IntegrityCounts: Finding fraud and waste all via the cloud

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The term whistleblower, in reference to someone doing something good, has existed since the early 1970s, but for Shannon Walker, a sense of its importance came in the early 2000s. Enron Corporation Scandal.

was the informant in that case Sharon Watkins, who was then vice president of corporate development at the now defunct energy giant. Her testimony, and the eventual demise of the company, led to its Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which contains 11 sections of the law to avoid similar corporate and accounting scams.

As a result of Enron, and seeing that “there was a definite need to assist organizations create a more transparent and accountable environment for their employees and other stakeholders,” Walker founded Whistleblower Security Inc.wbs), is a Vancouver-based company that bills itself as the only female-owned managed ethics reporting and case management provider in the North American market.

Shannon Walker: Founder and President of Whistleblower Security

Launched in 2005, the company has grown and matured over the years, now providing the following services: Ethics, Compliance and Harm Prevention Hotline, as well as loyalty mattersA proprietary case management platform that is cloud-based.

“We had a really rudimentary system for taking reports,” Walker recalls of those early days. “The first to adopt this type of service were junior mining companies. They wanted to do that kind of inspection to enable their people in the field to report back to the head office here in Vancouver.

“They were a group of companies that allowed us to launch. The need was because they all had an investor stakeholder group that they had to be transparent with. Even today, I would say, the mining customers that we have, and our Have maybe five or six or seven dozen, they are also at the forefront of incorporating ESG standards and DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – policies within their groups.”

She credits such forward-thinking to the fact that “there’s a lot of surveillance on them—what they do to the environment, and how they operate within communities.”

Mining today represents a small portion of WBS’s overall business. As of this morning, its services are used in 106 countries, 107 industries, available in 150 languages ​​and extended to public corporations, private enterprises, non-profit organizations and governments.

An example of how WBS offerings have materialized include the development of a fraud and waste hotline launched in 2019 for the City of Hamilton. Watch.

The municipality’s city auditor Charles Brown last year described the reporting tool as “a valuable deterrent that helps reduce the risk of unethical behavior, and that reinforces the city’s commitment to corporate governance and accountability.” The number of reports relating to fraud and waste continues to exceed expectations, highlighting that the hotline remains a well-used tool promoting (our) commitment to being transparent and accountable.

During the first year alone, Walker said, upwards of $250,000 in waste was reported, resulting in the termination of eight city workers.

From an IT perspective, she said, the fact that IntegrityAccounts is cloud-based, with data stored on Microsoft Azure, negates the need to integrate with the client’s IT configuration.

He added that this is an independently externally hosted platform, and once a whistleblower alert is received, it “can be classified by case type and routed to the appropriate person. If it financial, it can go to the CFO, if it’s a human resources issue, it will go to human resources, if it needs to go to internal audit, we can escalate it to that person. And then They can actually interact with the informant in the back end.

“They can ask for more information, ask for documents – you can upload documents – and they can work to solve the problem. And then, on the back end, there’s a lot of analysis that can be done. You can see if there are hotspots within the organization, you can see how many reports are being validated.

“And then it includes holistic reporting that can be carried up to the board, so they don’t need to see the details, but they can see the number of reports, whether they were certified and what the results were.”

According to the company, “All client data is hosted in Microsoft Azure data centers within Canada. Data is stored in Azure SQL databases and binary storage, logically isolated from other tenant data.”

“All data is treated as confidential and is encrypted using the 256-bit AES algorithm. Data is only accessible through a client-facing web application with a controlled user access code and pass-code and under a secure connection.” (decrypted) can be done.

Its pricing is based on an annual membership fee that is determined by a number of factors, important among them are the number of employees and the location of a particular organization.

Walker estimates that a company with 250 employees can expect to pay about $1,700 a year for what he likens to “the cable bill, it’s not really expensive.”

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