Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure
It is important that any criminal behaviour or other wrongdoing by an organisation, or any individual undertaking work on behalf of that organisation is reported and properly dealt with.
This Whistleblowing policy is underpinned by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (known as the Whistleblowers Act). This gives legal protection to individuals against being dismissed or penalised by their employers or any organisation as a result of publicly disclosing certain serious concerns. DSA-QAG is committed to ensuring that no one should feel at a disadvantage in raising legitimate concerns.
Scope of the policy
This policy is intended to cover concerns which are in the public interest and may at least initially be investigated separately but might then lead to other procedures e.g. disciplinary. These concerns could include:
- Financial malpractice or impropriety or fraud
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation or Statutes
- Dangers to Health & Safety or the environment
- Criminal activity
- Improper conduct or unethical behaviour
- Attempts to conceal any of these
DSA-QAG will treat all such disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner. The identity of the individual making the allegation may be kept confidential so long as it does not hinder or frustrate any internal or external investigation. However, the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and the individual making the disclosure may need to provide a statement as part of the evidence required.
If an individual has a concern, they should first raise it with the Chief Executive Officer, DSA-QAG, verbally or in writing. To investigate the extent of the concern this must be submitted in writing. Please send all correspondence marked Private & Confidential to the Chief Executive Officer, DSA-QAG, Central Chambers, Suite 350, 4th Floor, 93 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 6LD. All concerns will be acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt.
DSA-QAG will ensure that an investigation takes place and will make an objective assessment of the concern. This may involve several other individual(s) internal or external to the organisation. The individual reporting the concern will be kept advised of progress and DSA-QAG will ensure the action necessary to resolve the concern is taken.
We will aim to reply fully within 20 working days from the day of receiving your concern. However, depending on the nature of the issue we may not be able to give a full and detailed reply within the 20 day turnaround time. If your case requires a more detailed investigation and other organisations need to be contacted and evidence collated, we will inform you of the progress being made and when you can expect the full reply.
In all cases, the individual is encouraged to exhaust all internal procedures before contacting external sources such as the Health & Safety Executive, Environment Agency etc.