Screening for bogus staff is not whistleblowing

Promoting a culture where it is safe for staff to raise whistleblowing concerns is good for business and reduces the risk of unwarranted external disclosures. These days few question that such a culture helps organisations to deter and detect wrongdoing at an early stage.

Some readers may, therefore, have found it rather baffling to read your feature ‘Screening out bogus staff’ (Personnel Today, 17 July), which claims that “the word ‘whistleblower’ is enough to send a shiver down the spine of any senior management executive”. The ingenious way that its author, Kroll’s Michael Wittington, reached this point was by using the words ‘whistleblower’ and ‘undercover journalist’ as interchangeable.

The positive benefits of genuine whistleblowing by loyal staff are, obviously, wholly different from the negative associations that an organisation will feel when it discovers it has been infiltrated by undercover journalists with the intention of exposing, rather than remedying, any potential malpractice.

Guy Dehn
Public Concern at Work

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