Expert Opinion

Expert Opinion

Why “We deliver results, not reports” mentality is wrong in private corporate sector investigations

Individuals and Organisations with a lot at stake need to stay away from private investigation firms that preach results to the exclusion of process.”

While I acknowledge how catchy, and cocky the phrase is and sounds, what does it really mean? The very basis of investigations is to examine deeply (open or covertly) any of the spectra of interest and report back the findings. So what is an investigation without a report? If an auditor came to your office and sought to do some inquiry into your books to establish malfeasance or lack thereof, and as you are about to give them the job, they tell you, “Sir, Madam, we are professionals, we will deliver results, not reports” WHAT?

Complacency in the wrongdoing

This statement could mean one of two things, first, that you are guaranteed what you as the client want as the outcome over what exactly is the truth of the outcome, if the truth and what you want agree then yeah, good work, if not then we will see what to do. Taking a dip down the memory lane when good officers were those that got confessions from suspects, ‘if you have forgotten you might want to take a look at a short American series (when they see us)’.

It is words like this that really embolden and even encourage younger officers to get the results at all costs, which is antithetical to what a professional investigation is and should be about. If you are an employer, who is hiring a professional investigations firm to look into your organization’s culture checks with the perceived mind of finding rot, and with a team that is promising you just that. Then you are complacent about the wrongdoing meted out on the victims of such investigations.

Second, it could mean that, fine the result is the objective, for instance, asset tracking. You may very well be so focused on the end result. In cases of asset tracking, most clients would rather not know what you did to get the information that led to the knowledge of the assets. Now, this even me has got me thinking; it must be nice to live in ignorance of it all as long as I get what I need? A couple of years back, about one and half decades ago, Europe had an explosion of black-market body parts, the recipients of such body parts we outstanding members of the society who bothered not to ask questions about how the parts were got? How do you get a kidney and not ask where it is coming from? Later a rot of Indian children being stolen and sold for parts was cracked open, exposing the rot of don’t ask questions as long as you get what you want.

On both accounts, this is mentality is wrong. There are legal ways of obtaining that type of information. It sometimes is confidential, but it always has to be legal. As the client, you ought to ask, and a professional investigator would not expose you and your organization to this kind of liability.

The Investigations Process

All investigation firms, and individual investigators should work hard to show no malice, no biases/preconceived opinions, independence of thought, and consistency in the process. As an independent private investigator, you work for the client. And unless the client waives that right to be informed of all steps planned in the execution of his work, and an account of all steps taken. You have no business taking that right away from them.