The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made a proposal guidance for companies, including superannuation entities, to implement a whistleblower policy.
By 1 January, 2020 public companies, large proprietary companies and corporate trustees of registrable superannuation entities must implement a whistleblower policy and make it available to their officers and employees.
ASIC’s proposed ‘Regulatory Guide Whistleblower policies’ covered what information companies needed to include such as how they would support and protect whistleblowers and handle and investigate whistleblower disclosures.
ASIC commissioner, John Price, said: “Transparent whistleblower policies are essential to good risk management and corporate governance. They help uncover wrongdoing that may not otherwise be detected.
“Implemented appropriately, whistleblower policies will help companies to comply with their legal obligations to protect whistleblowers from being identified and to protect whistleblowers from detriment,” he said.
“Whistleblower policies help ensure those who put their personal and financial lives at risk to report wrongdoing can access their rights and protections under the law.”
ASIC said these policies would help:
- ensure whistleblowers are protected;
- encourage whistleblowers to come forward;
- reveal and address misconduct occurring within companies;
- deter wrongdoing within companies, by increasing the likelihood that wrongdoing will be reported;
- improve compliance with the law; and
- foster a more ethical culture.
The regulatory body has called for public input on its proposed guidance and will accept feedback until 18 September 2019.