Guide to understanding the whistleblowing process without fear of reprisals.
Reporting illegal or immoral behavior or activities is important for the safety of society. However, people are often afraid of reprisals if identified. That’s where the anonymous reporting system comes in, which allows people to report without revealing their identity. In this text, we’ll explore how an anonymous reporting system works and what you need to know to use it properly.
What is an anonymous reporting system
An anonymous reporting system is a tool that allows people to report suspicious behavior or activity without being identified. This can be done through a website, by phone, or through an app. The goal is to provide a safe way to alert the relevant authorities about behavior or activities that may be harmful to society.
How an anonymous reporting system works
Step 1 – Access
The first step to using an anonymous reporting system is to gain access to it. This can be done through a website, by phone, or through an application.
Step 2 – Making the report
Once you have access to the system, the next step is to make the report. This involves describing the behavior or activity that the reporter intends to report, providing all relevant information.
Step 3 – Anonymity
It is important to ensure that the identity of the whistleblower is not revealed when making the report. Some anonymous reporting systems may ask for personal information such as name and address, but this information is usually encrypted and protected to maintain the anonymity of the whistleblower, but it already carries some risk. Then it also depends on how they store that information and restrict access to that information, from whatever side (both the organization’s side and the whistleblower’s side), for all the legal times that the law requires this information to be kept (even depending on how long the process takes to be completed, and sometimes reopened, the process once completed has to be kept secure for 5 years).
Step 4 – Receiving the report
After making the report, it may be analyzed, investigated and handled by the team responsible for handling the reports assigned to the reporting channel, and depending on the case and the information in question, it may be analyzed by the entity’s human resources or its ethics or legal department. The complaint may also, if necessary, be escalated to a responsible body, such as the police, the public ministry, or the entity that manages the organization’s sector of activity (e.g. if it’s from the financial area, the Bank of Portugal).
Step 5 – Investigation
The complaint is then investigated by the relevant authorities. This may involve gathering additional information, interviewing witnesses, and other forms of verification.
The anonymous reporting system is an important tool for ensuring the safety of society. It allows people to report suspicious behavior or activities without being identified, which can be particularly useful in situations where the identity of the whistleblower may put them at risk. However, it is important to remember that anonymous reports must be made carefully and accurately to ensure that the authorities can investigate properly.