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GRC Professional : GRC Winter 2012
23 It is not uncommon for an organisation to be sued by both the whistleblower and the alleged offender if an issue is not handled correctly from the outset. – you get too close to it, too focused, and eventually can’t see the wood for the trees. The old-school idea that taking a break or a holiday is ‘weak’ is stupid. Stress creeps up on you and decisions made in that environment, and in isolation, are sometimes poor ones. how do you feel about the term ‘whistleblower’? The term whistleblower is a horr ible name with connotations of disloyalty or non- confor mer. In rea lit y, whistleblower s are people who have the organisation at heart, who believe in the core values and in making a difference. They are your most loyal em ployee. There are, howeve r, people who choose to call themselves whistleblowers that aren’t. Generally this occurs when an employee knows they are about to be arrested and choose to comply as a witness rather than going down with a sinking ship. These people aren’t whistleblower s and do not deserve the protection of the Whistleblower s Act. You have said that ‘mateocracy’ had something to do with the corruption you witnessed on the force. Can you elaborate? I heard the term “mateocracy” from a University Professor, he was describing Australian’s wish to be liked and loyal to friends (mates). This idea is not one to beat ourselves up with; it is simply part of Australian culture. But, problems arise when mateship inflates to become ‘loyalty, no matter what’ or a type of wilful, blind loyalty. If an organisation has this inflated concept of loyalty – insider crime, bullying and nepotism will result. And, good people will leave. You have a post on your blog about crime statistics and “massaging the stats”. You say the only way to ascertain the results of policing is by independent review. what are the effective methods of quality assurance for organisations? Short-term profit is important but so is longevity. It is important to remind yourself to stay true to your core f unctions. Victoria Police took its eye off the ball in respect of organised crime and paid a very high price for it. Primarily this occurred because organised crime is not easily measured (unlike the road toll or car theft for example) and so resources went elsewhere. As a result, 28 people died in Melbourne’s gangland war, a situation the likes of which had never been seen in Australian criminal history. Remember: just because an accountant or statistician has t rouble measuring something doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Statistics don’t always tell the whole story. A successful long-term organisation is a trusted one and to achieve this the people in it must be trustworthy. what have you learned in your dealings with your clients at ethical Strength? Managers dealing with difficult situations should create a trustworthy process for employees to follow. Exit interviews should be conducted including questions such as, “Are you leaving due to unethical behaviour or culture issues?” Follow procedure. If procedure is lacking, that must be addressed. If you’re going to do an investigation yourself (which isn’t recommended), it’s best not to haul someone into your office immediately. Seek out evidence first, isolate and retain it. Locate witnesses and take notes. A final war ning: it is not uncommon for an organisation to be sued by both the whistleblower and the alleged offender if an issue is not handled correctly. ••• Hear from Simon when he speaks at GRC 2012 on the Gold Coast from 18-20 November. For more information, see p6.
GRC Autumn 2012
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