When gaps appear in corporate accountability, can private investigators step up to conduct an independent corporate investigation?

white house announces plans to restrict corporate oversight

The White House reported last week that it will be taking steps towards minimizing investigations into corporate misconduct and reducing a government agency’s ability to open more than one probe into a single company concurrently. While independent agencies such as the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Federal Communications Commission, those agencies might still be susceptible to enforcement by an executive order from the president.

A spokesperson for the White House budget office, an umbrella for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has declared on behalf of the proposed action that “These principles protect both individuals and small businesses while at the same time enforcing the law against wrongdoers. Providing a fair process of all Americans is what’s at the heart of this executive order.”

While it’s true that a corporate investigation can consequently devastate a small company, the entities that will receive the most protection under this proposed action would be larger businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Corporations of all sizes can always benefit from an independent corporate investigation conducted by an objective third-party. In pursuit of truth, independent or private investigators can illuminate the unseen machinations of any corporate investigation. Regardless of the intention of the proposed action, one of the ultimate consequences is that there will be less corporate oversight throughout the United States, allowing pervasive issues to continue harming the corporation or organization from within.  As employees, upper management, and consumers alike demand investigation and/or accountability for the wrongdoings in any given corporation or organization, there will be an intelligence vacuum, in which private investigators can use their skillsets to bring context to complex corporate investigations.

This proposed action may potentially protect businesses from malicious litigation or malicious whistleblowing, but it also erodes the voices of employees and consumers with legitimate concerns who cannot be heard otherwise. One of the greatest benefits of government oversight into any matter is that the government has the most resources and financial support available to properly regulate and enforce policy. Restricting the government’s ability to investigate internal issues that are impacting the workforce or the public means that pervasive issues will easily slip through the cracks and continue to inflict varying degrees of harm. The only recourse an employee or consumer might have at that point is an independent corporate investigation.

An independent corporate investigation is best conducted by a person who is not in any way associated with the corporation in question. While risk assessment firms are also known for conducting similar independent corporate investigations, private investigators are another type of professional who might be able to get answers in times of corporate crisis. Private investigators can diversify their services to meet a variety of intelligence needs, and some private investigators choose to specialize in only a handful of investigation types. Whether the private investigator diversifies or specializes, many private investigators may be missing out on opportunities to apply their investigative knowledge to corporate investigations in a way that can improve businesses from within to better their local economy, and affect change for larger corporations with a national reach.

Through their licensure by the state(s) where a private investigator practices, they have access to a wealth of information through verified databases similar to those used by law enforcement every day. Private investigators can use only a few details about a subject or subjects to generate a full background check on an individual or a corporate entity in order to have all the facts relevant to the case. For an independent corporate investigation, a private investigator can view items on employees and consumers such as criminal history, address history, credit history, and litigation history, and contextualize those items for the investigation. Through these databases, private investigators can also look up information about a corporate entity and garner relevant facts regarding its past actions, behaviors, and litigation.

Two of a private investigator’s most prolific and well-known talents are surveillance and undercover operations. When it comes to an independent corporate investigation, the ability to operate under the radar is crucial. In pursuit of truth, subjects in these type of investigations must not be aware they’re being watched. A private investigator knows how to blend in with a crowd or become part of the background of day-to-day life. Private investigators can wire themselves with surveillance technology, and seamlessly assimilate into a workplace in order to document daily internal operations. They can speak with witnesses and develop a rapport that ingratiates the witness to reveal relevant information. Through these intelligence operations, the private investigator is able to objectively document subjects in the work environment.

Because private investigators are typically independent from any law firm or government agency, their fact-finding also carries some additional transparency that is invaluable in an independent corporate investigation. This reduces the impact of any “they-said-they-said” narrative introduced by counsel in any consequential litigation. With even less government oversight on corporations in the United States, private investigators are ideal professionals to bring crucial context to the unheard problems within their structure.

Private investigators by their very nature have a proclivity for transparency and problem-solving. As the old adage goes, “knowledge is power.” Through private intelligence, private investigators can bring light to malignant situations that rot corporate culture and hurt public relations. In pursuit of the truth, they apply their methodology to multi-faceted, complex situations to get answers for their clients. Private investigators who do not currently offer corporate investigation services might be missing out on opportunities to expand their professional network and apply their services in new ways. Even small firms or singular private investigators contracting their services could apply fact-finding, surveillance, and undercover operations to investigate corporate misconduct. In this way, private investigators can fill in the gaps that can occur in corporate oversight and accountability.

The private investigators at Lauth Investigations International are dedicated to providing our clients to make empowered decisions in a complex business world. Our diverse list of intelligence services can be designed to fit the investigative needs of our clients. Call 317-951-1100 or visit us online at lauthinvestigations.com.