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29.09.2005 Business & Finance

Companies urged to institute effective monitoring, surveillance systems

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Accra, Sept. 29 GNA - The former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Nana Owusu Nsiah on Thursday urged companies to institute workable monitoring and surveillance mechanisms to reduce risk and maximise profit.

He said most private and public organisations had failed to break even or performed creditably well due to the absence of effective monitoring and surveillance systems.

Speaking in Accra at the launch of Oak House Company Limited, a private investigative firm, the former IGP said if companies married their corporate polices with proper monitoring and surveillance strategy, they would make giant strides.

Oak House is a private maiden investigative company that intends to use cutting edge investigative techniques to conduct due diligence for both private and public institutions.

It would additionally carry out discrete investigations into cyber fraud, workplace syndicate theft, illicit drug dealings, over and under invoicing, employee sabotage and sexual harassment, among other things. Nana Nsiah noted that since the prevention and detection of wrongdoing or malfeasance within organisations was an arduous task, misconduct often manifested as visible crimes before the appropriate remedies were fashioned.

"Most often perpetrators of wrongdoing are able to escape from the arms of the law or disciplinary measures before the malfeasance is openly detected."

He stressed that due to the absence of effective monitoring, several cases of malpractice were investigated by the law enforcement agencies after the offenders had bolted with the booty. Nana Nsiah contended that the application of intelligence techniques such as surveillance and monitoring by businesses constituted a key factor that offered proactive means of reducing risk of wrongdoing.

"Such constant monitoring of personnel whether in office environment or while pursuing the business activities of the organisation outside will go a log way to protect the asset of the organisation and caution personnel to follow due process," he stated. He said surveillance technique was necessary for insurance companies, as it would help them to detect the payment of inappropriate claims.

Nana Nsiah noted that Oak House would complement the effort of the police who were overwhelmed with huge volumes of serious and violent crimes like armed robbery and hardly have enough men to focus on non-violent fraud of business crimes. "White collar crime and cyber fraud is on the increase therefore we need to be extremely proactive and adopt investigative techniques to flush out such criminals."

Mr Joseph Clottey, Director of Oak House Company Limited, said investment in non-profitable subsidiaries, non-adherence of rules and regulatory notices and misapplication of funds by financial institutions usually resulted in abysmal performance. He said these lapses and malpractices invariably resulted in the loss of confidence to the institutions by shareholders and sometimes led to the possible demise of such companies. Mr Clottey said he strongly believed that malpractices could be avoided if companies put in place efficient internal control and risk management systems.

"These will provide tips on the background of employees, particularly on criminal records." 29 Sept. 05

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