Doing Business with Integrity Case Study: Forensic Pathways

Case Study: Forensic Pathways

The UK government encourages businesses operating in emerging markets to prepare for bribery and corruption risks, as well as potential human rights abuses. The Department for International Development has launched the Business Integrity Hub to help businesses do this. Forensic Pathways talks about the benefits of operating a business with integrity in new markets.

Company overview: Birmingham-based Forensic Pathways Ltd operates in the digital forensics and evidence arena, specialising in dark web investigation and analysis, forensic laboratory consultation, ballistics analysis and data analysis solutions in the area of due diligence, forensic business services and criminal intelligence. Founded in 2001, Forensic Pathways has expanded globally, with 65% of exports in overseas markets including Africa, Latin America, USA, Canada, India and Central Europe, and works directly in these markets and through local partners. The company’s major international clients include law enforcement agencies, academia, corporate and private organisations.  Deborah Leary is CEO and Founder of the company, and a Director of the UN Global Compact Network in the UK.   

Drivers of business integrity: 

Two drivers underpin Forensic Pathways’ approach to doing business with integrity:

Values: From the start, the company has sought to build a values and principles-based approach to doing business. Since 2005, Forensic Pathways has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles, which encompass business responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Each year the company reports its performance against each principle.

Trust:  Given the company’s focus on law enforcement and cyber security, operating with integrity is an essential pre-requisite for establishing the trust that is key to long-term sustainable relationships with clients and partners in the sector.

Benefits of business integrity

Doing business with integrity creates tangible business benefits for Forensic Pathways:

  • Integrity enhances reputation: Having a reputation for doing business with integrity helps to strengthen Forensic Pathway’s brand in the marketplace and to differentiate it from competitors.
  • Reduces risks: Having strong integrity polices and practices in place helps to ensure the company is able to identify potential bribery and corruption risks and to take the necessary action to avoid them before they arise. In its 16-year history, Forensic Pathways has found no evidence of corruption or bribery within its stakeholder network. 

Approach to doing business with Integrity

Forensic Pathways operationalises business integrity, both internally and externally, through a variety of approaches:

  • Due diligence and setting expectations from the beginning: Forensic Pathways has a zero-tolerance stance on bribery and corruption.  When initiating new business relationships, suppliers, agents and distributors go through a robust due diligence process and are monitored on a regular basis.  From the start, a strong emphasis is placed on setting expectations on standards of business behaviour and making clear adherence to Forensic Pathways’ Code of Ethics as a key condition of the commercial contract. 
  • Continuous reinforcement: The importance of business integrity is continuously reinforced and efforts are made to ensure that understanding of required standards spans the supply chain.  All stakeholders are made aware of the Company’s stance on corruption and bribery though the publication of a Communication on Progress, which is promoted via the company’s website and highlighted on all contracts, marketing materials, emails, and presentations. Any stakeholder found to be in breach of its Codes of Ethics will automatically have their contract retracted and, if necessary, reported to the authorities.  Employees are also continuously reminded that it is a disciplinary offence to ignore evidence of potential corruption and bribery.
  • Connect with DIT and the local Embassy: When entering a new market, Forensic Pathways engages with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the local UK embassy or mission to gain advice and insights in to the local business landscape including opportunities and risks.

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