Letter to Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer (DPO) and UK ICO Caseworker
Note: This letter has been edited for spelling, grammar and clarity. Thus, it differs slightly from the letter sent to DPO Bjerke and ICO caseworkers.
ATTN: Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer
CC: John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal
Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel
Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Human Resources Manager
Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Caseworker(s)
RE: Human Resources Personal data being processed in my name, Steven D. Kalavity, by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) and their affiliate, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK).
Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail. I have received recent correspondence and direction from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who oversee UK General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) compliance. I need to provide evidence that I have raised concerns and remain dissatisfied with how PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) is processing my personal data. ICO has related that PGSUK has one-month (30 days) to respond to these concerns. A copy of this letter has been provided to ICO caseworker(s) (GDPR Case Reference Number: ENQxxxxxxx).
Daphne Bjerke, PGS DPO and ICO Caseworker,
I have received a response to my recent subject access request (SAR) submitted to PGS Exploration (UK) Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK) citing the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR). I remain unsatisfied with the PGSUK processing of what is claimed to be legal and accurate personal data. PGSUK has never actually authenticated – proved the legality of – the data that they are processing in my name within my PGSUK professional personnel file. Likewise, PGSUK have never confirmed that the processes which produced my personnel file data were legal and compliant or confirmed how the data was actually used. The settlement contract agreement (SCA) which terminated my employment with PGSUK, is supported by the dated documents being processed by PGSUK. PGSUK is projecting that the SCA is a legally binding instrument. But, PGS / PGSUK processors, including DPO Bjerke, refuse to actually authenticate the documents which are being processed within my PGSUK professional personnel file. How can the SCA be a legal contract if the documents which support it cannot be authenticated and are, in fact, inaccurate forged instruments? Such a projection by PGSUK personal data processors would be a knowing misrepresentation of the integrity of my personnel file documents to both me and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
PGSUK is taking the position that they have already fulfilled the current 2018 SAR requirement by the data which was provided to me through the 2014 SAR, which cited the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) [ICO DPA Case Reference Number: RFAxxxxxxx]. Again, PGSUK made a similar claim with regard to a 2016 SAR. The truth is that PGSUK has never complied with providing me with my accurate personal data. I have proved so much through presenting e-mail and other time-stamped data that proves that the data being processed in my name cannot possibly be accurate and compliant to DPA/GDPR principles. None of the disputed documents being processed as my personnel file records bare my signature and factually contradict data shared through PGS / PGSUK and external e-mails. I have recently distributed the article Proof of Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Conspiracy to Defraud to the GDPR DPO Daphne Bjerke, as well as copied it to principals with direct knowledge of the circumstances around the personal data which PGSUK is processing in my name. I was not able to compile all of the information during the relatively short time span between October–December 2014 when I initially received the contents from the 2014 SAR.
To be clear, I have never accepted the personal data contents of my professional personnel file received from the 2014 SAR as legally valid and compliant to DPA principles. In fact, at the time, I identified several documents as inaccurate and non-compliant to standard Human Resources (HR) data processing requirements and standard practices as soon as they were received. I also made a concerted effort to bring up these concerns with ICO caseworkers, as well as Norwegian Data Protection Authority caseworkers. I have begged for a third-party investigation to evaluate DPA / GDPR compliance and personal data integrity. In 2014, I had requested that PGSUK remove several documents from my personnel file because they contained false and unverifiable information which I believed then, and continue to believe, made them non-compliant to DPA principles. Between October-December 2014, I wrote many e-mails to PGSUK HR Manager (2013) David Nicholson and HR Officer, Laura Haswell, stating my concerns as clearly as I could. (I intentionally copied Haswell on these e-mails because of a jaded history that I shared with Nicholson.) The accuracy and compliance of the PGSUK personnel file data was challenged directly within the contents of three (3) e-mails sent from me on 5-Dec-2014, 6-Dec-2014, and 20-Dec-2014. (Copies of these e-mails were also provided to DPO Bjerke with the 2018 SAR.) PGSUK refused to consider or correct knowingly inaccurate and non-compliant personal data.
Nicholson wrote a letter on behalf of PGSUK which summarized a final response to the 2014 SAR within a 22-Dec-2014 letter that referenced these e-mails. The 22-Dec-2014 letter was delivered by post and e-mail. The 22-Dec-2014 letter threatened legal action if I did not acquiesce and accept the inaccurate and non-compliant data that PGSUK was processing in my name. PGSUK was determined to continue to process the incorrect and unverifiable personal data. As the 22-Dec-2014 letter was written on behalf of PGSUK, it stands to reason that the directors and secretary of PGSUK were also aware of the contents and claims that it made. They were also aware of the true events relevant to the SCA and the personal data which supported it. In other words, they were completely aware that the data being processed within my PGSUK personnel file was false and inaccurate. The directors of PGSUK, when the 22-Dec-2014 letter was sent, were PGS President and CEO, Jon Erik Reinhardsen; PGS EVP and CFO, Gottfred Langseth; PGS SVP and Chief Accountant, Christin Steen-Nilsen, and secretary, PGSUK Head of Legal, Carl Richards. The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter effectively ended the interrogatories regarding the integrity of my PGSUK personnel file data. However, at no time did PGSUK demonstrate that my personal data was, in fact, accurate. Since receiving the 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter, I have done most everything that the 22-Dec-2014 letter threatened me not to do.
I have also violated the SCAs non-disparagement clauses on multiple occasions hoping that PGSUK would take this case into a legal venue. I have published multiple internet articles revealing PGSUK non-compliance and personnel file contents inaccuracies. These issues have also been related to ICO caseworkers. Since the 2014 SAR response from PGSUK, I have created a dedicated website, http://nopgs.com/nopgs-blog/ , whose mission has been to reveal the truthful and accurate narrative of my work history which PGSUK has worked very hard to suppress through complaining to social media’s uninformed gatekeepers. However, PGSUK has never tried to prove to the public that the SCA is, in fact, a legally binding instrument itself, and PGSUK has never used the SCA as an instrument to stop publications that have been publicly very critical of PGS / PGSUK management. This seems a dereliction of fiduciary duty under the UK Companies Act 2006. PGS / PGSUK has allowed the reputation of several agents to be impugned by not confronting these criticisms. This inaction damages the reputation of PGS / PGSUK. However, PGS / PGSUK continuing to process inaccurate data and not defend their processing has damaged my reputation even more. Every inaction by PGSUK points to a knowledge that PGSUK is processing inaccurate and non-compliant personal data in my name. PGS / PGSUK silence implies agreement to my claims.
The SCA was proffered to me as a response to a formal grievance which was delivered by me on 20-Sep-2013. PGSUK does not process the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document within my PGSUK personnel file, nor acknowledge any of its claims within any of the disputed documents except the SCA. It is the only document specifically referenced within the final SCA, and it is the central reason for the collective silence and inaction by PGS / PGSUK. I now believe that the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document, which identified non-compliant and illicit behaviors, was tantamount to whistle blowing and that it was never properly handled in respect to PGSUK policy guidelines and UK employment law. PGS SVP Global HR and compliance officer, Terje Bjølseth, is completely aware that the data being processed as my personal data is non-compliant and inaccurate because he was a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document that contradicts the documented narrative being processed within my PGSUK personnel file. The PGSUK HR Manager (2013) David Nicholson is also completely aware that the data being processed as my personal data is non-compliant and inaccurate because Nicholson was a recipient, as well as one of the principal subjects of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document.
Bjølseth was a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance mostly because he was the hierarchical superior of PGSUK HR Manager, David Nicholson. PGS EVP Marine Contract (2013), Per Arild Reksnes was also a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document because he was the hierarchical superior of Simon Cather, Regional President, Marine Contract – Africa, who was the hierarchical superior of my boss, Edward von Abendorff, VP Contract Sales – Africa. Nicholson, Cather, and von Abendorff were the three subjects specifically accused of workplace harassment and bullying. Every recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document knows that my personnel file data is non-compliant and inaccurate. The grievance claimed that Nicholson, Cather, and von Abendorff management practices were in contravention to prescribed PGSUK policy and UK employment and contract law and also breached PGSUKs contractual duty of care responsibilities, as well as abrogated their duty of mutual trust and confidence. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claimed that the bullies von Abendorff, Cather and Nicholson all abused their positions, did not abide by published and contractual PGS Core Values, misused the performance management system, and disseminated defamatory information about me. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document also noted that harassment and bullying are classified as significant workplace health and safety hazards.
Because of these facts, I believe that it has been completely inappropriate and non-compliant for Nicholson to have been involved with any processing of my personal data and handling of the SAR. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claimed that Nicholson was producing and disseminating defamatory information about me. But, it gets worse. Nicholson as a principal subject within the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claiming his professional misconduct was also allowed to be the person who scheduled the grievance hearing for 14-Oct-2013. Most notable by me, at this point, was Bjølseth’s absence and silence from the grievance process following its delivery. On 10-Oct-2013, four days before a scheduled grievance hearing, Nicholson called me to his office and proffered an initial SCA to end the grievance process. Nicholson also related that I would need to engage a solicitor to approve any SCA. I refused this SCA and wanted to follow through the grievance stages. Nicholson was allowed to proffer an SCA to stop a grievance process in which he was a key subject. The entire reason that the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document was submitted to Bjølseth and Reksnes was to get Nicholson out of the process because he was mismanaging and not following the PGS Policy Handbook practices.
There were so many problems with my personal data received in the 2014 SAR. There is no way that I – or anyone – could have anticipated the mass of these issues. I believe that PGSUK could not have imagined that their foreign worker would submit and SAR followed by a blog article campaign. But, here we are. Therefore, for PGSUK to suggest that they have already addressed the 2014 SAR issue is ridiculous. The 2016 SAR followed my submitting a report to the PGS Compliance Hotline (CH) in which I again raised the many concerns with the processing of my personal data. The PGS compliance team at the time when I submitted the CH report was composed of PGS General Counsel, Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS SVP Global HR, Terje Bjølseth and Silke Hitschke. CH stated that my report had been investigated. However, no evidence of an investigation or report was ever provided to me. By this time I had compiled information and published articles for their consideration. However, PGS again refused to review my concerns and authenticate the data being processed as my personal data or the processes which it was derived from as legal and compliant. What I have always requested is for PGS to demonstrate DPA / GDPR compliance, with regard to my personal data, with evidence.
In addition to multiple unanswered e-mails addressed to CH, DPO Bjerke also received copies of several inquiries made through the PGS LinkedIn™ posts comment sections. This comments, and this data, was obviously sent after the 2014 SAR. The PGS practice is to not answer. When PGS does answer, the say that they have already answered, so quit asking. However, this is yet another example of the hypocrisy and disconnect between their lauded PGS Core Values and their actual opaque business practices. For PGS to contend that they have already responded to my 2014 SAR in a legal and responsible way is ludicrous. PGS has taken every conceivable measure to suppress any new information and has continued their processing of knowingly false and inaccurate data which has been very damaging for me personally, physically, and professionally. But, this has always been their intention.
The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter raised other issues, as well. These issues regard the omission of real data that should have dictated actions prescribed by the PGSUK Policy Handbook, but didn’t and therefore impacted the health and safety of my family. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document is not being processed, but is referenced within the SCA. The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter also does not explain why a report issued by a third-party occupational health nurse (OHN) while SCA negotiations were ongoing is not part of my personnel file record. The final report and recommendation for a follow-up visit was never delivered to me, as the OHN requested. Among other things, the report confirmed increased stress levels and also divulged the fact that I was involved in SCA negotiation regarding bullying. The PGSUK Policy Handbook prescribes practices for distressed employees. However, I was not provided with any consideration. E-mail records show that Nicholson and von Abendorff had requested the check-up. HR Officer Anna Stokle communicated directly with the OHN and me regarding the health check-up. E-mail correspondence between me and my legal advisor, who was supposed to be helping me confirm that he was made aware of the health check-up and report. Why was this report withheld and not considered during SCA negotiations?
Another issue that seems inconsistent with standard practice is that I was employed by PGSUK on a company sponsored Tier 2 visa (shortage occupation list criteria). PGSUK hired legal advisers from firm Watson, Farley and Williams (WFW) to help complete the application and processing of the Tier 2 visa application documents. I was very involved in providing documentation to support the application to UK Border Agency for the visas for me and my family members. I was never provided with, nor was I aware of any of the dated documents that were received from the 2014 SAR. WFW also advised PGSUK during the SCA negotiation process. In 2016 I submitted an SAR to WFW and it was related to me that the basis for my legal employment as a foreign worker with PGSUK was not even considered during SCA negotiations. However, e-mail records between me and my adviser show that I inquired how my termination from employment would be reported to UK Border Agency. The visa application documents to UK Border also seem to contradict the contents of the documents being processed within my personnel file. These documents are not processed within my personnel file as appendices to my curriculum vitae, which is being processed.
The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document had also highlighted my foreign worker status and was the basis to elevate my claims of bullying to harassment, due to nationality (race). How could the legal basis for why I was able to work in the UK not considered when terminating my employment? Anyone who has been a target of workplace gang-bullying (mobbing) should sympathize with someone who is a target of such despicable mistreatment in a foreign land by an employer lauding core values. These people are the most cowardly and evil kind of miscreant. The 22-Dec-2014 letter also states that only five data processors had processed my professional personnel file data. These processors were Nicholson, and HR officers Haswell, Anna Stokle, Gareth Jones, and Marine Contract Africa Regional President, Simon Cather. This list struck me as implausible. How could Reksnes and Bjølseth chair a grievance hearing and compose a Memo stating a conclusion from that hearing and not have processed my personnel file data? Von Abendorff, my boss, did not sign any of the disputed personnel file records and is not listed as a processor of my personnel file data. According to Nicholson, as related to my legal advisor in e-mail records, PGS lawyers in both Norway and England read the grievance and decided to proffer the SCA. E-mail records indicate that PGSUK Head of Legal, Richard, as well as his subordinate, Ben Kelly, had read the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document. How could Richards and Kelly provide any guidance on the SCA without processing the personnel file data?
Another concern of mine which the 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter addressed was that my personnel file was processed by Gareth Jones. Jones was working at the PGS offices in Houston, Texas, US. Jones was not working at PGSUK when I was. I recognized his name because I would submit time sheets and expense forms to him when I was working on vessel rotations. Houston was my decided US destination. Nicholson stated that Jones was a PGSUK data processor. However, I have located data stating that Jones was working in the US with a PGS US sponsored H1B visa. I do not understand how Jones can be both a PGSUK and PGS US data processor at the same time. I cannot understand the business case for sharing my personnel file data with him either when we never interacted with each other in the over-three years I worked with PGSUK. DPA places restrictions on how data is shared outside the European Union with DPA. However, since the personnel file documents are defamatory, and Nicholson knew this, I assume Jones was enlisted to sabotage my job search with the blessings of the PGS hierarchy who had the whistle blown on them. Whatever Jones did with my data was deliberate with full knowledge the data being processed in my personnel file was non-compliant. No seasoned HR – or other – employee would process noticeably non-compliant documents which had no subject and subject supervisor signature. E-mails received from the 2014 SAR show that Haswell and Jones were discussing my move to Houston while SCA negotiations were ongoing without my knowledge.
In 2015, I submitted a report to UK Action Fraud (police). This report has been updated since then, as new facts came available. However, there was no thorough investigation. Similarly, in 2017 a report was submitted to the UK Serious Fraud Office, as well. This was done as it became apparent to me that my legal adviser and PGSUKs legal adviser processed the fake data created by PGSUK HR. PGS has relied on an umbrella of deceit propagated by the PGS board of directors and PGSUK directors that protects them from acting on the tempest of allegations of wrong doing. PGS / PGSUK would need no such umbrella if the final SCA is a legal instrument. PGS / PGSUK could find shelter from the deluge of accusations and repudiations through invoking the non-disparagement clauses contained within the SCA, which are legally enforceable in the courts of England. PGS / PGSUK instead complain anonymously to social media and search engine gatekeepers. It is obvious the PGSUK have little faith in their negotiated SCA. This is because PGS / PGSUK know, as I know, that the data being processed within my PGSUK personnel file is inaccurate and not compliant to DPA / GDPR principles. PGS / PGSUK are just gaslighting me and ICO. If my PGSUK personnel file data were accurate and compliant, then PGS would have provided such evidence by now. This is why a third-party needs to be involved. It is time for DPO Bjerke to do the right thing and authenticate my personnel file documents and end the blog writing campaign for the future good of PGS and their stakeholders.
Steven D. Kalavity
PGS Exploration (UK) Limited data subject and former employee
Proof of Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Conspiracy to Defraud
The difference between Whistleblowing and Defamation
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. ~ Harvey Fierstein
A good reputation is more valuable than money. ~ Publilius Syrus
Black’s Law Dictionary states that defamation is the injuring of a person’s character, fame, or reputation by false and malicious statements. The key point is that a statement must be false, meaning untrue or inaccurate, to be considered defamation. I still do not understand what criteria the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) holds to in assuring subject data accuracy. I know that ICO, the organization that oversees data controller compliance to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), were again unable to assist me recently. In October 2014, I submitted a subject access request (SAR) to my former employer, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK),citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the predecessor to GDPR. GDPR came into full effect 25 May 2018. PGSUK is an affiliate of Norwegian marine seismic service company, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS). When I received the contents of my PGSUK personnel file, I discovered that PGSUK had breached their commitment made during negotiating terms and conditions of a settlement contract agreement (SCA) which was used to terminate my professional employment. Several PGS and PGSUK personal data processors continue to process knowingly non-compliant and defamatory personal data about me. The objective of PGS has been to blacklist me professionally for revealing and complaining about being the target of workplace gang-bullying involving non-compliant and illegal acts by PGSUK executives. I am a whistle blower.
I have published nearly forty (40) blog post articles in my campaign for truth and justice. Each publication has been a breach of a legal SCA. Many of the blog post articles have been especially critical of the former and current CEO and President of PGS (Jon Erik Reinhardsen and Rune Olav Pedersen), who also serve(d) as company directors to PGSUK. Too much time was spent negotiating the mutual non-disparagement clause within the SCA between myself and PGSUK to suggest its inclusion was unimportant. Of course, the clause was of paramount importance to me. Personal data accuracy was a central topic during the SCA negotiations. I had even asked for the unsubstantiated records (which I knew about) to be wholly expunged (as they should have been), as I considered the content to be defamatory. The three bullies which I identified were my boss, Edward von Abendorff, PGSUK VP Marine Contract Sales – Africa; his boss, Simon Cather, PGSUK Regional President Marine Contract – Africa; and David Nicholson, PGSUK Human Resources (HR) Manager, conspired in a coordinated campaign to discredit and ruin my career through bypassing PGSUK policy, as well as UK employment and contract laws. It was my complaining about these behaviors which led to the SCA negotiations. Further, the inaction on the terms and conditions of the SCA by PGSUK directors (and secretary) demonstrate a corrupt dereliction of fiduciary duty that is destructive to PGSUK and its stakeholders.
I do not believe that the SCA should have ever been proffered at all or that it is even an actual legal instrument. It is an instrument which is a byproduct of conspired agreement by agents misusing lawyer credentials to make it binding. The reason for the creation and processing of the forged personal data records is to form the appearance of a legal instrument. There are no legal processes that would allow forged documents to be processed as my personal data as an outcome. Only illegal processes can produce an illegal outcome. Further, not one of the PGSUK directors, nor other PGS/PGSUK employees, as well as lawyers involved in forming the SCA criticized – and even accused of crimes – within my blog post articles have even tried to contact me directly, in the capacity of their agency, and asked me to cease publications or threatened legal action. Not even my hired legal adviser. Clearly, the blog post articles critical of PGS management are noticed. However, anonymous complaints to social media and search engine administrators claiming that PGS/PGSUK agents have been the one’s defamed has been the solution to limit the reach of my truthful narrative. PGSUK have opted to not defend their own decisions, actions, and reputations, nor those of other identified employees mentioned. This is the case even though PGS/PGSUK agents have a “legal” instrument at their disposal equipped to penalize the instigator of any such disparagement. But, such a course of action is not taken. This seems to be an abandonment by the PGSUK directors (and secretary) of their fiduciary duties, at the very least, under the UK Companies Act 2006. Inaction against my violations as a countersigner to the SCA terms and conditions is ipso facto action to protect corrupt directors from culpability and clearly addressing the salient issue as to whether the SCA is actually a legally viable instrument supported by legal processes and documentation. In the absence of such evidence, the only person who has been defamed is me, through the inaction and silence of PGS/PGSUK agents and their insistence to continue processing fake personal data intended to harm me.
Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really where failure comes. ~ Tom Cochrane
Remember that the more you know, the less you fear. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The non-disparagement clause(s) within the SCA prohibit criticism by one party on the other. On the other hand, an actual legal defamation claim, not to be confused with complaining to social media gate-keepers and manipulating search engine results, requires a much higher threshold of the content being inaccurate. There is, however, a specific exception contained within the SCA non-disparagement clauses. The UK Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects whistleblowers. Public disclosure which the whistleblower “reasonably believes” shows a criminal offence, a failure to comply with legal obligations, a miscarriage of justice, danger to the health and safety of employees, damage to the environment, or the hiding of information which would show any of the above actions is not protected by the non-disparagement clauses. This is the reason why PGS chooses to complain anonymously to social media and search engine gate-keepers. The inaction with regard to breaches in the SCA is wholly out of self-interest to hide from and escape culpability and guilt for the collective non-compliant and illegal decisions made by the corrupt in the top-tiers of PGS.
The evidence points to a scenario where agents of PGSUK and PGS cooperated in a confidence fraud. This scam included compromising/bribing my legal adviser, along with their, PGSUK, contracted legal adviser, to process defamatory data to support an inappropriately proffered settlement contract agreement (SCA) under false pretenses. My circumstance of being a foreign worker (US citizen) has been a substantial hurtle in resolving these claims. Ironically, it is also these circumstances which likely played a major factor into the conspiratorial decision as to how to resolve their whistleblower issue. All of the blog articles have essentially made the same requests. I ask that PGS/PGSUK agents establish the legality and compliance of the personal data records and processes that produced them. It has been evident to me since receiving the contents of my personnel file were received through the SAR that the data being processed by PGSUK is in fact inaccurate and illegal. PGS/PGSUK agents have never directly challenged the substantive claims, which are supported with evidence, that are made within the blog post articles. Instead, complaints are made clandestinely and anonymously. Corrupt PGS/PGSUK agents misrepresent the truth to persuade social media gate keepers and search engine administrators through their collective psychological projection. To these uninformed gate-keepers, PGS agents can claim that those identified within the articles have been defamed. But, this is a ruse used by those misusing their authoritative power to lie so they can escape culpability for their own corrupt truth and actions.
The PGS board and top-management would like to frame the evidence based blogs as being the work of an unhinged ex-employee who was a poor performer, rather than the victim of psychological and physical abuse of gaslighting, conspiracy, and confidence fraud. (Of course they would!) PGS weaponized their human resources (HR) department so that they did not apply legal processes nor legal documents to form their predetermined outcome, which was to expel a whistleblower from the workplace. It is clear now that a corrupt PGS hierarchy rewards (bribes) corrupt actors who protect this hierarchy. The HR function has been used to create and process fraudulent / forged instruments with the explicit intention to effectively discredit and blacklist the data subject. PGSUK HR professionals knew full well that they were not following prescribed fair and legal processes. The procedures ascribed within PGSUK Policy Handbook were ignored. Therefore, the end product of ignoring such processes illuminates a conscious understanding that the actions of HR personnel was corrupt. Select PGS HR department personnel have been enfranchised to violate UK employment and contract law, ignore PGS Code of Conduct and PGS Core Values from the top of the organization to exert as much maniacal damage as possible to the whistle blower. Make no mistake, these actions were violent and corrupt, and approved by PGSUK directors (at the time), PGS CEO and President Reinhardsen; PGS CFP and EVP, Gottfred Langseth; PGS Chief Accountant and SVP, Christin Steen-Nilsen, and PGSUK Head of Legal and Secretary, Carl Richards, as well as the PGS Compliance Team, Rune Olav Pedersen, General Counsel and Terje Bjølseth, PGS SVP Global HR.
People try to say suicide is the most cowardly act a man could ever commit. I don’t think that’s true at all. What’s cowardly is treating a man so badly that he wants to commit suicide. ~ Tommy Tran
Never do a wrong thing to make a friend–or to keep one. ~ Robert E. Lee
My relationship with PGSUK was professional and contractual. PGS Core Values were included as a part of my original employment contract (OEC), as well. Had I behaved and treated co-workers in the same manners that current and past PGS/PGSUK employees treated me, I would have been in breach of my contractual obligations, as defined in clause 10. Conduct. Central to the eventual formal grievance that I submitted was the claim of workplace bullying vested in the propriety and legality of an impromptu meeting which occurred on 13-Jun-2013. I was called to this ambush meeting attended by Nicholson, von Abendorff, and Cather, where my performance was verbally impugned without evidence or foundation. On 18-Jun-2013, I contacted Nicholson by e-mail requesting minutes of the meeting, how the meeting conformed with PGSUK policy, and shared that I wanted to address the distressing event by grievance. I was denied all of these requests. This information is corroborated with e-mail evidence, which is presented within blog post articles, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen Shoud Resign 2 (20-Sep-2015) and The Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) Ambush Meeting and the Definition of Fraud (24-May-2016). PGS/PGSUK was intentionally obstructing my legal right under contract to submit a grievance. For those knowledgeable of workplace bullying, the ambush meeting is a common documented tactic used by workplace bullies.
Instead of explaining the grievance procedure to me, Nicholson pointed me towards the PGSUK Personnel Handbook Disciplinary Procedure (2013), which applies to matters of employee conduct and performance. I still had not received anything in writing to act on, and so I requested something in writing. On 15-Jul-2013, PGSUK renewed my Tier 2 visa so that I could remain and work in England. The PGSUK letter to the UK Border Agency stated that I was still needed, and my leave to remain was approved. However, on 24-Jul-2013, Nicholson delivered a letter that he had authored whose subject line read, Investigation for possible implementation of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). In this letter, a meeting was scheduled for 11-Sep-2013 for me to respond. I intended to respond in the form of a grievance because I believed a PIP was without basis and that I had been bullied. Neither Nicholson nor von Abendorff ever discussed what steps were being followed. The 11-Sep-2013 meeting was rescheduled for 20-Sep-2013. I delivered my formal grievance on 20-Sep-2013 to the three bullies, and their respective supervisors, Per Arild Reksnes, PGS EVP Marine Contract and Terje Bjølseth, SVP Global HR. By this time I had also requested to be accompanied with a coworker, John Barnard. I also sent a copy of the grievance to John Greenway, PGS SVP Marine Contract.
The cabal had been vying to push me toward a performance based termination through making the work environment so toxic and intolerable that I would grab at anything to leave. I considered it. But, I decided to fight for my rights under contract instead. The prescribed PGSUK Disciplinary Process had not been followed, much less all the other performance management recommendations contained within the PGS UK Handbook. PGSUK had only conducted the 13-Jun-2013 ambush meeting and presented the 24-Jul-2013 ambush letter. The meeting scheduled within the ambush letter for 11-Sep-2013 was rescheduled for 20-Sep-2013. By 20-Sep-2013, the bullies were aware that a grievance would be submitted. There was no discussion of any PIP during the 20-Sep-2013 meeting, only the presentation of the grievance as a direct response to the ambush letter, as well as the ambush meeting. (I only had a record of the 24-Jul-2013 letter to refer to directly within my grievance, but of course also referenced the ambush meeting.) The grievance went point-to-point over the allegations presented within the ambush letter, and also highlighted why I regarded their behaviors as bullying. I stated why I believed that these behaviors transgressed PGS Core Values and PGSUK Personnel Handbook, and even UK employment law. The bullies had anticipated that I would file a grievance implicating only my boss, von Abendorff. This would have allowed Cather and Nicholson to “resolve” the issue. But, my formal grievance identified all participants of the ambush meeting, von Abendorff, Cather, and Nicholson.
When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad. ~ Tacitus
When marketers influence habits, they influence peoples’ self-identity. And so when a group or company does something that doesn’t correspond to our core values, it feels like a betrayal. ~ Charles Duhigg
There was no concern or communication following the delivery of the grievance from any of the recipients. Most notable was the lack of concern or comment from Bjølseth, who also was part of the PGS Compliance Team along with (then) General Counsel, Rune Olav Pedersen. Looking back, I was quite naïve about what was really going on, and especially how employers typically reacted to workplace bullying and harassment complaints. I was an American drinking the Norwegian Kool-Aid that projects Norway as a bastion of low corruption and fair-play. (The Kool-Aid affect dissipated long ago.) What I really did not grasp was that my grievance noted employment contract and policy breaches, as well as violations in UK labor laws. In other words, my grievance was actually whistleblowing. Nicholson, a bully directly implicated within the distributed grievance for abuse of position, misuse of the performance management system, and defamation, was allowed to continue his mismanagement of the PGSUK grievance procedure. Again, this too seemed to depart from the PGS UK Handbook. Eventually, Nicholson did scheduled a grievance hearing for 14-Oct-2013.
On 10-Oct-2013, Nicholson called me down to his office and orally proffered an initial SCA to terminate my employment and end the grievance process. Once again, I was very surprised that Nicholson was even allowed to proffer the SCA. During this meeting, Nicholson stated that both PGS and PGSUK legal had opined that I was in dispute with the Company. But, no one from PGS/PGSUK legal ever contacted me to tell me this, or discuss the grievance at all. Nicholson also informed me that I would need to engage a legal adviser, if I opted to accept an SCA to terminate my employment. I did not accept the initial SCA proffered, but I obviously sensed a problem that I wanted to learn more about. The next day, I came across a blog article authored by Philip Landau, then with Landau, Zeffertt, and Weir Solicitors (LZW). I completed an online questionnaire and also a copy of the grievance document with the names of principals redacted. The grievance hearing scheduled on 14-Oct-2013 was a video conference from PGS Norway offices and PGS England offices. I was with Barnard in England. Bjølseth and Reksnes attended in Norway.
Landau is an experienced solicitor, as well as a prolific blog writer on matters of employment law. Of course, my initial reaction and desire was to continue to follow the prescribed PGS grievance procedures. For one thing, I had read that it was beneficial to follow the defined procedures if the issue ever went further to tribunal. I was educated in geophysics and my work experience involved a variety of geospatial and seismic data processing. Plus, as a US citizen, I had no reason not to trust Landau’s advice on matters of employment law in England. Looking back, Landau never asked for my employment contract, the Company grievance procedure, or any other documents, prior to his recommendation to pursue an enhanced SCA. There was continued silence following the grievance hearing and I was distressed and becoming anxious to move forward. I had endured months of lies and manipulation and it was taxing my health and well-being. However, according to the gov.uk website, if grievance procedures are a part of your employment contract, employers who do not follow these procedures are in breach of the contract. Nevertheless, against my better judgement, I eventually relented to the pressures and took Landau’s advice. I decided to move forward with some sort of enhanced SCA. I officially engaged Landau’s services 22-Oct-2013. Once formally engaged, Landau was then provided with the grievance document with names not redacted. Landau also was sent a pdf copy of the 2013 PGSUK Personnel Handbook, PGS Core Values, and PGS Code of Conduct. I felt that I had compiled substantive evidence that provisions articulated within all of these documents cited in my employment contract had been.
As a lawyer who has dealt in defamation, I know that someone’s reputation has to be lowered in the eyes of right-thinking people to sue. ~ David Hunt
You can’t have a value structure without a hierarchy. They’re the same thing because a value structure means one thing takes precedence over another. ~ Jordan Peterson
Within a 24-Oct-2013 e-mail, Landau was made aware of the rescheduling of the 11-Sep-2013 meeting to 20-Sep-2013, the grievance document delivery date. This is significant. Also, according to e-mail records, Landau stated that he had made first contact with PGS/PGSUK lawyers on 25-Oct-2013. Memorialized within a 26-Oct-2013 e-mail between myself and Landau was the fact that no one from PGS/PGSUK had yet contacted me with respect to the grievance. In fact, the grievance would never be directly discussed with anyone from PGS/PGSUK. (My communications with Landau and his assistant, Holly Rushton, are published on a separate webpage. Sometime after 25-Oct-2013, PGSUK engaged legal firm Watson, Farley, and Williams (WFW), employment lawyer Rhodri Thomas to negotiate the final terms of the SCA. (I never communicated directly with Thomas.) Landau and Rushton would forward communications to me during the SCA negotiations. As for my work within the Marine Contract Sales – Africa group, I was kept quite busy and was not really afforded the time to participate directly in the negotiations. On 1-Nov-2013, the negotiations between WFW and Landau (on my behalf, I believed) began. The underlying performance issues were, in fact, the basis for the grievance which articulated the many transgressions and abuse of position in correctly overseeing the PGSUK performance management system. All recipients of the grievance were aware of this.
WFW Thomas had the OEC for reference, and it therefore stand to reason that both he and Landau would have been referencing it. Both LZW Landau/Rushton and WFW Thomas were seasoned employment law solicitors. Why did LZW Landau/Rushton and WFW Thomas essentially agree to breach the OEC and engage in SCA negotiations in lieu of following legally prescribed grievance procedures, as informed by the GOV.UK website? Why did PGS/PGSUK depart from their own grievance procedures? I was a foreign worker and geophysicist illuminating what I saw as health and safety violations, and certainly departures in practice of the lauded PGS Core Values. The communications with LZW Landau/Rushton show that I was communicating points raised in the grievance to improve the negotiating position. In mid-November, following a week of sick-leave absence from work, Nicholson and von Abendorff requested a verification check-up. An occupational health nurse (OHN) conducted the requested health check. At the time, I let her know what was going on, in terms of SCA negotiations, etc. Of course, I related all of this to LZW Landau/Rushton. However, I was becoming frustrated with the negotiations pace and failure to address the central issues which were the basis for the SCA being proffered in the first place.
The stress from the entire ordeal was impacting my health and of course my morale. In mid-November, I took five-consecutive workdays off. The led to Nicholson and von Abendorff requesting that I see a occupational health nurse (OHN). The grievance hearing had completed 14-Oct-2013 and settlement negotiations were well into November. It was all very taxing on me personally. The OHN had provided me with a preliminary report from her check-up of me. However, I never received a final copy. Landau and PGSUK were aware of the health issues, yet again, Landau never seemed to use this information to benefit me. I considered ending the settlement, except for the fact that I was a US citizen, had already provided notice to my landlord and my children’s school, I would have never signed the SCA. However, it came to the point that I knew I was not welcome, and quite frankly, had no interest in staying in Weybridge any longer. PGSUK gave me an ultimatum around 3-Dec-2013 to sign the SCA. On 5-Dec-2013, I signed the final SCA after being assured by Landau and Thomas the day before that the personal data that PGSUK was processing as my personal data was accurate. I was placed on garden leave through the end December 2013. My family departed England on 24-Dec-2013 to celebrate Christmas in the state of Colorado. We then flew to Houston, Texas USA where I had lived for a short time before working with PGS on vessels and internationally from 2003.
The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful. ~ Noam Chomsky
Research shows that the climate of an organization influences an individual’s contribution far more than the individual himself. ~ W. Edwards Deming
Ten-months after departing England, I sensed something was not right when I met people at professional events and during my job search in the Houston, Texas area. This is what prompted me to file a subject access request (SAR), citing the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in October 2014. When I received my contents of my personnel file, I was aghast. I found forged documents telling a false and inaccurate narrative of my work with PGSUK, and the reasons for my termination from employment. The most damning document was a forged Memo, Conclusions from Grievance Hearing 14th October 2013, dated 25-Oct-2013. This means that Landau and Rushton were my advisers when this Memo was created. I never received this Memo, and e-mail communications between me and Landau/Rushton confirm this. The Memo is addressed to my attentions and is signed by Bjølseth and Reksnes. The Memo does not even reference the 20-Sep-2013 grievance, but instead references the 11-Sep-2013 meeting that the e-mail at the top of the article shows that Nicholson cancelled! Landau was also made aware of this change after he was engaged and before negotiations commenced. The ambush letter also has not corrected the 11-Sep-2013 scheduled meeting date to 20-Sep-2013. More importantly, the response to the ambush letter, the 20-Sep-2013 submitted grievance, is no longer part of my personnel file. Finally, the personnel file has an unverified written record of a 13-Jun-2013 scheduled meeting. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document notes that minutes to the actual impromptu ambush meeting were not distributed (to me). So, there was agreement by the legal advisers to process inaccurate defamatory data as my personal data.
The most important document regarding my termination from employment was the 20-Sep-2013 grievance. This document is cited specifically within the SCA. Whereas, none of the events and/or documents “referenced” within the 25-Oct-2013 Memo are mentioned within the SCA, mainly because they do not exist. The 25-Oct-2013 Memo is a forged instrument relating a false narrative. When the SAR was submitted to PGSUK, Nicholson was the principal who oversaw the processing of the SAR. However, Bjølseth had also been informed about my SAR. In fact, I had submitted a separate SAR to PGS Norway at the same time. Bjølseth stated that all of my PGS personal data was being processed through PGSUK. The same personal data processor, Nicholson, who was accused within the grievance of misusing the performance management system, abusing his position, and defamation was now also completing the SAR. Bjølseth had again divorced himself from direct involvement. Of course, I complained vehemently to Nicholson, and fellow personal data processor, Laura Haswell. Nicholson wanted the diatribe to end. Nicholson wrote a threatening letter to me on behalf of PGSUK, which means the directors and secretary, of PGSUK were lying to me, as well. Nicholson was adamantly defending the false records as somehow being legal and accurate as if I hadn’t actually been the subject of his false narrative in real life!
The letter also referenced the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document, even though the intention of the entire scam seemed to be to not deal with it and deny it was ever delivered. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document challenged most every claim made within the fake documents, none of which was countersigned by me. PGS/PGSUK also had to omit other records. I inquired about why there was no OHN health report, which occurred during negotiations, was not being processed by PGSUK. Nicholson did not acknowledge such a report, even though it was he who had requested it. I submitted a separate SAR to the OHN following the one with PGSUK only to discover that Nicholson had intentionally withheld the report which diagnosed increased stress levels and recommended a follow-up visit. Landau and Rushton were also made aware of these health concerns and my appointment with the OHN, as the e-mails indicate. The PGSUK also has protocols for how to handle employee stress. PGSUK did not follow these protocols and instead put my personal health at risk. PGSUK was acutely aware of stress issues in the workplace and had even highlighted these concerns through a group e-mail to PGSUK employees. Landau and Rushton were aware of this too.
It’s not about the past; it’s about knowing your history so that you can fight in the present. Otherwise, you don’t know who the real enemy is, what the real issue is, because it had been covered by many layers of bad information, of lies, and manipulation. ~ Raoul Peck
A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. ~ Mario Puzo, The Godfather
PGS/PGSUK was denying the reality of what happened and was striving for a performance based termination. The problem is that no real data supported such a termination. This is why PGSUK needed to create the fake data, while omitting the real data of an employee who was the target of health harming abusive workplace harassment and bullying. Within the letter, Nicholson stated who had processed my personnel file documents. Besides himself, Cather, Haswell, Anna Stokle, and Gareth Jones were named. Jones had been working at the PGS offices in Houston, Texas in 2013. E-mail communications received from the SAR show that Jones and Haswell were anticipating my move to Houston. However, it is a violation of DPA to send personal subject data outside the EU where data protection applies. I was told that Jones was an employee of PGSUK and therefore was allowed to process my personal data. I never believed this, but it almost doesn’t matter. I actually had interacted with and was familiar with Jones when I worked on-board PGS vessels. Jones would receive time sheets and expense forms. I believe that Jones, Stokle, Haswell, and Nicholson were completely aware that they were processing non-compliant and illegal data. Nicholson and Cather absolutely knew the data was inaccurate. However, what is even more odd is that according to Nicholson, von Abendorff, Bjølseth, and Reksnes never viewed my personnel file? Bjølseth, and Reksnes signed the Memo and of course chaired the grievance hearing. Von Abendorff was my direct supervisor. I did not work directly with any of the people named in the letter and none of them were qualified to assess my work directly, anyhow.
The personal professional data records being processed under my name by PGSUK are fabrications which misrepresent factual accuracy, and even create events out of whole cloth. The forged document records support a mythology of PGS/PGSUK business practices to hide true non-compliant and corrupt business practices. The fiduciary duty of PGSUK company directors and secretary is to uphold the reputation of the company and its agents. Proving a breach in the SCA would be tremendously less involved than any defamation claim. But, when the SCA is fraudulent, lying to social media gate-keepers is the preferred option. The evidence seems to show that PGSUK agents created defamatory fake data to support a fraudulent contract. Legal advisers were then bribed to gaslight during negotiations and process the fake data. This confidence fraud was guided by the top hierarchy of PGS, including its board of directors, in order to terminate and blacklist a whistleblower. No legal contract worth its salt would allow even one of the signers of the SCA to publish so many blog post articles and tweets admonishing the company and its directors and top executives. The fiduciary duty of PGSUK company directors is to uphold the reputation of the company for all stakeholders. In fact, the SCA used to terminate my employment contract contained mutual non-disparagement clauses for that explicit purpose. Yet, company officers have not invoked this clause. Rather, they have allowed multiple employees to be publicly professionally admonished and accused of crimes. So, how is this fulfilling one’s fiduciary duty to defend the reputations of innocent employees who represent PGSUK to customers?
Several PGS employees have prostituted themselves to serve the corrupt interests of the PGS hierarchy, rather than fulfill their contractual obligations to PGS/PGSUK. These obligations include, at the very least, an adherence to PGS Core Values and the PGS Code of Conduct, along with compliance to the (UK) PGS Handbook. As a PGSUK employee, making such disparaging remarks about the company and fellow employees is expressly prohibited and is a terminable offense, if the terms and conditions of their employment contracts embodied the same base provisions of upholding PGS Core Values, as mine did. Isn’t permitting and acquiescing to non-compliant behaviors, especially when one holds the power and responsibility to stop such behaviors an employment contract breach? PGSUK would like to frame me as an unhinged and deranged former employee. However, what is really deranged thinking is to believe that truly competent and principled top-executives would remain silent if they were wrongly accused, especially when they possess a legal instrument with terms that they specifically negotiated designed explicitly to prevent such criticisms. Further, such nonchalance by PGSUK directors, with regard to the integrity of the SCA and compliance to GDPR, would seem to breach their responsibilities under the UK Companies Act 2006. After all, I have reported this all to UK ActionFraud and the UK Serious Fraud Office. PGSUK directors inaction has damaged their own reputations, as well as the reputations of all employees, and therefore, the reputation of PGS itself. The truth is that within a fair system not controlled by corrupt leadership, I can prove that I was a mark for their elaborate conspiracy to defraud. But, I haven’t the funds to bribe and pay salaries to corrupt internal gatekeepers who only lie, lie, and lie. And this is the truth.
Honest men are the soft easy cushions on which knaves repose and fatten. ~ Thomas Otway
The only way to cover up a lie? Keep lying. ~ Tomi Lahren