If RFUS receives reports of well-grounded suspicions of corruption and other misconduct, whether from within the organization or outside it, the appropriate program staff deals with it initially. Should the case call for it, an in-depth investigation is carried out, with outside assistance (for example a local auditor) if needed. Should a whistle-blower not be in a position to report to the Program Coordinator, or choose to remain anonymous, for explicit and reasonable grounds, he/she may alternatively direct his/her report to: and it will be addressed by the Executive Director.
The report should include:
- The full name and position of the whistle-blower (unless he/she wants to remain anonymous – if so, reasonable grounds must be given);
- The organization where the circumstances occurred;
- The period, and date and time if applicable, of the circumstances concerned;
- The precise description of the circumstances (i.e. what has been witnessed, and where);
- The identity and contact details of other witnesses, if applicable;
- Any known previous circumstances involving the same person(s).
The staff of a partner organization has the obligation to report suspected corruption, and has the option to bypass immediate superiors, even go outside their local unit, directly to top management or RFUS.
RFUS staff has the obligation to report suspected corruption to their immediate superiors. An incident reporting system aims to track a wider range of incidents that a staff member may experience, such as assault, theft, or being asked to pay a bribe, which do not necessarily require employee protection or confidentiality. Recording of all incidents is important as it serves not only to account for potential financial losses, but also to learn and improve existing prevention and risk mitigation measures – and not only in regard to corruption.
The identity of whistle-blowers will not be revealed, if explicitly requested so or when anonymity applies. Reports will be dealt with confidentially. In the event the identity of a whistle-blower is uncovered, and implies serious risks of retaliation, RFUS commits to take appropriate measures, and to the extent possible, to ensure the safety of the whistle-blower.
Should RFUS staff face threats as a result of a corruption case, RFUS will ensure his/her protection and safety, including by making necessary adjustments to his/her responsibilities and tasks.
All reports of well-grounded suspicions of corruption will be treated immediately. The whistle-blower should get confirmation of reception of his/her report within reasonable time. RFUS management will decide who is to be involved in dealing with the case and what measures should be taken, according to the type of case and who it involves. All documents relating to the case are to be registered and filed in RFUS’s e-archives, with restricted access to staff members involved in dealing with the case.
The RFUS Anti-Corruption Policy will be translated to Portuguese and Spanish, and attached to contracts with partner organizations, circulated within partner organizations, and directly explained by RFUS staff to members of the organizations’ technical and decision-making bodies, to ensure the latter are informed about RFUS’s whistle-blowing mechanism.