Whistleblowing: A year later

06 August 2012

It's been a year since UCT's Risk Management Committee released the university's amended whistleblowing guideline document.

These guidelines aim to protect people, and the university's operations, assets and reputation, against illegal activities. The guidelines are applicable to all staff, students, consultants, vendors, contractors, and/or any other parties with a business relationship with the university.

The document states the following:
Anyone with a reasonable basis for believing that an irregular act has occurred or is occurring has a responsibility to report this immediately.

Anyone making a report must act in good faith when reporting an allegation, and must disclose all information available to him or her relevant to the matter.

An employee who acts against a whistleblower who has made a full report in good faith will be subject to legal sanction and University discipline, up to and including termination of employment
A person making a report may choose to remain anonymous and not disclose any personal details.

The University will take reasonable steps to protect the identity and disclosures of whistleblowers where the whistleblower requests this, where the whistleblower has acted in good faith and where he or she has disclosed all information available to him or her.

All information received via a hotline mechanism will be treated as confidential so long as it remains within the control of the organisation.

No employee may be adversely affected because he or she refuses to carry out a directive which constitutes an irregularity.

Confidential reporting (identity disclosed) rather than anonymous reporting (identity not disclosed) is encouraged. Both confidential and anonymous disclosures must be reported as follows:
Written - to the Registrar's or Vice-Chancellor's Office (P O Box 594, Cape Town, 8000) or Independent Auditors Ernst & Young (Audit Partner Ms T Rookledge, PO Box 656, Cape Town, 8000);

Telephonic - use the University hotline to Campus Protection Services (telephone number 021 685 1245)

The Registrar is responsible for the administration, revision, interpretation, and application of this guideline. The guideline will be reviewed annually by the Risk Management Committee.

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