Deciding Whether To Self Report Or Not

Factors To Consider When Deciding Whether To Self Report Or Not

Griffiths Energy International is at a dilemma that has been initiated by the discovery by lawyers that several land leases were obtained through bribery. Generally, there is no set legal requirement to report any form of bribery. Self-reporting is mainly a company’s commercial decision. A company usually balances the benefits and risks that are associated with the facts being questioned. With the increased global enforcement actions relative to bribery, Griffiths Energy International will need to ensure that all the risks and benefits of self reporting are taken into consideration. The individual directors should also carefully consider their position, potential civil and criminal liability that they are likely to incur and appropriately act accordingly to the circumstances.

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The company has to ensure that all the self-report is made only to the authorities relevant in the case as quick as possible so as to gain co-operation credit or achieve deferment or decline of prosecution within the established jurisdictions. A heavy tension exists between quick self-reporting and undertaking investigation to decide whether or not to self-report. In deciding whether or not to self-report, the directors of Griffiths Energy International will have to weigh the risks and potential benefits. The benefits include the reduction of financial penalties, potential of securing a decline or deferement of prosecution, and the otention of gaining long-tern reputational advantages.

On the other hand, there are several risks associated with self-reporting that should be considered. These are the potential of civil litigation, potential of damaging the company’s share prices due to leakage of engaging in bribery, disruption of business, likelihood of additional invetigation, remediation costs and changes within the senior management of the company. The specific risks include the slowing down or cancelatoon of the IPO, employees within the organisation losing their jobs, foreign corruption investigation, probable prosecution, loss of investments, and company’s bankruptcy. Taking all these factors into consideration will help Griffiths Energy International to decide on their next step since it would not want to lose their investment in Chad.

Stakeholders and Their Interests/ Threat and Error Management

There are several stakeholders within the organisation. These include the management team, employees, shareholders, and the general public. The organisation’ leadership was highly disrupted upon the death of the company’s founder, Griffins and the resignation of the chair of the board of directors. Even though the board was small, they were all concerned about their reputation. Hodgins appears to be honest especially after advocating that the company should come clean about the bribery issue. Hodgins is transparent and aims at the creation of a positive environment where anyone could contribute. He did not quit the board but rather aimed at directing the firm in the right direction. This was the exact opposite of the other board members who quit the board due to fear of losing their reputation. It shows the great ability to handle threats and errors within the organisation.

Taking into consideration of the organisational objectives was the main aim of Hodgins even though he lacked support from some board members. The collective purchase of the company’s shares is a major tool in threat and error management that had been adopted by the board. Deciding to whom the case should be reported is also another important management decision that was adopted by the board. Hodgins considered the use of individual strengths, induce logical discussions, and ensure a collective decision had been reached. The interests of every shareholder are clear in that each member of the board has different views of how to handle the threats and risks attached to the disclosure of the bribery. Looking into management, Hodgins appears to have the best interest for the company. His efforts are drawn towards achieving a concrete solution and transparency of the company’s operations.

Risks, Benefits, and Recommended Action Plan

There are several risks that are attached to self-reporting of the bribery. The company faces the risk of loss of reputation, slowing down of the IPO, and loss of jobs by the employees. On the other hand, the directors face loss of reputation, inability to access jobs within the future, and loss of company’s shares. The benefits of reporting include likelihood of dismissal of civil proceedings by the company and increased trust in management on part of the directors. The most significant risk is loss of company’s reputation. A loss in reputation increases the chance of the loss of shareholding which may lead to company’s bankruptcy and closure. The recommended action plan is to self-report the issue before it is discovered by relevant authorities. Self-reporting is more advantageous especially on part of stakeholders. The potential of securing a deferment or decline of civil litigation is higher when the company self-reports.

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