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The EU Commission and other global oversight authorities continue to revamp their Governance and Compliance structures to protect employees, assets, stakeholders, and privacy. After GDPR and E-privacy, the subsequent radical compliance implementation is the directive on protecting whistleblowers.
Tenacious Whistleblowers exposed several scandals are “Deep Throat”, which met journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and exposed the Watergate scandal, which changed global history in the 1970s, probably the best whistleblower example. Later, former Enron executive Sherron Watkins released vital information on the company’s fraudulent accounting practices in the 1980s. Whistleblowers exposed some of the largest AML scandals in global central banks and financial institutions.
Blowing the whistle on sloppy, corrupt, illegal, and greedy organisations and management can positively and negatively affect the whistleblower and the stakeholders. Therefore, companies must start the process on their road to compliance through a roadmap, framework, and a dedicated resource centre to ensure Governance, Risk Management and Compliance components when an employee or a contractor releases news of illegal, risky or unethical corporate conduct process and contractor management behaviour.
Two-year cure period after adoption
All EU organisations with 250 or more employees must provide a channel for employees and others to blow the whistle. Companies with 50 and 249 employees had a lead of the usual two years to comply. Copenhagen Compliance® has, since 2005, helped companies with roadmaps, frameworks, templates, and tools to set up and manage a whistleblower channel to create the corporate culture as the platform to deliver real business benefits and protect the organisation’s long-term values.
The corporate culture that addresses the various stakeholder obligations with a specific set of controls and systems that focus on security, response times, and data protection requirements must be monitored by management.
Business ethics and whistleblowing
Since whistleblower is probably the most vulnerable, they will soon be granted excellent protection and encouragement to report incidents without uncertainty and stress. The roadmap and framework must provide whistleblower anonymity, special safeguards and personal security.
The main requirements of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive are:
- Confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower. Network for receiving reports to ensure the whistleblower’s privacy and prevent access to non-authorised persons.
- Response times: Establish procedures to follow up the report within a seven-day acknowledgement
- Independent receiver(s) with the competence to follow up and communicate
- Due Diligence: Thorough follow-up within a reasonable timeframe to provide feedback to stakeholders
- Communication: Establish the conditions and procedures for disclosing the results and inform the oversight authorities.
- GDPR compliance: Processing of personal data must be carried out to comply with the Data Privacy issues.
- Record keeping: Companies must document each report received and ensure compliance, confidentiality, transparency and accountability.
- Deletion: Dispose of personal data to properly comply with global mandates and other relevant legislation
The directive is an excellent opportunity for companies with a whistleblower system to update The Corporate Whistleblower Protection Program to disclose and report workplace safety, environmental, financial reform and securities laws violations. Update policies and procedures on employee and management conduct and behaviour. Companies that violate whistleblower protection laws can face fines, suspension of government contracts, civil lawsuits, and reputation damage, reducing the company’s stock value substantially.
Please email email@example.com to receive the Whistleblower roadmap and framework or conduct in-house training and awareness or a whistleblower seminar.