INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

Internal investigations

Companies often find themselves on the wrong side of the law. At times it can be a company that is facing a lawsuit, but at other times it is a board member or an employee facing a lawsuit. Whatever the case, the consequences of such lawsuits impact the operations of a company. Thus, many companies have begun to consider internal investigations as a way of forestalling lawsuit. Forestalling a lawsuit is far less expensive than handling a court case.

The decision to undertake an independent internal investigation requires careful consideration and wide consultation. While the consequences of a lawsuit can be devastating to a company, internal investigations can be equally damaging. There are a number of implications for internal investigations that the board of a company would need to forestall before going on with the process.

The staff that feels that they are under investigations from their own employers would feel that they are not trusted. Thus, a company that decides to carry out internal investigations must be ready to deal with the feeling of being mistrusted by the employees. Internal investigations also face more hurdles than external investigations. The process of internal investigation goes on while the employees are still in their offices since they are not considered to be guilty of any crime. The employees can tamper with the investigations and make it difficult for the investigators to come up with clear results. Therefore, before carrying out internal investigations the employees should be made aware of the need for the process. Secondly, the employees should be made to know that it is not a witch-hunt process that will lead to victimization of some of them. Lastly, the employees should be made aware that the process of internal investigations is meant to forestall chances of lawsuits against the company and, therefore, protect the employees too.