Compliance and Integrity Monitoring
Guidepost Solutions provides comprehensive compliance consulting and integrity monitoring services to help our clients prevent, identify and resolve instances of misconduct, financial malfeasance and violations of law and ethics. We deploy our integrated team of attorneys, investigators and forensic accountants in proactive ethics and compliance program reviews as well as in response to government-mandated monitorships. Our solutions help our clients to avoid significant loss, comply with regulatory and court-ordered requirements and recover misappropriated assets.
Guidepost provides these services in several contexts, including, but not limited to, the following list of services:
Business entities are compelled to hire independent monitors under a variety of scenarios. Companies facing possible indictment or other business-threatening outcomes may negotiate with a prosecutor’s office, court, or other governmental or regulatory authority to hire an independent expert to monitor their operations, to ensure that the problems that brought the company to the attention of the authorities are eliminated and prevented in the future. A contract may require a business to bring in an independent monitor to keep a watchful eye on a business area. In some industries, regulatory requirements dictate the appointment of an independent expert under certain circumstances.
Whether your company arrives at a monitorship by court order, non-prosecution agreement, contract, regulatory requirement, or any other reason, Guidepost Solutions has the experience and expertise to help your company fulfill its obligations. Our multi-disciplinary team of former prosecutors, forensic accountants, investigators, and industry experts knows what is expected when a company is compelled to hire an independent monitor: a comprehensive, unbiased operational review that identifies and roots out the illegal, unethical, or non-compliant activity and provides the business with a roadmap to avoid any future problematic conduct. Typically, when appointed as an independent expert, Guidepost Solutions will provide its client and the regulating authority with thorough and helpful periodic reports throughout the monitorship term.
Corporate Integrity Monitoring | back to list ^
In this era of heightened scrutiny by shareholders, the government and the public, the way in which a company conducts its business is as important as the results it produces. In the past, companies often have hired independent monitors as part of an agreement with a prosecutor’s office or as a court-ordered mandate. Increasingly, however, business entities are engaging in self-scrutiny, engaging the services of a monitor to create or maintain a corporate compliance culture that prevents illegal or unethical behavior. In either scenario, our involvement early in the process can lead to reduced civil, criminal and/or regulatory enforcement.
Guidepost Solutions provides integrity monitoring services to help its clients prevent and resolve cases of employee misconduct, fraud and illegal activity. Our integrity monitoring team is comprised of former federal prosecutors, compliance experts, investigators and forensic accountants. We can prevent significant loss and help organizations comply with regulatory and court-ordered requirements. Though requirements vary by client, industry, and circumstance, in the course of a typical monitoring assignment, Guidepost Solutions reviews, enhances, and audits internal controls throughout relevant departments of the client organization, which generally include compliance, purchasing, accounting and audit, human resources, information technology and security.
Guidepost has been engaged by the following clients to provide integrity monitoring services: retained by a global defense contractor to revamp its compliance procedures and internal controls; retained by Hewlett-Packard to conduct a worldwide review of their investigative practices and procedures; hired to conduct a review of a publicly-traded energy and utility company’s business ethics and compliance program and to advise regarding best practices; and engaged by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to serve as an integrity monitor for construction projects at the World Trade Center.
Crisis Management and Compliance | back to list ^
Guidepost Solutions believes that ethical crises and similar problems can be successfully managed by including a forward-looking compliance review as part of the response to the crisis. Unlike other approaches, this is not “just another investigation,” nor is it a search to pin blame. It is instead a constructive effort to address culture, processes and procedures implicated in the crisis and to avoid the same and other problems in the future.
Guidepost’s team understands that a moment of crisis can be an opportunity for a company to recommit itself to a compliant culture and we will work to make sure that your company does not miss this opportunity by relying solely on ongoing investigations to provide guidance for the company’s future. In our years of experience, we have come to realize that ongoing investigations are narrow, often defensive and almost always seeking to identify wrongdoers instead of identifying systematic problems which may lead to new crises. It is unrealistic to expect that company employees, vendors and others will see a sudden crisis as an opportunity to reveal weaknesses in the systems, volunteer helpful information and be an asset in the process.
Guidepost’s experience both in a crisis and before one strikes is unmatched and we will make sure that your company is in a position to proudly present its new compliance framework (and those who contributed in constructing it) to regulators and law enforcement as part of the solution to the problem. Guidepost has the expertise to help your company learn from its past conduct and to apply this knowledge to make your company more compliant, ethical and prepared in the future.
The services we offer include, but are not limited to:
Construction Monitoring | back to list ^
Construction companies and developers spend millions (if not billions) of dollars in developing and building commercial and residential projects. However, money is not the only concern in such projects: the safety and security of the people and businesses that will inhabit the buildings are of paramount importance as well. To ensure the financial viability and quality of a construction project, those working on the project must conform to the approved specifications and budget.
Guidepost Solutions provides construction monitoring services to help its clients deter, identify and address instances of fraud, financial malfeasance and violations of law and ethics. Our services also verify that construction work is performed according to the project’s plan, budget and schedule. We deploy our integrated team of attorneys, investigators and forensic accountants to help clients avoid significant loss, comply with regulatory and court-ordered requirements and recover misappropriated assets. Our services include everything from posting undercover agents at the construction site to gather field intelligence and observe site construction activities, to reviewing the environmental compliance process for indications of potential wrongdoing.
Guidepost’s team has been engaged to provide construction monitoring services on behalf of numerous quasi-governmental and private entities over the last seven years, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Department of Investigation of the City of New York, the New York State Attorney General, the New York City Business Integrity Commission, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. In those engagements we have monitored a major metropolitan hospital, large construction companies and a major construction project.
FCPA and UK Bribery Act Compliance | back to list ^
In today’s global economy, no company that does business outside the United States can afford to be ignorant of the requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and the UK Bribery Act. Broadly speaking, the FCPA prohibits U.S. nationals, incorporated entities, and their agents from giving money or anything of value to a foreign official to obtain or retain business. The broader UK Bribery Act prohibits bribes paid to any person to induce them to act “improperly” and is not limited to foreign officials.
FCPA prosecutions and investigations have skyrocketed in recent years and the United States Department of Justice has made it clear that it intends to step up its enforcement efforts even more. According to Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, in 2004, two individuals were charged under the FCPA and the DOJ collected criminal fines of around $11 million. In 2009 and 2010, more than 50 individuals were charged with FCPA violations and the government collected nearly $2 billion in criminal fines. In May 2009, the Wall Street Journal ran a front page article highlighting a surge in FCPA prosecutions by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), reporting that 120 cases were currently under investigation. The DOJ has advised that “to avoid being held liable for corrupt third party payments, U.S. companies are encouraged to exercise due diligence and to take all necessary precautions to ensure that they have formed a business relationship with reputable and qualified partners and representatives.”
Guidepost Solutions is expert in navigating through the minefield of the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act. Guidepost offers a comprehensive range of services meant to ensure that a corporation, its directors and employees deal only with worthy and qualified partners and agents. First, at the ground level, we can design and implement an effective program—or review and improve on an existing program—that promotes ethical conduct and minimizes the risk of bribery law violations. Our internal controls consulting can ensure that your company is in the best position to minimize the risk of violations. Moreover, a cornerstone of our services is our due diligence and vetting of suppliers, distributors and other third parties. Guidepost helps our clients identify red flags before conducting business with these entities or individuals.
If an FCPA or UK Bribery Act issue does arise, Guidepost and our worldwide network of investigators, auditors and attorneys have the experience, skills and maneuverability necessary to investigate and analyze violations in all corners of the world. Finally, our team can serve as an independent monitor of companies that have been found to be in violation of these regulations and have entered into settlement agreements with government agencies. As the monitor, we help companies to identify vulnerabilities in their existing anti-bribery programs and implement best practices to minimize the risk of future violations.
Recently Guidepost Solutions Ltd. (UK) partnered with leading UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard to present to senior law firms and corporate organisations in Ghana and Nigeria, West Africa, “Practical Solutions to the UK Bribery Act” and unveiled the cutting edge Guidepost Solutions Risk Assessment Tool ™. The tool, soon to be launched in the USA, provides a cost-effective, automated risk assessment and compliance solution to the demands of the UK Bribery Act and provides a visual representation of the risks and other associated “red flags” identified across an organisation in respect to the Act. Furthermore, a comprehensive e-learning platform allows for constant training to ensure the organisation and its employees are kept fully current with their responsibilities under the Act. As part of its partnership with Addleshaw Goddard, Guidepost also launched Compliance Africa, a website about applying the UK Bribery Act in West Africa.
Privacy Services | back to list ^
Guidepost Solutions offers an array of services to help clients review, assess, and improve their privacy profiles. Guidepost has the expertise to identify records, both digital and physical, requiring privacy protection, assess their current level of protection, and recommend any needed improvements. We will also prepare or review an existing data breach response plan to enable any client to comply with the various data breach notification laws to which it might be subject.
Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory authorities commonly require organizations that have had problematic privacy performance to implement an independent monitorship to review the organization’s compliance program and mitigate the risk of future breaches. Guidepost is unparalleled in its experience as an independent monitor and can provide the necessary oversight to help a subject organization satisfy regulatory obligations.
Guidepost maintains a corporate membership in the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Internal Investigation Capability Development | back to list ^
Board accountability, regulatory requirements, the considerable advantages of self-disclosure, and other considerations mandate that any sizeable organization have the ability to review, assess and investigate potential misconduct and internal controls. Such conduct can be a critical first step before retaining a consultant or interacting with a regulator or law enforcement agency.
Internal investigations, however, are not audits or performance reviews—the objectives and skills are different. If an enterprise has an ongoing internal investigation function, the need for having the proper skills, procedures, and investigation management is even greater.
Guidepost Solutions can assess clients’ internal investigation capability, prepare training materials and procedures, and provide the necessary training to strengthen internal investigation functions. With our team of former prosecutors and law enforcement agents’ expertise in conducting and managing internal investigations, compliance consulting and monitoring, Guidepost can transform current staff into a top quality internal investigation team.
University Compliance | back to list ^
In the ever-changing and challenging landscape of university compliance, successful and sustainable departmental models proactively preserve a university’s integrity and reputation. The protection of a university’s leadership depends on the ability to anticipate a breach. Of critical importance, universities must establish a philosophy that encourages the disclosure of information, as well as policies and procedures to promote a culture of ethics and accountability.
Guidepost Solutions LLC is a leading provider of investigations, governance, risk management, and compliance services. Our team has partnered with numerous entities, including athletic departments, to assess risks and consider strategies for their management, while overseeing the processes designed to maintain the integrity of these institutions. Our breadth of experience includes, but is not limited to, the design, implementation and review of sustainable programs for Hewlett-Packard Company, British Petroleum, Staten Island University Hospital, Columbia University, New York University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Football League (NFL), Multiple Olympic Organizing Committees (1984-2012) and several intercollegiate conferences.
Guidepost’s team can work with universities and their athletic departments to validate the effectiveness of systems already in place or to develop new proactive systems. In advising our clients, we do not rely on assumptions or previously packaged institutional solutions. Rather, we work with our clients to develop solutions tailored to their specific needs and designed both to preempt compliance breaches and protect their reputations and resources going forward.
Learn more about our Higher Education Services.
Whistleblower Enforcement and Compliance | back to list ^
Guidepost Solutions’ experience as an independent expert and monitor working with companies to address internal ethics and compliance concerns, has taught our team that employees become whistleblowers when they are frustrated with their company’s response to internal complaints. Corporate culture must encourage reporting and prohibit retaliation, and employees should be trained on the company’s reporting channels and know how to use them.
Guidepost understands the risk companies face when their employees choose to act as whistleblowers instead of reporting internally. Consequently, we help companies implement internal reporting structures and compliance programs that encourage employees to turn first to the company for help. As part of this implementation, we offer training for employees on how to report misconduct, both internally and externally.
We also train company employees tasked with receiving complaints on how to effectively elevate the reports to a central location/repository so that no complaints fall through the cracks. When a complaint is received, our team members can be brought in to help manage the investigation to make sure that it is reviewed efficiently and effectively. The presence of an independent and objective reviewer oftentimes reassures the employee who filed the complaint that their concern is being addressed in the proper manner.
Guidepost also understands that at times a company’s system is corrupted, and acting as a whistleblower becomes the best option for employees to report wrongdoing. In these instances, we can assist either the government or the company, in thoroughly investigating the complaint. Additionally, our ethics and compliance experts can perform reviews of the company’s existing systems, both as an independent measure by the company and as part of a monitorship required by a government agency. Our reviews help our clients to identify vulnerabilities and implement stronger and more effective compliance programs to restore employee confidence in the company’s compliance program.
Whistleblower provisions are constantly evolving and companies must stay up to date with these changes. We are experts on the provisions and can help educate companies and their employees on what these laws and provisions mean to them. Our objective is to make sure that the employees and the companies they work for are aware of the tools at their disposal to report and correct unethical and unlawful behavior.
Immigration Compliance | back to list ^
Guidepost Solutions develops, implements, and audits ethics and compliance programs, and provides guidance to companies, organizations, and individuals on how to handle immigration concerns, respond to government inquiries and implement effective compliance policies and programs. For our work in this area, our team includes former U.S. Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement leaders, agents, and other professionals.
The laws and regulations pertaining to immigration, whether because of differing state requirements or increasing government scrutiny, are intricate and complicated. Consequently, assessing and maintaining compliance can be a challenging task. Nevertheless, companies must find ways to ensure compliance to avoid being labeled non-compliant by government regulators. If such a determination is made, there are several outcomes: remediation by employer, additional training in E-Verify, suspension from E-Verify, and referral to the federal office of Special Counsel for Immigration.
Our team works with businesses to mitigate the risk of non-compliance. We also help clients that bid on federal contracts comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulations’ E-Verify clause. Guidepost’s services include:
Our immigration compliance services help our clients protect the integrity of their workforce, manage compliance concerns, and mitigate the risk associated with not operating according to all legal and ethical standards.
Enterprise Risk Management | back to list ^
Investors and key stakeholders in corporations and other organizations are encouraging these organizations to identify and explain how they manage all the risks they face. Many companies are beginning to view risk as an opportunity—something to manage and optimize, not just something to eliminate or neutralize. A strong risk-management culture can give the public, regulators and other stakeholders confidence that missteps will not occur.
With its team of risk management experts, Guidepost Solutions can help organizations implement a structured, consistent and continuous risk management process that is applied across the enterprise. This process will proactively identify, define, assess and prioritize the risks that exist across the organization. It will be driven by a framework that is aligned with the execution of business objectives and processes; and it will be embedded in the organization with the assignment of roles and responsibilities, reporting and communication policies and procedures, and the use of technology.
Conflict Minerals | back to list ^
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 set an April 2011 deadline for the SEC to publish rules requiring issuers to disclose information about their use of conflict minerals originating from certain countries. Though the agency has missed this deadline, it has said it expects to complete this process “in the next couple of months.” Under the rules, “companies would be required to disclose annually whether they use ‘conflict minerals’ that are ‘necessary to the functionality or production’ of a product that they either manufacture or contract to be manufactured that originate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo [the “DRC”] or adjoining countries.” Such conflict minerals include cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives, which are key components of many products, from jewelry to cell phones to jet engines. An issuer that uses conflict minerals from the DRC or adjoining country must draft a “Conflict Minerals Report,” which must be included in the company’s annual report and published on its website.
Guidepost Solutions can prepare your company to comply with the SEC’s conflict minerals rules as soon as they take effect. We have the global resources to investigate the origin of the minerals that our clients use to manufacture products. Our investigators will examine every link in the supply chain to determine the source of any minerals that may trigger the required disclosures. If Guidepost certifies that minerals are “DRC conflict free,” your business can rest easy, knowing that it is in compliance with these politically-sensitive SEC rules.
If conflict minerals are used in a client’s business, Guidepost can advise on what must be done to comply with the SEC’s conflict minerals rules. We will draft a Conflict Minerals Report that completely conforms to the requirements outlined by the SEC, including a description of the due diligence performed to determine the source of the minerals, the products that contain conflict minerals, the facilities used to process the conflict minerals, the country of origin of the conflict minerals and the efforts used to identify the mine or specific origin of the conflict minerals. If desired, we can also strategize on how to remove conflict minerals from a client’s manufacturing processes.
Internal Audit Consulting | back to list ^
With the current economic climate and increased levels of regulatory scrutiny, the Internal Audit function has been exposed to ever-increasing demands to manage risks, monitor controls and improve corporate governance. Moreover, Internal Audit professionals are undertaking expanded roles within their organizations, with only modest additions to staff and other resources. In this environment, management, members of the Audit Committee and audit executives can benefit from the guidance of independent advisors to evaluate whether the Internal Audit function is operating as intended, providing value and improving the organization’s operations.
Guidepost Solutions has the experience and expertise to work with management and audit executives to perform focused inquiries and to identify opportunities for the improvement of Internal Audit performance and services. Our professionals have consulted on a range of topics, including: the structure and effectiveness of Internal Audit-related services; the dissemination of findings and implementation of remedial actions beyond the required communications to the Audit Committee; corporate investigations and ethics-related issues; resource allocation; and the education and training of personnel.
Guidepost will provide recommendations that, based on our evaluation of processes in relation to recognized best practices, will promote the visibility, reputation and credibility of the Internal Audit function. Finally, we will monitor compliance with the recommendations and the alignment of Internal Audit practices with the expectations of senior management, the Board of Directors and key stakeholders within the organization.