Deloitte’s Whistleblowing Service
Introducing Deloitte Halo
The Deloitte Whistleblower Service has been providing a service securely and effectively to clients for more than fourteen years. Now, we have specifically designed our online platform, Deloitte Halo, to meet the users’ needs as well as manage the evolving legislative obligations.
Whistleblowers may have important information which your organisation needs to know about today – information about misconduct like fraud, corruption, breach of policies or emerging threats.
On 12 March 2019, the amendments to the Australian Whistleblowing regime received Royal Assent. These amendments implement key changes surrounding the Australian Whistleblowing landscape, we anticipate these amendments will come into effect 1 July 2019. Failure to comply with these new laws will trigger significant criminal and civil penalties for individuals and organisations. Whistleblowers must now have ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, occurring within the Regulated Entity. Furthermore, the class of Whistleblowers who are eligible for protection has expanded to include third parties.
The Deloitte Whistleblowing Service is offered both online and as a telephone service – where those with information can lodge a disclosure 24/7 - from nominated locations around the world and with their chosen level of anonymity. Deloitte Halo can be promoted to potential Whistleblowers (both inside an organisation or externally to the wider defined Eligible Whistleblower group) as either a Deloitte managed service or customised to complement any organisation’s own brand, culture, size of footprint.
By using Deloitte Halo, Whistleblowers are guided and supported by our platform and our trusted team through the disclosure process and can independently access updates on the case they have lodged at any time.
About Deloitte Halo
Deloitte Halo can help strengthen organisations’ management accountability and oversight on the issues reported to them. Organisations who use our service access Deloitte Halo via a clear dashboard offering them proactive case prompts and reminders with visual notifications of the progress of a case through the platform. Deloitte Halo also provides an analytics search capability and flexible note fields for use by investigators together with the provision of storage capacity for evidence supplied by Whistleblowers.
Deloitte Halo provides users further confidence as Deloitte Analysts carefully review and moderate all communication on the Deloitte Halo platform between the organisation and their Whistleblowers – thereby preserving the anonymity of the Whistleblower where requested. Deloitte Whistleblower Service teams are dedicated specialists working from secure premises on stand-alone, secure, on-shore infrastructure, which is stress tested and continuously monitored.
Apart from managing Whistleblower disclosures, Deloitte Halo can also house and manage internally generated disclosures. As Royal Commissions have demonstrated, it is difficult for an organisation to defend their diligence unless they can attest to a comprehensive, up-to-date and integrated picture of reported misconduct and allegations under their management (Whistleblowing disclosures; formal complaints and informally escalated concerns) tracked for progress and governance oversight.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2018 received Royal Assent 12 March 2019. Following this, the amendments are anticipated to come into effect on 1 July 2019. After lengthy debate, and much contention in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the amendments will change the Australian Whistleblower landscape significantly. Interest around these changes in the corporate world is very high because failure to meet the new obligations under the Corporations Act and the Tax Administration Act regarding Whistleblower anonymity can trigger significant criminal and civil penalties.
In order for Whistleblowers to be protected by the regime they must firstly be eligible for protection and make a Disclosure which is related to a Regulated Entity. Those eligible for protection has been expanded to include third parties as well as past and present employees. Disclosures must be made to an Eligible Recipient which can include the Deloitte Whistleblower Service, and be made in regards to a defined Disclosable matter. The Whistleblower must also have a ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ the information concerns misconduct or, an improper state of affairs or the circumstances, relating to a Regulated Entity.
Large Proprietary Companies (with two of the following: 50 or more employees; $25 million in consolidated revenue; or 12.5 million in consolidated gross assets) are required to make available to all employees and officers, an Internal Whistleblower Protection Policy.
Contravention of the Corporations Act and the Tax Administration Act in relation to a breach of confidentiality or victimisation of the Whistleblower, can trigger significant criminal and civil penalties for both individuals and organisations.
The amendments received Royal Assent 12 March 2019 and are anticipated to come into effect on 1 July 2019.
In plain terms, this will mean organisations, in particular Large Proprietary Companies, must act swiftly to be compliant with the new legislation. Companies need to begin drafting their internal Whistleblower policy to be made available to employees and officers of the company. For more information please contact the Deloitte Whistleblower Service on 1800 933 995.