Plan, Do, Check, Act: DICO Standard S11 for whistleblower systems
Whistleblowing systems are an important component of an effective compliance management system. This is evidenced, among other things, by the various legislative initiatives on whistleblower systems. At the European level, the EU Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on whistleblower protection was already adopted in 2019 and must be implemented by 17 December 2021. In Germany, the implementation is reportedly to take place in a timely manner through a planned “Law for Better Protection of Whistleblowers” (Gesetz für einen besseren Schutz hinweisgebender Personen, abbr. Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz, hereinafter “German Whistleblower Protection Act”). Against this background, the German Institute for Compliance (Deutsches Institut für Compliance, abbr. DICO) has published a new standard for whistleblowing systems: the DICO Standard S11. According to its authors, the new standard aims to offer practical assistance and suggestions for the establishment of a whistleblowing system. The authors have already announced that a further development of the standard shall occur as soon as the draft German Whistleblower Protection Act is published.
In Germany, companies have so far not been subject to a general obligation to introduce a whistleblowing system. This will change with the implementation of the EU Directive on whistleblower protection mentioned above. With reference to the recent case law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on the topic of whistleblowing from February 2021, Fabian Quast describes the DICO Standard S11 in an article in Compliance Business and explains how it might be used as a tool for designing an internal whistleblowing system.