DARIS Group comprises highly experienced investigators with relevant expertise, and forensic accountants well-versed in investigating claims of bullying, harassment, misconduct, fraud and other crimes or policy breaches. Our clients are private and publicly listed corporations, and government.
We also consult as experts to legal teams on investigative practice and procedure.
The experience to investigate successfullyAn external investigator is normally appointed when a matter is too complex to be handled internally, when the subject of the investigation is too senior for the internal team to investigate or when there may be a perception of bias if the matter is investigated internally. If a matter is important enough for you to consider an external investigator, it probably has the potential to impact your reputation and may have legal implications. And it’s likely to be important enough for the target to challenge your conclusions. For those reasons, you need an investigator with honed abilities. Your investigator must be qualified to: 1. Identify, then interpret and apply the relevant law or policy. 2. Immerse themselves quickly in your workplace culture so they can detect misconduct hiding as an undercurrent in otherwise innocuous behaviour or communication. 3. Gather as many facts as possible. 4. Reach only conclusions supported by those facts.
Procedural fairness is criticalActual or perceived biases by investigators can affect the transparency and fairness of an outcome. Internal investigators can be affected by bias without recognising it during their investigation or assessment of the evidence. That is the very nature of bias. However, any bias in the process or any bias in the evaluation by an internal investigator might come to light if the results of the investigation are disputed. An investigation that is biased or otherwise does not observe procedural fairness could be worthless even if it reaches the right conclusion together with the facts to back it. You could be left knowing that an employee is toxic but having no way to cut them out of the organisation. These risks are mitigated by using experienced external investigators.
Skillful InterviewsUltimately, the success of many investigations turns on the quality of the interviews of targets and witnesses. Interviews need to be run without bias or conflict of interest. Our investigators know how to probe without asking leading questions that might render your investigation unenforceable in a tribunal.
Considered JudgmentYour investigator must draw and document conclusions relying only on information that is relevant and untainted. Those conclusions — and the investigator — might well need to stand up to legal review or cross- examination.
The DARIS Group differenceWhen you engage experienced external investigators, you mitigate the risk of successful claims of bias, conflict of interest and flawed technique. These challenges are common and easier to make when the investigation is handled internally or conducted by someone operating beyond their usual area of practice. Our investigators are seasoned in investigative techniques that they do more than practise — they teach them to other professionals.
Our Investigation Services
Workplace conduct investigation
Workplace incident investigation (WHS)
Open source intelligence gathering (OSINT) and investigation
Civil investigationForensic services — computer forensics, document examination and accounting
Brief preparation for delivery and reporting to law enforcement or legal professionals
Compliance and risk assessmentEthics and conduct framework policy assessment
Bullying: After a complex and challenging investigation into an allegation of workplace bullying, SafeWork NSW agreed to stop enforcement action against our client, a publicly listed corporation. We interviewed more than 30 witnesses, worked with the union’s delegates and lawyers, liaised with the company’s executives and law firm, and communicated with SafeWork NSW.
Sexual harassment: We led an internal investigation and policy review for a multinational organisation after sexual harassment allegations were made against a senior staff member. We identified the scope of the allegations in terms of the law and the client’s policies. We found and interviewed witnesses, ensuring procedural fairness throughout the investigation. Ultimately, the allegations were shown to be false and were reported to the police. We were also able to highlight areas of organisational risk to reduce the potential for similar issues in the future.
Public Service: We investigated serious allegations against the executive team of a government agency. We found evidence that the allegations were made in bad faith.
Collusive Conduct: In a complex and serious bullying and harassment investigation for, among others, a multinational corporate negotiating and enterprise bargaining agreement. A union delegate, supported by two other delegates, had made allegations against a manager. The manager made counter-allegations. The union delegates were found to have misled the investigation.