Internal Investigation Teams: Are They Sufficiently Equipped?

Internal investigation teams are becoming increasingly important in organisations today. Being able to analyse large amounts of information at once is crucial. Proof of potential violations may lie hidden in digitally stored information like emails, electronic documents and other data, meaning that investigations often involve a great amount of data scouring, which is one of the key features of an e-discovery system.

One of the most common ways to study or investigate an alleged misconduct, is to identify, collect, analyse and preserve the necessary information and documents. To speed up this entire process, more and more companies are now aiming to create in house e-discovery teams within their organisations.

Information regarding the misconduct can arise from various sources like the media, from whistleblowers or even from counterparties or the employees themselves. The first step that is usually taken after a complaint is filed, is an assessment of the issue and if it is in the company’s best interest to pursue it. Most investigations begin with the identification and collection of the crucial documents that may kick-start the investigation.

An internal investigation allows the company to identify information faster than the government, and thereby enable the company to respond more effectively to the investigation. An internal investigation team will further assist the company in gathering information, plotting defenses and crafting a remedy for the misconduct. Internal investigations teams also enable a company to assess the level of potential wrongdoing in the organization and draft suitable measures to regulate the same.

An internal investigations team also enables companies to assist its members, officers and employees more effectively.

E-discovery technology has been proven to speed up data investigations and reduce the workload to an effective and quick operation. Many corporations now rely on internal investigations and e-discovery is a tool that ensures its efficient functioning.

However, the question that remains a challenge to most corporations is the efficacy of these teams in attending to the requirements of investigations. While getting highly skilled technical resources onboard is one area of concern, another area of equal concern is making sure that they have the right mix of tools and technologies to deliver results.

While many organizations have in-house teams, the first thing that they do when they identify a litigation potential for an issue, is to outsource it rather than deliver through their in-house teams, which is often very expensive. This stems mainly from the delivery and load handling perspective of their teams. If the in-house teams are sufficiently equipped with tools that they can leverage to deliver even on projects with high data volumes, chances are that they can be depended on more, resulting in overall lowering of eDiscovery costs for the organization.