Many companies and organisations outsource their internal whistleblowing channel. Do you know why?
In our experience, 5 reasons explain this strategic decision to rely on external experts to manage alerts and whistleblowers.
1. Impartiality and independence
This is the n°1 driver for success and a strong incentive for whistleblowers to come forward. When you outsource your internal channel, there is no risk of conflict of interest (real or perceived).
2. Anonymity… yes and no
Whistleblowers often want to remain anonymous vis-à-vis their organisation. But they trust the outsourced channel and often come out selectively.
The result? Getting the best of both worlds: a trusted relationship with the whistleblower while acting as a filter for the company. In everyone’s interest.
This fosters effective investigations without the company ever knowing the whistleblower’s identity.
3. Confidentiality and attorney-client privilege
Confidentiality is paramount but vulnerable internally. Outsourcing is an extra guarantee.
Privilege is even stronger than confidentiality, especially in potentially criminal matters (e.g. embezzlement, harassment), hence the choice for external experts who are attorneys.
On the line, you need experts with broad legal experience to qualify and address the infringements (corruption, conflict of interest, data breach, cartels, etc.) but also to handle every investigation step lawfully. We too often see mistakes made in handling investigations, creating more risks than solutions!
5. Freedom of choice
In-house and outsourced whistleblowing channels can coexist. Whistleblowers like to choose whom their alert goes to.
My extra two cents
Check who is best placed to handle the investigation. Outsourced experts can collaborate with your internal teams (if any) to keep a big picture and help improve processes, governance and investments with an outside eye.
PS: this top 5 relates to our experience with GOVERN & LAW and The WhistleblowingCenter.
We know both sides of the internal channels (in-house and outsourced) so we understand what’s at stake. We are always open to questions or brainstorms.