Attention Telenor Board of Directors:
Gunn Wærsted (Chair), Jørgen Kildahl, Jacob Aqraou, Jon Erik Reinhardsen, Jon Erik Reinhardsen, Sally Davis, Pieter Cornelis Knook, Astrid Simonsen Joos, Anita Helen Steine, Jan Otto Eriksen
US Consulate in Norway : OsloACS@state.gov
Norway Police – The National Criminal Investigation Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK ActionFraud (Police): email@example.com
Knut Arild Hareide, Norway Minister of Transport: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erna Solberg, Norway Prime Minister: email@example.com
Øystein Myrvold, INVESTOR RELATIONS – TELENOR GROUP, Head of Investor Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristine Devold, INVESTOR RELATIONS – TELENOR GROUP, Investor Relations Director: email@example.com
Ethical guidelines should provide guidance on how employees can communicate with the board to report matters related to illegal or unethical conduct by the company. Having clear guidelines for internal communication will reduce the risk that the company may find itself in situations that can damage its reputation or financial standing.The Norwegian Code of Practice for
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (2007)
PGS UK Contract of Employment Confidentiality / Whistleblowing Terms and Conditions
This restriction shall continue to apply after the termination of a member of staff’s employment without limit in point of time but, both during employment and after its termination, shall cease to apply to information ordered to be disclosed by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction or otherwise required to be disclosed by law or to information which becomes available to the public generally (other than by reason of the member of staff breaching this confidentiality obligation). Nothing in this paragraph 2.9 will prevent a member of staff making a “protected disclosure” within the meaning of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 where they are lawfully entitled to do so.
Each member of staff also agrees that he/she will not, during the course of his/her employment or at any time thereafter either make or publish, or cause to be made or published, to anyone in any circumstances any statement (whether of fact, belief or opinion) which directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation or standing of the Company or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders.PGS UK Personnel Handbook: 2.9 Confidentiality (2013)
Telenor Board of Directors:
This letter relates to current Telenor director, Jon Erik Reinhardsen and Telenor Chief Compliance Officer, Silke Hitschke. Reinhardsen and Hitschke should be investigated for criminal retaliation and human rights abuses against a foreign worker whistleblower. If the whistleblower allegations are confirmed true, then Reinhardsen and Hitschke should be terminated from their roles with Telenor and prosecuted under relevant laws and jurisdictions. Reinhardsen and Hitschke are accused of violating the laws of several countries: Norway, United Kingdom (England), United States of America (US), and Thailand.
On 18 May 2020, PGS ASA (PGS) UK Head of Legal, John Francas demanded that disparaging and defamatory publications be removed from the Internet. This was the last e-mail directly received by USA citizen and whistleblower, Steven Kalavity (SDK). Prior to receiving this e-mail, Francas had e-mailed that SDK was in breach of two compromise agreements signed in Thailand on 11 November 2018 to stop the processing of two criminal defamation claims citing Thai criminal law. One claim was sponsored by PGS Exploration (UK) Limited, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK) and the other by former PGSUK secretary, Carl Richards, who resigned from PGS as PGS UK Head of Legal 25 May 2018. The Directors of PGSUK are currently Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS CEO and President; Gottfred Langseth, PGS CFO and EVP and Christin Steen-Nilsen, PGS SVP Chief Accountant. PGSUK is an English company and its two contracts with SDK are governed by the laws of England.
SDK is the victim of crimes perpetrated against him and his family in retaliation for whistleblowing. For several years, US citizen SDK was employed by different subsidiaries of Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) globally. In 2013, SDK was sponsored and employed with contract by PGSUK. This original employment contract (OEC) was governed by the laws of England. At that time, the PGSUK Directors were Reinhardsen, PGS CEO and President, Langseth, Steen-Nilsen. Through 13 September 2013, the PGSUK secretary was Candida Pinto. Richards assumed the role after 13 September 2013. Through e-mail responses to Francas, SDK pointed out to PGS that their copying of SDK passport to initiate the Thailand litigation was a US federal crime, as were his e-mailed extortion threats. Similarly, the Thailand legal firm representing current PGSUK directors illegally copied SDK passport information and received SDK in-country residence information so that Duensing – Kippen could stalk and harass SDK and his Thai relatives. Francas and PGS Data Protection Officer (DPO), Daphne Bjerke, had been provided with SDK personal identification data for the explicit purpose of confirming identity to process a subject access request (SAR), citing the new General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) delivered to PGS in June 2018.
The Thai compromise agreement was signed by SDK under the threat of criminal prosecution in Thailand, with a possible 2-5 years prison sentence. The compromise agreements main function was to have evidence of criminal behavior de-published and to scare SDK into silence. Under Norwegian law, such agreements are illegal. PIDA states that contracts which are designed to silence protected qualified disclosure – whistleblowing – are not enforceable. PGS has always known that I was a US citizen. The Thai compromise agreement was written to be enforceable in Harris County / Houston, Texas, USA. Reinhardsen remains a Director and Chairman of PGS US subsidiary, Petroleum Geo-Services, Inc. (PGSUS), along with Langseth, Steen-Nilsen. PGS has no offices in Thailand. But, if the Thailand agreements are illegal extortion/blackmail, Reinhardsen, Langseth, Steen-Nilsen, Pedersen, Mysen, Richards, and Francas should be held accountable for the misrepresentation. If the SCA is not a legal contract, but an illegal instrument intended to defame and silence a whistleblower, how can the Thailand compromise agreements not be fraudulent as well?
SDKs employment with PGS ended with the signing of a termination settlement contract agreement (SCA) the end of 2013. The SCA was similarly governed by the laws of England. Both the OCE and SCA contained contractual Confidentiality clauses which are intended to prohibit an employee from publicly disclosing information that disparages a company or any of its stakeholders. Being contracts governed by the laws of England, they cited the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) intended to protect the integrity of personal data being processed by data controllers – employers, as well as the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) which is intended to protect retaliation for whistleblowing. PIDA is supposed to protect whistleblowers from adverse actions or retaliation by their employers. Making a disclosure in the public interest, or whistleblowing is different from simply disparaging content. Workers are to be protected when the public disclosure consists of information where the worker reasonably believes that there has been a criminal offence, breach of a legal obligation, a miscarriage of justice, a danger to the health and safety of any individual, damage to the environment, or the deliberate attempt to conceal any such acts.
Such Confidentiality clauses are sometimes misused by corrupt organizations to retaliate and silence whistleblowers so that they cannot expose wrong-doing. If SDK published online that Telenor Director, Reinhardsen was a “lying criminal asshole” or that Hitschke were a “lying criminal bitch”, this would be a breach of both the Confidentiality terms and conditions in both the OEC and SCA and PGSUK could take legal action against SDK citing a breach of contract governed by the laws of England. In fact, SDK has published such content online multiple times since July 2015. Reinhardsen is the former PGS CEO and President and Hitschke a former PGS Compliance Officer. Reinhardsen and Hitschke have never been held accountable to invoke contractual Confidentiality terms and conditions intended to protect company – PGS or Telenor – reputation and value. It can be reasoned that no invocation implies admission that the accusations that Reinhardsen and Hitschke are criminals. The publications may be disparaging, but the published accusations and evidence are reasonably thought to be true and therefore protected. So, why doesn’t the Telenor Board of Directors compel Reinhardsen and Hitschke to invoke the Confidentiality clauses to protect Telenor shareholder value and reputation? Why is Telenor not abiding by the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance?
It was an event of 13 June 2013 that has been the catalyst of SDKs online qualified public disclosure which began 3 July 2015. On 13 June 2013, SDK was called to a surprise ambush meeting – a tactic used by toxic workplace bullies and harassers. The ambushers were David Nicholson, PGS UK HR Manager, SDKs immediate supervisor, Edward von Abendorff, VP Marine Contract Africa – Sales and his superior, Simon Cather, Marine Contract Africa Region President. Following the abusive ambush meeting that did not follow PGS policy, SDK requested minutes of the meeting, how the meeting comported to PGS policy, and a request to file a grievance. The right for an employee to file a grievance is provided under the laws for England and contract. PGS did not comply with any of SDKs requests. On 24 July 2013, in lieu minutes from the 13 June 2013 ambush meeting, Nicholson delivered an ambush letter signed by him on behalf of PGSUK Directors, Reinhardsen, Langseth, Steen-Nilsen. These events have been the impetus of a whistleblower’s pursuit of truth and justice which the PGS sponsored litigation was intent on obstructing.
In fact, the ambush letter was intended to obstruct SDKs legal right to submit a grievance and proceed through the grievance procedures. SDK was being mobbed and harassed, lied to constantly and having information withheld, as a sponsored Tier 2 visa foreign worker! PGS had a legal duty of care responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare for SDK and his family. Workplace bullying and harassment are listed on the top of the list for workplace hazards. The subject of the ambush letter was the Investigation for possible implementation of a Performance Improvement Plan with a scheduled discussion on 11 September 2013. The 11 September 2013 meeting was rescheduled for 20 September 2013. On 13 September 2013, PGS UK Head of Legal, Richards, replaced Candida Pinto, PGS UK In-house Lawyer, as PGSUK Secretary. On 20 September 2013, SDK delivered a grievance document (“Grievance”) to PGS executives regarding acts perpetrated by PGSUK executives.
On 15 July 2013, PGS applied to renew their sponsorship for SDK to and his family to remain in England. A Tier 2 visa requires that the foreign worker possess skills not available in the EEA / resident (non-immigrant) labor market. In other words, SDK would not have been issued a Tier 2 visa if he was a poor performer. The ambush letter was retaliation for intending to raise a grievance over workplace bullying, defamatory performance ratings, and the non-compliant ambush meeting. SDK did not fully realize it at the time, but the Grievance met the PIDA criteria of whistleblowing. In response to the Grievance, PGS proffered an SCA. In the UK, the employee must seek the counsel of a lawyer prior to signing any SCA that will end their employment. Any seasoned English employment lawyer should have recognized the Grievance as whistleblowing. But, my counsel, Philip Landau and Holly Rushton did not. Landau recommended that SDK pursue an enhanced SCA and not proceed through the steps prescribed within the PGS UK Personnel Handbook.
PGS contracted legal firm Watson, Farley and Williams (WFW) to negotiate the terms and conditions of the final signed SCA. Senior Employment lawyer, Rhodri Thomas also seemed not to recognize the 21-page Grievance as whistleblowing either? One would think that Thomas, Landau, and Rushton would have recognized issues with an SCA for a foreign worker for performance, especially when the Grievance specifically cited misuse of the performance management system, bullying, harassment, discrimination (Equality Act 2010), and a breach of contractual duty of care responsibilities (Health and Safety Act 1974). SDK was reluctant to sign the SCA as the negotiations just did not seem right. SDK was also desperate to extricate himself and his family from the hostile sponsors. SDK made one non-negotiable demand: the contents held within SDKs professional personnel file had to be true and accurate. Landau, Rushton, and Thomas (PGS) promised that it was on 4 December 2013 as condition for SDK signing the final SCA on 5 December 2013.
In October 2014, SDK submitted his first SAR to PGS citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). GDPR replaced DPA in 2018. Through an SAR, data controllers, such as employers, provide data subjects with copies of the personal data that they process for a data subject, or employee. The principal data processor for the 2014 SAR was Nicholson. The same Nicholson who had been accused of malpractice, defamation, bullying, and harassment within the Grievance. When SDK received the contents of his PGS professional personnel file it was discovered that PGS was processing forged and inaccurate defamatory personnel records. None of the pertinent documents were signed by SDK. In fact, most were signed by only Nicholson. However, there was one significant document, a 25 October 2013 Memo (“Memo”) signed Bjølseth, who was Nicholson’s superior, and PGS EVP Marine Contract, Per Arild Reksnes, who was Cather’s superior. Neither Bjølseth or Reksnes were agents of PGSUK.
SDK complained through several e-mails to PGS Nicholson, PGS UK HR Officer Laura Haswell, and Bjølseth from November – December 2014. On 22 December 2014, Nicholson again signed and delivered an extortion letter again on behalf of PGSUK. The extortion letter threatened legal action for a breach in the SCA against SDK if he did not cease disputing the obviously fake contents of his PGS personnel file. SDK emailed several complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who oversee DPA compliance. ICO would not investigate! In August 2015, SDK submitted his first report to UK ActionFraud (police). The UK police also did not investigate. However, SDK believed then as he believes now that he was defrauded and defamed by a criminal corporate international conspiracy including PGS, WFW Thomas, as well as LZW Landau and Rushton.
On 3 July 2015, SDK published online the LinkedIn™ Pulse platform his first protected public disclosure. SDK published on 6 September 2015 and 20 September 2015 articles stating explicitly that Reinhardsen should resign as CEO and President of PGS for malpractice and mismanagement. No breach of the SCA was ever invoked, in spite of the threats made within the 22 December 2014 letter. In April 2016, SDK submitted another SAR to the PGS Compliance team. In spite of the several articles published on LinkedIn™ by that time, PGS did not comment or deliver any data to SDK for the 2016 SAR. In June 2016, SDK submitted a complaint to the PGS Compliance Hotline claiming that PGS bribed lawyers to process forged defamatory documents used to terminate foreign worker SDK on false pretenses. SDK suppled substantive documented evidence. Hitschke, and the other members of the Compliance team, Bjølseth and Pedersen, issued the following response to SDKs substantive complaint:
20 May 2016
PGS has followed up your complaint through the Compliance Hotline in accordance with our procedures. No deviation from PGS’ procedures of guidelines were uncovered and none of the documents paced in your personal employee folder was found to contain false or misleading information about you. No evidence found indicate that you were defrauded. The case dealing with your complaint is hereby closed.
SDK began posting more questions and facts in the PGS LinkedIn™ comment space. PGS again did not cite violations in the Confidentiality terms and conditions. PGS did not chose to respond by non-public e-mails, but instead deleted the comments and questions. Eventually, through PGS (stakeholder) complaints, SDK was restricted from LinkedIn™ and essentially silenced. PGS was allowed to avoid litigation under the Confidentiality terms and conditions guided by the laws of England. PGS has intentionally ignored SDKs questions and concerns. Not acknowledging, or the silent treatment, is an attempt by abusers to control and harass. It does not represent anything positive. Not acknowledging is very harmful. Not only does it demonstrate immaturity and meanness, but such behavior can have serious health consequences for the other person who will tend to feel extremely distressed. Common symptoms are headaches and digestive problems, along with fatigue and insomnia. PGS stated that there was an investigation. This was a blatant lie and cover-up. No answers were provided for the multitude of questions asked of PGS Compliance. SDK also shared articles and links with PGS, WFW, and LZW personnel (Landau, Rushton, Thomas, etc.) through the internal LinkedIn™ messaging service. PGS’ fraudulent response also defamed SDK to the entire LinkedIn™ and oil and gas professional community.
17 August 2016
The PGS internal audit team has investigated your complaints following your report to the PGS Compliance Hotline. The investigation confirmed that PGS policies and legal requirements were followed in the matter you have raised for our attention. Following the investigation, we have closed the matter in accordance with our procedures for handling reports to the PGS Compliance Hotline. The results and conclusion have been delivered to you by the Hotline service. PGS will as such not make further comments in this matter and further posts by you on our LinkedIn site related to the matter may be removed by us.
Because PGS, WFW, and LZW (Landau Law) took no legal action with respect to the published content on LinkedIn™ that disparaged their professional performance, SDK was able to re-published the articles which had been on LinkedIn™ on a private site, nopgs.com. Unfortunately, SDK had over 4600 personal professional connection and also hosted a Marine Seismic Survey group with over 1560 members when PGS decided to lie to the professional community on LinkedIn™ and got SDK restricted. PGS irresponsibly, from both the professional and contractual perspective, did not engage and resolve the issue, but continued the criminal conspiracy and cover-up that continues to damage whistleblower SDK and his family. Nothing within the Compliance Hotline team issued statement is true. The Compliance Hotline team (Bjølseth, Pedersen, Hitschke), are obstructing justice and protecting the criminal cabal of which they are all part. None of document contents pertinent to SDKs termination bare his signature and are unverifiable. The documents cannot possibly be compliant, because they are forgeries!
The fake personnel file documents reference events that never happened and documents that do not exists. No one with qualified privilege from PGS has signed the documents with SDKs personnel file. The only other official communications directly from PGS regarding SDKs published online content came from Francas in May 2019. Most threatening correspondence was received from Duensing – Kippen lawyer Tippaya Moonmanee. Moonmanee had no direct knowledge of events. PGS provided Duensing – Kippen with an illegal power of attorney to avoid the laws of England which bound her clients. England has no criminal defamation statute and content published more than one-year was protected from defamation claims by the UK Limitation Act 1980. The reason that PGS needed to use the Thailand legal system, and not the English legal system, is because there is obviously a problem with the SCA contract. Telenor’s Reinhardsen and Hitschke are both implicated in the alleged assault, fraud, forgery, bribery, embezzlement and extortion intended to knowingly harm a whistleblower and his family. This is why conspirators did not conduct a valid investigation and real report.
Following the meeting, I asked David Nicholson, UK HR Manager, if minutes of the meeting had been taken to record the content and context of the meeting. I was told that the meeting was informal, and as such no minutes of the meeting were formally transcribed and distributed to participants. (Although, HR had annotated notes of the meeting while the meeting was in progress.)
Excerpt from 20 September 2020 SDK Grievance
I not only disagreed with the base assertions made during the meeting (and subsequent letter), but I was additionally distressed at the intimidating urgency and tone of the meeting that I was called to moments before it occurred. (There was an apology for my being ambushed into such an intimidating arena.)
During SCA negotiations, Nicholson requested that SDKs health be assessed by Occupational Health Nurse (OHN), Maggie Bream. The OHN delivered the assessment report for SDK to Nicholson. Landau was made aware of this. The OHN report contradicts the PGS false narrative contained within the forged defamatory documents that supported a performance-based termination and dismissed harassment, bullying, and discrimination claims. Nicholson never delivered the final report to SDK, as the OHN requested. (SDK acquired a copy of the OHN report following the 2014 SAR.) The PGS UK Personnel Handbook and UK law has provisions for stressed employees. In spite of this, PGS, Landau, Rushton and Thomas did not consider the OHN report during SCA negotiations? They did not consider news about the physical and mental impact that the PGS toxic work conditions and ongoing gaslighting had on SDK and his family, even though the Grievance which is cited within the final SCA explained these negative effects. Workplace harassment and bullying can create stress and anxiety. It is one of the most significant contributors of stress-related health problems, including debilitating feelings of anxiety, panic attacks and clinical depression. In some instances, bullying can even lead to suicide.
The reason why PGS, WFW (Thomas) and LZW (Landau and Rushton) have not cited any breach in the SCA is because they also know that the SCA is not a legitimate contract. SDKs was denied legal due process and representation because PGS bribed LZW to support their crimes. SDK continues to be denied this basic human right in addition to the human rights of the parties all processing fake personal data. The fake SCA negotiations – gaslighting – lasted from 10 October 2013 until 5 December 2013, when SDK eventually signed the SCA. Toxic organizations misuse HR and promotions as a payment for covering-up executive crimes. It starts a cycle where incompetence and unethical behavior is rewarded. Toxic workplaces cheat to hide incompetence. In a functional and just system, Reinhardsen and Hitschke would first likely never exist. But, if such alleged criminal conspirators were thoroughly and fairly investigated, Reinhardsen and Hitschke would be dismissed, and possibly tried, and sent to prison.
Telenor’s fifty-four percent (54%) Norwegian citizen owned. The Telenor compliance and governance system that does not investigate Reinhardsen and Hitschke is dysfunctional. A system that does not conduct thorough due diligence and rewards the corrupt is not serving stakeholders. It is the very definition of corruption. It is the most abhorrent kind of behavior. The victims of executive harassment and discrimination are shocked the policy and values which underpin the contractual relationship are not followed. It is both a breach and a betrayal of the employer – employee relationship. All workplace bullying is supported by incompetent and insecure hierarchical authoritative leadership. It is incompetence that drives most all corruption. Toxic workplaces do not exist under strong ethical leadership. Strong ethical leadership is competent, competitive and confident that any challenge to their company reputation and value will likely never happen and if it does, they only need to respond appropriately.
This abuse of power or position can cause such chronic stress and anxiety that people gradually lose belief in themselves, suffering physical ill health and mental distress as a result. Workplace bullying affects working conditions, health and safety, domestic life and the right of all to equal opportunity and treatment.(Lamplugh, 2002).
In 2013, I could have never even imagined the corruption and criminal behavior that was being orchestrated to silence and harm me and my family. Being lied to, harassed, bullied, mobbed and gaslighted by the compliance and governance professionals from several foreign organizations for any period of time is very distressing. Reinhardsen and Hitschke have been obstructing justice and harassing SDK and his family for years. As a US citizen, the threats and extortion made through e-mail and post, obstruction of justice, abuse of power and misrepresentations constitute violations in the US federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Unfortunately, whistleblowers are too often brutally retaliated against even when there are laws designed to protect them. When PGS lawyers Pedersen, Richards, Mysen and Francas, WFW lawyers Thomas and Aulak, and most abhorrently, the whistleblowers own counsel, Landau and Rushton, are bribed to obstruct justice without penalty, compliance programs are merely a façade. Consider being in a foreign country as a sponsored contracted worker?
Reinhardsen and Hitschke are part of a criminal conspiracy to continue to defraud, defame, physically and financially damage a whistleblower and his family. Reinhardsen and Hitschke have been allowed to not invoke the Confidentiality terms and conditions which would reveal this criminal conspiracy. Invoking the contractual Confidentiality terms and conditions of the SCA would expose that Reinhardsen and Hitschke oversaw the bribing of lawyers and the embezzling of company funds to pay for the mischief. The original SCA was illegally proffered in retaliation for blowing the whistle and to silence the whistleblower. The illegal retaliation, silence and harassment of a whistleblower must end. Demand that Reinhardsen and Hitschke explain the 2016 remarks and produce their investigation report.
|to:||“Oslo, ACS” <OsloACS@state.gov>,|
AF Team <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Carl Richards <email@example.com>,
John Francas <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Landau Law <email@example.com>,
Rhodri Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Tippaya Moonmanee <email@example.com>
|date:||Sep 7, 2020, 10:56 AM|
|subject:||Open Letter to the Telenor Board of Directors|