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Whistleblowing

New UK Law Creates Liability for Gross Human Rights Abuses.

In April 2017, the United Kingdom enacted the Criminal Finances Act which has created substantial new scopes of liability for companies engaging in business abroad.

Section 13 of the CFA expands the scope of the Proceeds of Crime Act to cover the international commission of gross human rights abuses against whistleblowers and human rights activists. This means that UK prosecutors can now use civil recovery procedures to freeze and then seize assets they allege are the products of gross human rights abuses (GHRA).

Link to full article courtesy of FCPA blog here: http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2017/7/26/rogers-and-todorov-new-uk-law-creates-liability-for-gross-hu.html

 

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

 

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.

North America developments and rulings on restricting whistleblowers actions.

SEC says NeuStar tried to impede whistleblowing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined a Virginia-based technology company $180,000 Monday for using severance agreements that impeded former employees from communicating information to the SEC.

The SEC said NeuStar Inc. routinely put language in severance agreements forbidding departing employees from sending regulators “any communication that disparages, denigrates, maligns or impugns” the company.

The employees could forfeit all but $100 of their severance pay for breaching the clause.

Link to full article courtesy of the FCPA Blog here

 

After this week’s $22 million award to a whistleblower, SEC leaders called the whistleblower program a game changer that has transformed the SEC’s ability to protect investors.

More than $107 million has been awarded to 33 whistleblowers. The biggest award was more than $30 million in 2014. This week’s $22 million award was the second biggest.

Whistleblower tips have helped the SEC bring successful enforcement actions “where more than $504 million was ordered in sanctions, including more than $346 million in disgorgement and interest for harmed investors,” the agency said.

See full article courtesy of FCPA blog here

IG comment:

Whilst policy in the UK and throughout Europe is NOT to incentivise ‘whistleblowers’ (key workplace witnesses?) with financial reward, primarily for ethical reasons of inducement, at IG we can support your organisation to more accurately and productively de-brief the witness in a forensically robust manner, supporting the genuine whilst exposing the disingenuous.

Contact info@intersolglobal.com for more information

 

 

“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

 

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

 

On the 12th July the CEO of IG joined the CEO of Complyport to jointly present a webinar entitled:

“Whistleblowing in 2016 – A Practical Guide For Compliance Managers”, set against the background of impending additional regulation. The webinar was exceptionally well attended, an audience that remained throughout – something held their attention!

The slides from the presentation will be uploaded to the academy in due course, but in the meantime can be accessed via the below link together with the full accompanying audio narrative. A must hear!

Link to webinar here