Whistleblowing is an essential tool for crime prevention that strengthens business credibility.
Whistleblower is a person that raises a concern about illegal activity occurring in an organization. Whistleblowers are often employees that face business reality every day, but they also can be suppliers, clients, contractors or simply any individual who somehow becomes aware of illegal activities in the company and decide to report it to relevant people.
Whistleblowing is a tool of "Corporate Compliance" already active in many countries, although with different methods of application. The adopting of Whistleblowing system means for a company to strengthen its internal control system and to increase the possibility of detecting potential fraud before it does severe damage to the organization.
Today Italy makes the first steps toward Whistleblowing legislative regulation that requires the program installation in companies and protection of whistleblowers. In fact, there is already the law that obligates companies with public administration to adopt systems of corruption preclusion including Whistleblowing programs, and it seems that this practice will be extended over private companies as well.
Whistleblowing system and process
The Whistleblowing system can be really effective only if the program is integrated at all levels of the organization. All users (employees and potential stakeholders) must have the possibility to have access to the system in simple and fast way. It’s also extremely important that the reaction to the report and following intervention are quick to ensure the whistleblower that the company is taking up the issue.
In brief, a good Whistleblowing system must:
• be easily accessible and comprehensible;
• ensure the confidential receiving of every whistle-blow;
• guarantee monitoring and management of reports;
• provide authorized persons with necessary automatic reports (the proper authorities are notified in real time about every whistle-blow and its consequent activities, measures and remedial actions).
A whistleblowing system that corresponds to these characteristics is the real proactive compliance tool that makes the workplace safer and ethically active.
In fact, this tool has the added value to the prevention of irregularities, which is to involve people and raise awareness in the fight against illegality, empowering them and requiring their active participation to improve society.