www.BusinessControls.comSophisticated Solutions to Complex Workplace Issues:                 The Modern HotlineA New ViewT...
www.BusinessControls.comoccur from workplace misconduct. Joining state-of-the-art technology withprofessional services, BC...
www.BusinessControls.comhave extensive law enforcement experience and both are distinguished membersof ASIS (American Soci...
www.BusinessControls.comthe ability to swiftly and effectively manage all issues, especially thoseconcerning the immediate...
www.BusinessControls.comValue-Driven Features and SupportMany vendors of incident reporting systems allow for a myriad of ...
www.BusinessControls.comAdditionally, this communication tool provides powerful litigation support bydocumenting access an...
www.BusinessControls.comof this effectively increases the bottom line and ensures the security of theorganization for the ...
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Sophisticated Solutions to Complex Workplace Issues

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Sophisticated Solutions to Complex Workplace Issues

  1. 1. www.BusinessControls.comSophisticated Solutions to Complex Workplace Issues: The Modern HotlineA New ViewThe Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ushered in sweeping reforms of accountingcontrols that have significantly impacted the mechanism and methodologieswhereby corporations monitor and report their finances. While Sarbanes-Oxleyspecifically addressed publicly traded companies, many governmental agencies,as well as private and non-profits, have begun to use the law as a framework toenact provisions that strengthen their internal financial controls. The Associationof Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) annual Report to the Nation reveals thatthe majority of fraud schemes within organizations are discovered through thereceipt of employee tips. The ACFE maintains that reporting systems canpotentially reduce losses by as much as 50%. The exposure of corporatescandal in the early years of this century has certainly eroded the public faith inAmerican business and organizations are learning difficult lessons in theaftermath.While organizations have scrambled to provide new avenues to receiveemployee reports of misconduct, there is evidence to suggest that it remainsdifficult for employees to bring forward their concerns and information.1 The fearof retaliation and reprisal still impedes employees from making a report,especially in an environment with limited reporting mechanisms in place. Theimplementation of anonymous incident reporting systems has served to curbsome of that fear because employees have the opportunity to make a reportwhile remaining completely anonymous. Gone are the days in which employeesfelt comfortable enough to walk into the office of their supervisor or manager toreport concerns of misconduct. Open door policies alone are not enough toensure an organization is equipped with the knowledge necessary to prevent anddetect crime, misconduct, and fraud.The Difference is Our ExpertiseMySafeWorkplace®, developed and provided by Business Controls, Inc. (BCI), isthe preeminent incident reporting system used by organizations today. Whattruly differentiates MySafeWorkplace® from all other incident reporting systems isour expertise. Founded in 1994, Business Controls is a risk mitigation firmspecializing in the discovery, analysis, resolution, and prevention of losses that 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  2. 2. www.BusinessControls.comoccur from workplace misconduct. Joining state-of-the-art technology withprofessional services, BCI offers comprehensive services in five primary areas:• Anonymous Incident Reporting• Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Services• Research and Due Diligence• Investigations and Consulting• Education and TrainingDiscovery of workplace misconduct can be accomplished through ourAnonymous Incident Reporting system, MySafeWorkplace®. Discovery ofworkplace misconduct can also take place through Investigative efforts. We alsoprovide special investigations and consultation services to assist organizations inmanaging suspected or known violators of organizational policy, regulations, orlaws.We not only have vast experience in these areas, but we also bring an objective,third party approach that cannot be achieved through traditional internalinvestigations. Internal investigations can be fraught with liability-creating errorsincluding conflicts of interest, inexperience or lack of knowledge about how toproperly investigate situations, or fear of employee retaliation due to impropersolutions or actions taken during or as a result of the investigation. However, ifthe decision is made to conduct an internal investigation, we have the capabilitiesand expertise to consult with organizations regarding the proper methodologiesto employ when conducting your own investigation.With expertise in forensic psychology and criminal behavior, our BehavioralSciences team provides analysis, resolution, and further prevention of workplacemisconduct. We also provide education, training, and intervention pertaining tomisconduct within a workplace such as substance abuse, violence, harassment,and identity theft. Other exposure-reducing solutions include pre-employmentscreening, threat assessment, fitness-for-duty evaluations and backgroundchecks for our clients.The founder and CEO of Business Controls, Mr. Eugene Ferraro, is aProfessional Certified Investigator (PCI), a Certified Protection Professional(CPP), a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and a CertifiedFraud Examiner (CFE). Both Mr. Ferraro and Mr. Steve Foster, our President, 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  3. 3. www.BusinessControls.comhave extensive law enforcement experience and both are distinguished membersof ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security), holding the professionalcertification CPP. The balance of our management team and professional staffinclude individuals with advanced degrees and professional certifications in civiland employment law, law enforcement, threat assessment, forensic psychology,and consulting.There are many significant differences between MySafeWorkplace® and otherincident reporting systems. The expertise of our staff has profoundly affectedboth the development and delivery of MySafeWorkplace® as a litigationavoidance tool for your organization. Our expert focus on litigation avoidanceand risk mitigation is built into the features and protocols included inMySafeWorkplace®.Understanding workplace misconduct and the detrimental impact it has onorganizations was fundamental to the innovative design of MySafeWorkplace®,making it a secure and anonymous method for your employees to reportincidents, putting your organization in the best possible, defensible position in theevent of any litigation resulting from an incident or violation.Choosing the Right SystemThere are many advantages to outsourcing anonymous incident reportinghotlines. First of all, vendor technology capabilities typically tend to exceed thoseof most organizations. Third parties have the ability to develop and maintainhighly specialized software and web reporting tools that requires only minimalsetup and resource investment by the organization.Engaging a third-party to provide an anonymous incident reporting service allowscolleges & universities to offer not just a hotline which employees can call, butalso a web portal by which vendors can report their concerns directly toexecutives. Additionally, third-party vendors generally employ better trained calltakers and collect the data most pertinent to the issue being reported so that theclient organization has the information necessary to pursue their investigationand find an appropriate resolution. Our experience has shown that manyreporting employees find comfort in knowing that a third party is responsible forgathering all the initial information, while the issue will still be reported to andmanaged by their organization.The MySafeWorkplace® solution will notify organizational managers of issueswithin three minutes of the report being filed. The organization, therefore, has 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  4. 4. www.BusinessControls.comthe ability to swiftly and effectively manage all issues, especially thoseconcerning the immediate safety of their constituents.Traditional internal hotlines rely on the availability of one or two individuals,typically human resource managers, who cannot be expected to field all calls atall hours of the day and night. Furthermore, these managers are responsible fora whole host of other duties that make it impossible to devote all attention to thereceipt, retention, and treatment of employee complaints.MySafeWorkplace® provides live, around-the-clock coverage, 365 days per year,supporting multiple languages.Probably one of the greatest advantages to outsourcing an employee hotline liesin the issue of confidentiality and anonymity. A traditional internal hotline ismanaged directly by an employee of the organization. Therefore, the reportingparty only has the option of disclosing or not disclosing his or her identity to theorganization. Even when employees choose to remain anonymous, there isoften fear that their voice may be recognized by the person answering the phoneor receiving the voicemail message.MySafeWorkplace® offers a third level of anonymity that an internal hotlinecannot. With MySafeWorkplace®, the employee may have the opportunity toremain completely anonymous to his or her organization but provide contactinformation to the third party only. That way, should the organization need tofollow up with the reporting employee but find it difficult to do so,MySafeWorkplace® can facilitate communications between the reporting partyand the organization, while continuing to keep the reporting party’s identityanonymous.MySafeWorkplace® further provides expert assistance in effectively rolling outand communicating the hotline solution to their employee base. Experienceshows that anonymous incident reporting solutions are destined to fail if they arenot effectively – and repeatedly - communicated to the constituents who are theintended users of the service.Third-party vendors specialize in such communication and can ensure eachorganization’s very specific objectives in implementing the solution are met. Theresponsible vendor will further take all steps necessary to assist the clientorganization in avoiding litigation and liability exposure. 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  5. 5. www.BusinessControls.comValue-Driven Features and SupportMany vendors of incident reporting systems allow for a myriad of ways in whichto submit a report including phone, Internet, fax, email, and mail. While it mayseem advantageous to offer a wide variety of intake methods, several of theseprovide significant legal pitfalls. Fax, email, and mail all require humanintervention to make the information available to the client. In doing so, errorscan be made, either in content or distribution, which can significantly increaseyour legal liability. Confidentiality can easily be compromised by this humanintervention.MySafeWorkplace® requires no human interaction in the distribution of reports,and the incident report content cannot be manipulated by anyone for any reason. Some vendors purposefully impose human intervention in the report distributionprocess after the information has been submitted by the reporting party. Such aprocedure is implemented reportedly to check the incident account for “errorsand cohesion.” The inherent problem with a triage process is theacknowledgement that reports can be and are changed after the reportingemployee has provided his/her account of the incident via the phone or submittedthrough the web portal. Such intervention compromises the integrity of systemsoperating in this manner.MySafeWorkplace® has limited the liability exposure for our clients in this area byproviding a secure database for the submission of reports directly by thereporting party on their behalf by a call center agent, and by preventing humanintervention in the distribution or content of reports as submitted. MySafeWorkplace® distributes all incident reports to your organization in thefastest guaranteed time in the industry. Our Service Level Agreement providesnotification and access to a report within three minutes of its submission.Other providers of hotline services have contractual guarantees of 12 to 24 hours– up to 480 times longer of a response than you will see fromMySafeWorkplace®. Additionally, MySafeWorkplace® treats every incident asurgent so that our clients can decide the severity of each report, not leaving thatimportant determination to their vendor. Therefore, incidents, particularly thoseposing safety risks to employees can be addressed immediately.Within the administrative case management portal of MySafeWorkplace® audit-trail functionality records each time a report is viewed by an authorized user orthe reporting party. Message board functionality provides a mutually anonymousand secure communication tool for both the organization and the reporting party. 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  6. 6. www.BusinessControls.comAdditionally, this communication tool provides powerful litigation support bydocumenting access and input from both parties.As an example of how this audit trail can support litigation avoidance, you will beable to document each attempt to communicate by either the reporting party orthe organization as part of your good faith investigation efforts.One of our clients did exactly that, and as a result, avoided possible litigation bythe reporting party, alleging a failure to act on the part of the organization. Ourclient, through MySafeWorkplace®, was able to document repeated attempts toreach the reporting party to obtain clarifying information needed to allow theinvestigation to go forward. As the initial report was vague, the client did nothave sufficient information to complete their good faith investigation. Thequestions posed by the client through the message boards were not answered bythe reporting party, even though the reporting party had logged back into thesystem and viewed his/her report on multiple occasions. This documentationwas shared with the reporter’s attorney, and any pending litigation was halted. BOTH parties have an affirmative responsibility to resolve issues raised, and theaudit process supports the actual efforts made in this area.With any reporting system, not just MySafeWorkplace®, the actual report itself isa discoverable document, which means that if there is litigation arising as a resultof a report, the initial report is something that can be obtained in the discoveryprocess by the reporting party’s attorney.MySafeWorkplace® allows our clients the ability to mark communications as“Attorney Work Product.” This distinction is not only unique toMySafeWorkplace®, but allows your legal representative to use our system andsignificantly decrease the ability for their communications to be discoverable.Final ThoughtsThere are clearly very good reasons for organizations to implement anonymousincident reporting systems and, further, very good reasons to outsource suchservices. Successful and effective organizational ethics programs incorporateanonymous ethics reporting mechanisms as part of their commitment tocompliance and principled governance.Employee hotlines clearly provide management with insight into theirorganization they likely would not otherwise have, providing them the opportunityto capitalize on their strengths and swiftly manage their areas of weakness. All 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757
  7. 7. www.BusinessControls.comof this effectively increases the bottom line and ensures the security of theorganization for the long-term.Implementing an anonymous reporting system for employees will help themrealize the stake they have in their organization and their ability to help theorganization protect its assets.1 Near, J. P. & Miceli, M. P. (1996). Whistleblowing: Myth and reality. Journal of Management, 22. 507-527 5995 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 110 ● Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111 ● Office 303.526.7600 ● 800.650.7005 ● Fax 303.526.7757

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