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Whistleblowing Policy

Meeting: 13/07/2022 - Civic Affairs (Item 25)

25 Whistleblowing Policy pdf icon PDF 361 KB

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The Committee received a report from the Head of Shared Internal Audit Service, and the HR Business Partner, regarding the Whistleblowing policy.


Counter fraud policies were part of the Council’s internal controls, which contribute to maintaining good governance.


The Council maintains a Prevention of Fraud and Corruption (PFC) Policy, and in line with good practice it is reported annually to this Committee. This establishes and communicates our Counter Fraud Framework.


The Whistleblowing Policy supports the Counter Fraud Framework, and the Council have reviewed this Policy to ensure it is up to date and reflects good professional practice.


The Head of Shared Internal Audit Service, and the HR Business Partner, said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.          It was hard to measure the culture of the Council in the context of Whistleblowing, as there are many variables. People seemed willing to ‘whistle blow’ which demonstrates awareness of the policy, as well as reporting issues to their line manager which is a positive culture. Once the policy was issued, tools such as surveys would be used to gauge how it was received and understood.

     ii.          The Whistle Blowing Policy was for employees to use. If someone outside the organisation wished to raise issues, then they could use the complaints procedure. If an issue was reported the wrong way, it would be redirected. The Whistle Blowing Policy reflects the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

   iii.          The Whistle Blowing Policy had gone through ‘clear English’ assessment software.

   iv.          Meta data was used in the Whistle Blowing Policy to assist with web searches for the various terminology used.


Action Point: Undertook to follow up after meeting to enquire if it was possible to provide an obvious button on the internet and intranet sites to change the displayed language from English to another to make it more accessible for people who did not use English as their first language.


Action Point: Head of Shared Internal Audit Service and HR Business Partner undertook to report progress back to next committee.


    v.          There was no right of appeal to the Whistle Blowing Policy. The policy set out how people could proceed if they were dissatisfied with outcomes e.g., speak to prescribed bodies and the Whistleblowing Charity Protect.

   vi.          The Whistle Blowing Policy was publicised in various ways such as through the intranet and induction packs for new employees. It could also be used by councillors.


Action Point: Executive Assistant to the Leader to liaise with HR Business Partner and ensure councillor induction packs include the Whistle Blowing Policy.


 vii.          There was no legal duty to whistle blow, but there may be a moral one and employees are encouraged to speak up. It may be a requirement set out in certain professional codes of ethics.


Unanimously resolved to approve the Whistleblowing Policy.