The policing of financial misconduct in intergovernmental organisations

Publication Date04 Jan 2016
AuthorPaul Catchick
SubjectAccounting & Finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
The policing of nancial
misconduct in intergovernmental
Paul Catchick
Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Geneva, Switzerland
Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the extent to which the nancial investigation function of an
intergovernmental organisation (IGO) may be considered in policing terms, with a view to categorising
it in relation to existing paradigms, while acknowledging the IGO’s unique context, in which it enjoys
autonomy through various privileges and immunities.
Design/methodology/approach This paper describes and analyses the internal investigation
function of IGOs, drawing on practitioner experience as well as mandates, resolutions and reviews from
the intergovernmental sector, before making comparisons with policing typologies.
Findings Notwithstanding their expansion into inquiries of non-nancial misconduct, IGO
investigation ofces are the primary means of addressing nancial wrongdoing affecting their
organisations. Comparisons are drawn with both the corporate policing role inherent in other
employment-based organisations and with public policing as a function of the state. It is found that
these two paradigms are insufcient to categorise policing within the unique context of the IGO, which
has hybrid features of both.
Research limitations/implications – In comparing IGO investigation alongside existing policing
paradigms, this paper lays a foundation for further research into the accountability models applicable
to this policing function.
Originality/value – This paper discusses the emergence of a form of policing with hybrid features of
both internal corporate policing and state law enforcement and contributes to a eld that is largely
unaddressed in existing research.
Keywords Policing, Investigation, Corporate crime, Immunity, Intergovernmental, Oversight
Paper type General review
Policing by intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) is synonymous with peacekeeping
duties by the United Nations (UN) or international law enforcement efforts directed by
organisations such as the International Criminal Court, Interpol[1] or Europol. However,
relatively little attention has been paid to policing as a means of addressing misconduct
affecting these organisations. IGOs have long endured the same types of misconduct
common to other employers, including fraud, corruption and mismanagement, and the
response has increasingly been the establishment of a dedicated internal investigation
function. This paper examines the policing undertaken by these ofces as a means of
maintaining corporate order within the IGO, and not policing as the raison d’être of the
organisation. In doing so, cognisance is given to how internal policing is affected by the
IGO’s autonomy resulting from its privileges and immunities, which provides a level of
sovereignty and inviolability in the administration and policing of its own affairs.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Policing of
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.23 No. 1, 2016
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-11-2014-0057

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