Outsourcing Corporate Investigations Services

Statistics suggest that between 2019/20, there was around 8.9 thousand theft by the employee in the UK compared to the previous year which was around 9.8 thousand (Statista, 2021). In the same year the fraud cases have cost about one billion pounds and inside fraud has doubled by forty-six million pounds (KPMG, 2020). Besides, 13% of women have experienced sexual harassment at the workplace such as whistling, rude gestures or comments (Statista, 2021). According to Gartner Inc. that around 60% of misconduct at the workplace never reported creating risks and challenges for employers (Gartner, 2021).

An investigation is a systematic and thorough examination or inquiry into something or someone and the recording of that examination in a report (Dempsey, 1996, p.3).

The primary purpose of the investigation is to thoroughly document incidents, identifying the cause of undesirables situations, documenting and correlating facts surrounding any situation or allegation, identifying suspects involved in a crime or act of misconduct, compiling information to prove or disproves an allegation and allowing a decision to be made (ASIS International, 2010).

Types of Corporate investigations are;

  • Incident Investigations

  • Misconduct Investigations

  • Compliance Investigations

  • Due Diligence

  • Pre employment Screening

The following are the qualities of investigation:

  • Objectivity

  • Thoroughness

  • Relevance

  • Accuracy

  • Timeliness

The difference between the public sector and the private sector in terms of investigation are public sector service and protect the citizens in general. The private sector aims at protecting the interests of the organisation. Private sector investigative capabilities are measured per recovery, restitution, and risk reduction (ASIS International, 2010). The process of investigation for the public sector is proving beyond reasonable doubt and the private sector is the burden of proof (ASIS International, 2010).

There are several issues when managing an investigation internally in terms of planning, organisations, direction, coordination and control in both cases, operational and strategic level. The goals and objectives of the investigation unit must be in line with the organisational objectives. Also, setting key performance indicators for investigators in the investigation unit is important as well as a code of ethics. Unethical behaviour by investigators can seriously damage the organisational reputation and criminal or civil liability.

Usually, the cost is a major factor by organisations to outsource or maintain investigation internally in terms of personal expenses, contracts, equipment and office expenditure. The cost mention can be covered through internal restitution.

Before the organisation, consider outsourcing the independent investigator and benefit-cost analysis tool will help to determine the cost whether the organisation will receive a Return on Investment (ROI) for outsourcing investigation services.

The benefits of outsourcing include reduction of the workforce, cost savings on expenditure on training and office equipment, external expertise can be called in to assist with the investigation, cost-effective and independent party to the investigation.

Quality control usually is in the hands of the investigator and he/she may not be aware of the organisational objectives and culture which could be the deficit for outsourcing the services.

If the organisation decides not to outsource the services, there are several benefits which could include total control of the investigative process and people, closer liaison with internal and external agencies such as police and other agencies, protection of sensitive information and the investigator awareness of the company mission and objectives.

However, the shortfall is a significant cost in terms of investigation capability, maintenance of investigation equipment, cost training staff, licensing and contract management and if the case goes to court following an internal investigation, questions may be raised in terms of independence.

Outsourcing investigations services may also help you with specialised services such as ;

  • Risk Assessment

  • Threat Analysis

  • Statement Analysis

  • Forensic Polygraph Test where it is legal

  • Investigative Interviewing

  • International Investigations

  • Surveillance and Counter Surveillance

  • Document Analysis

  • Forensic Auditing

  • Project Management

  • Intelligence Analysis

  • Evidence Collection

  • Computer Forensics

  • Offender Profiling

  • Brand Integrity Investigations

  • Integrity Test or Test Purchase

The following considerations must be taken into account before approving the contract for the provider such as the firm reputation, technical expertise, training and certifications, references from the previous customers, resources, costing structure, liaison contacts with other agencies, quality management systems, data protection policy for securing sensitive information, internal capabilities, insurance coverage and affiliations with any organisations.

Conclusively, several benefits have been outlined for outsourcing the investigation services for organisations to consider and the decision to outsource the services should be based on the cost-benefit analysis tool. However, the business should always look for the return on investment before contracting the agent.

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