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Whistle Blowing Policy
Here in ECSS, we believe that both our team and beneficiaries are entitled to a safe and conducive working environment.
En Community Services Society (ECSS) eagerly desires to maintain public confidence in ECSS as a voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) and thus indirectly maintain the public’s confidence of other VWOs within the social service sector in Singapore. ECSS as a VWO will remain accountable to the public to behave ethically for both financial and non-financial practices.
Scope and Definition
In line with this commitment, ECSS, as an entity, adopts a whistleblowing policy to provide an avenue for both internal and external parties to highlight issues that may be of concern. Whistle blowing is defined as a deliberate, voluntary disclosure of individual or organisational malpractice by a person who has or has had privileged access to data, events, or information about an actual, suspected, or anticipated wrongdoing within or by ECSS that is within its ability to control.
Internal parties include all employees, including those holding managerial positions and council members. While external parties include volunteers, service users of ECSS, any business partners and even the general public.
On top of providing an avenue, ECSS would like to assure all parties that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistle blowing in good faith, till proven contrary.
Below is a list of examples (though not exhaustive) of reportable incidents covered by this policy:
- Concerns regarding ECSS’s financial accounting or auditing matters;
- Impropriety, corruption, acts of fraud, theft and/misuse of ECSS’s properties, assets, or resources;
- Breach of law and/or breach of ECSS’s policies and code of conduct;
- Any improper conduct that may cause financial and/or nonfinancial loss to ECSS or damage its reputation;
- Manifestation of any motives to mislead, deceive, coerce, or fraudulently influence any party for financial and/or non-financial unlawful corporate and/or personal gain
- Undisclosed serious conflict of interest;
- Concealing information about any of the above malpractice or misconduct.
Protection against Reprisal and Confidentiality
In a situation where concerns are raised or information provided regarding an actual or anticipated wrongdoing, done in good faith; both internal and/or external party will be protected against any reprisal such as employment termination, retribution, harassment, use of threat or force.
However, ECSS will not condone any frivolous, mischievous or malicious allegations. Action will be taken to ensure such allegations are fiercely dealt with, in the hope of restoring the reputation of ECSS, and maintaining the public confidence of charities in Singapore.
Exceptions to above include:
- When ECSS is under legal obligation to disclose any financial and/or non-financial information;
- When the information is already in the public domain;
- When the information is given to the Police for criminal investigation.
Whistle Blowing Procedures
Concerns may be raised with information provided to:
En Community Services Society
2 Kallang Avenue
CT HUB #06-14
Such reports are preferably made in writing, either in the form of a letter or email, and in detail setting out the background and history of events as well as the reason(s) for concern.
Concerns will be assessed with the following factors in consideration:
Severity of the issue(s) raised;
Information provided will be verified and credibility ascertained; and
The impact dealt, either tangibly or intangibly, both to ECSS’s reputation or to any individual(s).
Depending on the nature of the concern raised or information provided, the investigation will be conducted, involving the relevant parties and authorities.
During the investigation process, the whistle blower(s) might be contacted by the investigating officer(s) for further information and clarification purposes. When the investigation is completed, the investigating officer(s) will report the findings to the Council to decide on necessary action.
Conflict of Interest
Procurement of contracts for goods and services should be on an arm’s length basis. For instance, En Community Services should not engage consulting services from a council member or council member’s relative on less attractive terms than could have been obtained from the open market.
Quotations and Financial Transactions
When a related party (i.e ECSS staff, council member, staff and/or council member’s family) participates in the submission of quotations for any purchase, the designated person will ensure a minimum collation of 3 quotations including the quotation by the related party. The designated person will record details of the quotation price, assess company creditability and expertise, and submit these details for the council’s approval.
During the selection process, any council member with conflict of interest (if quotation party is closely associated or related to council member) will not vote or participate in the selection process.
Only upon the council’s approval can then the designated person proceeds with the purchase.
En Community Services Society’s Reserve Policy is to maintain a reserve equivalent to 6 months of the annual operating expenditure. Any amount in excess of this may be invested in accordance with the decision of the council.