Daily Archives: 14/08/2014

“Fraudulent employment applications at record high” warns CIFAS

In the first half of 2014, over half (63%) of all confirmed frauds recorded to the CIFAS Internal Fraud Database were Employment Application Frauds: frauds where job applicants have made serious fraudulent declarations about employment history, qualifications, criminal records and so on.

This is in keeping with the trends recorded during the previous year and, states CIFAS, underlines how vital it is for applicants to understand that telling lies in an application is far from harmless or acceptable. In fact, applicants who submit false or exaggerated information run the risk of dismissal and – in worse case scenarios – the possibility of criminal charges.

The scale of the fraud also shows that organisations are running more stringent checks now than ever before.

While it is of concern that there are increasing numbers of individuals who are turning to fraud in order to gain employment, it’s encouraging that the proportion of applicants who were unsuccessful remained high (at 79%). This means that organisations are sifting these out before there’s any chance of financial, reputational or regulatory damage being done.

In the first half of 2014, over half of all the confirmed frauds (63%) recorded to the CIFAS Internal Fraud Database were Employment Application Frauds

In the first half of 2014, over half of all the confirmed frauds (63%) recorded to the CIFAS Internal Fraud Database were Employment Application Frauds

The most common reason for recording unsuccessful Employment Application Frauds was the concealing of adverse credit history when the position (frequently in financial services) has a regulatory requirement of a clean credit and financial history. For successful Employment Application Frauds, however, the main reason was the concealing of unspent criminal convictions. This is likely to be due to the time lag between an individual accepting a job and the relevant vetting and Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) checks to be completed and returned to the new employer.

Fraudulent declarations “can have very serious consequences”

CIFAS CEO Simon Dukes commented: “While competition for jobs is fierce, the temptation to lie in order to make an application or CV stand out might seem appealing. However, fraudulent declarations regarding qualifications, employment history and experience, etc can have very serious consequences. Not only might it lead to dismissal when discovered, but if an applicant finds him or herself in a position for which they are not suitable due to a fraudulent declaration then they can cause financial damage to an organisation and lead it towards reputational and regulatory trouble as well.”

Dukes concluded: “Organisations have long been expected to verify the details given to them by customers. They have now come to recognise that they also need to apply those same standards to prospective employees. For applicants, then, it really is better for them to be honest rather than trying to mislead as this could merely land them in bigger trouble as a result.”

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Kroll Ontrack issues new version of proprietary Remote Data Recovery software

Kroll Ontrack – the provider of data recovery services and e-discovery – has announced the availability of a new version of its Ontrack® Remote Data Recovery™ (RDR®) software.

RDR is a patented, proprietary service that provides a fast and secure solution for data loss situations. Using the new version of RDR, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers can work more efficiently on a specific data loss problem, saving valuable time for host businesses during the data recovery process.

With the Ontrack RDR software solution, security of customer data is maximised because the data recovery can be performed without a hard disk or other storage device leaving an enterprise’s data centre.

Specifically, a secure remote Internet connection is established between the customer and Kroll Ontrack, allowing Ontrack Data Recovery engineers to recover from media at the customer’s site with proprietary data recovery tools.

As a result, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers gain full access to individual disks, RAID systems, virtual machines, SANs or LUNs on a remote basis, in turn saving the customer significant time because shipping drives to a given Kroll Ontrack data recovery lab is eliminated.

RDR is a patented, proprietary service that provides a fast and secure solution for data loss situations

RDR is a patented, proprietary service that provides a fast and secure solution for data loss situations

Ontrack Data Recovery specialists can also pool from its global network of engineers when performing a remote job to maximise resources and knowledge-sharing and successfully complete the task at hand.

Efficient data recovery with total security

The new release of Ontrack RDR makes installation of the software far easier. All necessary Windows system drivers required for installation are included in the set-up package. The machine no longer needs to be rebooted post installation.

Furthermore, during the installation process, the Ontrack RDR software detects all required connection settings automatically without the need to set the IP address, DNA server name or HTTP switch on a manual basis.

“In many data recovery cases, including servers with a damaged drive, there’s no need to disassemble complex storage systems and send a hard disk to one of our data recovery labs,” said Phil Bridge, managing director at Kroll Ontrack.

“Within minutes, customers can instead attach the working drives to a running computer system via Ontrack RDR software. We’re the only data recovery provider using our own software for this service. Data is not exposed to any third party entities. Security is paramount, so too an efficient data recovery service.”

Ontrack RDR supports Windows XP through Windows Server 2012 for remote data connections. Additionally, the new version offers support for recoveries of NetApp, VMware, EMC, HP, Dell and many other SAN/NAS systems.

For more information on Kroll Ontrack’s remote software and service visit: http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/data-recovery/data-recovery-process/remote-data-recovery/

About Kroll Ontrack

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and Government entities and consumers manage, recover, search, analyse and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively.

In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review. For further detail visit: http://www.krollontrack.co.uk

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ONVIF launches education and enforcement programme to ensure product conformance

ONVIF – the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products – is launching a proactive education and enforcement campaign designed to ensure that all claims made in relation to ONVIF conformance by the manufacturers of IP-based physical security products are valid.

The education and enforcement initiative aims to further protect the ONVIF brand and monitor ONVIF’s copyrights, trademarks and logos on an ongoing basis. The campaign will also help further educate the solutions development community about the specific requirements of compliance and their ability to advertise individual products as being conformant with ONVIF standards.

The only method of determining a product’s conformance is through a listing on the ONVIF website, where conformant products can be easily searched using a variety of criteria. An entry on the ONVIF website signifies that the product has undergone ONVIF’s comprehensive testing and conformance process, and has been individually certified by ONVIF as conformant.

There are currently more than 3,300 individual conformant products listed on the site: http://www.onvif.org

The education and enforcement initiative aims to further protect the ONVIF brand

The education and enforcement initiative aims to further protect the ONVIF brand

“We recognise that, going forward, the credibility of the ONVIF brand is crucial to the success of the standard and the organisation,” explained Per Björkdahl, chairman of ONVIF’s Steering Committee. “Therefore, we take the protection of this brand very seriously. Our specific objective with this enforcement campaign is to reinforce to the market that the ONVIF name continues to represent interoperability.”

New grade of membership

To augment these efforts, earlier this year ONVIF introduced a new level of membership to provide access to the ONVIF test tool which is used for testing the validity of product conformance.

This Observer membership level allows consultants, systems integrators and media organisations to individually validate the conformance of a specific product to a particular ONVIF Profile.

“As a member-driven organisation we rely very heavily on the efforts of our members to help us develop policies and procedures that ensure the success of ONVIF, both for its members and for the industry at large,” said Stuart Rawling, vice-chairman of the ONVIF Communication Committee. “We encourage anyone who suspects false claims are being made around a given product’s conformance to contact us via e-mail at: help@onvif.org.”

Further information about ONVIF conformant products (including details of vendors and conformant models) is available on the ONVIF website: http://www.onvif.org

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National BIM Library works with Boon Edam to host access control solutions range

Following the successful introduction of its Tourniket and Crystal Tourniket revolving door models earlier this year, Boon Edam has now launched its second phase of BIM objects.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of places.

Building Information Models (BIMs) are files (often but not always in proprietary formats and containing proprietary data) which can be exchanged or networked to support decision-making on a given location.

Current BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and Government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical infrastructures from water, waste water, electricity, gas, refuse or communication-focused utilities through to roads, bridges and ports, houses, apartments, schools, shops, offices, factories, warehouses and prisons, etc.

The UK Government has outlined that the use of BIM will be mandatory on all public sector projects from 2016. The aim is to streamline the construction process and cut back on both project and carbon costs by using BIM to predict and reduce errors throughout the different stages of the design process.

Boon Edam is BIM ready

Boon Edam is BIM ready

Working with The National BIM Library to create and host its range of BIM products, the most recent release from Boon Edam incorporates security doors and pedestrian speed gate product ranges. In total, 18 BIM objects produced by the company are now available for download.

Since the announcement of mandatory BIM projects from 2016, there has been an increasing pressure on architects and contractors to adopt BIM within their own design process. Statistics from the NBS National BIM Report 2014 reveal that over 50% of respondents aware of BIM are already actively using it for projects, with a massive 93% stating they plan to be using BIM by 2016.

On that basis, it became essential for Boon Edam to ensure its product range was made readily available in BIM format, in turn allowing architects and contractors easy access to relevant manufacturer objects for use in their BIM projects.

Boon Edam is focused on its clients, and consistently works together with customers to ensure the correct products are specified at design stage for each individual project.

A team of specification managers is always on hand to work together with architects and contractors and ensure the use of Boon Edam objects in BIM-centric projects is a simple and smooth process.

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Stuart Pizzey MBE joins The Shield Group as police liaison and commercial risk advisor

Former police officer Stuart Pizzey MBE has been appointed police liaison and commercial risk advisor at The Shield Group. Pizzey’s remit is to develop relationships with businesses across Greater Manchester and throughout the North West and advise on business risk-based solutions.

52 year-old Pizzey served with the Greater Manchester Police for over 30 years and was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2003 Birthday Honours List for his services to policing.

Indeed, Pizzey played a crucial role in saving the lives of over 80,000 people during the 1996 IRA bombings in Manchester, with his evacuation Master Plan allowing the police force to usher shoppers and staff to safety. He subsequently received the Community Police Officer of the Year Award in 2000.

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Pizzey was also instrumental in establishing a radio network alert system which covered nearly 600 pubs, clubs and stores across Manchester such that businesses and the police service are now engaged in 24-hour dialogue to prevent trouble.

In addition, before ASBOs were introduced, Pizzey helped to set up exclusion orders aimed at deterring prolific thieves and criminals from targeting Manchester.

Stuart Pizzey retired from Greater Manchester Police in 2010 and then worked with a number of private security companies in a police liaison role.

Now, Pizzey will be based at The Shield Group’s Manchester offices where he’ll be working in tandem with the company’s Special Liaison Unit (headed up by Ken Stewart QPM) to identify and sustain partnerships with the police service throughout the UK, in turn supporting non-front line duties and responsibilities.

Key working relationships and advisory skills

Speaking about Pizzey’s appointment, The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy stated: “We’re delighted and very proud to welcome such a distinguished individual as Stuart Pizzey to The Shield Group. Stuart has made a significant and lasting impact on his community through his role at Greater Manchester Police.”

Roddy continued: “For some time now we’ve been fully aware of Stuart’s key working relationships and advisory skills, and we’re very pleased that he has decided to join The Shield Group to both enhance our overall capability in the North West region and at the same time offer support for our programme designed to further develop growing relationships with the police service.”

Referencing his appointment, Stuart Pizzey commented: “The chance to join The Shield Group presents a great challenge and an opportunity to use my skills and experience to better serve our customers nationwide. I’m particularly impressed with the company’s efforts to foster a working relationship with the police service and provide support for non-front line duties and responsibilities. I look forward to working with what is an innovative and ambitious team whose commitment and services to security are testament to the company’s continued growth.”

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Legal, tax and Health and Safety advice for businesses on the agenda at free BSIA seminar

Two Associate members of the British Security Industry Association have joined forces to offer exclusive advice on employment law, Health and Safety and taxation at a brand new event set to take place at Windsor Racecourse on Tuesday 9 September.

Jointly organised by employment law specialist Citation and tax expert Cobia, the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) event aims to share advice and Best Practice among small and medium-sized businesses on a range of issues (including employment law, tax planning and Health and Safety).

From dismissing poor performers without risk of tribunal claims through to enhancing a business’ operating margin, Cobia and Citation’s experts will be on hand to provide delegates with the basic information they need to improve their company’s health, safety and legal compliance processes.

Daren Wood, membership manager at the BSIA, commented: “Many small businesses simply don’t have the in-house knowledge or resources to dedicate a specific focus on areas like optimising taxation, Health and Safety and legal compliance. As such, the advice of independent experts such as Cobia and Citation can prove vital in helping small businesses to thrive.”

Daren Wood: membership manager at the BSIA

Daren Wood: membership manager at the BSIA

Free to attend, the event is designed to provide maximum benefit with minimum interruption to the working day. Formatted as a breakfast briefing, the seminar is set to run from 8.30 am until 10.30 am and is being held at a venue that’s within easy reach of the South East’s motorway network.

Key advice for businesses

James Doyle of Cobia explained: “Cobia will inform delegates of the latest opportunities to plan their employment taxes in an efficient manner, as well as covering general practice across the security industry and the benefits available to their businesses.”

Doyle went on to state: “Cobia has vast experience of working across the security industry in payroll, pensions and employment tax planning. Our clients include the OCS Group, Initial Facilities and Kingdom Security as well as at least 50 SME organisations. Cobia also works closely with the Security Industry Authority to help deliver Best Practice specifically around matters of employment status.”

Introducing Citation’s offering, national partnerships manager Nigel Lea said: “Citation has worked with clients across the security sector since our inception in 1995. We’ve worked with the BSIA for a number of years now, helping the Trade Association’s members with the highly regulated areas of Health and Safety and employment law. Wrong moves in these areas can prove costly and really damage a business. Getting it right can increase efficiencies, help a company win business and improve the bottom line.”

Lea continued: “We’re delighted to be involved with this event as it affords BSIA members a chance to see how our sector-specific services can not only help their own business, but also ways in which the BSIA is committed to putting the best member benefits possible in front of them.”

The event is open to all businesses working within the security sector, including non-members of the BSIA. Anyone wishing to attend can register by visiting the website: http://www.citation.co.uk/seminars/bsia

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G4S Half Year Results: New contract sales total £1.2 billion

Group CEO Ashley Almanza states that G4S has made “good progress” and delivered a “satisfactory financial performance” in the first six months of 2014, winning new contracts worth £1.2 billion and producing a 6.3% increase in PBITA in addition to a 13.2% rise in earnings. However, Almanza highlights that “there remains much to be done” to capture the full potential of the company’s strategy and strengthen the group’s performance.

Top line financial highlights for the first six months of 2014 are as follows:

• New contract sales with a total value of £1.2 billion (+26%)

• Organic revenue growth: 4.1%, Emerging markets: +12.1%, Developed markets: in line with the prior year

• Underlying PBITA1 6.3% higher at £185 million (2013: £174 million), Emerging markets PBITA up 14.7%, Developed markets PBITA up 6.7%

• Corporate costs: £28 million (an increase of £8 million, including £6 million non-cash pension and LTIP costs)

• Underlying earnings1 of £86 million (2013: £76 million) (up 13.2%), EPS up 3.7%

• Total cash generated by continuing operations: £212 million (2013: £224 million). This included cash flow of £185 million (2013: £148 million) from operating businesses and one-off corporate items of £27 million (2013: £76 million)

• Net debt position as at 30 June 2014: £1,680 million (reflecting the normal seasonal effect of lower cash flows in the first half – which is expected to reverse in the second half of 2014 – and the £109 million electronic monitoring settlement)

• Portfolio management: proceeds of £89 million in six months. A further £37 million is due to be received in the second half of 2014 from the sale of the business in Sweden

• Interim dividend maintained at 3.42 pence/share (DKK 0.3198)

G4S realised good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months of 2014

G4S realised good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months of 2014

Underlying results1,2 for the six-month period ending 30 June 2014

Revenue
2014: £3,371 million. 2013: £3,239 million. Change: 4.1%

PBITA
2014: £185 million. 2013: £174 million. Change: 6.3%

Earnings4
2014: £86 million. 2013: £76 million. Change: 13.2%

EPS5
2014: 5.6 p. 2013: 5.4 p. Change: 3.7%

Total results3 for the six-month period ending 30 June 2014

Revenue
2014: £3,371 million. 2013: £3,249 million. Change: 3.8%

PBITA
2014: £179 million. 2013: £47 million. Change: 280.9%

Earnings
2014: £78 million. 2013: £(196) million

EPS
2014: 5.0 p. 2013: (14.0) p

References
1At constant exchange rates. The results at actual exchange rates are set out on pages 15 to 31 of the full report (see below for download link). To clearly present underlying performance, specific items have been excluded and disclosed separately (see page 3 of the final report)
22013 results are presented at constant exchange rates and have been restated for the adoption of IFRS10 and IFRS11. 2013 PBITA has been re-presented for businesses subsequently classified as discontinued (see page 4 of the final report for details)
3At constant exchange rates and including specific items. 2013 results have been restated for the adoption of IFRS10 and IFRS11 and have been re-presented for businesses subsequently classified as discontinued (see page 4 of the final report)
4Earnings is equal to profit/(loss) for the period attributable to equity holders of the parent (see page 3 of the final report)
5Earnings per share is based on the average number of shares in issue of 1,545 million (2013: 1,403 million) (see pages 5 and 6 of the final report)

Commentary from the Group CEO

Speaking about this latest set of financials, Ashley Almanza (Group CEO at G4S) commented: “The group made good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months, winning new contracts with a total value of £1.2 billion and producing a 13.2% increase in earnings. That said, there remains much to be done to capture the full potential of our strategy and to strengthen the group’s performance.”

“Demand for our services was robust, particularly in emerging markets. We’re restructuring and rebuilding our businesses in the UK and Ireland and, indeed, in Europe. We have seen growth return to the North American market.”

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

“Profit before interest, tax and amortisation of £1,851 million was 6% higher than the same period in 2013. This reflects revenue growth and improved operational gearing as we begin to capture benefits from restructuring and the implementation of our ‘Accelerated Best Practice’ Programmes.”

“With our increased focus on cash management, cash flow from operating businesses was £185 million – a 25% improvement on the same period last year. Total cash generated by continuing operations, including one-off corporate items, was £212 million. In 2013 that figure stood at £224 million.”

Following on from a review of the group’s strategy and business conducted last year, the management team duly identified a number of strategic priorities and, in each area, has subsequently made progress in moving from planning towards execution.

Portfolio and performance management
“Over the past year,” said Almanza, “we have divested six businesses at attractive exit multiples for aggregate proceeds of £160 million. This includes our business in Sweden which we sold in July this year. In addition, we have taken the decision to discontinue a further 15 smaller businesses and have an ongoing sale process for our US Government Solutions business. Portfolio management remains important for strategic focus, capital discipline and performance management.”

Organic growth
“We won new work with an annual contract value of over £600 million and a total contract value of £1.2 billion while at the same time replenishing our pipeline which now stands at an annual value of £4.9 billion.”

“We continue to see further opportunities to sell additional services in our key markets and, in line with previously announced plans, we have invested an annualised £15 million to strengthen sales and business development capability. We’re progressively embedding a consistent approach to sales operations and sales performance measurement.”

Accelerated Best Practice and Cost Leadership Programme
Almanza continued: “Our Accelerated Best Practice and Cost Leadership Programme gathered momentum with the appointment of key management and subject matter experts to focus on direct labour efficiency, organisational efficiency, route planning and telematics, IT standardisation, procurement and shared services. Our major restructuring programmes to strengthen the competitiveness and profitability of a number of key businesses, principally in the UK, Ireland and Europe, are being implemented in line with the detailed plans which were developed last year. These programmes and cost initiatives are beginning to deliver improved operational leverage.”

People and values
“We made good progress with the implementation of our corporate transformation programme. We have enhanced our risk management controls and practices and strengthened contract management, and we’re adopting a more systematic approach to measuring customer service. A group-wide internal communications programme is also underway to reinforce our group values and, in line with the ‘Safety First’ value, there has been concerted focus on Health and Safety policy and practice.”

The overall outlook

“We have achieved a satisfactory financial performance and we’re making good strategic progress,” stated Almanza. “Demand for our services continues to be strong in emerging markets. We are restructuring and rebuilding our UK and Ireland and European businesses, and we have seen good growth return to our North American markets.”

In conclusion, Almanza explained: “The group is making encouraging progress but, as stated earlier, there remains much work to be done to capture the full potential of our strategy and to strengthen the group’s overall performance.”

*Download the full Half Year Results announcement
**Download the full presentation slides

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