What does ISO 37002 WMS say about confidentiality of the whistleblower?
The Whistleblowing system has proven to be the most effective tool to detect fraud. Reports also reveal that organizations that do not have a hotline system suffer median losses, nearly double than those that have one. However, retaliation is the most significant impediment for whistleblowers.
Research found that 74% of whistleblowers were terminated, another 6% were suspended and 5% were transferred against their wishes. The remaining 15% were given poor evaluations, demoted or harassed. Therefore, maintaining the confidentiality of the whistleblower is critical to create a sense of security and comfort for those who are willing to make a disclosure.
Confidential reporting occurs when the recipient of the report knows of the whistleblower’s identity, but it is kept confidential and should not be disclosed without the whistleblower’s agreement. Anonymous reporting occurs when the whistleblower’s identity is unknown. The whistleblower may opt to reveal his or her identify later in the inquiry, after establishing a trusting connection.
Safeguarding the whistleblowers is one of the objectives of ISO 37002 Whistleblowing Management System (WMS). Clause 7.5.5 on confidentiality highlights the importance for organizations to ensure that their whistleblowing system process provides identity confidentiality for both the whistleblower and the subject of the report. The identity of the whistleblower and relevant interested parties must not be disclosed to anyone without their consent.
As a third-party whistleblowing solution, in order to ensure the safety of whistleblowers and the effectiveness of the solution, as well as to help your organizations comply with the ISO, Canary offers whistleblowers with several options:
1. The whistleblower agrees to report an issue by openly sharing his/her information and permitting his/her personal information to be shared with the company/institution.This allows the company/institution to contact the whistleblower if necessary.
2. The whistleblower shares his/her identity but requests confidentiality. His/her identity is kept confidential and is not shared.This allows Integrity Asia to contact the whistleblower if necessary, without exposing him/her to any risk of retaliation.
3. The whistleblower remains anonymous.The whistleblower can only be contacted if he/she decides to create an anonymous account.