Monthly Archives

August 2016

A bad day to turn up late: Dubai’s ruler encountered a lot of empty chairs on Sunday when he decided to do a surprise spot check on ordinarily busy government offices.

A video showing Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum walking into the sparsely populated offices of the Land Department and Department of Economic Development at the start of the workday was widely shared on Twitter. Sunday was the first day of school.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-28/empty-chairs-greet-dubai-ruler-on-spot-check-of-state-offices?cmpid=BBD082916_BIZ

(Ack Bloomberg)

“Eugene Soltes offers some interesting theories in his new book, Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal, including the notion that many senior business people operate in a moral “gray zone.” An associate professor at Harvard Business School, Soltes posits that they step over the line—breaking accounting rules or making illegal insider trades—in part because they rely on intuition. And, it turns out, their instincts stink. ”

Link to full article courtesy of Bloomberg here

 

“Being in business calls for a determined if not ruthless mindset, the ability to be confident and in control, and to be forceful, calculating, and a meticulous planner. Attributes that few possess. But there is one category of person that has them in abundance – the psychopath. Researcher Robert Hare estimates 1% of the general population fits the profile, though the percentage of CEOs might be four times that figure.” (PsyPost 8/16).

In an era when organisational culture and ‘tone from the top’ is featuring so prominently on the radar what influence might psychopathic CEOs/COOs be having on the workforce? Nothing new, of course, but a challenge nonetheless.

If your organisation is serious about challenging conduct in an appropriate, ethical, and proportionate way, and wants to make significant cashable savings and improve reputation while doing so, Intersol Global can help and support you.

Contact info@intersolglobal.com for a free confidential explanation.

Link to full article courtesy of Psypost here

 

This article and research highlights an unusual aspect of the ‘detecting deception’ debate, focusing on deceptive behaviour within group interviews. It concludes with a hypotheses relating to police suspect interviews and an interesting ‘take’ on them being conducted in groups where there are multiple suspects, pointedly highlighting that this doesn’t happen, that the expectation is that they are conducted singularly.

A point of interest (from an old sweat!) is that in some cases they effectively were, evidence of co-accused for example, where, in order to satisfy the rules of evidence, it was (and remains) the case that what one suspect says in interview about the other should be repeated in that others presence whereupon a reaction can be secured and probed. To some extent, similarly, statements under caution (in English Law), now rarely, if ever, recorded.

Why?

One view is that over recent decades the skill and craft of the investigative interview has been eroded to such an extent that many practitioners (supported by misguided managers) simply don’t bother, such is the expectation (wrongly) that in the English context suspects make ‘no comment’! It is simply not understood by the majority of those practitioners.

Whilst not directly linked to this piece of research, when considering the value of interview content the following is a truism:

“Contrary to popular belief that most criminal investigations are solved through the use of scientific evidence, the majority of cases are solved through evidence obtained in interviews with witnesses, or interviews with suspects (Horvath and Meesig,1996).”

If, reading this, you or your organisation would like to understand the value of structured and objective investigative (fact-finding) interviewing more, or perhaps learn how exposing non-truth tellers or deceptive behaviour would add significant value please contact info@intersolglobal, acknowledged world leaders in this area of business.

Link to article courtesy of PsyPost here

 

“PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the U.S. member of the global professional-services giant, is currently facing not one, not two, but three significant trials for allegedly negligent audits. An unfavorable verdict in the trial currently playing out in a Florida state court could inflict a significant monetary wound. That, combined with a possible unfavorable judgment in another trial scheduled for federal court in Alabama in February of 2017, and a third in a Manhattan federal court within the next year, may be fatal.

The full article courtesy of Market Watch can be viewed below and puts the author in mind to identify real opportunities to significantly help and support entities and organisations to prevent such damaging outcomes and enhance reputation:

Link to full article here

 

As reported in New Law Journal (17th August 2016), ‘the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is ramping up its use of “compelled interviews”, citing a 37% rise on last year from 117 up to 129.

“Compelled” interviews require witnesses, not suspects, to attend interviews with the SFO, where they can also be compelled to supply documents that the SFO believes could help with an investigation.

Richard Burger, partner at RPC, says: “For many people, a compelled interview will be their first encounter with law enforcement officers and the process itself is often very disconcerting.”

Witnesses forced to supply information to the SFO are permitted to be represented by a lawyer—at their own expense. When an employee is compelled to be interviewed in an investigation against their employer, the SFO, however, is likely to object to them being represented by a lawyer that represents their firm.

RPC says that this underlines the importance for directors and senior managers to make sure the cost of personal legal representation is properly covered under their company’s Directors and Officers insurance policy.’ (Acknowledgements to NLJ and RPC).

Couple of observations and comment:

  • Compelled to attend, compelled to speak?
  • If they do, how is the validity of any account(s) determined and tested?
  • What training and knowledge of investigation and interviewing has the legal representative got?
  • Would it help the commercial world to understand and have the capability to conduct their own workplace investigation and interview?
  • If the process is understood can it be managed more effectively?
  • Do those conducting the interview possess the requisite skills?
  • Are the interviews recorded?
  • Does the SFO have to provide any disclosure or advance notice of intended questions?
  • Would there be any reduction in premium if this skill set was more widely available to the company?

If you’d value a clearer understanding of the answers to all these questions (and others) please contact us at info@intersolglobal.com

Our world class associates were the tactical advisors and investigation managers on many ground-breaking high stakes investigations, including the first corporate manslaughter prosecutions in the UK. Don’t wait for catastrophe to strike at a punitive cost to life, property, and reputation, invest at the front end of process for significant value at the back end!

 

Health Net Inc. paid a $340,000 penalty Tuesday to the SEC for illegally using severance agreements that required outgoing employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards from the SEC’s whistleblower program.

California-based Health Net is a health insurance provider.

The SEC said in an administrative order that Health Net violated federal securities laws by taking away from departing employees severance payments and other post-employment benefits if they filed an application for an SEC whistleblower award.

Full article courtesy of FCPA reproduced here

 

The whistle-blower’s dilemma is usually easy to understand, if hard to solve. Choose the ethically honest path and you face ostracism and the sack; head down the less honest route and you may have more job security and better promotion prospects……….

So while regulators have forced banks to protect and pay heed to whistle-blowers, they must make sure cynicism doesn’t set in. If even Ben-Artzi is saying the system is rigged, that might suggest to the rank-and-file that it’s not worth the hassle.

Link to full article courtesy of Bloomberg here

 

An interesting bit of research feedback for those in the GRC community?

“In sum, our findings suggest that policymakers may face a paradox in regulating corporate governance,” the authors said. “Imposing strict external monitoring and control can decrease top managers’ intrinsic motivation and reduce their focus on internal values, potentially leading them to commit financial fraud. However, granting top managers too much freedom from external performance pressure could result in some managers extracting personal gains at the expense of shareholders. Perhaps managers can ‘earn the right’ to autonomy over time as they demonstrate that they consistently act in the best interest of shareholders, despite who may or may not be looking over their shoulders.”

Full article courtesy of PsyPost here

Intersol and Skillsfirst are delighted to advise that their ground-breaking vocational interviewing qualifications for investigators, auditors, GRC, and workplace interviewers are now eligible for Government Advanced Learner Loans. Link to the HM Government website here

Contact info@intersolglobal.com to find out more about this ‘must-have’ industry accreditation and qualification, the first of its kind, delivered by world leading subject matter experts.