Monday, July 21, 2008

ICC Guidelines on Whistleblowing

Earlier this month the Anti-Corruption Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) issued the ICC Guidelines on Whistleblowing [PDF document]. Purpose of these guidelines is to help enterprises in establishing and implementing internal whistleblowing programs. According to the Anti-Corruption Commission these programs have shown to be a very effective instrument in the fight against fraud and corruption. Nevertheless internal fraud reporting schemes are still not very common among enterprises worldwide. Due to cultural differences, legal requirements and psychological obstacles there is still reluctance in parts of the businessworld to resort to fraud reporting by the company's employees.

5 comments:

Niels said...

These guidelines are excellent for those organizations which work in "good faith" and wish to combat corruption and fraud.

However, the weakness of the whistleblower system lies with the same organization.

The greatest problem with whistleblowing lies with the protection of the whistleblower.

Many whistleblowers become outcasts in their own organization.
This is the case in both companies and governments.

Point 8 is thus extremely important.

Perhaps it is time to make the harrassment of and acts against whistleblowers a criminal offence with its own penalties.

Guido said...

The ICC guidelines are quite enterprise driven and lack the issues of building trust at the employees, i.e. by offering support and independence.

Much better and more detailed are the BSI-Standards that are available at http://www.pcaw.co.uk/bsi/

Niels said...

Much more detailed indeed. The BSI standards cover around 50 pages of text.

Quite an interesting read.
It is a shame that you have to register to receive the document.

The document itself is quite good. Definitely usuable, with the ICC Guidelines as a Quick and Easy Guide, and the BSI standards for more information on this subject.

The BSI Standards also provide more detailed pointers references to other documents of interest.

Thank you very much, Guido.

Ethics Whistler said...

Interesting post. I was just reading an article in The Washington Post about a lawsuit which is questioning the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires publicly traded organizations to establish a process to manage whistleblower complaints. According to the Post, it seems likely that the Public company Accounting Oversight Board, who created the act, will lose their case. This could have an interesting affect on federal whistleblowing regulations and technologies, so it should be an interesting story to keep your eye on.

Niels said...

I gather that it would be this article?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071900106.html