PCaW is an independent charity, founded in 1993. Weprovide:free confidential advice to people concerned aboutwrongdoing in the workplace who are unsure whether orhow to raise their concern,train organisations on accountability, whistleblowing andrisk management,campaign on public policy, andpromote public interest whistleblowing laws.
RaiseKeep quiet? internally? A concernGo Outside? about malpractice
Promotes and protects open whistleblowingTiered disclosure regime, which emphasisesinternal whistleblowing, regulatory oversightand recognises wider accountabilitySignals a change in the cultureInternational benchmark
Applies to almost every workerWide definition of wrongdoingApplication overseasBurden of proof reversalFull compensationImpacts on gagging clauses and secrecy offences
Substance to the concern Genuinesuspicion Internal Regulatorydisclosure disclosure
Valid cause to go wider Substance to the concern Genuinesuspicion Internal Regulatory Publicdisclosure disclosure disclosure
The actual disclosure is reasonable Valid cause to go wider Substance to the concern Genuine suspicion Internal Regulatory Public disclosure disclosure disclosureLord Nolan’s praise for ‘so skillfully achieving the essential but delicate balance between thepublic interest and the interest of the employees’.
Good whistleblowing arrangementsprovide staff with a clear messagethat there is a safe alternative tosilence. They:Deter wrongdoingDetect wrongdoing earlyMake management workDemonstrate an accountable organisation
A lead from the topSafety valve communication channel outside the lineDefault is open reporting but respect confidentialityProvide internal and external optionsAvoid defensive legalistic termsDistinguish whistleblowing from grievances and bullyingAccess to independent advicePromote policy effectively
Grievances Concernsrisk is to self risk is to othersneed to prove case tip off or witnessrigid process pragmatic approachlegal determination accountabilityprivate redress public interest
Internal audit and review:Concerns - volumeConcerns – substanceAdverse incidents?Assessing trust and confidenceOther information?
Audit Commission whistleblowing performance audits:Minimal – Policy has been communicated to staff andparties contracting with the bodyGood – Policy is publicised within the body anddemonstrates the body’s commitment to providing supportto whistleblowersExcellent – Track record of effective action in response towhistleblowing disclosures. Periodic reviews of theeffectiveness of the arrangements and also effectivearrangements for receiving and acting upon informationfrom members of the public
Policy conforms to good practiceBuy-in (those in charge)The right start (practical implementation)Communication & confidence (staff)Briefing / Training (designated officers & managers)Logging concerns (formal)Reviewing the arrangements