When people have asked me what I do as a job, there seems to be great interest that as an investigator, I have managed cases of malpractice, where on certain occasions this has involved the investigation of the theft of vast amounts of money taken by staff working for the organisation. There is excitement by the enquirer in undertaking an investigation and “I would like to do that” is often a phrase used.
On reflection the sixty second elevator pitch I give, only tells a fraction of the story as to the ‘life’ of an investigator and investigation and in fact if the truth be told, there is little discussion as to the complexity of an investigation. In fact there is little discussion, even by the organisation itself, as to what the repurcussions to an organisation and investigator could be if the correct investigation process was not followed. With this in mind I have decided to put keyboard to screen and provide a brief overview of key pointers for those who have limited investigation experience. I hope if nothing else this shows, internal investigations are complex, timely and if not managed correctly could cost the organisation dearly from a material and reputation perspective. My best advice, is that if you do not have a dedicated team to perform such investigations (which should be supported by a sound framework for investigations) stand clear and do not get involved in anyway without first of all seeking assistance from external experts or Police/Gardai.
The starting point and assessment of an investigation is the foundation to ensure that the rest of the investigation cannot be challenged in a workplace tribunal or court and this should always be borne in mind.
Centralise Crisis Management (high profile cases)
Establish Initial Objectives
What should be done with the evidence?
Ensure co-operation- keep stakeholders informed
Provision of Evidence
Preventative Steps- Cancel Mandates, Inform Bankers, Brokers etc.
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