- A whistleblowing policy comprises a formalised, secure and confidential procedure for an individual to disclose or raise concerns on actual wrongdoings or suspected misdeeds/improprieties in financial and other matters, either on the part of management
or any other staff.
- NAC is committed to upholding high standards of corporate governance and work practices. As an enhancement to the internal control system, a whistle blowing policy is in place for the reporting of any malpractice, illegal act or omission by staff.
- The whistleblowing policy enables the Council and its management to be informed of any acts of misdeed at an early stage and to take appropriate actions on the concerns reported, so as to avoid or minimise negative consequences. It also serves
as a strong deterrent for fraud and other unacceptable conduct or practices.
- The policy aims to:
a. Provide channels for reporting alleged or suspected fraudulent activities.
b. Provide guidelines and a process flow for conducting whistleblowing investigations.
c. Assure whistleblowers that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistleblowing in good faith.
- This policy applies to all NAC employees and external parties.
Rationale for Implementing Policy
- All levels of management have the responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective internal controls to prevent, deter and detect fraud. They are expected to stay alert, recognise the risks and exposures inherent in their areas of responsibility,
and be aware of the indicators of fraudulent acts.
- All NAC staff have a duty to report concerns which they may have, or where they have been provided with reliable information, about possible misdeeds or improprieties committed by any staff of all levels in NAC.
Scope of Policy
- Whistleblowers can report on the following misdeeds or improprieties (not exhaustive):
a) Unethical and improper practices or alleged wrongful conduct or non-compliance in matters of financial reporting, internal control, code of conduct or other related matters.
b) Fraud or suspected fraud, thefts and dishonest acts or making fraudulent statements to stakeholders and regulatory authorities.
c) Corruption (accepting or giving bribes), theft and misuse of NAC’s properties, assets or resources.
d) Misappropriation of funds.
e) Preferential treatment to artists/arts organisations, grants recipients and intermediaries (such as venue operators, galleries etc).
f) Conflict of interest without disclosure.
g) Disclosure of confidential information to external parties.
h) Concealment of information about any malpractice, misconduct or prohibited activities.
i) Intimidation, discrimination or harassment of staff and other persons during the course of work or in the capacity as an NAC employee.
j) Destruction, removal or inappropriate use of records and assets of NAC
k) Sabotage of NAC’s IT system.
l) Actions causing injury to person or loss or damage to NAC’s property.
m) Abuse of power and authority
- The whistleblowing policy does not apply to staff grievances or complaints relating to job performance and terms and conditions of employment, of which are administered by the People & Culture (P&C) Department.
Reporting Structure and Responsibilities
- All reports must be made formally in writing (letter or email) with full details on history of the event and reasons for concern and an officer must identify himself/ herself when making the report. In the case of whistleblowers who are members of
staff, staff are expected to report a wrongdoing if he/she has sufficient grounds to believe that a wrongdoing has been committed, even if he has been instructed by his supervisor not to make a report. Any Staff member who condones wrongdoing
through willful suppression or concealment of relevant information may be disciplined.
- Whistleblowers can choose to raise their concern or make any reports via the following channels:
|Attn to: Mr Victor Leong, Head (Internal Audit)|
|Attn to: Mr Victor Leong, Head (Internal Audit)|
90 Goodman Road
Goodman Arts Centre Blk A #01-01
- A flow chart on the whistleblowing process is shown in Annex A and the reporting form is attached at Annex B.
Confidentiality and Protection for Whistleblower
- The identity of the whistleblower will be kept confidential, unless required by the court or other regulatory authorities to disclose the identity. Where the whistleblower’s identity is to be revealed, Internal Audit and Management will
endeavor to discuss with the whistleblower first.
However, there are exceptional circumstances under which information could/would not be treated with strictest confidentiality such as when
- NAC is under a legal obligation to disclose the information provided
- Information is already in the public domain
- Information is given on a strictly confidential basis to legal/ auditing or other professionals
- Information is given to the Police or any other Authorities
- The number of staff involved in the investigation will be kept to a minimum so as to ensure confidentiality. This will also prevent leakage of information.
- For whistleblowers who are NAC staff, assurance will be made for their protection under employment even if the report turns out to be unfounded but made in good faith. Staff who has sufficient grounds to believe that he/she is being unfairly treated
as a result of having made such a report or given evidence as a witness in respect of the wrongdoing may submit a complaint via the channels listed in paragraph 11 by filling up the reporting form found in Annex B. However, reporting with a malicious
intent will not be tolerated.
Retention of Records
- Internal Audit will maintain a log of all reported incidents or concerns, tracking their receipt, investigation and resolution.
- Internal Audit will also maintain a record of all steps taken in connection with any investigation conducted of a reported incident, including investigations which are subsequently found to be unsubstantiated or cases dropped because of insufficient
How will NAC Respond
- Any legitimate concern raised or information provided will be reviewed and investigated if deemed necessary, taking into the consideration the following:
- Severity of the issue raised
- Credibility of the concern or information; and
- Likelihood of confirming the concern or information from attributable sources
- Depending on the nature of the concern raised or information provided, the investigation
may be conducted or referred to the relevant persons or entities:
- The Audit Committee
- The External or Internal Auditor
- Forensic Professionals
- The Police or Commercial Affairs Department; and/or
- The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
- Investigations and follow-up actions for all cases will be reported to the Audit Committee.