to maintain independence,
objectivity and transparency
Whistleblowing has traditionally been a key element in the identification and reporting of unethical, illegal and fraudulent conduct in public and private sector organisations alike. Despite the courage needed to call out such behaviour in organisations, whistleblowers have often ended up being victimised for their decision to highlight unethical/illegal practices.
Australia now has a comprehensive set of laws to ensure the protection of the whistleblowers and to ensure that organisations develop and implement formal policies and procedures in respect of whistleblowing. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 (the ‘Act’) was implemented on 1 July 2019.
It is essential for all entities to understand the risks associated with whistleblowing and to create the necessary systems and processes to comply with the new requirements. It is also good business to do so.
The Act requires public companies, large proprietary companies, and corporate trustees of APRA-regulated superannuation entities to have a whistleblower policy in place from 1 January 2020. Failure to do so may result in a penalty of $12,600.
Given the importance, and benefits, of having a whistleblower policy and systems in place, we believe that regardless of size, all organisations should consider implementing such a policy as a matter of priority.
Depending on your requirements, we can assist you in developing comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the relevant laws or assist you with a detailed review and analysis of your existing policies and procedures and help in enhancing your management systems to ensure compliance.
It is essential that the whistleblowing policies and requirements of the legislation are fully understood by your team. Our highly experienced experts are able to deliver customised training solutions that will help in navigating your way through the requirements of the new legislation.
To maintain the independence of your whistleblowing function and ensure that any complaints are investigated in an objective and transparent manner, you may choose to outsource your whistleblower management systems to our team.
Our services include:
- Hotline support – we provide an independent and professional service for employees and third parties to confidentially report inappropriate practices through a phone hotline, email or a dedicated online portal.
- Case Management – our service includes management of all complaints lodged from commencement to their conclusion. The case management service encompasses:
- Escalation – following a preliminary review of the complaint, we quickly establish the nature and the significance of the complaint and determine whether the investigation team will work and report to your Board/CEO or other nominated member of your leadership team
- Investigation – our team conducts an investigation into the complaint, gathering and reviewing evidence, conducting analysis, interviewing personnel, preparing a list of findings, submitting a detailed report
- Resolution – taking corrective action, agreeing on next steps, informing the whistleblower of findings and progress
- Conclusion – closing the investigation, lessons learnt, debrief to client team
We work with your senior team and/or the board to escalate the cases as needed to ensure that the matters are all
pursued to their conclusion in an unbiased and transparent manner.
Access our Whistleblowing Services booklet
Vincents has a team of experienced forensic accountants, risk specialists and internal auditors, who understand the best practice approaches to whistleblower management systems and will assist your organisation with a complete solution.