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Government | Fraud & Risk Management

What is a Government Watchlist?


There are a variety of elements to ensuring safety in your business. As a company or organization, you want to make sure you’re reducing risk as much as possible. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk and one of those is to use a government watchlist.

If you’re interested in keeping your business safe, it can be helpful to run your clients and vendors through watchlists before you accept them as part of your business. However, if you’ve never had to run clients and vendors through a watchlist, you might not know much about how to use them. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Government Watchlist?

A government watchlist is just a watchlist that’s put together by the government rather than by a private entity. There are many government watchlists—the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury all have watchlists that may include different threats. Depending on what your business is about, you may need to only use specific watchlists or all of them.

One of the most comprehensive government watchlists is the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center watchlist, which allows you to look through individuals who may pose a domestic threat. This list is public and the U.S. Treasury updates it regularly to include the most important individuals you might need to avoid.

Why Are Government Watchlists Different from Other Watchlists?

While government watchlists are one of the most common kinds to use, there are also other private watchlists out there. Why might you want to use a government list instead of a private list? There are many reasons a business might choose to use a government watchlist instead of a private one:

  • More information
  • Public to everyone
  • Extremely comprehensive
  • Foreign and domestic

Of course, this isn’t a complete list of reasons, and there are many other reasons you might want to use either a government watchlist or a private watchlist. However, the fact that these are public and include both foreign and domestic concerns is a significant reason many businesses use them.

How Does a Government Watchlist Help Businesses?

So what does a government watchlist do for your business? There are a lot of benefits your company might experience when you start using a government watchlist, which means this information helps you do a variety of things more easily.

  • Do your due diligence.
  • Avoid problems in the future.
  • Ensure you don’t have business-related concerns.
  • Don’t run into legal troubles.

Some businesses, especially those in the financial industry, may have a legal requirement to run their clients through a watchlist. That means your due diligence is legally mandatory. However, even if it’s not legally mandatory, it can help you to avoid concerns in the future.

Can Enformion Help My Business With a Watchlist?

A government watchlist can be a great way to make your business more effective and less prone to risk. If you’re worried about risk in your business, especially if you’re dealing with extremely valuable stakes in the way many financial services do, you would benefit from a watchlist solution like Enformion provides. If you’re interested in running your clients and vendors through government watchlists, Enformion can make the process much easier, quicker, and more effective.

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