The Otto Group has digitised its whistleblowing process
The BKMS whistleblower portal, called SpeakUp, gives employees, suppliers, service providers and observant citizens the possibility to report compliance infringements that are taking place anywhere in the Otto Group.
The foundation of all Group companies is conducting business in a fair and legally-compliant way: it is what enables customers and partners the world over to trust Group companies. Unethical or illegal behaviour within the group can immensely damage the reputation of the Group as a whole, which consequently can endanger the Group’s very existence.
What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the act of bringing wrongdoing on the part of an individual within an organisation or an organisation itself to the attention of a relevant authority. Wrongdoing can include such illegal acts as corruption/bribery, fraud, as well as compliance and ethics violations from willfully ignoring standards to workplace discrimination.
At OI, we stand for fairness in all of our commercial dealings and recognise that all of our stakeholders play an important role in safeguarding this value. Anyone that has concerns or suspicions about possible malpractice or professional misconduct of any OI employee, regardless of their position, should visit SpeakUp and follow the process to file a report.
The BKMS Portal
SpeakUp is being implemented by Business Keeper Management System (BKMS). It is a modular digital platform that allows potential violations to be reported independently of the time of day or of the whistleblower’s geographical location. The system meets the legal requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and guarantees the highest level of protection for whistleblowers and private data. It also complies with the more demanding requirements of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive.
With the BKMS the Otto Group is setting a uniform international whistleblowing standard for all Group companies. Expeditiously identifying non-compliant behaviour enables decisive early action that can prevent damage to the Group, as well as any impact on its employees and business partners. Furthermore, cases of suspected violations help to pinpoint areas in the Group that need to be further scrutinised in order to avoid financial damage and reputational risks.
What to Report
The Group wants to encourage individuals to flag possible cases of “compliance infringement.” This can include breaking relevant laws, violating the directives of the Group’s Code of Conduct, as well as infringing company-internal regulations of the Group or its companies.
More specifically, it can refer to:
- bribery, embezzlement
- the solicitation or accepting of benefits from existing and potential business partners
- conflicts of interest, nepotism
- falsification of documents, deliberate error, gross negligence
- coercion, discrimination
If whistleblowers so choose, they can submit their reports with complete anonymity. In order to guarantee this, it is important that whistleblowers do not enter any data that can be traced back to themselves. In addition to this, the whistleblower should not submit their report via any device provided by their employer wherever possible.
Considerations for a Whistleblower
- Describe in detail what you know took place.
- Provide the background and context of you concern by giving names dates, locations and any relevant documentation whenever possible.
- Redirect anyone who discusses a concern with you to this page and to SpeakUp.
- Make your concern known if you come across something that does not seem right.
- Ignore a concerning situation.
- Attempt to investigate the situation by yourself.
- Interfere with an investigation into a concerning situation.
- Discuss your report or the investigation process with others.