Whistleblowing – Advice and Queries
In 2000 the British Quakers and Business Group authored and published a booklet ”Good Business – Ethics at work.” This booklet, which can be ordered online through the Quaker Bookshop in London, starts out with a motto from the early Friend William Penn, who said: ”True godliness don't turn men out of the world but enables them to lie better in it and excites their endeavours to mend it …” It also contains the following passage on whistleblowing, structured in the typical Quaker style of ”Advices and Queries” which seems to make even quite demanding subjects agreeable to many:
Before blowing the whistle on an organisation, or on a particular business practice, consider carefully the consequences of your actions. Your role is to be a witness of the truth. Be sure that you understand the reasons for the practice and that your evidence is clear, complete and unambiguous. Make sure that your own motives will withstand the heat of public scrutiny. Act promptly as soon as you are sure of what you intend to do. Where possible, seek advice and guidance from others. Work through an agency to remove undue emotions and personalities from the situation and to allow truth and facts to prevail.
Is the action you contemplate likely to lead to a change for the better ? If not, what is your motivation ? Is there a better, less confrontational, way of dealing with the situation ? Do you realise that your action might cost you your job and that will affect your personal life and your career ? Have you sought independent, wise counsel before proceeding ?
Is your company's culture one where staff and colleagues have the confidence to deal with corruption ? Do you have the procedures in place so that your employees can, if necessary, blow the whistle without being penalised ?