Sunday, October 11, 2009

Whistleblowing – Friend or Foe?

Many of us dodge the term Whistleblower – is it really a ‘dirty word’?

A whistleblower is someone who comes forward with information that has previously been concealed and it may not just be in relation to fraud. It could be in relation to workplace safety issues, harassment, etc.

Think about some of the well known whistleblowers in recent times - Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom and Sherron Watkins of Enron – by coming forward the information they were able to provide resulted in two of the largest corporate frauds in history being discovered.

No matter whether people like it or not, whistleblowing is one of the most effective ways of discovering fraud. In the 2008 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nation Survey, it was found that 46.2% of cases of fraud were detected by tip off or a whistleblower. The 2008 BDO Not-for-Profit Fraud Survey found that 38% of fraud was discovered by tip off. The statistics speak for themselves.

So how do we make use of the benefits of whistleblowers while protecting our employees and volunteers? We will address these issues over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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