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Check out the interview with Marcelo Forma, partner at ICTS Outsourcing, responsable for the Ethics Line channel
When did whistleblowing channels become a part of companies’ normal operations?
Marcelo Forma – The U.S. market is a strong influencer of compliance practices. The Foreign Corruption Practice Act (FCPA), enacted in 1977, is to this day considered a global milestone in the fight against corruption. More recently, European countries also took important steps. In Brazil, this type of channel is relatively new. The main driver is the anti-corruption law sanctioned in 2013. Companies began to be subjected to greater pressure, and tools such as a whistleblowing channel and an ethics code have become important pillars for a transparent corporate management.
And how are Brazilian companies faring on this topic?
Marcelo Forma – They are in the process of evolving. They’ve come a long way, but there’s still much to do. See some numbers. According to a study conducted by ICTS called Compliance Maturity Level of Brazilian Companies, with 1,417 participants in 2017, 66% of the companies have a whistleblowing channel, which means a 30% increase from 2015. However, of the 66% that have a channel, 26% still do not have a formal procedure for the impartial investigation, treatment and recording of information.
Is a management model with support from a third-party company a growing trend?
Marcelo Forma – Yes, companies have understood that, in order to improve the channel’s effectiveness and credibility, it is important to have a partner. Some points reinforce this. The channel’s impartiality and confidentiality are critical factors for those making reports, so much so that after migrating to this model there is an increase of around 67% in the number of reports received. People, because they feel more secure and comfortable in making a report, end up participating more in the process and the results of the investigation improve dramatically. This is a movement that has been gaining traction in Brazil over the last decade.
Do channels such as the Ethics Line collaborate effectively to the creation of a transparent, ethical and principled workplace? How?
Marcelo Forma – Undoubtedly. The channels receive reports that wouldn’t even have been investigated had they not been reported. Today, people play a more active role in building a transparent environment. The channel facilitates that. Data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) show that, at companies with a whistleblowing channel, 39% of irregularities are identified through reports. As a result, violations are identified 50% quicker and end up causing 50% less financial losses.
About ICTS Outsourcing
ICTS Outsourcing, which belongs to the ICTS Protiviti group, has been a partner of the Odebrecht Group that is responsible for managing the Ethics Line channel since May 2017. With vast experience in the area, it is a pioneer in the outsourcing of whistleblowing channels at Brazilian companies. It has over 10 years of experience and 270 clients.
Did you know?
Does the quality of a report significantly affect the investigation, decisions and consequences involving the fact reported?
To ensure the highest quality reports, the team receiving them analyzes and uses a technique called Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) that was created in Israel in the 1980s and later developed in the United States. The methodology is used both for web and telephone contacts. “The technique is a fundamental element for content analysis and the success of investigations,” said Marcelo Forma, managing partner at ICTS Outsourcing.