- About WhistleBlower Security Inc.
- Filing a Report
- Security and Confidentiality
- Whistleblower Clients Compliance Legislation
- 1. Why is outsourcing this service better than having an in-house program?
WhistleBlower’s programs offer third party transparency and a secure amalgamated database that enables our clients to proactively identify and react to trends within their organization. By encapsulating all incident related data in a single place, our clients are better able to holistically manage issues on a continual basis.
Our WhistleBlower contact agents are available 24/7/365 and are trained in empathetic and investigatory techniques to support your employees when they do decide to come forward.
Overall, it is a comprehensive system that cannot be duplicated by an internal system with part-time support.
- 2. Why do we need this?
WBS offers best practice solutions for fraud deterrence and governance strategies. It is a mandated policy if you are publicly traded company, but even if you are a private company, the implementation of a hotline has been shown to detect fraud much earlier, translating into significant financial and reputational protection.
- 3. Who is Whistleblower Security Inc. and what do we do?
Whistleblower Security Inc. is a private family owned Canadian company offering certified ethics reporting to support compliance, risk management and corporate governance best practices since 2005.
- 4. Who does the report get sent to?
A corporate representative in your organization.
Once a report is filed, a notification is sent to your organization’s corporate contacts. You will be informed as to who the report is being sent to while you are making the report and you will be able to have it redirected if one of the individuals is implicated in the report.
- 5. Who are our clients?
WhistleBlower serves clients globally in a diverse range of industries including extraction, manufacturing, health care, retail, finance, non-profits, automotive and professional sports to name a few.
- 6. What percentage of people would come forward to report a colleague’s unethical behavior?
According to an Ernst & Young survey, 80% of people would come forward and report.
- 7. What percentage of companies have whistleblower hotlines?
According to a Deloitte’s survey of very effective companies, 81% of those had whistleblower hotlines and another 10% planned to implement them. Amongst the general population of organizations, less than 30% of companies have hotlines.
- 8. What makes for the most effective hotline?
First, it must be available 24/7/365. And second, your staff needs to know about it. Promotion, communication and training are key to running an effective hotline.
- 9. What is the SEC?
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), one of the most prominent federal regulatory agencies. Their mission “is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” Their main areas of enforcement are:
- Insider trading
- Accounting fraud
- False or misleading investment information
- 10. What is the most common method of identifying fraud in the workplace?
Tips are the number one method amongst any size of company. So it is crucial you provide avenues for your employees and vendors to come forward with information.
- 11. What is OSHA?
- 12. What is CCOHS?
- 13. Is there a monetary reward for being a Whistleblower?
No, not through WhistleBlower Security. We are a private third party that facilitates transparent and confidential communications between organizations and their key stakeholders. You may be referring to the Dodd-Frank Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchanges (SEC) new whistleblower program. We are not associated with this or any government organization. For more information regarding the Dodd-Frank act please visit http://www.sec.gov/whistleblower.
- 14. Is there a Canadian Securities Commission?
Yes. There are 13. Each province and territory has a securities commission or equivalent authority and its own provincial or territorial legislation.
- 15. Is the service anonymous?
Yes. We encourage those using our service to feel secure in reporting an incident. We offer 3 levels of anonymity.
- Strictly Anonymous: Your identity will not be known to your organization or to WhistleBlower Security.
- Anonymous to your organization: Only WhistleBlower Security will know your identity and will contact you if requested. Your identity will NOT be shared with your organization.
- Private Personal Contact Info: By providing your personal information, a company representative may contact you with questions or further information.
- 16. Is my company required to take action as a result of my report?
They are required to review and assess the report, however the is no requirement for any action taken or for any reporting as to what is being done. Because of legal requirements, the organization may not be able to share with you what investigation is being conducted, if any. However, most often, the organization will acknowledge the report and may ask for further information to help them assess and investigate the report.
- 17. Is an external system better than an internal system?
Yes, internal systems can have serious drawbacks. Employees may feel more anxiety calling an internal recognized number rather than an arbitrary toll free line. External systems also provide for a better perception of anonymity by the employees and offer trained professionals ready to deal with more difficult issues.
WhistleBlower Security has employees who are trained to handle these types of calls, with a secure proprietary database system that ensures information and identities are protected, segregated and private.
- 18. If they figure out who I am, am I protected?
WhistleBlower Security is wholly committed to ensuring your anonymity and confidentiality is protected. In the event that your organization discovers your identity they are committed to protecting you from any negative consequences from filing a report in good faith. Organizations that engage with WhistleBlower Security are ones that want to engage their employees, offer them multiple avenues of communication and ensure they are protected from any type of retaliation.
- 19. I have a complaint why can’t I report it to you?
WhistleBlower Security operates this hotline and ethics reporting service on behalf of companies who have subscribed to our services. If your company has not subscribed, we cannot record your complaint. We suggest you contact the relevant authorities, directors or management.
- 20. I have a complaint about my workplace, but they don’t subscribe to your service what can I do?
If calling from USA – Contact your HR representative, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), or the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). If calling from Canada – Contact your HR representative, or Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
- 1. Who has access to the information?
The WhistleBlower Security system supports many different organizations and each of these organizations has established and publicized how reports will be reviewed and by whom. Please review the communication material from your organization for specific details.
- 2. When does my login expire?
Your login will expire when your report has been closed by the authorized reviewers from the organization.
- 3. What happens to the information I provide?
The information you provide is available immediately to the authorized designates from your organization. The reviewers will assess each report and decide what actions are appropriate. When filing the report, you will be able to see who has access. You will be able to select or deselect members if they are implicated in the report so that they will not have any access to the report.
- 4. What happens if my login expires and I want to provide more information?
You will have to make a new report. However if you want to provide more information about the same issue and your login has expired, you can refer to the Reference Number (your login ID) of your original report.
- 5. What happens if I don’t include enough information, or if I only have limited information?
The more information that you can provide the more valuable your report will be. If you do not include enough information it will be very difficult for those reviewing your report to act effectively. However, it’s best to provide any information you have no matter how much or how little. Remember that if the reviewers require more information they will be able to request additional information from you through the confidential WhistleBlower system. In order to check to see if additional information has been requested, you will have to log in to the system using the login and password provided to you when you made your initial report.
- 6. I have supporting documents that I would like to submit with my report. How do I include?
If you have additional information that you would like to provide with your report and it is in electronic format, you can use the ‘Attachment’ feature, which is located on the report form. (In order to protect your identity, be sure to remove all personal information from the electronic documents you are attaching – see ‘How do I protect my identity when attaching electronic documents?’)
Otherwise you can mail these documents to:
P.O. Box 91088
West Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7V 4S4
If you do send supporting documents via mail, please include the Incident Report Reference Number on all documents to ensure the documents are attached to the correct report.
- 7. I forgot my login and/or password, how do I check the status of my report?
Unfortunately there is no way to check the status of your report if you lost your login and/or password. As part of our process to protect your identity, we do not provide a retrieval process for lost logins or passwords. If you recorded the Report Reference Number (your login ID) you can make a new report and refer to this Reference Number.
- 8. How do I protect my identity when I attach an electronic document to my report?How do I protect my identity when I attach an electronic document to my report?
Before you attach a document, it’s a good idea to review it for personal and hidden information, and decide what is appropriate to include. You may want to remove some information from the document from the document file properties before submitting the document.
To remove personal information from file properties:
- On the “Tools” menu, click “Options”, and then click the “Security” tab.
- Select the “Remove personal information from file properties on save” check box.
- Save the document.
- 9. How do I make a report?
Making a report is easy. If you are using the web-based system, just fill out the appropriate fields as shown on the screen. If you are using the Hotline, simply follow the verbal instructions of the WhistleBlower Contact Agent, and, ensure to be as specific as possible without giving away your identity (unless you want to identify yourself). You can also email WhistleBlower Security directly by using your company’s customized email address or mail information to:
P.O. Box 91880
West Vancouver, BC, Canada
- 10. How do I know that my report was received?
In order to check the status of your report, you can log in to the system or you can call the Hotline and provide the login and password that was given to you when you filed your report. You will then be provided with one of the following regarding your report:
- The information you have provided has been received, and is currently being evaluated.
- Your report was reviewed on [date and time].
- The information you provided is currently being investigated.
- Your report was closed on [date and time].
- 11. How do I access the Whistleblower system?
You can access the WhistleBlower system by:
- Going to www.whistleblowersecurity.com and simply following the step-by-step instructions
- Call the Toll-Free Hotline
- Email your company’s whistleblower email address
- Fax, mail or send in the editable PDF available on the website
- 12. Can I use my home computer?
Yes, you can use your home computer. Any computer with an internet connection works.
- 13. Can I submit my report via regular mail?
Reports can be submitted to:
P.O. Box 91088
West Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7V 4S4
Your report will be scanned and submitted through the online system and delivered immediately to the organization. Please be sure to clearly identify the organization name within your report.
- 14. Can anyone else login to see my reports?
No, all login and passwords are unique. Unless you give someone your login and password, the only people who will be able to view your report will be the reviewers authorized by your organization.
- 1. How is my identity protected?
The Whistleblower system is operated by WhistleBlower Security Inc. and is independent from the organization; we do not track IP addresses or subscribe to caller I.D. services. We use the latest in encryption and security technology including firewalls to ensure that our system is secure. You must take care when providing information in your report and ensure that you do not provide personal details or information that will expose your identify if you want to remain anonymous.
- 2. How do I protect my identity when I attach an electronic document to my report?
Before you attach a document, it’s a good idea to review the document for personal and hidden information, then decide whether it’s appropriate to include. You may want to remove some information from the document and the document file properties before submitting the document. To remove personal information from file properties:
- On the “Tools” menu, click “Options”, and then click the “Security” tab.
- Select the “Remove personal information from file properties on save” check box. Save the document. Label.
- 3. Can the organization trace the web report, if I make it from my work computer?
Technically, yes, however the organization has subscribed to our service with the intent to provide a confidential and anonymous system to its employees.
- 1. What encryption software do you use to ensure my security?
We use the latest version of encryption technology to protect your identity and our website has firewall and other security features to protect the information that you are providing in your report.
- 2. Is your system linked with the organization’s computer or web server?
No, the Whistleblower’s proprietary system is not linked to the organization’s computer. Whistleblower is operated independently of the organization and hosted on separate servers inaccessible by any third party.
- 1. What are the benefits to our organization for using an independent third party company to handle our governance and compliance?
There are many benefits to enlisting a third party service to handle the governance and compliance aspect of your business. It will ensure that all reports made about your organization remain anonymous and confidential. Employees will be confident that their identity will be fully protected. WhistleBlower now offers a certification program which ensures that all employees understand the Code of Ethics and the steps they can take if they witness something amiss. The Whistleblower system is proprietary and has been developed through years of research and reporting. We understand the needs of our clients and their employees and we are wholly committed to ensuring the confidentiality of both.
- 2. How can a whistleblower system help our organization comply with legislation and securities regulations (i.e. Bill 198, Sarbanes-Oxley Act)?
Bill 198 (Multilateral Instrument 52-110) in Canada and Section 301.4 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act require all publicly traded companies to: ‘Establish procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters; and handling the confidential, anonymous submission by company employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters’. The Whistleblower system provides not only a confidential and anonymous reporting system for employees; it also provides a valuable source of information regarding the organization’s Code of Conduct and Ethics and the employee’s role and responsibilities.