WHAT IS A THIRD-PARTY ETHICS HELPLINE?

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Employees are a first line of defense in protecting companies from the risks of unethical conduct and non-compliance. Effective communication and reporting on ethics is a key element of good governance that can act as an early warning system for organizations seeking to promptly detect, address and deter ethical violations. While most companies have internal channels through which cases or concerns can be reported/ voiced, employees often hesitate to use these due to either a lack of awareness and/or doubtful confidence in the system credibility.

Third Party Ethics Helpline:

A Third-party Ethics Helpline (TPEH) serves to bridge this communication gap by facilitating secure, reliable and confidential transfer of information from reporters to Company management. It is an additional avenue for reporting cases, raising concerns or queries beyond Company’s existing reporting channels.

The integrated web based Case Management System feature helps leadership respond promptly to the reports in line with internal process to identify and address patterns or areas of concern. A comprehensive online and offline communication and awareness campaign is key to accomplish the helpline effectiveness (customized to the Company culture).

TPEH is a bona fide and credible Speak Up system that:

Protects the Company:

  • Helps the Company detect risks that won’t be picked up in any other way (de-risk mechanism).
  • An external and independent, third party specialist provider is more likely to be engaged by reporters due to its confidential, professional and objective handling of concerns (global best practice).
  • Helps isolate and contain an issue within the purview of internal control mechanisms. Encourages reporting internally before venturing outside the Company, either to the media, social media or the regulator.
  • Encourages employees/vendors to red-flag and report actual or potential violations of guidance from the Company’s Code-of-Conduct, policies or law.
  • Most organizations are vulnerable victims of malpractice or theft at the hands of a few of their employees. Given this threat, a multi-channel/multi-lingual helpline for employees to speak up securely is an instrument that could help promptly address a concern and correct/ prevent such misconduct.

Protects employees:

  • Reassures employees (reporters) that their concerns are important, and encourages the secure voicing of issues/ problems to be brought to the attention of management.
  • Provides the reporter (complainant) with safe harbor entitlement (for a genuine case)
  • Sends a strong message to all levels and stakeholders that violations of the Code and business malpractices will not be tolerated.

Advantages of a Third-Party:

  • Availability of professionally developed and managed services.
  • External provider helps establish the program’s independence, credibility and organizational commitment.
  • Flexibility in the choice of reporting channels along with high availability.
  • Easily extended to your external stakeholders like suppliers, vendors, business partners etc.
  • Incorporation of global best practices including those from OECD, ACFE, IBE and more
  • Reduction of IT costs by leveraging Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities.

How Does it Work? (Click to expand)

 “Integrity Matters not only provides the most robust TPEH, but also works closely with organizations to ensure its effectiveness”

ETHICS HELPLINE BENEFITS

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“Anonymous reporting mechanisms play a vital role in reducing fraud and unethical activity.” - Jim Ratley, President, ACFE
Typically, a Company with a Third-party Ethics Helpline (TPEH) receives reports from between 1.2 - 2.3 % of the workforce strength that has access to the helpline (annually). This is substantially higher than the number of reports received without a TPEH in place.

TPEH Value Proposition
1 - Reduce Losses
Anonymous reporting mechanism reduces internal fraud losses by 61% on average. And the duration of fraud scheme by 7 months.
2 - Isolate and Contain Issues
Timely detection helps deal with internal ethics and compliance issues within the framework of your organization.
3 - Boost Employee Morale and Productivity
Healthy corporate culture improves employee morale, which in-turn increases productivity and retention of top talent.
4 - Improve Compliance
Comply with the new Companies Act 2013 (clause 177); SEBI Clause 49 (IV), SOX Section 301(4) and sector specific guidance using global best practices.
5 - Improve Corporate Governance
Effective communication and reporting on ethics is a key element of good governance and drives your culture of integrity.
Integrity Matters Differentiators
1 - We Make It Work Effectively
Just having a helpline is not enough. We help put in place a number of Critical Success Factors so you meet or exceed global benchmarks in ethics reporting. This increases the utility/RoI of the system for you as the client.
2 - In-house Contact Center
Our in-house contact center delivers a much higher quality of communication than outsourced ones used by others. Additionally, we do not use translators, which eliminates call hang-ups and ensures critical information is not lost in translation.
3 - Highly Responsive Client Service
In-person consultation and ongoing engagement with you ensures program success and quick alignment with your internal processes and evolving needs.
4 - Data Protection
We evolved from an Information Security consultancy with deep expertise in data protection and digital privacy which we use to secure your data.
5 - No Conflict of Interest
As a pure-play provider, we have no conflict of interest with Statutory Audit or Advisory / Investigative Services. This helps maintain objectivity and independence. A pure-play service is much more comprehensive and robust.

Benefits by Numbers:

Avg. revenue lost to internal malpractice

%

Sources of detection

  • Tip-offs 53.1%
  • Internal Audit 21.9%
  • Management Review 9.4%
  • By Accident 4.2%
  • Other 11.3%

Tip-offs communicated anonymously

%

Reports by issue type

  • HR Related (harassment, discrimination etc.) 60%
  • Business Integrity (vendor issues, CoI etc.) 18%
  • Misappropriation or Misuse of Assets 7%
  • Financial Misconduct 2%
  • Others 13%

COMPANY WE KEEP

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CONTACT & CONNECT WITH US

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  Call: (+91) 22-42152550

 Email: info@integritymatters.in

 Address: Integrity Matters, Suite No. 308, Powai Plaza, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai - 400080, India