With the increasing focus on transparency and ethics in all organizations, the question that arises is whether a whistleblower channel in foundations is really necessary. The quick answer is that foundations are no exception. Here we tell you how and why you should implement a whistleblower channel in your foundation.

Why is a Foundation Whistleblower Channel crucial?

Beyond a simple transparency tool, the whistleblower channel has become indispensable in the field of foundations. This channel not only promotes good practices, but also acts as a mechanism for early detection of illicit behavior. These can range from administrative infractions to criminal offenses.

Foundations created by political parties political parties trade unions business organizations or that have a strong link to the public sector are particularly on the radar. Additionally making the implementation of this channel even more crucial.

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Current Legislation

The Law 2/2023 or as many call it, the Whistleblower Protection Act. Whistleblower protection is a transposition of the European Whistleblowing Directive. Generally the main purpose of this law is to protect those whistleblowers who alert about corrupt practices, guaranteeing their safety and avoiding retaliation.

Key features of an effective Whistleblower Channel

Some of the essential features that every whistleblower channel should have include:

  • Ease of use: To function properly, it must be accessible and simple to use, usually through the foundation’s website.
  • Anonymity: The ability to file anonymous complaints is essential.
  • Confidentiality guaranteed: Protecting the identity of the whistleblower and everyone involved is crucial.
  • Follow-up of the process: Keeping the complainant informed about the progress of his or her complaint.
  • Regulatory compliance: Respecting all relevant regulations, including data protection, is essential.

Implementation steps

Channel implementation may seem challenging, but breaking it down into steps simplifies it. First, decide how the complaints will be handled, whether it will be handled internally or outsourced to compliance. Once this has been decided, a policy is drawn up and a person in charge is appointed. Subsequently, the procedure for handling complaints is established and its existence is communicated both internally and externally.

The repercussions of not adapting

Henceforth failure to adopt a whistleblower channel has its consequences. Foundations that fail to comply with this obligation may face penalties for sanctions amounting to up to 1 million euros, highlighting the seriousness of the infraction.

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