Whether big or small, internal investigations require companies to mobilize their resources efficiently and effectively. Internal investigations can be driven by external sources like the government or a lawsuit, while others are driven by internal sources like a whistleblower or the internal audit department. No matter the source or size, most internal investigations are time sensitive and having a plan in place can save your company time and resources. This alert provides the first of several tips to ensure an effective internal investigation.
1. Develop and Follow Internal Policies
Having internal policies in place before an investigation arises will help streamline the process of conducting the investigation. Examples of such policies include whistleblower policies, anti-corruption guidelines, and policies related to evidence preservation. Importantly, once an investigation arises, it is critical that the company follows the policies that it has in place. Designating a person or group tasked with ensuring that internal policies are followed can assist in accomplishing an effective internal investigation. Finally, evaluating whether policies and procedures need to be revised and updated following an internal investigation will allow the company to continue to improve its internal investigation process over time.
2. Know Your Audience
Identifying the party(ies) who will ultimately evaluate and determine the outcome of the investigation is crucial. If there is any possibility that C-Suite management may be implicated in the investigation, the ultimate decision maker may be the board of directors or the audit committee. In some instances, the ultimate decision maker may be the legal or human resources departments. Identifying the ultimate audience at the outset allows for effective communication throughout the investigation.
3. Know the Law that Applies
Recognizing the legal parameters of any internal investigation is critical at the outset. The issues that will need to be explored if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) guidelines apply differ greatly from the issues that apply in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigation. Identifying the correct statutes and guidelines that may apply at the outset of an investigation will inform the documents and interviews needed during the investigation. It is also important to reevaluate the legal parameters of the investigation as the facts develop. This ensures that additional legal issues are identified and analyzed.
Our next alert will continue to focus on internal investigations and provide several more best practices tips to improve the investigation process.
Heather Hatfield represents clients in corporate investigations, white-collar crime investigations and defense involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), complex contract disputes, oil and gas litigation ...
Blake Runions assists clients with broad range of business disputes and investigatory matters, including partnership disputes, internal investigations, and commercial litigation.
Prior to joining the Firm, Blake worked in the ...
Jamie Godsey represents public and private corporations, partnerships, and small companies on a broad range of complex business and commercial litigation. Her experience includes a wide variety of matters such as contractual ...
- Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index Indicates Corruption is Affecting COVID-19 Response
- Expected Enforcement Trends under the Biden Administration
- FCPA: 2020 Year-In-Review
- Goldman Sachs Reaches Record $2.9 Billion Settlement of Malaysia FCPA Violations
- Recent Advisory Opinion Provides Important Guidance to Mitigate Sanctions Risk
- DOJ Releases Rare FCPA Opinion Procedure
- Essentra Settlement Demonstrates Government Commitment to Compliance Framework
- DOJ Updates Corporate Compliance Evaluation Guidance
- Political Retribution in Bridgegate Cannot Sustain Federal Fraud Convictions in Kelly v. United States
- Key Considerations in the Timing of FCPA Violation Disclosures
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019