Your Questions: Answered - Written by on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:31 - 0 Comments

How should I deal with a whistleblower: Your questions answered. By Peter Lloyd, CEO Mabey Group

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Dear Peter,

I run a medium sized company in the FMCG business. We recently received an anonymous tip off message through our new Whistleblower Hotline claiming that one of our managers was involved in shady practices. I have no reason to suspect the manager who has worked for the business for years and who has an exemplary record.

My guess is that the tip off may be from a colleague with an axe to grind. What would you do if faced with this problem?

Peter’s answer:

The only thing that you can do is investigate any such allegations properly using both internal and external resources, including your legal advisors. You cannot rely on your view that the manager in question has an exemplary record, although obviously you should treat him or her with respect throughout the investigation. If there is no evidence of ‘shady practices’, then I would be keen to make it clear to all employees that false accusations could lead to disciplinary action, although this has to be done in a way that does not send the wrong message to other potential Whistleblowers. The anonymous nature of a Whistleblower Hotline can be used to cause mischief, but it is a necessary part of the process to manage the risk of corrupt and other criminal behaviour and should form part of your ‘adequate procedures’.

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