Directors dealing with whistleblowing in the new environment

  • Following recent changes in regulation surrounding whistleblowing, boards are likely to receive more whistleblower disclosures.
  • This article explores the risks for directors in getting involved in investigating whistleblower disclosures.
  • Best practice is for boards to demand greater visibility of whistleblowing investigations when allegations of material misconduct are made.

Intense debate continues around corporate whistleblowing and its regulation. The involvement of whistleblowing in corporate scandals in recent years has been profound. With the recent changes in regulation surrounding whistleblowing, this article explores the risks for directors in choosing whether or not to get involved in whistleblowing disclosure investigations.

Sources of enhanced whistleblowing standards

  • Amended Corporations Act from 1 July 2019.
  • More specific ASX corporate governance principles from 1 January 2020.
  • Detailed ASIC guidance on whistleblowing policies: November 2019.
  • Ongoing debate about introducing bounties and a dedicated Commonwealth office of the whistleblower.

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