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It would be ideal if all whistleblowers were to disclose their identity before making their disclosures. However, it is a matter of historical record, common knowledge and experience that most whistleblowers prefer to report anonymously as they are more often than not a part of the system against which they are reporting.

 

No matter how much a written policy assures ‘protection’ as long as it requires the revealing of the identity prior to the disclosure, it ends up deterring rather than reassuring and encouraging whistleblowers to speak up.

 

Focus on the report and not the reporter

 

Being a responsible entity we should be more concerned about the content of the message instead of the identity of the reporter?

If we receive an anonymous report with verifiable and actionable facts indicating corruption or fraud then is it in organizational interest to junk it because it is anonymous or to verify the facts stated therein.  reporting?

 

Pandora's Box Syndrome

 

Most organizations discourage anonymous reporting because it is commonly assumed that if anonymous reporting is permitted then it would open a Pandora's box resulting in a flood of facetious reporting which would be difficult to consider.

Thus, the case against anonymous reporting essentially stems from the fear of managing and processing the information so received and not on account of anything against receiving the information per se.

 

Strengthen internal systems instead of shying away.

 

We believe that it is time to institutionalize and strengthen the information receipt and processing systems within organizations rather than shying away from receiving anonymous reports.

There are possibilities of receiving a flood of information and its processing thereafter ought not to discourage any organization from being receptive.

This concern must give way to confidence in the ability to divide through information and identify what is meaningful. More because there is a possibility of receiving an anonymous report which might contain a vital information, safeguarding organizational interests can never be ruled out.

 

Be the first to know. Timely intelligence is the best defence.

 

There is another aspect to this which are some merits consideration. Given the modes of communication and different forums available today one cannot possibly prevent or prohibit anyone from reaching out and expressing concerns externally or anonymously.

Thus, the CWI Portal helps organizations to receive all the information internally using a secure web-based system which not only assures confidentiality but also enables the designated authority therein to have multiple interactions with the whistleblower.

In this way, one can get additional details to develop the raw information into a more meaningful form and thereafter decide how to process the same. In effect, the organization receives its own information first in point of time and is free to decide how to process it as per their policies without any statutory compulsions.

 

It is just that one piece of information which can make all the difference and the possibility of receiving it anonymously can never be ruled out.