Municipalities, as public entities charged with administering and serving local communities, have a special responsibility to maintain integrity, transparency and public trust. One of the mechanisms to achieve this is through the implementation of a complaints channel.
Is it Mandatory for Municipalities to Have a Complaints Channel?
The answer is yes. In a similar manner to the
In addition, municipalities must have a channel for complaints.
It is essential to distinguish this channel from traditional complaint or suggestion boxes. This is a specific instrument for reporting irregularities or illegal behavior within the municipality, allowing early detection and prevention of possible infractions.
The main regulations governing the complaints channel in city councils are the following Directive (EU) 2019/1937also known as the Whistleblowing DirectiveDirective, and the Spanish law for the protection of whistleblowers of corruption, which adapts the European Directive to the Spanish legal framework.
Both legislations aim to protect whistleblowers and ensure the proper handling of complaints.
Objectives of the Whistleblower Channel
This channel has several purposes, such as detecting and preventing irregularities, protecting whistleblowers from unlawful conduct and promoting a culture of compliance. It is a tool that complements other initiatives, such as the
corporate social responsibility policy
and the company’s
The channel should be easily accessible not only to city hall employees but to any citizen wishing to file a complaint. Complaints may be written or verbal and must guarantee the confidentiality of the complainant. In addition, the channel must be managed by a
Data Protection Officer (DPO)
or by a specific impartial team.
Implementation of the Channel at City Hall
In order to establish the complaints channel, the municipality must:
- Define the means of communication.
- Designate a responsible person or team in charge.
- Create a regulation and an action protocol.
- Maintain a record of all complaints and communicate their existence to the public.
Municipalities have the responsibility and obligation to implement a whistleblower channel to ensure the integrity and transparency of their operations. In doing so, they reinforce public confidence and promote a culture of compliance.