Norwegian Geo-Services Company Corrupt Governance / Compliance do not Respond to Whistleblowing
How a Dysfunctional, Corrupt and Non-Responsive Compliance Program Harms the Reputation of the Company, Industry, and its Professionals by Covering-up a Conspiracy to Utter Forged Documents used to Terminate a Whistleblower under False Pretenses.
When I felt that my own professional and personal reputation had been defamed, I submitted a thorough formal grievance challenging the management of my employer directly to substantiate their orally and written aspersions. I am now a former employee. I am a USA citizen who was sponsored to live and work in England on a Tier 2 visa, along with my wife and dependent children. The Company that I worked for was an affiliate of a Norwegian Geo-Services company (NGS and NGSUK). When I tried to find redress through practicing my legal right under employment and contract law to initiate the grievance procedures (outlined within the UK Company Policy Handbook), this right was impeded through management’s conscious efforts to bypass the processes and laws governing my employment as a foreign worker. My rights were manipulated and denied and the health and safety of my family placed in danger through these same consciously violent acts. I was a foreign worker with no ties to the local community to find support. The Company and its Core Values is where I had placed my trust. But, this trust was betrayed categorically. The workplace was toxic and dehumanizing. When I finally did submit my workplace grievance, it pointed to multiple social and contractual breaches by the Company. But, I would not leave without defending my rights, dignity and reputation as a professional. I tried to follow the rules. My former employer presented me with an unprofessional, defamatory letter that contradicted most every rule of professionalism and civility. It was cowardly and an abuse of position. I responded to these aspersions upon my character and professionalism in the form of a grievance. Within my written grievance, I affirm:
A main motivation for my response in the form of a grievance is that one should never allow a defamatory statement to go unchallenged. Silence is perceived as acceptance. If one does not respond about what has been said and written about them – especially at a professional level – then it must be true. – Steven D. Kalavity, 20 September 2013 Grievance Document
Employer personnel files contain the documentation that is needed to provide an accurate view of an employee’s employment history. The documentation supports the employer’s decisions and must be of a legal standard to protect the employer in a potential lawsuit. Most employee personnel files will never be tested in this way. But, this is the standard and basis for maintaining such records. The personnel file contents demonstrate the employer’s rationale behind hiring, promotions, transfer, rewards and recognition, and termination decisions. Outcomes are the derivative of processes and are only valid to the extent that the processes followed legal and compliant practices as prescribed in policy which is guided by employment law. My grievance was grounded in the belief – no, my firm knowledge – that my personnel file data was intentionally defamatory and the byproduct non-compliant processes. However, rather than resolve the issue professionally in accordance to Company policy and procedures, my former employer decided to amplify the non-compliance and process – utter – knowingly defamatory forged documents which would be used to justify terminating the target of health-harming abusive behaviors on false pretenses. This would allow those with entrusted power to act irresponsibly and contrary to their duties to uphold policy and the law and most important, escape any accountability.
Ten months after I left England, I submitted a subject access request to NGSUK citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998. I discovered that defamatory and inaccurate personnel records populated my personnel file contents. This was done intentionally by NGSUK to create a false history of my employment which would obviously would harm me for future opportunities. This was the basis for my filing a grievance in the first place and why defamation was specifically an issue that was brought up. Another key issue brought up within my grievance document was that NGS Core Values were being ignored. NGS Core Values and NGS Code of Conduct are specifically mentioned within the terms and of my original employment contract. I knew that management had breached these terms and conditions through their deliberate and destructive decisions focused on me. I was a target of workplace gang-bullying, harassment and discrimination. My reliance on Core Values was of principal importance because of the fact that I was a USA citizen working in a foreign country guided by foreign laws. The Core Values represented the common understanding of how decisions would be determined. The UK Company also sponsored me on a Tier 2 visa. How could a UK Company legally sponsor a USA citizen whom they believed was a poor performer? The Tier 2 visa is designed for filling positions that cannot be easily filled by local talent.
The best way for an individual or company to maintain a stellar reputation, first and foremost, is to be proactive and ensure that one’s decisions are guided by ethical values. Enterprises must be principled and resolute about following such guidance. The UK Companies Act 2006 clearly establishes that directors and secretary (“directors”) have the fiduciary duty to protect the reputation of the company that they direct. Employee’s, present and former, are bound by contractual Confidentiality terms and conditions, such that they will not engage in activities and public disclosures that will negatively impact the business. This, of course, includes the Company’s reputation. The exception to any such public disclosures are protected disclosures, or whistleblowing. Such protected public disclosure is provided through the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and is specifically referenced within the NGSUK Policy Handbook.
Most people when accused of a crime that they are innocent of will vehemently proclaim their innocence and take action in the moment and not wait over three years to be outraged and file criminal defamation charges in a foreign country. We must concede that the reaction of NGS / NGSUK directors and former secretary is not normal.
At what point are such publications the fault of those charged with guarding the company reputation? Where was the proverbial “line in the sand” in terms of what disparaging commentary would be tolerated? The first and only official condemnation of my postings came in the form of a criminal complaint made by the NGSUK directors more than three years after my first blog post article naming names. Prior to being President and CEO, one of the directors of NGSUK was NGS General Counsel and Legal Compliance. I believe that he oversaw the creation and uttering of the forged documents which became “my accurate personal data.” This General Counsel ascended to be an Executive Vice President and then CEO, in spite of being highlighted as one of the perpetrators within in many published blog post articles. As a member of the Legal Compliance Team, several e-mails were directed to him and his team. All e-mails directed the Compliance Hotline were not answered at all. I did have some exchange with other compliance team members. Between April to September 2016, I complained to the Compliance Team on several occasions. I provided published blog article content and links for their consideration. The final blog article sent specifically to the attention of the Compliance Team and was titled The Crimes of <COMPANY CEO>.
Many of the same claims that were directed to prior CEO within my 2016 blog publications are repeated within future blog post articles, but the new CEO was the focused. My intention was to make sure that the same base complaints pronouncing the truth continued to be broadcast and considered relevant. I continued publishing content and expanding the recipients of my complaints because the many issues important to me were never acknowledged or resolved by parent company agents or, most notably, the directors of the UK affiliate.
I have always requested a thorough third party (police) investigation. That’s all.
If the UK affiliate directors were truly confident of their innocence, they would have invited such an investigation to exonerate themselves. This is what they should have done. An updated report was submitted to UK ActionFraud (police) accusing the directors of criminal behavior. This report was also published online my former website for some time. No one from the UK affiliate ever addressed or sought to clarify the accusations made or asked for the reports removal. Current publications implicate the same people as the articles published and forwarded to the Compliance Hotline in 2016. The CEO reneged on his duty to defend the reputation of the Company in 2016, as the e-mails below clearly show. So, who bares responsibility for damage to that reputation in 2018? The Companies Act 2006 states that it was always the responsibility of its directors.