Whistleblowing – The Missing Piece

In these pages we have previously talked about whether whistleblowing actually works and the reasons for its success or its challenges.

Recently we came across the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office’s publication on its commitments to victims and witnesses of serious fraud.

Interestingly – and appropriately – they start by defining what is a victim and what is a witness:

You are a victim of crime if you have suffered harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence formally investigated by the SFO. Victims can be businesses as well as individuals.

In general terms, you are a witness if you know something, or have in your possession information which is relevant to an SFO case.

The publication then takes the interested reader through administrative matters (obtaining personal details); interviewing including how the person can give the best evidence and then the expectations about being kept informed.

We have never seen a variation of this document produced within an organisation and wonder whether the transparency and management of expectations could be the missing piece in a strong ‘if you see something, say something’ culture.

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