Whistleblower procedure

The purpose of the whistleblower procedure is to secure openness and transparency and ensure that the information submitted is used constructively to improve, prevent and remove errors and criticisable matters in the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The whistleblower procedure is a supplement to internal dialogue and openness in the Nordic Council of Ministers.

It is not the purpose of the whistleblower procedure to accuse individuals but to address unacceptable conditions. The whistleblower procedure is a ‘safety valve’ that should be used only when the usual channels are exhausted. You should therefore first of all consider whether things can be solved locally by contacting your immediate superior or staff representative, or the institution itself, before having recourse to the whistleblower procedure.

The whistleblower procedure has been established by the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and is anchored in the Controller function of the the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers, which is independent of the Nordic Council of Ministers' other administrative systems. 

What kinds of situations should be reported?

It is important that you describe all the facts in as much detail as possible. 

You should as far as possible document the situation that you describe.  

If you submit information through the whistleblower form, the template allows you to attach documentation in digital form. 

Factual information and possible documentation provide the best possibilities for investigating the matter you are reporting.     You have the option to remain anonymous.

FAQ on the whistleblower procedure

The whistleblower form is one of several points of access to the whistleblower procedure of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The procedure has been approved by the Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and is established in the Controller function, which is independent of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The procedure allows you, as an employee or partner of the Nordic Council of Ministers or the Nordic institutions, to provide information on suspected illegalities or serious irregularities in the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Should you always use the whistleblower procedure?

No. If, as an employee of the Nordic Council of Ministers or the Nordic institutions, you have knowledge of or reasonable grounds to suspect illegal matters or serious irregularities in the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers, we recommend that you in the first instance consider whether the problems can be solved through the normal channels, for example by contacting your immediate superior or staff representative. The whistleblower procedure is an alternative which is only intended for use if you do not feel comfortable using the normal channels or if, for example, you have tried contacting these channels in vain.

What can be reported?

• Violation of laws and regulations, such as corruption and economic infringements

• Serious breaches of ethical standards or rules

• Serious circumstances that could harm the organisation or society

• Serious errors or omissions

What cannot, as a rule, be reported?

• Bullying

• Co-operation difficulties

• Incompetence

• Absence

These issues are best handled by the local management or staff representative.

In certain cases, however, these matters may be so serious that the whistleblower procedure may be used.

Can you be anonymous?

You can submit information anonymously to the whistleblower procedure. If you wish to remain anonymous, do not state your name or any other personally-identifiable information, such as your personal e-mail address, address or telephone number – including in attached documents. We recommend that you use the whistleblower form if you wish to remain anonymous. If you submit information anonymously via the whistleblower form, you will not be informed about the progress or outcome of the matter.

What information can you submit?

The whistleblower procedure is intended only for information about serious matters. You can submit information if you have knowledge of, or reasonable grounds to suspect, gross or serious and repeated errors and omissions relating to the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers. If you are in doubt about whether or not you should submit information about a matter, you should not refrain for that reason. We will reply, provide guidance and undertake an assessment in each individual case. If a matter is not covered by the whistleblower procedure, you will be informed that we will not process the information, and you will, as far as possible, be told where you can submit the information, if it is not to be submitted via the whistleblower procedure.  

Who can submit information?

Information may be submitted by all employees of the Nordic Council of Ministers, as well as employees of the Nordic institutions and partners.

How do you submit information?

You can submit information to the whistleblower procedure in the following ways:

Via the whistleblower form, by clicking on ‘Submit information’ on the front page. You can then enter your information in the template. By contacting the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Controller function by telephone, or by fax, letter or e-mail, or by oral inquiry. If you wish to remain anonymous, we recommend that you use the whistleblower form (see also the FAQ on “Can you be anonymous?”)

What information should be included?

It is important that you describe all the facts in as much detail as possible. You should as far as possible document the situation that you describe. If you submit information through the whistleblower form, the template allows you to attach documentation in digital form. Factual information and possible documentation provide the best possibilities for investigating the matter you are reporting.

Who will process the information?

The Controller function of the Nordic Council of Ministers will undertake an initial assessment of the information that you submit to the whistleblower procedure. If we consider that the information is serious and that there is sufficient information available, we will conduct an internal investigation of the matter.

What information will the Controller function provide to those who submit matters for consideration?

We will inform you to the necessary extent about the progress of the case and its outcome. The information we can give you may be limited by the duty of confidentiality or other legal conditions. You do not have the automatic right to be provided with information on the case, or concerning the further case processing or assessments made in this connection.

Can you correct information that has been registered?

Yes. If you have submitted information through the whistleblower form and you become aware that you have submitted incomplete or incorrect information, you can make a new submission through the whistleblower form, referring to the previous submission and describing what needs to be corrected.