Some whistleblowers, whether dissatisfied with the response of an Undertaking or a Component Authority, unsure of the potential actions of an Undertaking or the ramifications following a report, including their confidence in remaining anonymous / not experiencing retaliatory action, choose to report directly to the Public Domain, often via a Media Organisation. Moreover, whistleblowers will not lose their protection if they decide to use external channels in the first instance.
When reports are first published in the public domain, an Undertaking losses control over information and the capacity to follow-up impartially is lost. When information control is lost, the integrity of representations received in any follow-up, who knew what, and when? is diminished. Often, named parties within the Public Domain are subject to discrimination before they have either had an opportunity to respond through the established process by an Undertaking, Component Authority, or, where applicable, law enforcement.
Undertakings are well advised to set up and manage a trustworthy internal reporting system and to build trust across employees, third parties and the public through appropriate actions and communication, consistent and adequate handling of reports and through acting as ethical role models. In doing so, Undertakings reduce the risk of a possible loss of control by Whistleblower reports to the public.
Partner and Forensic Services and Financial Crime Leader, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 17 60
Data Protection Officer, PwC Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Tel: +41 58 792 17 12