6 Common Problems That Reduce Robustness of Whistleblowing
Many organizations or companies have seen whistleblowing as a very effective tool in preventing fraud. The 2018 ACFE Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse found that tip is the most common initial detection method with 46% of all fraud cases being detected.
However, having a whistleblowing system on board is not enough. Your companies should be able to maintain a robust one otherwise it will just become nothing but an ornament.
According to Whistleblowers: Incentives, Disincentives, and Protection,Strategies there are seven common major problems on a whistleblowing system that reduce its robustness:
- Tone at the top does not encourage whistleblowers. Tone at the top might acknowledge a whistleblowing system, but if it does not encourage whistleblowers, then there is a chance the whistleblowing system does not work well.
- There is no meaningful reward or recognition for legitimate whistleblowers. It is very rare that companies provide reward or recognition for whistleblowers. On the contrary, in many cases, the persons often get ostracized, their employments get terminated, or they even get threat. Without meaningful rewards, a person has no reason to be whistleblowers.
- The inability to communicate with anonymous whistleblowers results in failure to fully investigate anonymous information.
- The system does not guarantee anonymity. Confidentiality is critical in a whistleblowing system because most whistleblowers can face retaliation. Emission scandal of Volkswagen in 2015 teaches us a lesson that if a company does not guarantee the confidentiality of the whistleblowers, then there will be no one to speak out the truth.
- The system is not well-advertised. Although your companies have implemented whistleblowing systems, but if you do not adequately communicate it to your employees, then they do not know anything about the system.
- The audit committee uses employee administration and investigators who are not viewed as independent by whistleblowers and who cannot use legal privileges to preserve confidentiality. At this point, it is suggested that your companies hire an experienced whistleblowing system provider.
Integrity has been trusted by its client as a mitigation solution provider, including whistleblowing system. Our Canary® provides companies with a secured and dedicated website as well as various reporting canals for whistleblowers.
With system, whistleblowers can have a secure and private workspace. Robust whistleblowing can encourage internal reporting of red flags or illegal activities so that it can be prevented and corrected internally. Should you need more detailed information about Canary®, do not hesitate to contact us.