Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE BDO WHISTLEBLOWER HOTLINE?
An eligible person* can report if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a BDO staff member, former staff member, contractor, supplier or other person who has business dealings with BDO has engaged in reportable conduct*
WHAT CAN BE REPORTED?
Any breaches of the Code of Conduct, related policies, and issues that may adversely affect BDO. This may include any criminal offence, breach of legal obligation, unsafe behaviour, harassment or bullying. (See the BDO Australia National Whistleblowing policy)
WHY IS BDO INTRODUCING THIS SERVICE?
BDO believes that all employees and other stakeholders should be able to assist in ensuring BDO maintains its status as an ethical business. BDO is adopting best practice in this aspect of corporate governance and will be compliant with international and Australian corporate governance standards.
HOW DO I MAKE A REPORT?
BDO has engaged an independent consultant to manage the receipt, recording and reporting of serious misconduct. Stopline is an independent, confidential and impartial conduit for information that enables the reporting of corrupt or improper conduct. Stopline has people experienced in handling sensitive information from stakeholders. Details of how you can make contact are listed below.
WHO IS STOPLINE?
Stopline is an Australian company which specialises in providing integrity/whistleblowing services. It has been operating for over a decade and assists listed and private companies; local, state and Commonwealth public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Further details are available at www.stopline.com.au
DO I HAVE TO GIVE MY NAME?
No. Your call to Stopline can, if you wish, be anonymous and the staff of Stopline will not ask for any personal details. You may volunteer the information anonymously to Stopline if you desire or you can be overt. If you do not wish to remain anonymous, this information may be provided to the BDO Investigator. If you choose to remain anonymous Stopline will issue a confidential reference and password should you wish to seek the status of your disclosure at some later date.
IF I MAKE A COMPLAINT REGARDING SUSPECTED MISCONDUCT, HOW WILL I BE PROTECTED?
BDO is committed to the protection of eligible persons* against action taken in reprisal for making the disclosure*. Maintaining confidentiality is a crucial component of this protection. All disclosures will be treated with a high level of confidentiality. BDO has appointed Stopline to enhance confidentiality and anonymity within BDO with respect to Whistleblower procedures.
Victimisation of an individual who reports misconduct will not be tolerated and instances of victimisation will be dealt with under the national Bullying, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Victimisation Policy.
We understand that staff members might be concerned about the repercussions of making an allegation under this policy. We will provide support to individuals who raise genuine concerns, even if the concerns turn out to be unproven.
Allegations made under this policy might cause significant distress and disruption to all concerned. Anyone who finds themselves the subject of an allegation can obtain advice and assistance from the People and Culture team.
HOW DOES STOPLINE WORK?
Stopline enables eligible persons* to report if they have reasonable grounds to suspect reportable conduct* via telephone, email, fax, internet, facsimile, mail or an app to an independent organisation with trained staff who will receive your concerns confidentially (anonymously if you wish) and provide the confidential information to the BDO Investigator. The procedures set out in the BDO Whistleblowing Policy are then followed in dealing with and finalising the disclosure.
WHO AND WHAT IS THE BDO INVESTIGATOR?
A person within BDO that is responsible for ensuring that all disclosures* are handled appropriately. The BDO Investigator is responsible for BDO’s role in managing disclosures and being the contact point for both Stopline and the BDO Board.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT STOPLINE?
You can contact the Stopline when you have knowledge of any fraudulent, corrupt, unlawful or unethical conduct by an employee and/or contractor.
AT WHAT TIME CAN I CONTACT STOPLINE?
You can telephone the Stopline on 1300 30 45 50 (in Australia) or +61 3 9811 3275 (overseas – reverse charges) during business hours (0800 – 2000 Mon – Fri AEST) to speak with a trained Stopline interviewer. Any messages left will be responded to within one working day. You can also send your disclosure via the internet (this website), email, facsimile or mail.
AS AN EMPLOYEE, HOW DO I KNOW THAT SOMEBODY WON’T JUST MAKE SOME FALSE CLAIM TO SETTLE A PERSONAL GRUDGE?
The BDO Investigator may decline to investigate the disclosure* if satisfied that the disclosure* has not been made in accordance with the BDO Whistleblowing Policy’ or if insufficient information is contained within the disclosure* in order for the investigation to proceed.
WILL I BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT THE RESULT OF MAKING A REPORT?
Yes. You will be kept advised about the status of the report, decisions made regarding how the matter is to be handled, timeframes that apply and the result of any investigation and action taken. If you choose to remain anonymous, you will be issued with a confidential reference and password and must initiate contact through one of the methods above to receive feedback.
IF I MAKE A REPORT, AM I LIABLE IN ANYWAY?
Where a person who makes a disclosure is implicated in the misconduct, BDO will use all reasonable efforts to protect the individual from reprisals; however the act of reporting improper conduct may not shield the person from the reasonable consequences flowing from any involvement in serious misconduct.
WHERE ELSE CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOTLINE SERVICE AND RELATED POLICIES?
Full details are available on BDO Whistleblower Policy.