WhistleB is a system used by various organizations to facilitate employee and stakeholder whistleblowing tips to management. Each year, WhistleB generates a customer survey to improve upon its system. However, this survey also elucidates trends in whistleblowing more broadly, providing whistleblowers and advocates a concrete understanding of the top issues in ensuring successful anti-fraud measures.
First, the 2020 survey provides empirical evidence for Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto’s assertion (based on the firm’s over thirty-two years of whistleblower representation) that one of the most critical factors for whistleblowers to feel safe in exposing wrongdoing is anonymity. Therefore, companies and lawmakers putting forward whistleblower policies must ensure such programs include guarantees of anonymity for would-be whistleblowers throughout the reporting process. The programs should explain the systems put in place to protect whistleblowers’ identities and provide penalties for violations of anonymity rules.
The second fundamental take away from this year’s survey results is that whistleblowing laws are indeed immediately effective in combatting corruption. According to survey results, the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive has already had a positive impact on whistleblowing despite the fact that at the time of the survey, the Directive had yet to be implemented in every EU member country. The survey indicated that there was an increase in companies opening up their whistleblowing systems to external groups and an increase in the number of whistleblowing reports that led to follow-up dialogue. Essentially, because the majority of WhistleB’s clients are headquartered in Europe, it appears that the requirements of the new Directive regarding reporting channels have encouraged companies to evaluate their current whistleblower systems and take whistleblower reports more seriously, purely in anticipation of new national laws. Therefore, it is vital that nations around the globe begin the process of passing new and improved whistleblower laws and regulations, if only to stimulate a review amongst high-risk groups for compliance.
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