IP Infringement Report says IPR infringement is getting worse!

Intellectual property can be a business’s most valuable asset. So when outside parties threaten to steal your ideas, copy your products or disrupt your marketing channels, corrective action on your part can become tedious, time-consuming and expensive. Also, because of the high value associated with Intellectual Property Right (IPR), infringement of those rights is a lucrative criminal activity, which generates significant costs to the rights owners and to the economy in general. In fact around 12,000 IP infringement cases are filed each year.

Now, a study conducted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in partnership with the European Patent Office (EPO) found that the total contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy accounts for approximately 42% of GDP (€5.7 trillion) and 28% of employment plus another 10% in indirect employment effects in non-IPR intensive sectors. Those sectors also generate a trade surplus of approximately €96 billion with the rest of the world and pay their workers 46% higher salaries than other sectors.

DOWNLOAD HERE

The economic value of IPRs

This IP infringement report brings together the findings of the research carried out in recent years by the EUIPO, through the European Observatory on the Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the extent, scope and economic consequences of IPR infringement in the EU. Evidence on the economic value of IPRs in the EU economy, the extent to which this value is exploited, the infringement mechanisms used to capture that value and the actions being taken in response to these challenges are outlined and discussed in the report as well.

According to a study carried out by EUIPO and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2019, estimates of IPR infringement in international trade in 2016 could reach as much as 3.3% of world trade. Up to 6.8% of EU imports, or €121 billion per year, consist of fake goods. Both sets of figures are significantly higher than those found in study by the two organisations published in 2016, indicating that the problem has grown even more serious in recent years.

Annual losses of €92 billion during 2012-16 due to counterfeiting

In a series of sectorial studies, the EUIPO fears it has lost sales in 11 sectors in the EU, as a result of counterfeiting. These losses have occurred directly in the industries being analysed and across their associated supply chains and totalled more than €92 billion per year during 2012-16.

Abundant value, lenient sentences and high returns on investment together make it attractive for criminal gangs to engage in counterfeiting activities. The modus operandi of such gangs is becoming increasingly complex as technology and distribution channels evolve, hand in hand with the breadth of products being counterfeited.

How legitimate brands can suffer due to advertising!

The business models adopted by counterfeiters make significant use of the internet to distribute their products and to promote the distribution and consumption of illegal digital content. Internet sites selling counterfeit goods benefit from additional advertising revenues from both “high risk” ads (adult, gaming, and malware) and, paradoxically, also from legitimate brands, which then suffer in two ways from advertising on such sites: damage to their own brand and provision of credibility to the hosting website.

In addition to analysing the supply of counterfeit goods and pirated content, the EUIPO has also studied the demand side, that is, the attitudes of EU citizens towards IPR and their willingness to consume IPR-infringing goods and services. The incentives for consumers to purchase counterfeit goods and to access copyright-protected content illegally include lower prices, easy accessibility and a low degree of social stigma associated with such activities.
In response to these developments the EUIPO, together with public and private partners, is undertaking and supporting a number of actions to meet these challenges.

The economic and social impact of IP infringements

The actions by the EUIPO range from providing rights owners with information on the changing infringement landscape and working with Europol on wider responses to IP crime. It also included participating in the funding of a specialised IP crime unit within Europol, supporting the European Commission’s efforts to address the supply of counterfeit goods in third countries and to help Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) protect their IPRs. This was done by providing citizens with information on the availability of legally accessible digital content and on the economic and social impact of purchasing counterfeit goods or accessing digital content illegally.

DOWNLOAD HERE

How the CRI Group can help you tackle IP infringement

CRI Group’s Intellectual Property Investigations team helps companies identify threats to IP and confidential information internally and throughout their supply chain, develop the appropriate mitigation strategies and investigate suspected infringements.

For further information on IPR infringement or to book a meeting with our experts, click here.

Meet our IP Infringement Investigation Manager

Mahamad Thouhid is an experienced Investigations Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the investigations and intelligence industry. Skilled in investigative planning and reporting, delivering innovative IP/Brand protection (Anti Counterfeit, Products tampering, Anti diversion and Infringement), OSINT, law enforcement, liaison with Govt. Authorities, operations management, due diligence, etc.

email: mahamad.thouhid@crigroup.com
phone: +971 4 3589884

 

Risk Management & what can business intelligence do?

Businesses must manage risks because they can frequently prevent or minimize the financial, political, social, and cultural ramifications associated with them. Risk management is an effective tool to tackle uncertainties in the probability of an event’s occurrence that challenges decision-making. Many factors associated with risk management, including business intelligence, have the potential to be used to reduce such uncertainties. Business Intelligence services supports organizations in the making more accurate estimates and predictions by analyzing historical and current data and mitigating internal and external risks.

What is Business Intelligence? How are Investigative operations are compared to Intelligence operations? Business Intelligence (BI) is a phrase coined for the analytical procedures an organization commences.

Business Intelligence is a successful method of conducting market research as it merges data derivative from the peripheral environment (i.e., market and industry) in which an organization operates with data from the core environment of the organization as fiscal and controls data. When combined, this data can deliver a complete image of any business decisions a firm can make as a means of benefit to themselves; this ranges from operational decisions such as product positioning to strategic decisions such as pricing.

What Are The Five Basic Tasks Of Business Intelligence?

  • Intelligence is used for business decisions….
  • Following are the five steps siness Intelligence:
  • The data is sourced from…
  • The results of the analysis are…
  • Being aware of your surroundings:…
  • The risk assessment is that…
  • Support in making decisions…

What is counted as Business Intelligence services?

Business Intelligence (BI) services can take on numerous forms and structures in today’s complex corporate environment. Business Intelligence services investigates everything from assets to the exterior disputes facing an organization. It can also appraise an organization’s employees to ensure that its integrity, reputation, and bottom-line profits are safeguarded from any malice and illicit activities.

CRI® Group takes two approaches to business intelligence services:

  • Intelligence operations (via market research and analysis): we focus on researching your business’s future and potential growth – i.e. determine the commercial viability and potential for success in the market, analyze consumer behavior and business trends in that market, etc.
  • Investigative operations (via commercial investigations): we focus on the status of your business – i.e. location of assets, financial information, identification of unmet needs of any market, gauge brand awareness and identity in the market, etc.)

What are intelligence operations?

Investigation and Evaluation facilities are constructed to aid clients during the business intelligence procedure. Intelligence operations are highly acclaimed by organizations of all industries. The service aids the preliminary phases of detecting the necessary components for a suitable corporate policy to the closing execution phases. At CRI® Group, we know that data is your greatest advantage when performing enterprise on several degrees.

Our market research will collect the mandatory statistics to make significant corporate decisions; everything from registering into other markets or industries to associating or partnering with other organizations (i.e., Mergers and Acquisitions) is covered in our BI Solutions. CRI® Group is proficient in understanding and transmitting this data to allow you to implement it into your corporate development; our experts are trained to the highest degree and understand how to get the proper data promptly.

CRI® Group’s methodology is to assist the organization in tracing corporate movements and market changes which, in turn, will aid in steering them through the practice of successfully conveying their brand in the larger market to then be able to market their goods and services accordingly. With representatives in nations across the globe, CRI® Group is distinctively situated to assist you in traversing cultural and regulatory environments to maximize your market potential in the regions you seek to trade.

Gaining insight into how your brand reputation affects potential buyers and understanding what motivates the market to purchase will enable you to establish effective marketing programs that impact your audiences and build brand loyalty among buyers. Why not check out our BI solutions brochure to learn more about our approach.

What are investigative operations?

It is no secret that every industry has its issues. However, some matters, such as Employee Theft, Company Fraud, rivalry, continuous malingering, or Industrial Espionage, can start on a moderately trivial scale. Still, as time advances, the culprit becomes brasher in their endeavors (typically due to an absence of discovery) instigating the situation to develop out of control and become detrimental to your commerce.

As an organization, you have every right to be involved with the internal activities of your firm; hence, carrying out commercial investigations on your employees as a means of curtailing threats is not out of the question. Our team of experts can support you to do this in a manner equally as ethical as it is providing as it delivers you the data you so greatly pursue.

Commercial investigations can be achieved for any form of an enterprise, including commercial, industrial, legal, and public sector corporations. Our team hails from diverse backgrounds, including military and fraud investigators, which is why CRI® Group is so adaptable in its approach to help you with intelligence and investigative operations. Why not check out our BI solutions brochure to learn more about our approach.

A little bit overwhelmed and wanting to learn more? Get in touch and let us know how we can help!

GET IN TOUCH

 

What is Fraud Investigation?

Fraud is one of the biggest and most damaging risks businesses face. The headlines are full of organisations both in the private and public sectors affected by fraud, irregularity or other wrongdoing – either as a victim or accused. Statistics show that the threat of Corporate Fraud increases markedly in a down economy. And when such fraud occurs, it takes an average of 18 months to detect. In that timeframe, the damage to your business can be both widespread and irreversible. The hidden costs related to corporate fraud drains an estimated five per cent of revenue from corporations worldwide.

Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Risk Management: A Proactive Approach to Prevention and Detection

Historically, most major corporate fraud cases have been perpetrated by senior management who can circumvent internal controls and often work in collusion with other employees. By establishing a strong workplace environment that promotes ethical behaviour, deters wrongdoing and encourages all employees to communicate any known or suspected activity to the proper authority, you would be taking a proactive approach to prevention and detection.

What is the fraud investigation process?

When fraud is suspected within the organisation, CRI® Group’s experienced fraud analysts use proven techniques to aggressively investigate the case, collect evidence and determine the facts. Once the type of fraud is determined, a process of gathering all evidence possible to bulk out the investigation case starts. Evidence can be collected through a variety of means and methods.

These methods include conducting detailed asset checks, background verifications, surveillance checks and stylised forms of investigation and analysis; including employee investigations and investigations of an entire business. Subsequently, the victims and potential fraudsters will be interviewed.  Our analysts work with your management, internal security and legal teams to uncover the truth and bring proper closure to the case.

Are you auditing your fraud prevention program regularly?

  • Review and assessment of your current fraud risk management program, including policies, procedures, controls, reporting functions, responsibilities assignment and investigative requirements to identify the organisation’s susceptibility to fraud and vulnerability by the department.
  • Developing fraud prevention measures and implementing Anti-fraud controls.
  • Defining detection methods that encompass internal audits, suspicious transaction reporting, whistle-blower strategies, and program enforcement.
  • Re-engineering targeted job functions or internal controls to mesh with fraud risk management program refinements.

Take extra precaution with Fraud and White-Collar Crime Investigations

Fraud and white-collar crime investigations and risk consulting services have helped financial institutions, corporations, partnerships, and individuals worldwide minimise fraud and thereby satisfy capital markets, reduce legal costs, and maintain their reputation and brand equity. CRI® Group’s global team of Certified Fraud Examiners are trained in virtually every aspect of corporate fraud, including:

  • Money Laundering
  • Intellectual Property Crimes
  • Embezzlement
  • Check & Credit Card Fraud
  • Online Cybercrime
  • Accounting Fraud
  • Cash Theft
  • Asset Misappropriation
  • Bribery
  • Corruption
  • Contract & Procurement Fraud
  • Payroll Fraud

CRI® Group develops preventative measures that have helped organisations worldwide identify a material weakness in internal controls to mitigate collusive activity and reduce the liabilities associated with corporate fraud. Our trained investigators leverage our collective investigative experience, leading technology tools, global reach and credibility with regulators to bring you insights with precision and speed.

Our international team of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) work with companies to analyse and assess fraud prevention measures, develop solid risk management programs, provide training for executives, board, management and staff, establish effective communications strategies for reporting suspicious behaviour, and implement investigation and corrective action policies that meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

CRI® Group professionals work with your organisation on an unbiased level, strengthening your fraud risk management program by:

  • Adhering to the organisation’s written code of conduct
  • Reviewing existing fraud risk management programs
  • Training employees to properly identify fraud
  • Developing internal and external reporting channels
  • Identifying senior management, board and employee responsibilities
  • Conducting and monitoring the progress of investigations
  • Providing thorough reporting of investigative results
  • Testifying as expert witnesses, if required

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

CRI® Group invites you to schedule a quick appointment with us to discuss in more detail how our risk management solutions can help you and your organisation. 

BOOK A MEETING NOW!

Why CRI® Group?

  • CRI® has one of the largest, most experienced & best-trained integrity due diligence teams in the world.
  • We have a flat structure which means that you will have direct access to senior members of staff throughout the due diligence process.
  • Our multi-lingual teams have conducted assignments on thousands of subjects in over 80 countries, & we’re committed to maintaining & constantly evolving our global network.
  • Our solutions are easily customisable, flexible & we will tailor our scope to address your concerns & risk areas; saving you time & money.
  • Our team of more than 50 full-time analysts is spread across Europe, Middle East, Asia, North and South America & is fully equiped with the local knowledge to serve your needs globally.
  • Our extensive solutions include due diligence, employee pre & post background screening, business intelligence & compliance, facilitating any decision-making across your business no matter what area or department.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management SystemISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system (CMS)Anti-Money Laundering (AML); and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems ABMS. ABAC® offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments while assisting in developing frameworks for strategic compliance programs. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime POWER PLAYERS Issue Is Out Now!

2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime

  • 2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime Power Players issue is out. Corporate Research and Investigations Limited were featured in this year Financier Worldwide’s Power Players issue.
  • In this edition, CRI® Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Zafar Anjum, talks about his career’s achievements, what the organisation strives to demonstrate to clients and how he sees the investigations a white-collar crime market shaping up over the coming months and all the exciting trends or developments on the horizon.
  • Having dedicated his career to background investigation, fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance, Zafar Anjum is a distinguished and highly respected professional in his field.

As CEO at CRI®, Zafar uses his extensive knowledge and expertise in creating stable and secure networks across challenging global markets. For organisations needing comprehensive project management, security, safeguard testing, background investigations and real-time compliance applications, Anjum is the assurance expert of choice for industry professionals. Such expertise is increasingly important as a result of COVID-19 – with a long list of countries worldwide still facing significant economic disruption, insecurity and suffering, which has created an increased risk of bribery and corruption. News in the past years showed that many governments began to implement measures to combat these implications from the global pandemic:

Kenyan Anti-bribery and Anti-Corruption laws

“In 2020, it was reported [by Global Compliance News] that the Kenyan Government is in the process of implementing harsher corruption and bribery laws in an attempt to curb the current statistics within the country. The Kenyan Government is concerned with preventing bribery and corruption, perhaps to ensure the appropriate allocation of resources in these unprecedented times. A proposed amendment to the Bribery Act, which is currently being tabled in Parliament, seeks to allow for the imposition of a fine amounting to KSh 5 million (circa USD 46,939) or for a period of imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where an individual is aware of, or suspects bribery taking place and fails to report it.”

US Abuse of Power Prevention Act

In 2020, the House Judiciary Committee held a mark-up of a new bill, the Abuse of the Pardon Prevention Act, as US congress aims to eliminate the tolerance of alleged corruption and bribery undertaken by the current or former presidents. “Section Three of the bill amends the federal bribery statute to make clear that a (former) president can be prosecuted for accepting a bribe in exchange for a pardon… The House also introduced a related bill; the No President is Above the Law Act.”

French Compliance Legislation

The French government has also been working on implementing anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation in 2020 for the first time since 2016 adapted and improved their white-collar crime standards. As stated in a Global Investigations Review by Lexology, “in anti-bribery compliance, in particular, the recently created French Anticorruption Agency (AFA) keeps building on Sapin II by providing guidance on specific topics, auditing compliance programmes and for the first time… bringing cases in front of its sanctions board.”

Against this backdrop, Financier Worldwide turns to come of the leading lights in their field (including our CEO), who share their stories. A pre-release version of “POWER PLAYERS Investigations & White-Collar Crime 2022 – Exceptional Experts” is now available to view. Please click here to access the file.

The Security Of Your Company Depends On Effective Risk Management

Background investigations are critical to any company’s success because working with qualified, honest and hard-working employees and other businesses is integral to thriving in the business community. What you don’t know can hurt you, and the simple act of one bad decision can result in an unprecedented loss for your company. 

From vendor and third-party screening to employment screening, CRI® Group recommends background investigations as critical proactive measures to help keep your business safe. An effective background screening investigation will help screen for bad apples that can cause havoc down the road. Because we maintain a diverse talent base comprised of multilingual and multi-cultural professionals, CRI® can traverse obstacles that often impede international background investigations. That’s why we are frequently contracted by our competitors to conduct background investigations in geographic regions not serviced or accessible by larger investigative firms. Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management SystemISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system (CMS)Anti-Money Laundering (AML); and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems ABMS. ABAC® offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments while assisting in developing frameworks for strategic compliance programs. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

ABAC® is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS CB number: 10613) against ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of the scheme’s management systems of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems (ABMS). This makes ABAC® Certification the leading accredited certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance management system standards. ABAC® experts audit any existing compliance and anti-bribery anti-corruption management systems to assess effectiveness and vulnerabilities while ensuring your organisation complies with Internal Standards, FCPA, UK Bribery Act, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and all other global, regional and local regulations while maintaining a competitive edge in the world marketplace.

If you are seeking to validate or expand your existing compliance frameworks to maintain a competitive edge in the world marketplace, ABAC® can help you. Our experts audit your existing compliance and anti-bribery anti-corruption management systems to assess effectiveness and vulnerabilities while ensuring your organisation complies with Internal Standards, FCPA rules, UK Bribery Act laws, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and all other global, regional and local regulations.

Let’s talk

Follow us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter for more industry news and insights.

GDPR vs. UK-GDPR; the laws Post Brexit

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law that was implemented on the 25th of May 2018 and concentrates on data protection and confidentiality in the European Union and the European Economic Area; alongside this, the GDPR is also used to address the transmission of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The EU Commission announced on 28 June 2021 that adequacy judgments for the UK have been passed, so what does that mean for the GDPR rules?

The Brexit transition phase concluded on the 31st of December 2020 and as a component of the new trade agreement, the EU has come to an agreement to postpone the transmission limitations for at least four months, which can then be stretched out to six months (recognised as the bridge). The European Commission published its draft decisions on the 19th of February 2021  regarding the UK’s adequacy under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED). In both cases, the European Commission has found the UK to be adequate which implies that much of the data can resume the stream from the EU and the EEA devoid of the need for supplementary precautions. Nevertheless, it is vital to take note of the fundamental reality that the adequacy decisions do not cover data conveyed to the UK for the principles of immigration control, or where the UK immigration immunity is appropriate. For this nature of data, distinct regulations are employed, and the EEA dispatcher wants to set other transfer safeguards in place. September 2021 saw WhatsApp being handed the second highest fine under EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules and the biggest fine ever from the Irish Data Protection Commission due to their lack of understanding towards the new GDPR laws – had they done their due diligence, they may have been able to avert such a hefty fine. Our Due diligence 360° services provide the specialised intelligence needed by global financial institutions and multinational corporations to guarantee complete compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and legislations.

Find out more about compliance below or download our free brochure.

FIND OUT MORE or DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE

The draft decisions will at this point be deemed by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and a committee of the 27 EU Member Governments.  If the committee accepts the draft decisions, then the European Commission can formally adopt them as legal adequacy decisions.  If adequacy decisions are not implemented at the end of the bridge and allocations from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK will require compliance with EU GDPR transfer constraints.

What is the UK-GDPR?

The United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK-GDPR) is the UK’s national data privacy law that is the proxy for the EU’s GDPR after Brexit; it is fundamentally the equivalent to the EU’s GDPR but altered to accommodate national regions of regulation. The UK-GDPR will regulate personal data and demand the same legal grounds for managing personal data.

The GDPR is indeed still retained in domestic law as the UK GDPR, although the UK has the freedom to maintain the framework under evaluation. The ‘UK GDPR’ as it’s known as, rests adjacent to a revised edition of the DPA 2018. It is also essential to note that the fundamental ethics, constitutional rights, and responsibilities remain as they were but that there are connotations for the regulations on transmissions of individual data between the UK and the EEA.

The UK GDPR also pertains to regulators and processors established out of the UK if their managing pursuits correlate to:

  • presenting commodities or services to persons in the UK; or
  • supervising the conduct of persons taking place in the UK.

Similarly, there are also outcomes for UK regulators who have an institution in the EEA, have consumers in the EEA, or observe individuals in the EEA. The EU GDPR still pertains to this handling as data can still flow freely from the EEA because the EU have adopted adequacy decisions about the UK, but the European data protection mandates has altered the way you can interact. CRI® Group’s own exclusive, expert-developed 3PRM™ services help you proactively mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting your organisation from liability, brand damage, and harm to the business. Whether your organisation has a large, well-established third-party program, is in the early stages of development, or is anywhere in between, the 3PRM™ solution can improve the health of your program and future-proof your entire business in many forms.

Find out more about 3PRM™ below or download our free brochure.

FIND OUT MORE or DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE

Which rules apply?

Whilst the adequacy judgments stay in order, the UK GDPR is still valid and is expected to remain so until the 27th of June 2025. The EU Commission will be supervising advancements in the UK on a constant basis to guarantee that the UK will continue to deliver a comparable degree of data protection. The Commission is still able to revise, postpone, or rescind the decisions if concerns cannot be settled. EU data subjects or an EU data protection authority can also instigate a lawful dispute regarding the decisions in which the Court of Justice of the European union would then have to determine whether the UK did essentially deliver comparable security.

In the absenteeism of an EU GDPR adequacy decision, the Frozen GDPR would be valid to subjective data of the basis of if:

  • it was administered in the UK under the EU GDPR before 01 January 2021; or
  • it’s being administered in the UK on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement

Conversely, the UK-GDPR does increase on -and diverge from- the EU GDPR in noteworthy approaches that will make modifications to the legal environment of data protection in the UK.

UK-GDPR expands and changes the European GDPR

The areas increased on by the UK-GDPR are:

  • National security
  • Intelligence services
  • Immigration

These regions, are per definition, are outside the scope of the European GDPR the three of them are deemed to be extra-national regulation from the EU devoid of powers to govern affairs of national confidence in constituent nations. Nevertheless, the UK-GDPR sets out specific concessions by which the customary welfare of personal data can be circumvented, e.g., when in matters of national security or in matters of immigration. It also applies the same requirements for collection and processing of personal data to the intelligence services. A further significant change is that the Information Commissioner, who was the leading data protection authority in the UK today, became the primary director, monitor and enforcer of the UK-GDPR.

Are you post-Brexit GDPR compliant? 

The UK-GDR would now entail your organisation’s site or application to request for the user’s approval prior to accumulating and managing data via cookies. It involves that your organisation not amassing more data than is truly mandatory and to also make it as straightforward for your users to rescind authority to the application of data as it is to give it. Transparency is key in the UK-GDPR and requires clarification of how long data is stored and how you will be processing users’ personal data.

Let’s Talk!

It’s always great to have a helping hand when it comes to compliance and risk management – especially with all the new changes expected to take place ahead of securing the integrity and morality across corporate culture. Take a proactive stance with the highest level of expertise as a part of your essential corporate strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our full range of services to help your organisation stay protected.

GET IN TOUCH

What is Business Intelligence? Investigative operations vs Intelligence operations

What is Business Intelligence?

What is Business Intelligence? How are Investigative operations are compared to Intelligence operations? Business Intelligence (BI) is a phrase coined for the analytical procedures an organisation commences. Business Intelligence is known to be a successful method of conducting market research as it merges data derivative from the peripheral environment (i.e., market and industry) in which an organisation operates with data from the core environment of the organisation as fiscal and controls data. When combined, this data can deliver a complete image of any business decisions a firm can make as a means of benefit to themselves; this ranges from operational decisions such as product positioning to strategic decisions such as pricing.

What is counted as Business Intelligence Solutions?

Business Intelligence (BI) Solutions can take on numerous forms and structures in today’s complex corporate environment. BI solution investigates everything from assets to the exterior disputes facing an organisation. It can also appraise an organisation’s employees to ensure that the organisation’s integrity, reputation, and bottom-line profits are safeguarded from any malice and illicit activities.

CRI® Group takes two approaches to BI solutions:

  • Intelligence operations (via market research and analysis): we focus on researching the future and potential growth of your business – i.e. determine the commercial viability and potential for success in the market, analyse consumer behaviour and business trends in that market, etc.
  • Investigative operations (via commercial investigations): we focus on the status of your business – i.e. location of assets, financial information, identification of unmet needs of any market, gauge brand awareness and identity in the market, etc.)

Why not check out our BI solutions brochure to know more about our approach.

What are intelligence operations?

Investigation and Evaluation facilities are constructed to aid clients during the business intelligence procedure. Intelligence operations are highly acclaimed for organisations of all industries as the service aids the preliminary phases of detecting the necessary components for a suitable corporate policy to the closing phases of execution. At CRI® Group we know that data is your greatest advantage when performing enterprise on several degrees.

Our market research will collect the statistics mandatory to make significant corporate decisions; everything varying from registering into other markets or industries to associating or partnering with other organisations (i.e., Mergers and Acquisitions) is covered in our BI Solutions. CRI® Group is proficient in understanding and transmitting this data in a way that allows you to implement it into your corporate development; our experts are trained to the highest degree and understand how to get the proper data promptly.

CRI’s methodology is to assist the organisation in tracing corporate movements and market changes which in turn, will aid in steering them through the practice of successfully conveying their brand in the larger market to then be able to market their goods and services accordingly. With representatives in nations across the globe, CRI® Group is distinctively situated to assist you in traversing cultural and regulatory environments to maximise your market potential in the regions you seek to trade.

Gaining insight into how your brand reputation affects potential buyers and understanding what motivates the market to purchase will enable you to establish effective marketing programs that impact your audiences and build brand loyalty among buyers.

What are investigative operations?

It is no secret that every industry has its issues. Some matters, however, such as Employee Theft, Company Fraud, rivalry, continuous malingering, or Industrial Espionage, can start on a moderately trivial scale but as time advances, the culprit becomes brasher in their endeavours (typically due to an absence of discovery) instigating the situation to develop out of control and start being detrimental your commerce.

As an organisation, you have every right to be involved with the internal activities of your firm hence, carrying out commercial investigations on your employees as a means of curtailing threats is not out of the question. Our team of experts can support you to do this in a manner that is equally as ethical as it is providing as it delivers you the data you so greatly pursue.

Commercial investigations can be achieved for any form of an enterprise including commercial, industrial, legal, and public sector corporations. Our team hail from a range of diverse backgrounds, including military and fraud investigators which is why CRI® Group is so adaptable in its approach to help you with intelligence and investigative operations.

A little bit overwhelmed and wanting to learn more? Get in touch and let us know how we can help!

GET IN TOUCH

 

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

How is COVID-19 Radically Transforming the New-Hire Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for industries, organizations and their teams on every level. HR leaders had to adapt to a new normal quickly. Along with coping with the closing of workplaces and adjusting to working from home, many organizations had significant recruitment, vetting and onboarding activities. With two-thirds of employers reporting increased productivity for remote workers than in-office workers, businesses also discovered the benefits of a remote and flexible workforce. With the human element of HR almost vanishing overnight, HR leaders had to learn how to leverage the “digital” aspect of their jobs, ramp it up and implement it across their processes to deliver a new-hire experience and an overall good employee experience. And these changes are very likely to stay for the long haul.

This article explores how COVID-19 radically transformed the new-hire experience from recruitment to background screening, onboarding, and retention. We also explore some of the advantages of these changes and how you can leverage the new normal into your employee experience and increase retention.

The new normal

When COVID-19 struck, companies were faced with the difficult task of hiring quickly and economically, continuing effective onboarding processes, and changing the overall new-hire experience whilst managing the day-to-day risks and ever-changing challenges. COVID posed a lot of challenges when it comes to recruitment, such as:

  1. Navigating the new realm of virtual recruitment.
  2. High demand for recruitment in specific sectors (e.g., pharmaceuticals, retail supermarkets, delivery companies, transportation, retail banks, healthcare).
  3. The need to hire employees with a specific skill set (e.g., digital marketing, IT teams, customer service).
  4. Accommodating for existing staff working from home.
  5. Considering the long-term and short-term economic impact of hiring during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

There was also the onboarding process. Before the pandemic, some would say the process of onboarding an employee begins when the candidate is offered the position and continues until the new employee is considered productive – which could be anytime from the end of a probation period, for example, to a full year and the first appraisal. However, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 25% of employers reported that their onboarding process took a day or less. In comparison, 26% spent a week, 21% over a month, and 11% said their onboarding process extends over three months or longer.

Furthermore, during the pandemic, the number of cases of employee fraud and misconduct grew substantially. In a survey conducted last year by CRI Group, an overwhelming number of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting human resources at their company. There are also concerns about fraud, and the protection of confidential information, as much of the workforce has gone virtual in work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. CRI Group’s survey measures the pulse of human resources during a challenging time in business worldwide. The largest number (38%) of survey participants were human resources professionals, but respondents also included managers (19%); executives, directors and administrators (27%); and other roles.

Being digital in a COVID world, where face-to-face interaction is no longer possible, is mostly about optimising the end-to-end employee experience and leveraging data to deliver a somewhat personal employee onboarding experience. Outlined below are ten fundamental tips that support it:

1. Integrate employee information from screening to onboarding and deployment

Managing data is a challenge, but it is essential to ensure that the monitoring and engagement of the new hire remain consistent throughout the onboarding lifecycle. Integrate a system that includes Applicant Tracking System (ATS), recruitment, background screening, onboarding, and performance management, and learning/development systems.

2. There are no shortcuts in recruitment; background screening is more critical than ever

Many companies are hiring at an accelerated rate – especially in the medical profession and industries dealing with infectious diseases, medical supply, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities. A need for quick and effective pre-employment screening has arisen, but that is precisely why proper background screening is critical during COVID. Take the revised BS7858:2019 standard: When establishing policies and practices around the standard and vetting new hires against the standard, organisations can show that they place a high value on hiring individuals who possess integrity. Organisations can then task their new hires with responsibilities designed to keep their co-workers, customers and information safe from the negative forces that have become more prevalent in today’s ever-changing COVID-19 world.

3. Reduce insider fraud or misconduct risk and increase employee integration success rate from the get-go

Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 crisis, employee fraud has increased. According to a 2020 report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 5% of all revenue generated by organisations – some three and a half trillion pounds globally – is lost every year through fraud committed by employees. Effective background screening for candidates and employees is an essential and effective countermeasure.

4. Leverage HR technology, social media and remote working to elevate the employee experience

Remote working is very much a given in this era, so you must leverage technology to not only facilitate your new hire now but their job as a future permanent employee. It will also reduce the need for face-to-face support while at the same time encouraging pro-activity and self-service. In today’s reality, employee experience is not just about boosting employee engagement but more about employee support effectiveness as a whole – while reducing dependencies on HR at the same time.

5. Engage new-hire from the get-go

Employee onboarding starts not just when the employee joins the organization. Your very first email is the first experience the candidate has with your organization. In the fast world of recruitment, too many sure candidates drop your process or reject your offers for a better one. It is essential to keep the candidate engaged while at the same time initiating a slow process of integrating her/him into the organization asap — by doing so, you will improve the offer-to-join ratio.

6. Accelerate the time-to-competency for new hires by reducing the learning curve

It is important to establish expectations, set clear goals for the new hire, and monitor them consistently. Investing in employees’ professional development has always been an attractive “benefit” of any luring organization. With COVID and the inability to learn on the job, this is more important. Why? Employees at all levels worldwide have been flung into a different and new way of working, which requires a very different skill set. According to Gallup, organizations that invest in employee development report 11% greater profitability. Every individual has his/ her learning style and ways of retaining information, so leverage all the digital tools available such as on-demand videos, live chats, virtual assistants, and other forms of interactive self-paced learning options.

7. Up-skilling your people by providing learning and knowledge retention tools on demand

Learning is key to making an employee productive. Training new and current employees to cope with the ongoing changes from the COVID-19 pandemic will help them remain productive. Employee retention like this is invaluable, especially as recruitment has become that bit trickier in a remote world. Do not lose top talent, knowledge and experience, for lacking that extra level of support.

8. Mental health is critical; it is time to acknowledge and practice it

The turbulence of today’s dual health and economic crises is unprecedented and is affecting employees. PwC’s 2020 Global Consumer Insights survey shows a shift in the consumer’s priority, with 69% saying they are caring more about their mental health and physical fitness, and 63% saying they want to eat healthier as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A study from Tilburg University in the Netherlands (commissioned by the IOSH – Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) estimated around 12.8 billion working days are lost due to anxiety and depression. The study concluded that organizations could help prevent mental health problems from becoming more severe and achieve a more sustainable workplace by paying attention to each individual’s situation and conditions. Employers must emphasize meeting individual needs and finding a more tailored approach where the new reality can safely “cohabit” with a desired new future. Leveraging social media to provide a robust peer support system is equally helpful – these will aid the onboarding process.

9. The employee continuously due diligence

Conduct a periodic review of existing employees. Investing in due diligence is vital to mitigate the risks and identify fraud. Periodically screening and vetting existing employees can protect and enhance the overall security of your organization.

10. Cut costs drastically

Leveraging these new changes and integrating them into your onboarding cycle can help reduce expenses drastically across your business. It eliminates the cost that comes when placing the wrong candidate.

EmploySmart – take the first step towards transforming your employee background screening!

Businesses have to adapt quickly to survive, which can mean cutting steps in their hiring process, and no one knows how this will play out. Using a vendor to conduct your background screening effectively will invaluably make your onboarding process more scalable. It will allow you to focus on delivering consistently superior services to new hires across the board and, more importantly, focus on the fun stuff like supporting the new hire on their continued improvement.

We understand how important it is to monitor all stages from recruitment to onboarding and from onboarding to learning and development; that’s why our employee screening reports are easy to “transcribe” to whatever HR ecosystem you use. Our reports will essentially complement the effectiveness of any employee onboarding process and, therefore, your HR department.

Mitigate the employee risk impact! Learn how with this FREE eBook. Taken as a whole, this eBook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and company looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to stay ahead of COVID-19 effectively. Read more or DOWNLOAD now!

EmploySmart | Most Robust Employee Background Check Service

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate? Are you 100% sure you know that everything they’re telling you is the truth? 90%? They showed you a diploma, how do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct laws during your background checks process? Employee background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within HR, your business, or even your brand – simply investing in a sufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak.

CRI® Group has developed EmploySmart™, a robust new pre-employment background screening service, certified for BS7858,  to avoid negligent hiring liabilities. Ensure a safe work environment for all – EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. We are a leading worldwide provider, specialized in local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment and post-employment background checks.

 
 

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organizations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

LET’S TALK

CRI® Proud Official Supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week 2020

International Fraud Awareness Week, November 14-20 – and CRI® Group is once again a proud Official Supporter of this global movement. Fraud Week was created to reduce the impact of fraud and corruption by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.

Fraud statistics

Fraud is still increasingly common. Even when it comes to hiring employees, companies must be vigilant. CRI® Group’s investigative team found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as it was uncovered in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by providing incorrect education degree details as well as having adverse media (unfavorable news or online mentions), both at 2.33 per cent. Most employers would probably say that when it comes to educational background, the only thing worse than providing incorrect degree information would be outright claiming a fake degree – which occurred in nearly 2 per cent of cases.

Read more in our article “Background Screening Red flags: Numbers Don’t Lie”.

In another survey conducted by CRI® Group, which analyzed how COVID-19 has impacted human resources and its functions, it was revealed that companies understand the fraud risk factor during the pandemic: nearly 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement.

Also, the shocking number of survey participants highlighted that they have encountered employee fraud in their career. Luckily, most companies do conduct background screening of some type. In fact, 85 per cent do so, which is important because many companies have learned that trust can be misplaced. While an overwhelming 92 per cent said they trust their employees with confidential data, background screening can help verify that your employees aren’t hiding anything in their backgrounds that might put your company at risk.

Read more about the survey, as it provides valuable information for companies, employees, and human resources professionals and teams who serve them. It also sheds light on the critical need for increased employee background screening and data protection during a tumultuous time.

Some other stats to note (the following come from the ACFE):

  • The average fraud lasts 18 months before it is discovered. The longer a fraud lasts, the greater the financial damage (schemes that last for several years can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars).
  • The most common detection method for fraud is tips. And organisations that have reporting hotlines are much more likely to detect fraud through tips than organisations without hotlines.

All of the above indicates that the fraud issue is real and organisations must take actions to prevent the fraud risks for their organisations and even careers. For CRI® Group, the goal is to help business leaders think about fraud and corruption this week and take steps to minimise it year-round. So, what is your organisation doing for Fraud Week?

Get involved in the Internal Fraud Awareness Week

Join CRI® Group and ACFE in the fight against fraud. ACFE provides a great set of the following tools to go a step further in your role and to start discussions amongst peers, co-workers, executives and stakeholders in your community about how important fraud prevention is to society as a whole:

  • Post on social media using new badges and informative images with the tag #fraudweek
  • Add the new Official Fraud Week Supporter badge to your email signature.
  • Invite a ACFE to talk to your employees and co-workers virtually on how to avoid common mistakes when preventing fraud.
  • Download the free Fraud Week logo to share on materials or websites.
  • Involve your local chamber of commerce or city council to spread tips on fraud prevention for small businesses.
  • Host a talk or seminar for your co-workers or community on regularly staying aware of fraud prevention best practices.
  • Perform a fraud check-up for your organization and present your findings to executives, as well as a proactive plan for how to remedy weak spots in your current controls.

How does CRI® Group fight fraud?

CRI® proudly celebrates International Fraud awareness week and highlights that this occasion (called Fraud Week, for short) is an important effort to put a spotlight on fraud, help educate people about its perils and build a fraud-free future.

“Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organization’s first line of defense against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organization’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behavior”, Zafar Anjum, founder and CEO of CRI® Group says.

“Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behavior. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”

For CRI®, though, helping organizations prevent and detect fraud is a year-round commitment. That’s why Fraud Week is a great time to reflect on CRI® Group’s recent efforts in the fight against fraud, and to also look ahead to activities on the near horizon. Below are just a few of the highlights.

Does your organization have a training program in place that addresses fraud, bribery and corruption? And, if so, how robust is your training? How often is it administered? And how do you know it’s working?

These are important questions, especially considering the fact that we know most fraud is discovered internally through employee tips. A recent case study is a perfect illustration of that.

Case study: Conflicts of interest

A major pharmaceutical company’s security department received conflict of interest complaints that reportedly involved a range of employees, from sales personnel on up to the chief financial officer (CFO).  The company engaged CRI® Group to conduct an integrity due diligence and conflict of interest investigation in order to uncover unethical practices, including bribery and corruption, by senior employees.

CRI® Group’s investigators quickly launched a risk assessment of the company’s third-party relationships, which included several interviews with identified vendors and suppliers to help ascertain the engagement process and associated risks.

Investigators found one of the vendors used letterhead that lacked a physical address, and the only contact information listed was a single cell phone number. Site visits, background checks and interviews helped determine that the suspicious vendor was not a company at all – but a single person, and he was none other than the brother-in-law of the client company’s CFO. Worse still was the fact that this obvious fraud was being conducted right under the noses of the company’s procurement and finance professionals.

CRI® Group investigators discovered that the individual’s residence was being utilised as a warehouse to help facilitate the fraud. Comprehensive litigation records check with local and regional courts found that the subject was previously convicted in federal court and spent three years in prison for the charges of selling counterfeit products, physician samples and expired medicines; further regulatory checks found that his pharmacist license had been cancelled.

The fraud had continued for five years. However, the one thing that saved the company from further financial harm was the fact that employees had stepped forward to report unethical behaviour. If not for their action, the fraud could have continued indefinitely.

Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organisation’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organisation’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behaviour.

CRI® Group’s Certification body, ABAC® Center of Excellence provides employee training as part of the curriculum for a participating organisation. In fact, ISO 37001:2016 certifies that your organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery, and these measures involve training, top-level leadership, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit and investigation.

Some key things to remember:

  • Anti-fraud training should be mandatory. This includes managers and executives, who should also receive special training regarding their position of responsibility.
  • Anti-fraud training should be an element of new employee orientation. After that, it should be provided to all employees on an annual basis, if not more frequently.
  • Training might be presented live (in-class), on video or online in an interactive format. The live class is preferred, as it allows questions and personal engagement. However, in today’s business world, some employees work remotely and an online format may be more feasible.

Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behavior. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Learn more about how CRI® Group and the ABAC® Center of Excellence can help you have a well-trained workforce serving as your front line of defence against fraud, bribery and corruption.

CRI® Group is here to help and create a fraud-free future. Contact us today to learn more about our ABAC® training and certification opportunities, our EmploySmart background checking process, our investigative services and other offerings.

 

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organizations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

5 Tips for Preventing & Detecting Expense Fraud

It’s one of the most common forms of occupational fraud: employees fudging on their expense accounts. In June, 2020, Lookers (London-listed company) warned investors they might be unable to buy and sell its shares from the beginning of July because of potential fraud on its books – confirming £19m charge to correct books after fraud inquiry. Whether through fictitious charges, fake receipts or invoices, or other improper use of expense funds, an expense account is sometimes seen as a low-risk, high-reward area for committing fraud. It shouldn’t be. If your company takes the proper steps to review expense activity and protect itself from fraud, expense accounts will no longer be a vulnerable area of your finances.

The experts at CRI® Group offer the following tips for bolstering your protection against expense account fraud:

1. Provide strict guidelines for credit card use

Often, expense account fraud is committed with the use of a credit card, with the employee seeking illegitimate reimbursement for various expenses. Detail how personal cards are allowed to be used, and require and review all receipts for claimed expenses. Also require supporting documentation (such as an airline boarding pass, for example) to ensure the purchase was used as intended.

2. Check company credit card statements carefully

In some cases, employees will use a company credit card to make a purchase, but then claim similar or duplicate expenses for reimbursement on their expense report. This is easy to catch if you carefully review company card statements and check them against reimbursements.

3. Ask questions

If a purchase seems odd or unrelated to business use, catching it early is the best way to resolve the issue. After too much time has passed, an employee might claim to have a difficult time remembering exactly what the questionable expense was for. If in doubt about a claim, ask for supporting documentation and a clear explanation of how the expense was used for a business purpose.

4. Implement a Code of Ethics for all employees

By including anti-fraud language in your Code of Ethics, which should communicate a strong anti-fraud stance and be signed by all employees, it will be clear that expense account fraud is not tolerated. Reinforce this with regular communications to employees reminding them that the company does not tolerate fraud in any form and offenders will be prosecuted.

5. Set a Tone at the Top

If the company has rules in place but senior staff aren’t following them, lower-level employees will follow by example and flout the rules, as well. All staff should follow the rules to the letter. Especially while on business trips with lower level employees, senior staff should set a positive example and make a point to follow the rules for business expenses.

Expense account fraud is a persistent problem in business, but it doesn’t have to be a crisis at your company. By using a common sense approach and some key prevention strategies, you can help ensure that your employees know the rules and are less likely to try to take advantage of company expense funds. For assistance in developing and implementing a fraud prevention strategy, contact us today or get a FREE QUOTE now!

 

Let’s Talk!

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organizations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

Wal-Mart: a professional TPRM implementation would have avoided this situation.

Lack of TPRM strategy can be an expensive reminder of how important is it to balance the risks and benefits of using third parties to deliver business services.

On June 20, 2019, Walmart Inc global retail corporation, settled a long-running corruption investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve a long-running U.S. bribery investigation into allegations of bribery by its employees. 

According to the agreed-upon statement of facts in the DOJ settlement documents, as well as allegations in the SEC administrative order, from 2000 until 2011, despite the fact that certain Walmart personnel responsible for implementing and maintaining the Company’s internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption were aware of certain controls failures, including failures related to potentially improper payments to government officials by certain Walmart foreign subsidiaries, Walmart failed to implement appropriate internal controls to prevent such improper payments.

The DOJ alleged that Walmart failed to do the following:

  1. Conduct sufficient anti-corruption due diligence on third-party intermediaries (“TPIs”) who interacted with foreign officials;
  2. Implement appropriate controls related to payments to TPIs; 
  3. Require proof of services before paying TPIs; 
  4. Require that TPIs had written contracts with anti-corruption compliance provisions; 
  5. Ensure that donations ostensibly made to foreign government agencies were not converted to personal use by foreign officials; and
  6. Implement appropriate policies covering gifts, travel and entertainment for foreign officials.

With a total of $282 million in penalties and disgorgement and its Brazilian subsidiary pleading guilty to criminal charges, the deal could have easily been avoided with a professional due diligence implementation.

The Arkansas-based global retail corporation settled a long-running corruption investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) (collectively the “Government”), with the Company paying a total of $282 million in penalties and disgorgement and its Brazilian subsidiary pleading guilty to criminal charges.

Expensive Reminder About the Importance of Due diligence

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is understood as the reasonable steps taken to satisfy legal requirements in the conduct of business relations. An Integrity Due Diligence allows you to reduce risks arising from the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and the UKBA (U.K. Bribery Act), make informed decisions, and pursue takeovers or mergers confidently. In the business world, due diligence refers to the organisation’s investigation and steps to satisfy all legal requirements before buying or selling products and services or entering into a contract or a financial arrangement with another party.

Unlike other kinds of control (audits, market analysis, etc.), it must be independent and rely as little as possible upon information provided by the researched subject. The other significant difference lies in the methodology: commercial or financial due diligence analyses available information, Investigative Due Diligence provides reliable and pertinent, but raw, information.

When conducting investigative due diligence, you can identify key risks; it can enhance your knowledge and understanding of the customer, supplier, employee and third-party risk, helping you avoid any compliance. 

Protect your reputation and the risk of financial damage and regulator action using our detailed reports. 

Types of transactions

Professionals can be hired to conduct investigations or audits of business deals involving a variety of transactions, such as:

  • merger & acquisition;
  • potential investment in securities;
  • real estate transaction;
  • business purchase or sale; and
  • investment in a new product or technology, and so on.

Types of investigations

The standard types of investigations that are conducted include:

  • Conflict of interest investigation;
  • Review of financial records;
  • Confirmation of financials with a bank or other financial institution;
  • Credit checks from credit reporting companies (such as Equifax);
  • Property title checks obtained from a trusted source (e.g. land titles office or your lawyer); and
  • Confirmation of corporate status, directors, officers, and shareholders (if applicable).

How can a professional fraud investigator help?

  • review client documentation and information to identify red flags of fraud;
  • conduct standard public record searches on the people or issues identified;
  • conduct covert and overt interviews and gather intelligence utilising other covert and overt methods; and
  • after an initial investigation is completed, request that their clients meet with the proposed parties to the transaction to gauge their credibility against the information that the investigator has found about them.

How CRI® can help

We enable businesses to make better decisions about the third parties they choose to work with. We help you make better decisions faster. We examine risk from every angle so you can make better-informed decisions. And we provide you with the insights you need to identify the partners who will create better long-term value for your business.

Third-party risk management services brochure