Finding evidential needles in massive data haystacks
December 07, 2017
By David Lawler, Keith McCarthy, Paul Nash
The role of financial and data analytic experts in an investigation
Companies with international operations today face scrutiny at an unprecedented level. They are subject to reviews and investigations by national governments, as well as local, state, and foreign government agencies. They may then face civil claims by other aggrieved stakeholders who may call into question a company’s conduct. It is vital that companies faced with allegations or suspicions of wrongdoing properly understand them, and conduct their own detailed internal investigation to resolve them.
The last 20 years of technological evolution has deeply and permanently altered business record-keeping. In matters involving bribery and corruption, the majority of the facts will now be found inside corporate networks, email servers, and electronic devices, and in accounting systems which capture the details of millions of transactions.
In this chapter, we set out some of the elements that should be considered when undertaking a multi-jurisdictional anti-bribery and corruption investigation, focusing on the increasing role that the non-legal experts play – the forensic accountants, data analysts, and investigators – and how they can be used most effectively to search the data haystacks for evidence as to what has gone on and where problems might arise in the future, while minimising disruption to the business.
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