‘one size fits all’, ‘one stop’ solution, but a framework within which several models of interviewing are practised by the skilled and competent flexible interviewer.
“Melissa’s arrest, prosecution, and conviction relied exclusively upon her false confession,” Kathleen Zellner, Calusinski’s post-conviction attorney, explains.
In February 2016, when asked why she confessed, Calusinski struggled to explain: “The only way for me to get out of there was basically what they wanted.”
At Intersol we take enormous pride in our global reputation, in continuing to develop and practice cutting edge empirically proven techniques. We don’t treat interviewing as simply an adjunct to the investigation but as a golden-thread woven through the entire case management process, so if you really want to understand the complexities of PEACE, of investigative interviewing and its impact on any investigation process, we are your ‘go-to’ entity.