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Creating and leading a whistleblowing program: What to consider

Ibrahim Yeku (yekuduke@yahoo.com) is a Legal Counsel on secondment to Total E & P Nigeria Limited in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker or an individual passes on information concerning wrongdoings to the management of an organization or to the general public. It is the process by which people get to report ills and infractions within an organization to the management or institutions of governments responsible for enforcing compliance with laws and regulations. It is the disclosure of discreet information. The person who passes along the information is known as the whistleblower. Whenever a whistle is blown, it alerts an organization of what has happened in the past, what is happening, or what is about to happen.

An organization’s commitment to a whistleblowing program is a demonstration of willingness to enforce ethical compliance and best practices. There is no hard and fast rule on how a whistleblowing program should be designed or implemented. In some organizations, the whistleblowing program is made a part or a subset of a larger compliance program, and in others, it runs independently of the compliance program. Whether it runs independently or as a subset of other programs, the program should contribute to the overall growth and development of a healthy work culture and the values in an organization.

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