Malpractice Disclosure ('Whistleblowing')
Proforest employees (including those on fixed-term contracts or former employees), partners, clients, or suppliers who have knowledge of, or reasonably suspect, malpractice by Proforest, our employees, contractors, clients or partners are required to use this procedure.
Proforest expects all employees to maintain the highest standards of integrity and honesty and encourages all employees, clients, partners or suppliers to report any perceived or known malpractice at workplace. It is our policy to protect those who raise genuine concerns about malpractice from victimisation, discrimination and disadvantage. This form provides a safe and trusted mechanism under which malpractice at workplace can be reported and ensure the matters raised are dealt with speedily and effectively.
The types of matters regarded as “malpractice” for the purpose of this procedure include the following:
- Criminal offence or breach of legal obligation
- Bribery, corruption or fraud, including the receiving or giving of unreasonable gifts or hospitality
- Falsifying records or misuse of assets
- Failure to comply with appropriate professional standards or Code of Conduct
- Failure to take reasonable steps to report and rectify any situation which is likely to give rise to a significant avoidable cost, or loss of income to Proforest or would otherwise seriously prejudice it
- Bullying, harrassment, sexual exploitation and abuse
- Abuse of authority
- Causing damage to the environment or danger to the health and safety of any individual
- Any attempt to conceal any of the above
Proforest is committed to protecting anyone who raises concerns about malpractice within Proforest.
We will aim to treat all disclosures and information regarding any action taken under this policy in a confidential and sensitive manner.
We normally expect people to put their name to any disclosures or allegations they make. Concerns expressed anonymously will not normally be addressed. However, at our discretion, we may decide to do so after taking into account:
- The seriousness of the issues raised; and
- The credibility of any allegations; and
- The likelihood of being able to substantiate the allegation through attributable sources.
The identity of the person making an allegation will remain confidential, unless otherwise agreed with that individual, as long as it does not hinder or frustrate the investigation. However, the investigation process may at some stage need to reveal the source of the information, and the individual making the disclosure may at that stage need to provide an attributable statement as part of the evidence to be presented.
During the course of any investigation, we will, as far as is reasonably possible without prejudicing that investigation, endeavour to maintain confidentiality regarding the names of any person named in an allegation.
The following form is submitted to Le Chen, group operations director and Hilary McDonald, HR consultant to Proforest.
Within two working days of receipt of a disclosure, a preliminary review meeting either physically or via a video conference will be organised with group operations director, group HR manager and two other members of the Executive Directors Group to decide whether the matter falls within the scope of this procedure and if so whether there are grounds for proceeding with an investigation.
Where the matter is to be the subject of investigation, the investigation should be conducted as sensitively as possible and normally be complete within eight weeks of the disclosure is made. In some cases, it may be appropriate to involve external experts or agents in the investigation.
When an allegation concerns a named individual, the person concerned will be informed of the allegation and of the evidence supporting it. He/she will be invited to respond to the allegation as part of the investigation before any final conclusion is reached. The point at which it is appropriate for the individual to be informed will depend on the nature of the case.
A report summarising all disclosures and inquiries and any subsequent actions taken will be made by the Director leading the process.