Whistleblowing is when an employee, contractor or supplier goes outside the normal management channels to report suspected wrongdoing at work, i.e. speaking out in a confidential manner. This can be done via internal processes set up by the organisation (internal whistleblowing) or to an external body such as a regulator (external whistleblowing). While public disclosure to the media can also be perceived as whistleblowing the IIA report focuses on formally prescribed channels.
Internal audit's independence and objectivity give it the potential to be involved in whistleblowing arrangements. Here, we provide guidance for practitioners.
Our report outlines the role of internal audit in whistleblowing and include survey results and examples of policies and practices. We believe that whistleblowing policies and procedures are an important element in a healthy corporate culture and that internal audit’s independence from the executive and objectivity give it the potential to be involved in whistleblowing arrangements.
Responsibility for internal whistleblowing procedures lies with the executive, reporting to the board. But given the potential conflicts of interest, the executive will need to devolve the day-to-day running of the process. Internal audit's independence and objectivity give it the potential to be involved in whistleblowing arrangements.