Why you should blow the whistle

Why you should blow the whistle

‘If you sniff unprofessional conduct, behaviour or fraud, around you, what should you do? “Reach out for the whistle and blow it!”

Blowing the whistle on fraud or any irregularity encourages moral responsibility and helps eradicate misconduct or bad habits.
Silence or inaction in the face of fraud or irregularities has a price that may be too high to pay in the long run, hence the need to always blow the whistle when the need arises.

There are several reasons why you should whistle blow in the face of fraud or irregularities. These include; the need to fight fraud and fraudulent activities, reduce the risk of harm to staff and the organization, as well as promote good organisational governance.

Whistle blowing is also a confidential means of exposing fraud, and compels investigation into any allegation to keep the organization profitable.

Whistle blowers are well protected and rewarded by the organisation because of their importance to the survival of the system.

Seven things that may discourage individuals or staff from Whistle blowing:

“It is only a suspicion; I do not have evidence.” Blow the whistle anyway. It will be investigated and if nothing is found, no harm is done.
“It is not my problem. It will ultimately be your problem if the bank or organisation suffers financial loss that leads to rationalization of staff.”
“I do not want to be a snitch” No, you are not; you are only a dedicated employee concerned about the bank’s or organisation’s common goal and future; a good citizen working towards a better society.

“Nothing will be done about it.” No, something definite is done about every whistle blowing case. Reported cases are investigated, recommendations implemented, offenders sanctioned in line with policy and lessons learned internalized. The whistle blower informed about the outcome and rewarded, if the case is substantiated.

“It will only cause trouble.” Of course, it will - for the fraudsters and their accomplices.  

“What if I am wrong?” Not to worry, you will not be penalised for it. It is better to err on the side of caution than to keep quiet.

“What if I am spotted?” A whistle blowers’ identity will be protected. 

However, a whistle blower is encouraged to maintain confidentiality also. Do not blow a whistle and then blow your cover by spreading the news that you are the one that blew the whistle.

There have been instances where a whistle blower tries to take credit for reporting a case, or behaves in a way that gives him or her away in the office as the blower.

Here are some of the things that you can blow a whistle on; Frauds and forgeries of any kind, fraudulent intentions, activities, actions or inactions, unprofessional behaviors, example cheating, immoral relationships, connivance, among others, irregularity of any type; e.g.: mode of employment, benefit administration, intentional (even unintentional) policy violation as well as collusion with syndicates, customers and other third parties to defraud the bank.

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