FSG FORENSIC INVESTIGATORS & AUDITORS | TRACERS | RISK MANAGERS |
SA's national litigation, corporate & government private intelligence, private/forensic investigation/auditing, loss & risk management specialists.
The service bouquet of FSG is varied and substantial, but every service of FSG:
RISK MANAGEMENT is the flipside of the coin of INVESTIGATION. Competent investigators/auditors/risk managers, in addition to investigating loss incidents, always also ask what are the poorly managed, unmanaged or unmanageable (and unmitigated) risk/s that occasioned the opportunity of the loss incident.
Today it is possible to study RISK MANAGEMENT as a specific discipline. It was not so when the idea that became FSG first found expression in 1985 in its predecessor entity, Jardine Investigations. The handful of service providers in South Africa who only labelled themselves PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS back then (of which very few remain in business) founded the concept of what is labelled as FORENSIC INVESTIGATION today. Like FSG, they never investigated loss without consideration of the RISK ENVIRONMENT, or without anticipating that their work could be the subject of legal proceedings. FSG obviously cannot lay claim to inventing FORENSIC INVESTIGATION, but we (and a handful of other practitioners) can most definitely lay claim to practising it in South Africa long before it was labelled as such.
It must be noted that FSG does not just render forensic tracing, investigation, auditing, risk and security management services. Instead, FSG has expressed its various services as specific PRODUCTS that find expression in SERVICE PROFILES This is a unique innovation by FSG in our industry. SERVICE PROFILES detail the scope of work of each specific forensic tracing, investigation, risk and security management service PRODUCT, puts time estimates and time lines to the conclusion of each component of the scope of work - and because our fee is a factor of an hourly tariff (with the exclusion of tracing services) - puts fee estimates to the performance of specific service PRODUCTS that enable FSG and client to determine a budget for the completion of the work. Client is not expected to sign a blank cheque and ALWAYS has control over what FSG's fee will be.
In the training material that FSG has developed ("Strategies for Successful Forensic Investigation") to train persons inducted into our FORENSIC INVESTIGATION MENTORSHIP PROGRAM (which includes forensic auditing as audits can be described as must another form of investigation, albeit that it requires the application of a particular expertise or skill set), every subject commences with the repetition of three statements:
"Today, clients," says Jardine, the CEO of FSG, "look to practitioners of my type who have relevant professional and scientific graduate and post-graduate qualifications. They do so with justification because our industry is fraught with charlatans. While I do not possess a graduate or post-graduate qualification, I was an academic for seven years, always use every instruction we receive as an opportunity to study not only relevant law and legal process but also specific professional and scientific expertise, and hold my position based on my 25 year plus experience and research, we now only employ persons as investigators/auditors/risk managers if they possess a professional or scientific qualification that has a forensic application - and then we teach them how to apply their skill-sets forensically in investigative and audit processes, and risk management exercises.
However, more is required to be a competent forensic investigator/auditor/risk manager. Firstly, it requires a certain mindset that one day, I will nail down adequately to define, but which has to to with an inherent capacity to simultaneously apply deductive and inductive logic to problem-solving, and that has to do with the possession a certain type of imagination - the kind of imagination that, when confronted with a crime or a loss incident situation that yields no inherent clues to the WHO, HOW, WHEN and WHAT of the issue, causes the investigator/auditor/risk manager to ask what clues/evidence the crime/loss incident COULD HAVE YIELDED - and then making THIS the focus of the investigation. Another requirement is the inherent possession of a WORK ETHIC. In my experience, people either have it, or they do not. It is seldom something that can be taught. The reality is that our profession is hard work. Ask any investigator who has maintained an unbroken period of extended covert surveillance to record something that manifests for only a few seconds! I once hid in a rubbish skip for 72 hours to record a meeting between two persons that lasted less than a minute, that could have taken place at any time during the surveillance period. The rubbish skip was the only resource in the surveillance environment that provided opportunity for me to conceal myself for an extended period in the surveillance environment. I had to survive the stench, cold nights, hot days, sleep deprivation, boredom and lengthy period of intense concentration. The worst part was getting the balance between my body's needed for sustenance, and the size of the container I had in which to store what my body excreted, right!
It is the magnitude of the risk a client is exposed to and the urgency with which this must be resolved that determines when the work is to be done. And regardless of the urgency, regardless of the pace at which the investigator/auditor must work, he must be consistently thorough. Competency only comes with experience. A competent practitioner is one who has been exposed to the broadest possible range of risk environments such that, like the iconic Gary Player, he can say, 'The more I practice, the luckier I get'."
Fohla Security CC
t/a FSG FORENSIC INVESTIGATORS & AUDITORS | TRACERS | RISK MANAGERS |