Effective internal whistleblowing channels and systems of supportive response to those who report wrongdoing (such as fraud) or danger in the workplace, are necessary in the interest of those organisations, as well as for the public good.
Effective internal whistleblowing channels and systems of supportive response to those who report wrongdoing (such as fraud) or danger in the workplace, are necessary in the interest of those organisations, as well as for the public good. So argues Public Concern at Work, a charity. It reports that its UK helpline has handled around 7,000 calls since it was established nine years ago. Around half of the calls were about a potential or actual whistleblowing concern, PCAW say. The charity offers free confidential advice to employees concerned about serious malpractice, and can advise organisations about risk management, and help public and private bodies set up their own whistleblowing policies. PCAW does focus on the National Health Service; in November 2001 the charity introduced a subscription service – including consultancy and training – for NHS trusts in England, that it hopes to roll out to other organisations. PCAW reported in 2000 that the Treasury Report 1998-9 on fraud in government departments revealed that for every three Whitehall frauds caught by the normal controls, two are stopped by whistleblowers. Guy Dehn, director of Public Concern at Work, commented: ?If departments and public bodies upgrade their procedures in the light of the Act [Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998], millions of pounds could be saved.? Yet barely more than half – 55 per cent – of Government departments have set up whistleblowing channels, the Treasury Report added. The Act covers crime and civil offences, and cover-ups. The London helpline, 020 7404 6609, is staffed 9am to 6pm weekdays (an answerphone takes calls at other times). You can also e-mail the helpline: email@example.com. A Glasgow-based Scottish helpline number, 0141 550 7572, was launched in February. Visit www.pcaw.co.uk.
According to the official fraud prevention website www.uk-fraud.info, Greater Manchester Police are warning of frauds involving a crime prevention journal.ÿSeven people have been charged with conspiracy to defraud. People say such scams have sprung up, in the north west and London. The fraudsters work out of short-term rented offices and have tele-sales staff cold-calling businesses from Yellow Pages, seeking payment for an advert in a crime (or drugs or fire or accident) prevention publication. Either no publication is ever produced or one of poor quality. The telesales staff may even claim to be charity volunteers or police officers. The website concludes: ?The scale of the problem has grown to the extent that businesses are being bombarded by unsolicited telephone calls seeking their sponsorship for one publication or another. If you are approached to contribute to a ?good cause? publication, do not hesitate to ask for evidence that the request and the publication are genuine.?