Newsletter | Volume 1

Issue I
Issue II
Issue III
Issue IV
Issue V
Issue VI
Issue VII
Issue VIII
Issue IX
Issue X
Issue XI
Issue XII
Issue XIII
Issue XIV
Issue XV
Issue XVI
Issue XVII
Issue XIX
Issue XX
Issue XXI
Issue XXII
Issue XXIV
Issue XXV
Issue XXVI

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Individual ethics are born from promoting a culture of ethics program e.g. whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is a valuable tool for monitoring the corporate governance strategy. It warrants employees to act on incidences of misconduct and help maintain a safe workplace, protect profits and brand reputation. If nobody is calling your whistleblower hotline, it is contrary to the international scope of whistleblower programs that effectively utilise valuable tips and bring wrongdoers to justice.

Under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC Commission shall pay awards to eligible whistleblowers that lead to a successful enforcement action yielding monetary sanctions of over $1 million. The award amount is between 10 percent and 30 percent of the total monetary sanctions collected in the Commission's action and a criminal case.

This month SEC announced a $2 million whistleblower award and informed the corporate community that the SEC continues to see a significant increase in the number of tips submitted under the agency's Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. The highest award given by the SEC is more than $30 million for original key information that led to a successful SEC enforcement action in 2014.

Ethical Whistleblowing
Therefore, it is vital for companies to ensure that they have strong Whistleblower compliance programs to prevent and detect violations and encourage employees to respond and management to take action on careless violations.

In this article, we focus on the ethical issues of whistleblowing, and how to foster a culture of self-regulation, transparency and accountability that help management and ensure all stakeholders that business operations are secured.

Reporting any wrongdoing is principally a moral duty to any law abiding citizen. However if the program is not correctly installed in the culture and processes of the business, the whistleblowing action can cause a conflict of interest between the personal and public spheres within the organisation. The conflicts often relate to someone sharing knowledge of misconduct, the benefits involved and those who are not loyal.

However if the business promotes the many components of good governance whistleblowing will be seen as a natural system of reporting required by any employee.

Motivation to report
Exposing wrongdoing and encouraging changes in systems must work in the interests of those they are supposed to protect. However when the whistleblower is uncertain between loyalty and the moral commitment, this unclear procedure can distort the whistleblower's perception of the relevance of reporting and management's ability & responsibility to influence change and ultimately help to create a safer working environment for their colleagues.

Management must use the data collected in a progressive manner by analysing the trends with a thorough investigation and determination to punish any wrongdoing. The contrary would negate the benefits of the whistleblower concept and cause disrespect in the promotion of an ethical culture within the organisation.

We will conduct a workshop on Ethics and Integrity on the 22nd March 2016 in Mumbai, India.

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