SARB launches whistle blowing hotline

By Janice Roberts

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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a facility that enables whistle-blowers to report wrongdoing related to the business of the SARB.

The whistle-blower facility has been available to SARB employees for a number of years and is now open to members to report any wrongdoing and to obtain follow-up information when necessary.

The SARB says it is committed to treating allegations of wrongdoing seriously and will always investigate fully.

“In such cases, the SARB will take all reasonable precautionary measures to protect an individual’s identity. There is, however, an anonymous reporting option, and the SARB’s independent external hotline service (Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous) guarantees employees and members of the public their anonymity, if they so choose.”

What can be reported?

The SARB says there are mainly two types of wrongdoing, namely commercial crimes and unethical behaviour.

Commercial crime

This relates to any unlawful act or failure to act that would result in offences such as the following (please note that this list is not conclusive):  bribery, corruption, forgery, fraud, theft and receipt of stolen property;  payment or receipt of bribes;  abuse of confidential SARB information;  breach of fiduciary duties (involves positions of trust);  contravention of statutory prescriptions; unlawful destruction, and the removal or concealment of SARB records, property and equipment; and  profiteering as a result of insider trading.

Unethical behaviour

This includes, but is not limited to:  not obeying the SARB’s policies or procedures; and  highly sensitive and serious issues, such as unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, racism, nepotism and emotional blackmail.

Making use of the Tip-offs Anonymous ethics hotline

Checklist before you call

 Date, time and place of incident

 Name(s) of person(s) involved

 Are there witnesses?

 What proof is there?

 Is there any money involved?

 Does this happen often?

How does the Tip-offs Anonymous ethics hotline work?

Anyone can contact the Tip-offs Anonymous contact centre using the following means of communication:

FreeCall: 0800 ETHICL (384425)

FreeFax: 0800 00 77 88

FreePost: KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320

Trained operators in the centre will answer calls in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Sesotho any time of the day, night, week or year (24/7). The operators will interview callers, asking questions to get specific facts so that they can record as much information as possible and understand things as clearly as possible. The information will then be sanitised so that when the tip-off report is fed back to the SARB, there is no trace of who made the call.

The report will then be forwarded to senior SARB officials who will decide on corrective action to be taken. Deloitte will ensure that a report does not go to any official who is in any way implicated in the report. Tip-offs Anonymous will never reveal the identity of the caller and the caller does not have to give his/her name, unless he/she chooses to.

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