Identifying and briefing stakeholders: employees, management, investor relations and media

You may need to brief employees to:

  • inform them that an inspection is occurring
  • co-operate with the investigation
  • immediately stop any routine document destruction; and
  • maintain confidentiality. Employees should be warned not to discuss the investigation or disclose any details of it to any third party and informed about the serious penalties for non-compliance with confidentiality obligations

Consider briefing IT staff separately about their obligations, as they are likely to have a more involved role in any unannounced inspection.

It will also be worth considering when and how to brief employees and other stakeholders once the inspection is completed.

Work out what you will say to the media if they contact you. You may want to prepare a holding statement (see media relations).

Regulators may also make their own media announcements.

Finally, you also need to consider whether there any obligations (either locally or in other jurisdictions) to disclose the inspection, to another regulator, insurers, investors, stock exchange(s), joint venture partners or similar bodies. This is likely to require discussion with a range of internal stakeholders, such as (for listed businesses) the investor relations team. It is also important to consider the effect of any disclosures on the regulatory investigation itself. In some cases, regulators can require the investigation to be kept confidential for a period, for example to avoid “tipping off”.  See here for further information on the possible need for disclosures to the market