Second Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Directors Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen, Carl Richards and UK Serious Fraud Office
Regarding: Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited Director Abuse of Fiduciary Duty, Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Vexatious Litigation
- Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Directors Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen and UK Serious Fraud Office (9 October 2018)
- Letter to UK Companies House and Carl Richards, former PGS Exploration UK Limited Secretary (1-Oct-2018)
- Letter to UK Companies House and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (24-Sep-2018)
- Letter to Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration UK Ltd. and ICO Caseworkers (16-Sep-2018)
- Letter to Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer and ICO Caseworker (2-Sep-2018)
UK Serious Fraud Office
Caseworker(s) Information Commissioner’s Office
Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
Christin Steen-Nilson, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director (no e-mail)
Carl Richards, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) former Secretary
Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Human Resources Manager
Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer
John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal
Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel
Transparency International – Norway
SEG Whistleblower – membership
My name is Steven D. Kalavity. I am a citizen of the United States of America (USA). I currently live in Chiangrai, Thailand on visa with my Thai wife and three Thai – American children. From 26 September 2010 through 31 December 2013, PGS Exploration UK Limited sponsored me and my family dependents on a Tier 2 visa.
PGS Exploration UK Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY, directors and former secretary have engaged in aggressive and inhumane vexatious litigation in a foreign country to suppress protected public disclosures. I have made allegations that the Company directors and former secretary have engaged in criminal behavior. I am a whistleblower.
PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are executives of Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, based in Lysaker, Norway. I am asking the authorities in England and Norway to immediately demand that PGS Exploration UK Limited directors withdraw all their legal claims made in Thailand.
The claims put forward in Thailand are in breach of PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policy, and therefore the directors have no fiduciary authority to authorize or advance their complaint in a foreign jurisdiction. PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are abusing their positions and are in breach of their fiduciary duty. In doing this, PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have also authorized the illegal use of PGS Exploration UK Limited resources.
Two claims of criminal defamation have been initiated against me in Thailand by a Thai lawyer whom has been given power of attorney by the PGS Exploration UK Limited current directors and former secretary. The Thai lawyer has no knowledge of the veracity of my public disclosures. None of the directors reside, nor have professional interests, in Thailand. All of the public disclosure has been made in the English language and has been intended for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and agents, as well as the Petroleum Geo-Services board of director’s members and executives.
The first claim made against me in Thai criminal court was forwarded by the current PGS Exploration UK Limited directors: Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, and Christin Steen-Nilsen. The second claim has been made by former PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary, Carl Richards, who resigned 25 May 2018. The initial mediation court date in Bangkok, Thailand is scheduled for 29 October 2018, with a follow-up proceeding scheduled on 12 November 2018, in Chiang Rai, Thailand, depending on the outcome of the 29 October 2018 proceeding. I reside in Chiang Rai, Thailand, with my family. PGS Exploration UK Limited could have scheduled the first hearing in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
I believe that the proceeding scheduled in Bangkok, Thailand is an intentional attempt by PGS Exploration UK Limited to further harass and bully a whistleblower and harm the health and wellbeing of me and my family to the greatest extent possible. PGS Exploration UK Limited and Carl Richards are being as mean, vindictive, and unethical as possible to try and quiet my public disclosure. They have casts aside their contractual obligations to abide by the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Core Values, PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policies, and their commitments to principles of the UN Global Compact to persecute me and my family. It is a selfish and repugnant abuse of position and abrogation of their fiduciary duties.
Most of the public disclosures referenced within these claims were produced while Carl Richards was acting as PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary. The public disclosures relate directly to the performance (or malpractice) of his fiduciary duties. The Thai lawyer was provided with my personal passport data, home address, and e-mail address by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Data Protection Officer (DPO). This personal private data had been provided to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, DPO in relation to a recent subject access request citing the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR). I believe that the use of my personal subject data to launch a claim outside the authority of the director’s legal fiduciary duty is a violation of my human rights and the GDPR. Providing my personal data to Carl Richards, as a private person, is an even more egregious violation of my human rights.
I am currently disputing the propriety of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA processing of my personal data and have been corresponding with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and legal counsel have been included in these communications. Much of the public disclosure has been in regard to my belief, supported by e-mail and other documented evidence, that PGS Exploration UK Limited human resources and legal counsel have knowingly created and processed non-compliant and illegal personal data about me. This fake data was used to advance an illegally proffered settlement agreement contract used to terminate my employment.
ICO has been aware of my disagreement with the personal data PGS Exploration UK Limited is processing in my name for some time. I also raised these concerns with UK ActionFraud 24 August 2015, and have periodically updated this complaint. In 2016, I submitted several complaints to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA legal compliance. This followed numerous complaints made through the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA LinkedIn™ social media comment space. Most queries were not answered. Petroleum Geo-Services ASA contends there was an investigation. However, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA refuses to share their investigation report. I do not believe that there was a valid investigation and that Petroleum Geo-Services ASA legal compliance has been directly involved in the alleged illegal acts. I also submitted a report to the UK Serious Fraud Office in 2017. PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA were made aware of these claims prior to their launching their Thai claim.
Most of the public disclosures regard PGS Exploration UK Limited director’s violations of English contractual and employment law and internal policy. This includes, but is not limited to, the UK Data Protection Act 1998, and now the General Data Protection Requirement , the Companies Act 2006, the Equality Act 2006, the Fraud Act 2006, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and of course the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The Thai court system is not the appropriate legal venue to adjudicate matters of English law. PGS Exploration UK Limited is misrepresenting their claims as though their claims are truthful and not disputed. The irony is that PGS Exploration UK Limited and Carl Richards have refused multiple requests to demonstrate that they are processing legal and compliant data derived from legal and compliant processes. In other words, they refuse to prove that they have behaved legally in accordance to the laws of England and PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policy. It should be clear that there must be nefarious motivations for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors to exploit the Thai criminal justice system.
PGS Exploration UK Limited within a 16 July 2018 e-mail response to a subject access request citing the General Data Protection Requirement remained committed to not clarifying issues or answering questions thoughtfully brought forth originally by a subject access request submitted in 2014 citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998. PGS Exploration UK Limited states in their response to my subject access request:
Excerpts from the 16 July 2018 PGS Exploration UK Limited response to my 2018 GDPR subject access request
We have determined that the applicable law allows us to deny your request on the basis that processing of your personal data, if any, that may have occurred since your previous request on 10 October 2014 (the “2014 SAR”) would have only been performed in order to seek privileged legal advice in respect to your various direct and indirect communication with or about PGS and/or its employees. Accordingly, we are denying your request under Data Protection Act 2018, Schedule 2, paragraph 19(a).
You should also note that under the terms of the settlement agreement between you and PGS dated 5 December 2013 (the “Settlement Agreement”) you agreed not to further pursue your grievance or any analogous or substantively similar or other grievance against PGS and that PGS, nor any other company in the PGS group, shall have any further obligations to you in respect of such grievances.
You further agreed not to divulge confidential information or the existence or terms of the Settlement Agreement, nor to make or publish any statement that directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation of PGS or any Related Party of PGS.
PGS reserve its rights to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement in respect to any breaches by you of the Settlement Agreement.
Bluntly, I have not regarded the referenced settlement agreement contract as a valid legal instrument for some time. My public disclosure has stated this in many different publications. My public disclosure has also stated that I regard my public disclosure as protected, or that I am a whistleblower. My claims of director and executive criminal conduct were first publicly published in 2015 through the LinkedIn™ Pulse publishing venue. This would have constituted a breach in a legal settlement contract agreement. PGS Exploration UK Limited made similar threats to me following my complaints regarding the data being processed in my name within a 22 December 2014 correspondence. Within the 22 December 2014 letter, PGS Exploration UK Limited states that they will not alter or remove any of the data which I identified as inaccurate and non-compliant.
At the same time, however, PGS Exploration UK Limited, did state that they would add one of my complaint e-mails (5 December 2014) into my professional personnel file. So, PGS Exploration UK Limited did not refuse to alter my personal data. What they did was place accurate data into the personnel file after inaccurate personal data was used to process the settlement contract agreement. This challenges the legality of the settlement contract agreement, in my view. Why would PGS Exploration UK Limited agree to alter my personnel file data with inaccurate data? There are many other compliance issues raised within this 22 December 2014 correspondence which PGS Exploration UK Limited refuses to clarify. I began publicly publishing my complaints and frustrations about these matters because PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA refuse to answer my reasonable questions. Recently, I have copied ICO caseworkers on e-mail communications with PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, with regard to the latest response to my subject access request so they can witness firsthand the irresponsible actions of these data controllers.
According to a confusing 22 December 2014 email written to me requesting that I stop my questions, PGS Exploration UK Limited states that they do not even process the 20 September 2013 grievance document within my professional personnel file. So, exactly what will be considered similar to it? I believe that the 20 September 2013 grievance which identified manager misconduct, policy and contract breaches, and breaches in UK employment and contract law was also whistleblowing. Many of my queries have been in regard to the 22 December 2014 email which has opened many questions. I believe that the referred settlement contract agreement was proffered illegally to terminate my employment without following my legally guaranteed process of grievance. Termination for whistleblowing is automatically an unfair dismissal.
With regard to PGS Exploration UK Limited’s alleged violations of internal policy and the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act through initiating defamation claims in Thailand, reference the PGS Exploration UK Limited Policy Handbook (2013):
During the course of their employment, each member of staff will have access to and become aware of information which is confidential to the Company. Without prejudice to his or her common law duties, each member of staff undertakes that he/she will not, save in the proper performance of his duties, make use of, or disclose to any person, (including for the avoidance of doubt any competitors of the Company), any of the trade secrets or other confidential information of or relating to the Company, or any user of the Company’s services or any company, organization or business with which the Company is involved in any kind of business venture or partnership, or any other information concerning the business of the Company which he/she may have received or obtained in confidence while in the service of the Company. Each member of staff will use his/her best endeavors to prevent the unauthorized publication or disclosure of any such trade secrets or confidential information.
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.
For a disclosure to be protected by the Act’s provisions it must relate to matters that ‘qualify’ for protection under the Act. Qualifying disclosures are disclosures which the worker reasonably believes tends to show that one or more of the following matters is either happening now, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future:
- a criminal offence
- the breach of a legal obligation
- a miscarriage of justice
- a danger to the health and safety of any individual
- damage to the environment
- deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the above five matters
A qualifying disclosure to the commission will be a ‘protected’ disclosure provided the worker:
- makes the disclosure in good faith
- reasonably believes that the relevant failure relates to ‘the proper administration of charities and funds given, or held, for charitable purposes’
- reasonably believes that the information disclosed and any allegation contained in it are substantially true
I have submitted several complaints to UK and Norwegian bodies to no effect. I am very certain about the integrity of the documentation being processed within my PGS Exploration UK Limited professional personnel file. None of the documents which I requested removed bare a counter signature and contain factually incorrect data, most notably a meeting date of 11 September 2013 that is referenced in two documents. The 11 September 2013 meeting never happened. The 11 September 2013 meeting was rescheduled for 20 September 2013, the day on which I submitted the referenced formal grievance. The 20 September 2013 grievance document is specifically referenced in the settlement contract agreement, as well as the 22 December 2014 correspondence from PGS Exploration UK Limited, and more recently in the 16 July 2018 correspondence from PGS Exploration UK Limited. However, it is not mentioned in the body of documentation contents of my personnel file and, as stated by PGS Exploration UK Limited, is not being processed currently as part of my personnel file.
An occupational health nurse report requested by the manager of human resources submitted to PGS Exploration UK Limited 16 November 2013 also mentions the grievance document, as well as reports on my personal health issues and stress experienced in the workplace. PGS Exploration UK Limited does not process this health report which they requested and also did not follow policy guidelines regarding employee stress. This endangered my own health and wellbeing, as well as that of my family. PGS Exploration UK Limited has suppressed and destroyed all personal data related to the 20 September 2013 grievance document and supplanted non-compliant fake data supporting a defamatory performance based termination. I had been led to believe that the settlement contract agreement was with regard to the substance mentioned within the 20 September grievance document. PGS Exploration UK Limited on 15 July 2013 also did not report any performance issues to UK Border Agency for the renewal of my Tier 2 shortage occupation list visa, and those for my dependent family members. Clarification on these issues is what PGS Exploration UK Limited has been withholding which I believe constitutes the deliberate concealment of information tending to show illegal and non-compliant acts.
PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and Carl Richards are expediting their claims in Thailand through subversive tactics which do not correlate to PGS Core Value. They collective, including the Thai lawyer, stalked me by misusing my personal data. None of the directors had formally contacted me and identified themselves and their concerns prior to launching their claims in Thailand. The Thai lawyer also never confirmed her identification and credentials in previous communications which regarded a potential claim by Carl Richards. I asked the Thai lawyer many questions, stated that I regarded my public disclosures as protected whistleblowing. Further, I rejected claims made by Carl Richards as a private person because my public disclosures have always been in regard to his professional capacity as PGS Exploration UK Limited Head of Legal and secretary. I had just departed Thailand when I received an e-mail with the court proceeding information documents written in the Thai language attached. I was not in Thailand when the court claim by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors was delivered.
I had never received any communication from PGS Exploration UK Limited directors regarding my public disclosures prior to this claim being delivered in my absence. The Thai lawyer had withheld information that she was also acting on the behalf of PGS Exploration UK Limited directors in previous communications. Had she revealed this, I of course would have been more receptive to dialogue, just as I would have if Carl Richards was representing himself as secretary. Carl Richards’ complaint, as a private person, was actually the second complaint. It was received weeks after the court documents were delivered by e-mail. I believe this behavior has been, at the very least, inconsiderate, irresponsible, and unprofessional. It seems to transgress the actions of their true fiduciary duties. They should have behaved differently and used better judgment. PGS Exploration UK Limited directors’ actions have been clandestine and purposefully harassing.
In specific regard to the criminal defamation claims made in Thailand, most all of the referenced published content in the complaints pre-dates the 16 July 2018 correspondence received from PGS Exploration UK Limited in response to my subject access request. The 16 July 2018 correspondence cites no specific content which even breaches the terms of the settlement contract agreement. However, they warn me that the confidentiality nondisclosure conditions are still in effect. However, in September 2018, the content reaches the level of criminal defamation in Thailand? How is this possible? Much of my public disclosure has warned Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited that they should be more proactive in addressing the online content published because it is harmful to their reputation. Three-years later, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited wakes up and blames their criminal negligence on me – in Thailand? Unless PGS Exploration UK Limited can confirm the legality of the processes and documents that support the settlement contract agreement they are making fraudulent misrepresentations within their 22 December 2014 and 16 July 2018 responses to the subject access requests.
The fact that PGS Exploration UK Limited is not acting on the warnings given through their responses to me subject access requests to pursue breaches of the settlement contract agreement should be telling. No claim of non-disparagement in England, but criminal defamation in Thailand? Whatever damage has been suffered is a product of their collective fiduciary negligence. To that end, only I have lost my job and livelihood while Pedersen has ascended from Petroleum Geo-Services ASA General Counsel to President and CEO.
In light of the recent aggressive actions taken by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and former secretary in Thailand, there needs to be an equally aggressive investigation conducted in England. I really need some consideration. I am a victim of Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited abuse. As a foreigner, I have always been more vulnerable. Petroleum Geo-Services ASA has had to disregard published values and policy to pursue their vindictive hunt to destroy a whistleblower who did nothing wrong. I have been the only one advancing Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Core Values and reputational interests.
I need help – NOW.
Steven D. Kalavity