Enterprise screening of employees, contractors and business partnerswill become standard practice in next three years, says Datanomic

15 September 2008

Enterprise Screening, the systematic screening of employees and internal contractors, as well as external partners, agents and distributors, will become standard business practice for large organisations over the next three years, according to Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering specialist, Datanomic Ltd.

Until now, Client Screening has largely been a mandated requirement in the financial services industry and considered best practice in the legal sector. However, large organisations, are starting to use the same technology as part of their proactive fraud and risk management strategies, particularly multi-national companies with a global presence, companies with large customer bases, and those with extended supply chains and partnerships. Datanomic terms this practice as ‘Enterprise Screening’: screening employees, agents, associates, suppliers, business partners- anyone associated with the enterprise’s brand.

“We see the same philosophy of Know-Your-Customer expanding to incorporate ‘Know-Your- Employee, Know-Your-Supplier, Contractor, Distributor or Partner’,” said Dr Jonathan Pell, CEO of Datanomic Ltd. “Doing business with individuals and companies that you do not know or have not properly screened can be an expensive, embarrassing or in some instances, catastrophic mistake. We are seeing significant interest in Enterprise Screening from non-financial markets, such as telecommunications, utilities, transport and local government, and expect it to become standard business practice across all major industries within the next three years.”

Eighteen months ago, London Underground made a highly public security blunder, when it emerged that Mohammed Kamel Mostafa, convicted terrorist and son of the jailed Islamic cleric Abu Hamza managed to get a job on the network. Mostafa, 25, who was jailed for three years in Yemen in 1999 for allegedly plotting a bombing campaign, was employed by a subcontractor of the network’s maintenance company, Tube Lines. Mostafa was granted astonishing access to London’s Tube network. Checks were carried out before he took up the post and it is thought he met the employment requirements as he had no criminal convictions in the UK. No screening was done against international sanctions lists or Politically Exposed Person (PEP) lists.

In March of this year, MI5 agents identified four officers in the Metropolitan Police suspected of passing secrets from the force. All four are allegedly living in London and are feared to have links with Islamic extremists in Britain and worldwide terrorist organisations. MI5 bosses reportedly fear the moles may have been planted to keep Al Qaida informed of anti-terror raids and may have already accessed sensitive information about ongoing operations.

Likewise, in the United States, ninety-four percent of alien residents from terrorist-supporting countries who were released from immigration detention were never found again and were never deported. They are presumably still living in the USA – many of them with new IDs, including driver's licenses and Social Security credentials, all available for a price, and many suspected of holding ‘legitimate’ jobs.

“The risks of doing business with individuals and companies that you don’t know is simply too high,” added Pell. “This is why we are seeing increasing demand for Enterprise Screening as a means of mitigating that risk and proactively protecting brand reputation. Datanomic is already the trusted platform of choice in the financial services market to help mitigate risk, avoid multimillion pound fines, and help safeguard the reputations of some of the world’s most respected companies. We’re starting to see Enterprise Screening driving similar demand in other industries.”

Earlier this month, Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator, became the first mobile operator to implement Enterprise Screening, using Datanomic’s dn:Director Sanctions & PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) Screening software for screening employees, contractors, partners, agents, and distributors worldwide. As a result, Vodafone will be able to ensure it is not unknowingly doing business with companies or individuals on sanctions lists, and can proactively protect its brand as part of its global risk and fraud management strategy.

Failure to accurately screen clients (whether to achieve regulatory requirements or for protection of brand and/or corporate reputation) exposes organisations to unacceptable risk. Datanomic’s dn:Director Sanctions & PEP Screening software enables organisations to rigorously and systematically identify heightened-risk entities within their customer bases. In addition, dn:Director can also be used for risk screening of an organisation’s own employees or contractors, and throughout its extended supply chain.

Datanomic’s deeply accurate data screening rules provide the industry’s most advanced analysis/matching algorithms for screening against both commercial and regulatory/Government watch lists, sanctions lists and PEP databases. dn:Director is used today by many leading financial institutions to deliver highly intelligent AML/Compliance Screening systems that reduce manual or semi-automated matching, freeing Compliance teams for higher value analysis and investigation.

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