We are delighted to put out a call to journalists, campaigners and academics to attend our new FIVE-DAY financial investigative journalism and data security training course at City University, London.

The dates for our next training will be:

Monday 17 September 2018 – Friday 21 September 2018

You do not need to have a financial background to apply but we consider it important when selecting candidates to see evidence of your investigative experience. Class instructions will take place in English.

Why attend?

Over a week, you will be shown how to investigate corporate accounts, offshore activity and corporate corruption. We will show you where to find documents, how to analyse them and other practical tools to help uncover financial secrecy.

A combination of guidance from senior practitioners and a workshop approach will give you the basis to investigate financial corruption as well as offering the opportunity to network with other journalists and activists.

For the first time, this course will include a hands-on data security module by Free Press Unlimited, as part of the new MoneyTrail consortium which also includes Journalismfund.eu and Oxfam Novib.

The financial investigation section of our course aims to help participants understand:

  • the building blocks of the offshore world
  • how to access and interpret company accounts
  • where to access other company information
  • the methodology behind the groundbreaking tax avoidance investigations into Google, SAB Miller and Vodafone – by the journalists who conducted them
  • how to investigate and report corruption stories
  • the steps required to keep safe and minimise personal risk
  • how to track the international policy agenda relating to illicit financial flows

Bursaries available

Bursaries are available for journalists from the developing world and eastern Europe. Bursaries cover visa fees, travel, accommodation and per diems for food and travel in London. Due to the limited number of bursaries, applicants will be selected on their track record in investigative journalism. As we tend to be over-subscribed some candidates will be placed on a waiting list for our 2019 courses.

Western Journalists, Academics & Campaigners

Journalists from the UK and Europe are very welcome to apply. We  charge a £650 course fee. This contributes towards Finance Uncovered administrative and editorial costs. For freelancers and journalists working for independent investigative centres, discounts are available.

How to apply

To apply please fill in the online application form. Please do not copy and paste entire articles into the form, where possible, please provide links or a few lines summary of the article plus date of publication. The deadline for your application is Tuesday 19 June 2018 at 08h00 BST.

Timetable
(Subject to minor alteration)
Day One: Monday September 17

Registration from 9am onwards for a 9.30am start.

09h30-10h00 – Introductions

10h00-12h30 Introduction by John Christensen (Tax Justice Network chairman). John is a former Jersey economic development officer and offshore expert. This session will help you understand the roots and history of offshore, its scale, the techniques used to avoid, evade and launder, and policy responses and relevant institutions delivered by one of the giants of the tax justice movement.

12h30-13h15 Lunch

13h15-14h15 Investigating corruption in public contracts (Hera Hussain from the Open Contracting Partnership)

14h15-14h55 The tax incentives offered to multinationals and how they are abused (Alvic Padilla and Toby Quantrill, Christian Aid)

Break

15h05-16h30 Obtaining accounts and shareholder information from:

  • UK Companies House
  • The London Stock Exchange, the US Securities & Exchange Commission, the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong stock exchanges
  • Tax havens around the world

16:30-17:20 The methodology behind assembling a corruption investigation (Nick Hildyard, Cornerhouse)

17h20- 18h00 Group discussion about reporting grand corruption and kleptocracy.

18.15 And relax! Evening food & drink for participants and trainers.

Day Two: Tuesday September 18

 09h30 to 17h30 A whole day given over to understanding how to report company accounts led by top forensic accountant, Raj Bairoliya. Subjects covered:

  • Executives motivation
  • Director & Auditor Reports
  • The three main sections of accounts – P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflow
  • Accounting policies such as revenue recognition
  • Notes
  • Tax
  • Bringing it all together
Day Three: Wednesday September 19

9:00-10: 45am Now it’s your turn! Working in teams, we ask you to access key financials of specific multinationals companies. And then we’ll ask you to share your findings.

Break

11h00 to 13h00 How to use Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to identify individuals, their whereabouts and their wealth

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-18h00 Assessing potential data security threats with Free Press Unlimited

Day Four: Thursday September 20

09h15-10h45 Investigating money laundering with a former senior official from a law enforcement agency

Break

11h00 – 12.30pm The principles of constructing an investigation into tax avoidance. With Richard Brooks (Author of The Great Tax Robbery, Bean Counters and Private Eye reporter)

12.30pm – 13h20 Investigating Extractives

13h20 – 14h00 Lunch

The remainder of Thursday and Friday will be devoted to data security with Free Press Unlimited. Full details to follow.

Suggested reading:

This will be the first training we are undertaking as part of the Money Trail series. Subsequent trainings take place in Jakarta and Abuja next year.

Posted by Nick Mathiason

Nick Mathiason has been a business and finance journalist for close to 30 years and has broken a sizeable number of impactful stories that have had international prominence. Subjects investigated include developing countries access to medicine, vulture funds, labour issues and the growth of private equity. One of the first UK journalists to report on industrial scale tax avoidance, in 2012 Nick founded and today co-directs Finance Uncovered. Formerly a business correspondent at The Observer, The Guardian, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Big Issue magazine for the homeless, Nick has been shortlisted for major international journalism prizes on numerous occasions. PGP Public Key Fingerprint: 57DE8CD5