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BKMS® success story with the State Office of Criminal Investigation of Lower Saxony

How BKMS® Incident Reporting helps investigators tackle corruption, economic crime and even unsolved capital offences.

 

Back in 2003, the State Office of Criminal Investigation of Lower Saxony (LKA Lower Saxony) was the first investigative authority in the world to implement an electronic whistleblowing system, BKMS® Incident Reporting.

What prompted the decision was an awareness on the part of investigators of their urgent need for information from the public, particularly in the areas of corruption and economic crime. Because of its resounding success, BKMS is now being used in a supportive capacity to investigate unsolved capital offences as well.

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About LKA Lower Saxony

The State Office of Criminal Investigation of Lower Saxony (LKA Lower Saxony) is the central agency in charge of anti-crime activities in the state. As a service provider, the authority supports the regional police stations with regard to safety and security measures as well as criminal prosecution. LKA Lower Saxony also ensures the exchange of information with other federal states and with the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) and conducts investigations itself in exceptional cases. Over 1,000 employees currently staff five departments with some 30 divisions.

The introduction of the BKMS® whistleblower system after a successful pilot project

The success story of the BKMS® whistleblower system began in 2003 with a pilot project at the LKA Lower Saxony that was unique in Germany. The initial mistrust in the new technology quickly turned into the opposite after a four-month trial phase. The BKMS® system was a big success: numerous tips were received via the anonymous and highly secure reporting system and thus for the first time light on the dark field of corruption. The press conference on the introduction of the new electronic whistleblowing system was followed by a great media interest. The successful and trusting cooperation between the LKA Lower Saxony and Business Keeper GmbH has now lasted almost for 20 years.

The "Central Office for Corruption / Internal Investigations" and the BKMS®

Anonymous reports on economic crime and corruption received through BKMS® Incident Reporting are coordinated by Department 37, “Central Office for Corruption/Internal Investigations”. Report processing as well as any communication with the whistleblowers are handled by experienced corruption investigators. Alongside criminal prosecution, the department's responsibilities also include the field of prevention. In addition, the corruption experts serve as a point of contact for the administration, the business community and the general public in all issues related to corruption and also offer specialist presentations on this topic.

The challenge

Economic crime and corruption are considered “victimless” crimes, as the victims are more difficult to identify and the damage involved is often to the economy as a whole. In addition, there is a high level of underreporting in these areas. Previously, the investigating authorities received only limited information and relied primarily on valuable reports from the public. LKA Lower Saxony placed importance on identifying a low-threshold solution that primarily would fully safeguard the anonymity of the whistleblowers at all times.

 

The objectives of LKA Lower Saxony are

 

 

 

OBTAINING REPORTS FROM THE PUBLIC REGARDING ECONOMIC AND CORRUPTION OFFENCES

SECURE COMMUNICATION WITH THE WHISTLEBLOWERS WHILE MAINTAINING ANONYMITY

AROUND-THE-CLOCK AVAILABILITY, 365 DAYS A YEAR

"We felt that the primary challenge was the fact that, as a public authority, we need to rely on the security of the system 100 per cent of the time. As a result, because we are an investigative agency, we can't just consider any vendor; we have to choose the vendor with the most secure whistleblowing system."

– THOMAS DOMBEK, HEAD OF THE “CORRUPTION/INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS” DEPARTMENT AT THE STATE OFFICE OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF LOWER SAXONY

The solution

In the secured postbox, the specially encrypted dialogue between whistleblowers and prosecutors, which can remain anonymous when required, helps to lower the inhibition threshold for reporting. The ability to engage in a secure dialogue with the whistleblowers while preserving their anonymity is also extremely helpful for investigators seeking to verify relevant information.

Guaranteeing protection for whistleblowers from a technical perspective is crucial, as they are otherwise frequently subject to discrimination and repression from within their own company. The experience gained by LKA Lower Saxony indicates that whistleblowers are very conscientious in their use of the application, meaning that reports based on denunciatory motives rarely occur.

The results

  • Since 2003, BKMS® Incident Reporting has received over 5,000 reports, leading to the initiation or successful conclusion of over 1,000 investigations throughout the Federal Republic of Germany.

     

  • The above-average number of reports on economic crime is especially positive, as experience has shown that this area is associated with an extremely high level of underreporting.

     

  • BKMS® whistleblowing system has also been used to investigate unsolved homicide and missing persons cases since 2014. For cold cases such as these, LKA Lower Saxony establishes specially designed reporting processes (BKMS® Quick Response) and has received numerous reports in the past following broadcasts on the ZDF television programme “Aktenzeichen XY...ungelöst”.

     

Why Business Keeper?

 

  • From the outset, LKA Lower Saxony and Business Keeper GmbH have enjoyed a working relationship based on close mutual trust – one that has lasted for nearly 20 years now!
  • Exemplary support and very rapid responses from the key account team
  • Change requests are always handled quickly and in a straightforward manner
  • Support is also available for capital offences through “BKMS® Quick Response”, a tool that rapidly establishes a case-specific reporting process

"With the implementation of BKMS® Incident Reporting, Lower Saxony has ushered in a new era in the fight against corruption in Germany. The stand-alone solution opens up completely different possibilities for receiving and processing reports. I am certain that without the vital reports we’ve received through this system we wouldn't have been able to conduct a number of investigations that have since been successfully concluded."

Thomas Dombek

Head of the "Corruption/Internal Investigations" Department

State Office of Criminal Investigation of Lower Saxony

A selection of our clients from government organisations that have already placed their trust in Business Keeper.

Would you like to offer a whistleblowing system within your organisation? Then schedule a software demo now and find out more about BKMS® Incident Reporting.

 

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