INVESTIGATIONS

Protected Disclosure / Whistle Blower Reports

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 2020 Report to the Nations examined 2504 fraud cases from 125 countries.

They identified 43% of these matters came from TIPS from employees. They also identified 33% of the matters came from whistle-blowers using a telephone or email hot line service.
These services are supplied through independent organisations. This would apply to medium to large businesses with a number of employees and contact with the public. 

The smaller businesses need to train their personnel in identifying what may be improper conduct in the work place. An important aspect of this procedure is to have a reporting mechanism to allow the employee to provide information without any fear of repercussions. This reporting should extend, where appropriate, to suppliers and customers of the company. 

ACCA can provide advice on how to implement policies and procedures within the company to achieve this goal. 

Protected Disclosure reports generally relate to public sector agencies in each State and the Commonwealth. These reports are governed by legislation in each State and the Commonwealth.

Mick Symons (ACCA) has conducted numerous protected disclosure investigations in various States and he is aware of the requirements of the respective legislation. 

Whistle-blower investigations require specialist attention. The person making the report normally requires their identity to remain confidential. This can create difficulties in providing procedural fairness to the person/s being investigated. Mr Symons has addressed these requirements in numerous investigations. 

There is also a need to develop a relationship with the person providing the information (where possible) as this person then becomes more willing to assist in providing further material. Mr Symons has the expertise to engage with these persons. 

Tips from employees, suppliers, customers or contractors can assist in identifying improper conduct within the workplace – all companies should have a policy in place with nominated person/s to ensure confidentiality. ACCA can assist you with this process.

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