Roundtable Insights: Managing a Bribery Crisis

Panoram and Nuix recently hosted an interactive discussion on “Managing a Bribery Crisis”. It was a lively and interactive meeting, compered by Doctor Chris Potts – who gave a compelling presentation around his experience of uncovering historic bribery within his first week of joining Güralp Systems (GSL), a company manufacturing and exporting specialist seismic monitoring equipment around the globe.

Attending, were a broad mix of delegates – ranging from in-house counsel to representatives from anti-corruption charities, as well as specialist compliance experts and forensic investigators.

The format of the event was a chronological unveiling of events, with various opportunities along the way for us to react and share our thoughts as to what might and should be done. As the events unfolded on a day-by-day basis, the story highlighted the ethical and practical quandaries facing anyone in such a situation, not to mention the limitations of historic due diligence processes. As one of the attendees commented – the fraudulent behaviour was “hiding in plain sight”.

The scenario also illustrated the great power of technologies such as Nuix to uncover the evidence of how the various protagonists conducted their fraud. Using Nuix they were able (within three weeks) to examine two million documents and filter these down to a single bundle showing compelling evidence of wrongdoing – “we’ve got a problem, haven’t we”. The tale of how they self-reported and then interacted (over years) with the various authorities in the UK and the US, not to mention the various fraudsters themselves was fascinating, but not for the faint-hearted. The outcome though, of a newly thriving and “clean” company was heart-warming.

Attendees came away not only with a deeper understanding of how such an event might play out, but also with a dossier outlining the facts of the case and a handy ten-point set of survival principles for executives facing a bribery and corruption crisis.

The event was rounded off with a civilised glass or two before attendees headed off into the evening sunshine.