"We started using an anonymous whistleblowing channel several years ago because we wanted to increase the city hall’s transparency and introduce an effective tool to prevent corruption. We wanted to give everyone who has been in contact with the office or the organisations of our city district and has witnessed corruption or unethical conduct to be able to report it. We imagined that the option of anonymous reporting would be used by goods or service suppliers who had been unsuccessful and maybe the employees of entrepreneurs who have worked with our city district. We assumed that these target groups in particular would be fearful of reporting suspicious activities that they might have witnessed.”
“A fundamental and significant difference between the two is that when a whistleblower submits a report through a whistleblowing platform you can keep communicating with them, provide feedback, and clarify their report. When reporting through a whistleblowing platform a whistleblower can stay anonymous, the system generates a numerical code with which they can log into their report, receive feedback, add to their report, and maintain contact with the recipient of the report.”
“The introduction of an anonymous whistleblowing channel has worked out really well for us. Originally we only thought of it as a tool for preventing corrupt conduct. Nevertheless, whistleblowers do use the tool. We have already received several dozen reports through it.
At the beginning we were a little concerned from an ethical standpoint that the ability to send anonymous reports through the channel would result in slander and abuse. But this did not materialise. The reports that we have received so far have been relatively factual and concrete. We were able to investigate them and come to objective conclusions. Thanks to these reports we have also taken a range of other measures. From this perspective, it is an excellent tool for improvement. However, we are prepared for slanderous reports, that is whose goal is not to draw attention to breaches of the law but to unfairly damage someone’s name through the whistleblower’s actions. From my many years of experience in leadership positions I know that the only way to effectively combat slander is to fully investigate, and if the claim is false, fully refute it. That way you clear the person’s name who the slander was aimed at and you maintain good internal culture within your organisation. This is why an anonymous channel is suitable.
After investigating several reports we terminated our working relationship with the head of a large department of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office. What is interesting is that overall productivity then increased in this workplace.
A slightly unexpected albeit useful dimension that we have obtained from the anonymous whistleblowing channel is in the area of labour relations. We received several anonymous reports from employees about bullying. We took this very seriously, as our work environment is very important to us. After their investigation, we terminated our working relationship with one of the heads of a large department of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office and in another case we placed several employees under different leadership. Thanks to this anonymous whistleblowing channel we were able to create better working conditions for our employees. What was interesting is that overall productivity then increased in this workplace.”
Whistleblowing - just a bureaucracy or an opportunity for your company?