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Fraud in charity stopped by whistleblowers

Maz (not her real name) was a manager for a large company that serviced equipment in the homes of a national charity. On return from holiday, Maz’s team told her that the manager had shown them how to alter the billing system so that the charity would be charged for twice as much work as had actually been performed. Maz was unsure what to do so called Protect.

We advised Maz that she was right to raise her concerns and suggested she raise it to the Operations Manager who was the senior contact on the employer’s whistleblowing policy. The Operations Manager assured Maz that she and her team would not be at risk. After an investigation, the manager admitted his error. Maz’s team wanted some sanction against the manager so we checked that she had no further suspicion of fraud and advised that she and her team had laid a strong marker for behaviour they would not tolerate in the future.

Months later, Maz rang to say she had rebuilt a good relationship with her manager and her team was doing well.

Protect says ‘Time To Transform’ and calls for Third Sector whistleblowing rules

Whistleblowing charity Protect is calling for the Charity Commission to introduce whistleblowing rules or regulations for the sector, following serious failings at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) – which the watchdog has called ‘one of the worst examples of poor governance and oversight having a direct impact on vulnerable people’.

The Commission has issued an alert to all large complex charities about the importance of safeguarding processes, governance and whistleblowing following the inquiry into the RNIB. The failings led to repeated incidents where young people in its schools and residential homes were put at risk, or suffered harm and distress.

Protect Chief Executive Liz Gardiner said,

“We welcome the Charity Commission’s reminder to charities to ensure they have effective whistleblowing or speak up arrangements, and the emphasis on anti-retaliation measures towards whistleblowers.  However, asking charities to be ‘mindful of the issue’  may not be enough to really drive forward change.

The time has come to introduce whistleblowing rules in this sector.  Rules which can be enforced by the regulator will help guide charities on the standards expected of them in this area and hold those falling short to account.”

As we saw in our research into charity sector whistleblowing, Time To Transform,  there is more work needed in the Third Sector to prevent the victimisation of whistleblowers, and train staff in how to effectively act on concerns raised.”

#TimeToTransform

Protect pilot into Third Sector whistleblowing culture reveals weak spots

Protect’s pilot examining whistleblowing culture in the Third Sector has found key weak spots it believes are symptomatic across many of the 168,000 charities in England and Wales. Chief Executive, Liz Gardiner said, “The room for improvement in the Third Sector is well documented following the Oxfam and Save the Children scandals. But in recent … Read more

Protect and Oxfam whistleblower Helen Evans speak at Bravest Conference

Protect Chief Executive Francesca West will join Oxfam whistleblower Helen Evans at the Marketing Society’s global ‘Bravest Conference’ celebrating strong, brave leadership. Until 2015, Helen was Global Head of Safeguarding at Oxfam GB. In 2018 she spoke publicly about sexual exploitation and abuse at Oxfam GB, precipitating a government inquiry and Charity Commission investigation. Taking … Read more

Whistleblowing disclosures to Charity Commission doubles in last two years – but still much to be done rebuilding trust, says Protect

As latest figures from third sector regulator the Charity Commission reveal more people are coming forward to raise concerns, whistleblowing Protect say it’s a step in the right direction but still so much to be done to rebuild trust amongst the UK’s 166,000 charities and staff. Whistleblowing disclosures have doubled from 185 whistleblowing reports in … Read more

Protect urge charities to ‘get whistleblowing right’ and reach out to sector with free pilot to transform cultures

In a bid to transform and improve the whistleblowing and speak up culture of charities, Protect is reaching out to offer its help and expertise in a pilot it hopes will transform the sector. In June, Protect partnered with the Charity Commission to launch a six-month advice line for whistleblowers working in the charity sector, … Read more