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Post Covid-19 companies: new scenarios, risks and solutions

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Post Covid-19 companies: new scenarios, risks and solutions

What risks do we see for businesses in the post-Covid-19 era? Our solutions for securing companies against the risk of corruption.

The so-called Phase 2 Is upon us, from next May 4 when, gradually, we will return to a certain normalcy, after the last provisions of the Prime Minister's Decree of April 10, 2020.

How will the emergency just experienced affectthe situation?

The State and the Regions will impose new security measures that will entail a significant social behavioural change; there is talk of schools closed until September, tracking apps, electronic bracelets for the elderly, restricted outdoor outings. This in our daily lives; but what consequences will there be for companies?

Post Covid-19 companies: new scenarios

If it is simpler for people to modify them, what they are most worried about will be how companies will react to this new scenario and how it will affect their long-established habits.

It has been recently reported that a vademecum drafted by Inps that would allow businesses to reopen is being discussed on the basis of the risk indexes (from low to high), associated to the Ateco code that are based on three criteria:

▪ Exposure to risks, 

▪ proximity

▪ aggregation.

We imagine the objective difficulties faced by companies in having to create a suitable working environment, with the use of masks and PPE (personal protective equipment) for certain categories that must have continuous supplies (such as the healthcare sector, waste disposal or food ) and, in some cases, also warehouse stocks, offices structured in open spaces or individual offices with more staff whereemployers will be required to space the desks of their employees guaranteeing a staggered entry/exit flow and then, furthermore, the company canteens and how the gathering should be managed and not least the temperature control of the workers before they enter the company’s facilities.

New scenarios, new needs, new processes and therefore new habits that will be created. The Companies, just at this moment will have the opportunity to look at those internal processes with a different, new and widened perspective.

In the post-Covid-19 era businesses needs will change, more attention has already been imposed by the emergency and consequently greater investment in safety, either in terms of workers regarding possible violations of the legislation on hygiene and safety at work pursuant to Legislative Decree no. Legislative Decree 231/01, either in purely contractual terms on the application of force majeure, or in terms of IT security with Smart-Working in the protection of company data and documents. But this is not enough.

Phase 2: the risks for business

The Phase 2 era will have to be reviewed from a different company perspective. The risk will therefore be a value that must be analyzed, assessed and then managed not only in the field of Security in the strict sense but, today, applied to every corporate function.

In addition, it will be greater for those sectors which, at the time of the recovery, will prove more profitable. Sectors that will be viewed by criminal organizations, local dealers as more beneficial.

But from the point of view of business intelligence, what risks do we professionals see?

We will witness various corporate scenarios, changes in corporate structures, acquisitions, disposals or acquisitions of company branches, appearance of figurehead and de facto companies, changes in registered offices, liquidity injections in the share capital.

In the coming months, many interests will emerge as it is precisely through the use of apparently solid or pre-existing companies that illicit interests will be hidden.

Companies, therefore, will have to pay close attention to their commercial Partners and not only those subject to new deals but also, and above all, those already qualified and for whom the anti-money laundering checks have been ineffective. 

The UIF (Financial Information Unit) intervention, that has been reported by the major newspapers, focuses on the Covid emergency, precisely in dealing the risks of financial crime in the offer and marketing of personal protective equipment.

Yet. Recent news reported about an investigation by the Guardia di Finanza on the tender launched by Consip on the purchase and supply of personal protective and healthcare equipment that led to the arrest of an entrepreneur for auction disturbance and breach of contract public supplies.

So what do companies have to do? The possible solutions

The company functions concerned such as those of the active and passive cycle must therefore equip themselves by reviewing the qualification procedures of their suppliers, analyzing them and their reputation in detail (through analysis of the Reputational Risk) and finally, no less important, proceed to a review of both periodically.

Corruption between private individuals, misappropriation, illegal behavior could risk being a constant. With reference to the procedures, it will be important, especially for multinationals with branches in Italy, to coordinate their activities with colleagues in adapting these models often imposed by the parent companies to local realities.

More and more often, we as Dogma professionals analysequalification and control procedures, mostly written in English, which are generic and which do not take into account local administrative procedures, public documents available (and not corresponding to foreign analogues), of Italian problems and even more widespread than local ones.

With reference to the Suppliers qualification. In most cases, the search for information on the supplier is carried out through the documentary verification of certain official information combined with the analysis of information available on the Web in search of macro criticality.

Today for various reasons - either for legislative obligations such as the recent introduction of tax offenses pursuant to Legislative Decree 231/01 with the need for verification of suppliers - for corporate reputation, today a fundamental but increasingly dynamic asset, with the 'high possibility of criminal infiltration, the concrete need arises that these checks must take place with a more detailed level of analysis.

Therefore research of data and information through Osint sources, Open Source Intelligence (1) already complex in itself because it presupposes the ability to know how to correlate multiple information plans, such as conferences, official databases, news, environmental information, further requires a technical competence of analysis and the experience of grasping red flags increasingly hidden in the mesh of information.

Companies, therefore, will have to take advantage of this moment of post-emergency recovery in which they will be required to invest in the renewal of those functions / procedures required by health regulations but also, and above all, in those at risk of corruption.

In recent weeks, it has now been understood how Security, in its broadest sense, is crucial to protect the Company's competitive vision on the market.

In this context, Dogma has been supporting many companies for years by using qualified resources with multidisciplinary skills, quantitative and qualitative processes and methodologies as well as advanced technological tools in the field of information analysis in order to support the choices of the various functions involved in decision-making strategies.

Author: 
Katia Trevisan
Head of Legal Division Dogma S.p.A.

Note:
1) Open source Intelligence - Osint -, or the analysis of open sources, is a method of research and analysis that allows the detection of information and news:
• Legal;
• Public.

Through this research method it is possible to detect, analyze and process information quickly and precisely.
The search method is developed through the use of queries, search engines, metasearch engine, software and much more. In addition to the tools, it is important to highlight the method, which is composed of four phases:
• Discovery, or the identification of the source;
• Discrimination, or the selection of sources;
• Distillation, or the extrapolation of what is actually useful;
• Dissemination, or the timely dissemination of the document to the customer

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