Whistleblowing system implementation: Unveiling the vital role of socialization
Numerous countries have enacted laws mandating companies and organizations to establish whistleblowing systems, such as the European Union’s Whistleblower Protection Directive, the New Anti-Corruption Law, Regulation of the Minister of State-Owned Enterprise No. Per-01/MBU/2011, and OSHA.
However, in practice, the execution of these systems often falls short of optimal functionality. Instead, there’s a prevailing perception that these preventive measures are merely box-ticking exercises to meet compliance requirements.
One of the reasons this system does not run effectively is due to the lack of socialization delivered to both internal and external stakeholders of the company. The repercussions of this insufficient communication include:
- Lack of awareness. Without knowing about the existence of the whistleblowing system, individuals are less likely to use it when confronted with situations involving ethical violations and fraud.
- Lack of education on rights and protections. Inadequate socialization leaves individuals unaware of their rights and protections as whistleblowers, causing hesitation or fear in reporting issues.
- Lack of clarity on procedures. Poor communication results in a lack of understanding regarding where to report, what information to provide, and how the process functions. This ambiguity may hinder willingness to participate.
- Lack of support for the report. There’s a risk that individuals may not comprehend the seriousness of their reports or believe that subsequent actions will be taken.
Optimizing the whistleblowing systems
Organizations must consistently enhance the effectiveness of their whistleblowing system. This involves taking proactive measures, including:
- Regular training sessions. Conduct frequent training sessions to clarify reporting procedures and ensure stakeholders are knowledgeable about their whistleblower rights.
- Written informative materials. Provide easily accessible written guidelines to employees and external parties, offering clear insights into the whistleblowing process..
- Use of internal media. Leverage internal platforms such as the intranet or newsletters to routinely share information about the whistleblowing system’s availability.
- Scenario simulation. Conduct exercises or workshops to familiarize stakeholders with the various types of violations that can be reported through the whistleblowing channels.
- Leader commitment. Company leaders should exemplify a strong commitment to integrity and compliance, setting the tone for the entire organization.
- Assurance of confidentiality and protection. Establish a robust framework ensuring the confidentiality of reports and protection against any form of retaliation.
- Feedback and improvement mechanisms: Provide clear information on how individuals can offer feedback and contribute to continuous enhancements in the whistleblowing system.
- Recognition and rewards. Consider acknowledging and rewarding individuals who file significant reports, thereby fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility.
Canary Whistleblowing System
In addition to focusing on enhancing fraud awareness, companies should also consider partnering with a third party such as Integrity Asia, which has developed Canary Whistleblowing System, an integrated reporting platform to manage their whistleblowing system. The consideration is based on the following reasons:
- Independence and objectivity. A third-party whistleblowing system, such as Canary, can establish a neutral and impartial environment for individuals reporting suspicions of fraud. This fosters trust, as reporters believe their concerns will be taken seriously and without bias.
- Efficiency. Companies can sidestep the need for additional human resources and time investment in building, managing, and developing their own whistleblowing system.
- Confidentiality and anonymity. Third-party systems help protect the identity of whistleblowers, reducing the fear of retaliation or possible negative consequences if their identity is revealed.
- Expertise and experience. Specialized third-party providers in whistleblowing system management bring a wealth of expertise and experience to handle reports effectively. They comprehend the legal and ethical considerations tied to whistleblowing, ensuring investigations are conducted appropriately and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Report safely and conveniently with Canary Mute
In this context, the Canary Whistleblowing System offers an efficient and user-friendly solution. Featuring seven centralized reporting channels on a web application, Canary simplifies the reporting process without the need for a complicated qualification process.
The Canary Mute feature adds an extra layer of security for whistleblowers, enabling anonymous two-way communication with investigators without revealing personal information. Using a combination of passwords and report identification numbers, reporters can participate easily and safely in the reporting process.