A new event and the first of its kind in Ireland, ‘Speak Up Investigations – The Pitfalls and Hurdles’ took place on Wednesday the 10th of January in the Camden Court Hotel in Dublin. Speakers at the seminar included Gillian Harford – Head of HR Strategy & Planning AIB Group, Niall Fitzgerald – Head of Ethics & Governance Chartered Accountants Ireland and Dr Tom Clonan- former Whistle Blower, Journalist and Carer who experienced Whistle Blowing first hand and Michael Fitzgerald Director of Fraud Business Solutions. Also attending the event were key personnel from the finance industry, charitable organisations, recruitment sector, legal sector and representation from accounting firms. In addition, consultants travelled in from the UK to attend the event.
The seminar provided organisations with important information on how they should review the controls that need to be put in place to manage the potential likelihood and impact of speak up allegations and complaints made in their companies. A seminar of this kind is important as fraudulent activity has increased in recent years, PwC’s 2016 Irish Economic Crime Survey figures show the average cost of fraud to organisations in Ireland has increased from €498,000 in 2014 to €1.7m. Overall, the report finds that business detection and response plans are not keeping pace with the level and range of threats now facing organisations,
Speaking at the Seminar Michael Fitzgerald Director of Fraud Business Solutions said ‘An organisation’s workforce represents a valuable source of information that can be utilised to identify a potential problem, and manage it correctly before it causes significant damage to operations and/or reputation’
“ In most situations the traditional internal reporting lines will be sufficient to prevent malpractice. However, where fraud, corruption or other malpractice has served to undermine the organisation’s internal controls and lines of reporting, speaking up can be an effective safeguard”.
Niall Fitzgerald – from Chartered Accountants Ireland, commented that he thought this was a fantastic event and the engagement in the room showed there was plenty of interest in the subject matter. Overall comments relating to the seminar were very positive and the underlying thoughts that this was an event that was needed from an awareness perspective.
The seminar which is organised by new company director Michael Fitzgerald, former Head of AIB’s Special Investigations Unit, set up the new business in order to provide training, risk assessment and investigatory services to businesses. If you would like more information please visit Fraud Business Solutions web site www.fraudbusinesssolutions.com or follow on Twitter @Fraud_FBS