Creating a more effective whistleblowing or Speak Up culture is a way for the BBC to both restore its reputation and ensure that such a scandal does not happen again. There needs to be recognition from the top of the organisation that whistleblowers should be encouraged to raise concerns, that they will be protected if they do, and that their concerns will be listened to and taken seriously.
It appears from the Dyson Report that the BBC failed to take the concerns of whistleblowers seriously, and retaliated against those that came forward. Lord Dyson says he has not considered whether there was a culture of hostility towards whistleblowers in general. However, it is now important that the BBC demonstrates that they have a safe culture in which staff can speak up to raise concerns. They should set out how they have improved their whistleblowing arrangements since the time of the incidents in the Dyson report, any further steps they are taking to improve their speaking up culture, and any actions they are now taking to put right the damage done to those whistleblowers, as well as damage to public confidence.
The BBC Board should be encouraged to do more than ensure there is an updated policy, though this is a good first step, by reviewing the effectiveness of the whistleblowing arrangements overall.
This should include:
- The level of awareness and confidence BBC staff have in the whistleblowing or Speak Up arrangements
- Reviewing any reports of victimisation or breaches of confidence reported by whistleblowers within the BBC
- Review training provided to staff, managers and any named contacts in the whistleblowing/Speak Up arrangements