Whistleblowing is one of the most effective measures to prevent and detect fraud

Research* confirms that on average 5% of turnover is lost to fraud every year. Moreover, fraud losses are twice as high in organisations without a whistleblowing programme. A whistleblowing programme helps your organisation to both prevent and detect fraud quickly. That way, you can reduce and even avoid fraud losses.

Recent Belgian legislation requires a large group of organisations to set up a reporting channel and guarantee whistleblower protection in 2023. More specifically, the scope for the private sector is:

  • from 15 February 2023: legal entities with 250 and more employees
  • from 17 December 2023: legal entities with 50 and more employees.

Within a work-related context, employees should be given the opportunity to anonymously report information about actual or potential incidents or breaches, and this with a very broad scope, think about: public procurement, product safety, food safety, privacy, network security, consumer protection, transport safety, environmental protection, public health, tax fraud and evasion, etcetera.

We advise organisations to:

  • give due consideration to the design and effectiveness of a whistleblowing programme to ensure compliance with legislation
  • use leading practices and a reliable tool
  • determine the most appropriate as well as cost-effective approach for the function of whistleblowing officer - in doing so, use a specialised team that can provide the required level of assurance, insight and expertise
  • assess the extent to which the whistleblowing arrangements already implemented in your organisation comply with current legislation.

How can Grant Thornton help you?

The Grant Thornton whistleblowing and forensics team is ready to help you with your challenges in implementing a whistleblowing programme. After all, there is much more to it than just installing an internal whistleblowing channel. We present an approach tailored to your organisation, taking into account your culture, size, maturity and existing whistleblowing elements. In doing so, we use best practices and guidelines to ensure that your whistleblowing programme is effective and compliance is ensured. We also guarantee a cost-effective approach, minimising costs while still achieving your objectives. Confidentiality is key here at all times.

We are happy to brainstorm and discuss what the most appropriate and effective approach is for your organisation:

  • We offer a reliable whistleblowing tool that complies with Belgian legislation, enabling anonymous reporting.
  • We advise and guide you in the implementation of the whistleblowing programme.
  • We can also fully unburden you by taking on the role of whistleblowing officer, an independent and impartial advisor equipped with forensic and legal background. When assessing whistleblow reports, we can call on our experts within other areas (think about tax, VAT, financial, internal control, environment, etcetera).
  • We can support you when facts finding is required by performing a forensic investigation.
  • We can also check whether your current whistleblowing programme complies with Belgian legislation and provide you with the necessary assurance in this respect.

(* ACFE Report to the Nations – 2022)

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Isabel Derison
Partner, Business Risk Services
Isabel Derison