Whistleblowing System: What Indonesian Universities Can Learn From Standford University
The whistleblowing system, as an instrument for early detection of violations, is not only applied to corporations, but also to educational institutions at the college or university level. Stanford University, for example, implements a whistleblowing system under the name Ethics and Compliance Helpline for Stanford’s community. According to the website of the Office of the Chief Risk Officer at Standford University, the community, in this case, are students, lecturers, employees, and third parties who collaborate or do business with the university.
Due to Standford University’s frequent involvement in global activities – research, grants, and business, the scope of activities categorized as violations is not only limited to academic malpractice, crime, conflicts of interest, and maladministration but also activities related to bribery, for example, gratuities and political contributions.
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Standford is committed to ensuring that the community can report violations with confidence and does not tolerate those who retaliate against the whistleblowers. Although the website does not mention details of how they implement the non-retaliation policy, the university provides an anonymous complaint form via the Helpline website and has an Office of the General Counsel (OGC) which is responsible for addressing legal issues arising from the activities of Stanford University , Stanford Health Care and Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.
The university recognized the importance of carrying out compliance with internal and external regulations in order to meet ethical standards and maintain the university’s reputation.
In Indonesia, there are universities are known to have implemented the whistleblowing system, such as UI (SIPDUGA UI), UGM (SIAP UGM), and Universitas Bina Nusantara. Each of these universities applies a different whistleblowing policy in terms of scope of whistleblowers, whistleblowing channels, the scope of the violation, and the confidentiality of whistleblowers.
However, there is still plenty of room for universities in Indonesia to implement and develop a whistleblowing system and update their policies to encourage the universities’ communities to proactively uphold the ethical standards and reputation of the institutions.
Photo by Chang Ju Wu