Finder Monkey

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Finder Monkey's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Finder Monkey is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.findermonkey.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | FINDER MONKEY
Founder Ryan Shaw
David Oates filming BBC
One’s
Family Finders
Deciding to find a person who has been missing from your
life for some time is an incredibly emotional experience.
Founder Ryan Shaw says that dealing with people who
have let their guard down is always a complex process – and
one where ethics and a compassionate response should be
of the highest priority. That line of thought drives everything
FinderMonkey do – and as the UK’s leading people tracing
company, it specialises in ethically locating and contacting lost
relatives and old friends.
At FinderMonkey, the people we work with are trusting us to do something that is
absolutely life changing for them. This trust cannot be broken.
Because of this, we are both cautious and mindful in our work and strongly believe
we have a duty of care to both our client and the person we find. We need to
ensure both parties are ready to move forward together.
GDPR complicated things for our industry but in truth, we feel there should be
further regulations. People should not have the threat of their private details or
location being found by an online company and handed to anyone. Even after
GDPR coming into effect, this still goes on. In our opinion, everyone has a right
to protect their identity. Our service does just that, working with both parties
until they are ready to move forward together. If one party decides they don’t
want contact, we respect that and then work with our client to ensure they gain
someclosure.
FACTS ABOUT
FINDER MONKEY
»Founder: Ryan Shaw
»Established in 2009
»Based in Leeds
»Services: People tracing
»No. of employees: 12
Finder Monkey
19FINDER MONKEY |
COMMUNITY
Pursue what is meaningful,
not what is expedient
I started FinderMonkey back in 2009
with John Arko. We had £500 each
and an idea: our aim was to create
a people tracing company with an
unforgettable name offering an
unforgettable service.
The challenges in those first few
years were huge but we soon realised
that’s just business: there are always
challenges and once we’d come to
terms with that, the company started
to grow. From a first-year turnover
of £40,000, we have grown to £1
million and plan to continue to build
the brand and to keep improving
ourservice.
One of our biggest challenges is
the amount of tax we pay and
the aggressive nature with which
it is collected. As a member of
Entrepreneurs Circle, an organisation
designed to help and support
businesses, I hear horror stories
about HMRC and it’s clear that a
short-sighted view on collecting
money has now been adopted. I
understand that it is necessary to
collect tax in a timely fashion but
small businesses are the heartbeat
of the economy and many of us
feel strangled and confused by tax
regulations. We also need guidance,
help and support around tax so we
can reinvest in our businesses and
employ more people. As tax is now
digital, we should be able to pay it
daily, weekly or monthly so we don’t
accrue massivebills.
Just like we have to be ethical in our
business, we believe HMRC should
be ethical in their approach. HMRC
need to train their own team to a
higher standard so they understand
that business owners do want to pay
tax but are also trying to grow our
businesses, look after our families
and, of course, our team too.
Adoption tracing issues
We have teamed up with Dr Joanna
North of Joanna North Associates,
an adoption support agency rated
“outstanding” by Ofsted, having seen
a need to expand our adoption tracing
service so as to help our clients.
When carrying out a search for an
adopted person, we have to, by law,
contact the adoption agency that dealt
with the adoption. This can be difficult
to identify with merges and closures
over so many years. We can contact the
court that issued the adoption order,
who should also be able to provide the
name of the adoptionagency.
This is where the problems begin. The
law is clear: the court should come
back to us in a timely fashion so we
can continue to help and support
our client. This frequently does not
happen or often takes months to
get any response. Some never even
acknowledge receipt of our requests.
When the adoption agencies no longer
exist, their records are often kept by
a local authority. This is where our
second problem starts.
Dr Joanna North of
Joanna North Associates
Just like we
have to be
ethical in our
business, we
believe HMRC
should be
ethical in their
approach
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
19FINDER MONKEY |
COMMUNITY
Pursue what is meaningful,
not what is expedient
I started FinderMonkey back in 2009
with John Arko. We had £500 each
and an idea: our aim was to create
a people tracing company with an
unforgettable name offering an
unforgettable service.
The challenges in those first few
years were huge but we soon realised
that’s just business: there are always
challenges and once we’d come to
terms with that, the company started
to grow. From a first-year turnover
of £40,000, we have grown to £1
million and plan to continue to build
the brand and to keep improving
ourservice.
One of our biggest challenges is
the amount of tax we pay and
the aggressive nature with which
it is collected. As a member of
Entrepreneurs Circle, an organisation
designed to help and support
businesses, I hear horror stories
about HMRC and it’s clear that a
short-sighted view on collecting
money has now been adopted. I
understand that it is necessary to
collect tax in a timely fashion but
small businesses are the heartbeat
of the economy and many of us
feel strangled and confused by tax
regulations. We also need guidance,
help and support around tax so we
can reinvest in our businesses and
employ more people. As tax is now
digital, we should be able to pay it
daily, weekly or monthly so we don’t
accrue massivebills.
Just like we have to be ethical in our
business, we believe HMRC should
be ethical in their approach. HMRC
need to train their own team to a
higher standard so they understand
that business owners do want to pay
tax but are also trying to grow our
businesses, look after our families
and, of course, our team too.
Adoption tracing issues
We have teamed up with Dr Joanna
North of Joanna North Associates,
an adoption support agency rated
“outstanding” by Ofsted, having seen
a need to expand our adoption tracing
service so as to help our clients.
When carrying out a search for an
adopted person, we have to, by law,
contact the adoption agency that dealt
with the adoption. This can be difficult
to identify with merges and closures
over so many years. We can contact the
court that issued the adoption order,
who should also be able to provide the
name of the adoptionagency.
This is where the problems begin. The
law is clear: the court should come
back to us in a timely fashion so we
can continue to help and support
our client. This frequently does not
happen or often takes months to
get any response. Some never even
acknowledge receipt of our requests.
When the adoption agencies no longer
exist, their records are often kept by
a local authority. This is where our
second problem starts.
Dr Joanna North of
Joanna North Associates
Just like we
have to be
ethical in our
business, we
believe HMRC
should be
ethical in their
approach
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | FINDER MONKEY
Many local authorities hold adoption
records or as the authority where the
adoption took place, should know
where the records are. Unfortunately,
many do not respond to our request for
information from them for many months
and on occasions never. We understand
the pressures local authorities face, but
it seriously hampers this process for any
intermediary and can encourage the
legislation to be bypassed by clients.
Our clients choose our service because
they’re conscientious and want proper
help but these agencies and local
authorities just create delays. The law
is no longer fit for purpose in this area.
There are many recent reports in the
news about birth parents contacting
adopted teenagers without the use
of intermediary support. This usually
happens through social media. There
is also now the issue of DNA testing
sites such as Ancestry.com where
adopted people and birth relatives
have a DNA test that can be compared
to millions of others and link them as
close relations. Again, this bypasses the
intermediary process.
Challenges with regulation
We work tirelessly to ensure
compliance with the regulations
set by Ofsted. Our competitors,
however, are getting free range to
bypass the law and Ofsted regulations
without consequence. We spend
hours painstakingly ensuring we do
everything correctly but end up putting
ourselves under further scrutiny. There
is obviously huge cost involved in
doing everything by the letter of the
law but in doing so, we are making
ourselves less competitive on price.
We want to work with local
authorities, Ofsted and anyone we can
to ensure we provide the best possible
service. I’ve yet to come across another
company that is putting in the legwork
that we do. We are setting a gold
standard for tracing people in the UK.
The future is bright and our hope is
to continue to build the business, to
remain at the forefront of the industry
and change within it and to keep
reuniting as many people as we can.
We want to
work with local
authorities,
Ofsted and
anyone we
can to ensure
we provide the
best possible
service
Intermediary specialist
Sue with a Finder
Monkey client

www.findermonkey.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Finder Monkey. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development