Corporate India embracing whistle-blowing

Mumbai, 17 March ,2015

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Renewed focus on ethical business practices, a heightened sense of individual integrity and regulatory pressure is driving. In line with this, EY a leading provider of assurance and advisory services announced a strategic arrangement with InTouch, a UK based organization which offers independent whistle-blowing hotlines. Leading companies in India are now realizing the benefits of hotlines as a powerful medium to report complaints. With this arrangement, EY’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) and InTouch will enable corporates seamlessly institute and implement robust whistle-blowing mechanisms.

Arpinder Singh, Partner and National Leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY says, “The last few months have seen a major shift in perception, with individuals developing lower tolerance toward unethical practices and being more inclined to blow the whistle. This has compelled companies to adopt global practices to ensure high ethical standards in all areas of operation. It is anticipated that whistle-blowing will be embraced with improved enthusiasm – companies will also critically evaluate outsourcing the entire function for greater economies and efficiencies.”

Jagdeep Singh, Executive Director, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY who leads the Corporate Integrity practice that oversees whistle-blowing services adds, “Whistle-blowing mechanisms are essential in identifying and mitigating risks related to fraud. Hence, it is important that companies have a strong mechanism which allows stakeholders to report their concerns effectively. EY’s arrangement with InTouch will bring a unique proposition to companies to institute an appropriate and effective whistle-blowing mechanism seamlessly, from concept and advisory to operation. We believe that a third party service provider will generate more confidence and facilitate confidentiality, to augment the effectiveness of the process.”

InTouch offers multiple channels with 24/7 availability, multiple languages for reporting and case reporting software. Hence, organisations can now choose from various channels such as hotlines, websites, emails, postal address and fax without any apprehension about the deployment and integration of the cases reported for action.

John Wilson, Director, InTouch India says, “In our experience, an independent hotline proves to be a very attractive channel for persons wanting to report concerns. These hotlines are trusted by whistle-blowers and are available 24/7, meaning that someone can make a report whenever is most comfortable for them. Furthermore, understanding the psyche of a whistle-blower is important. Our service centre representatives are trained to be sensitive to whistle-blowers, build a rapport with them and gather as much information as possible to help conduct a successful investigation.”

EY FIDS and InTouch, through this arrangement, have already assisted many companies institutionalize whistle-blowing mechanisms. It puts them in an advantageous position to leverage the full range of services through one window and further ensures legal and regulatory compliance.

Assisted by EY and InTouch, the Dainik Bhaskar Group has been a frontrunner in instituting whistle-blowing internally. Girish Agarwal, Director, DB Corp Limited says, “The implementation of the whistle-blowing mechanism is a major boost to enhance our efforts in encouraging sound corporate governance within the company. EY’s expertise alongside InTouch’s operational experience proved to be well co-ordinated and we see it bringing us immense value.”

The capabilities of EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services and InTouch India will help organisations establish a whistle-blowing mechanism by selecting the most suitable policy and mechanism, developing a fraud response plan, constituting a cross-functional committee, advising on response action and implementing of whistle-blowing channels. It will also deal with complaints by providing advice with regard to effective response action and spreading awareness by assisting in preparation of roll-out strategy, providing assistance in conceptualization and development of content for training.

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Notes to Editors

About EY
EY is a global leader in its Assurance, Tax, Transaction and Advisory services. Our insights and the quality services we deliver help to build trust and confidence in capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In doing so, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may also denote one or more of the member firms of EY Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. EY Global Limited, a UK company, which is limited by guarantees, does not provide services to clients. For more information on our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member firm of the global EY organization. It also does not provide services to clients.

About EY’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services practice

Dealing with complex issues of fraud, regulatory compliance and business disputes can detract from efforts to succeed. Better management of fraud risk and compliance exposure is a critical business priority — no matter the industry sector. With more than 2,500 fraud investigation and dispute professionals around the world, we assemble the right multidisciplinary and culturally aligned team to work with you and your legal advisors. And we work to give you the benefit of our broad sector experience, our deep subject matter knowledge and the latest insights from our work worldwide.

About InTouch India

InTouch has been a leading provider of independent whistleblowing hotlines since 2002, offering 24/7/365 multilingual, multi-channel reporting via our SpeakUp service.

SpeakUp alerts clients’ senior management to serious wrongdoing within their organisation, allowing them to manage incidents internally and better protect their employees, other stakeholders, their operations and reputation. InTouch works with many of the world’s leading companies, helping them mitigate potential risks and protect against financial loss and reputational damage.

InTouch is part of the Expolink Group. Established in 1995, Expolink is Europe’s whistleblowing hotline market leader and proud to have been the first outsourced whistleblowing company in Europe. Together, InTouch and Expolink provide some of the most comprehensive and effective whistleblowing programmes available on the market today.

The formation of InTouch India is an important part of the group’s plans to focus on delivering a whistleblowing service customized to the needs of Indian-headquartered businesses and their global operations.

Together, Expolink and InTouch’s whistleblowing services cover 5 million employees, suppliers and third parties in over 190 countries. We have considerable expertise in addressing European data privacy legislation.