The International Anticorruption Resource Center, a Washington-based group of American investigators and former prosecutors, has developed a first-class web site on how to investigate and prosecute corruption crimes that everyone in the business of investigating or prosecuting corruption crimes should bookmark. Divided into three main sections – Detection, Proof, and Evidence – the site guides the reader through the entire process of developing and presenting a corruption case: from the first interview with a whistleblower through assembling the facts to proving them in a court of law. While there are any number of Web sites with material useful for investigators and prosecutors (here and here for examples), this is the only I have found that pulls together in one place the basics that every anticorruption investigator or prosecutor needs.
Although clearly aimed at those in the early stages of their career, I recommend that even the most harden veterans peruse the site. They will find it a valuable refresher and may well find some helpful tips. Two pages I particularly liked were –
The one titled How to Respond to a Complaint. This contains a step-by-step guide to handling a whistleblower. Ideally, whenever a whistleblower comes forward he or she will be immediately interviewed by an experienced investigator. But in the real world a whistleblower may want to unburden him- or herself to the first person they feel comfortable talking to: a supervisor, police officer on patrol, or colleague. Here is a simple, but thorough set of questions that first “responder-listeners” can put to a whistleblower. The page should be a part of the anticorruption compliance training provided managers in both the public and private sectors.
Those who train rookie investigators and prosecutors will find the 10 Basic Steps of a Complex Fraud and Corruption Investigation page to be the perfect outline for a lecture or indeed a several day training course. Although designed for use in administrative investigations by international development agencies that lack the power to compel evidence from third parties, it is easily adaptable to courses delivered to law enforcement personnel. Those who train police and prosecutors experienced in “street crime” cases (robbery, homicide, assault) but who are new to the world of corruption and other financial crime will recognize its value at once.
Unfortunately, much of what appears on the web about corruption is, as the example Matthew wrote about yesterday, of little or no value. So it was a pleasure to discover something as valuable as the International Anticorruption Resource Center’s work.