WG Whistleblowing

The Working Group (WG) Whistleblowing startet its activities with a kick off conference call on 16 February 2015. The WG is co-chaired by Daniel Lucien Bühr and Helke Drenckhan.

The WG drafted a whitepaper on Whistleblowing comparing the Swiss legislative proposal on Whistleblowing  to international best legislative, operational practice and standards. The WG also established a best practice Guideline on speak-up processes and culture.

The WG organises meetings and presentations on new developments and best practices regarding reporting mechanisms.

Join this WG!




Zurich, July 05, 2018 – When we talk about whistleblowing, often we end up in a discussion about communication. That is right, because not even the best tool will make people actually using it. And it means that it is very important to start a communication about the whistleblowing system and keep it ongoing. What sounds easy in the first place can be difficult in practice. Communicating your Speak Up system is key to create a solid belief in the organization that it’s well-intended, reliable and serious. But what can you do to convince people and what can go wrong? At our working group event we discussed what is needed to encourage employees to raise concerns. Sandra Middel, Group Compliance Officer at Clariant International Ltd. and Mia Preissel, Junior Compliance Officer presented Clariants successful way of compliance communication. They pointed out what is key for an effective communication about speak up culture and the obstacles to overcome. Martijn de Kiewit, Group Compliance Officer at Barry Callebaut shared his experiences and discussed myths, facts and dilemmas surrounding the topic.  A lively discussion ended the session and the learnings will sincerely go into many communication strategies.

Zurich, November 21, 2017. ECS members and guests attended the presentation of the new Whistleblowing Report 2018 in Zurich. Dr. Christian Hauser from HTW Chur – the University of Applied Sciences – presented the results from the first scientific study on whistleblowing in the Swiss private sector. Among other interesting results, the study shows that around 70% of companies with over 249 employees have a whistleblowing process in place, that over 50% of all whistleblowing reports received are classified as relevant and only 3% are classified as malicious. In the second presentation, Zacharias Huwyler from Integrity Line GmbH provided some interpretations and recommendations based on the new results. For example, it can be observed that quality and quantity of reports increase if the whistleblowing channels are opened for third parties such as suppliers or clients. The interpretation of this is, that information about certain types of misconduct may almost exclusively be present outside the affected company. Therefore, it is recommendable to open whistleblowing channels also for third parties. The event closed with a networking apéro.

The study can be downloaded online: www.whistleblowingreport.ch

Zurich, September 21, 2017. The ECS working group Whistleblowing met on the campus premises of PH Zurich to discuss the impact of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on web-based reporting systems. More than 30 ECS members and guests attended the presentation of data protection expert Daniela Fábián. A lively discussion developed about the practical implementation of the GDPR. In particular the area of conflict between the GDPR premise to minimize personal data and the interest of the compliance officer to retrieve all relevant information led to dynamic discussions between the participants: How can the amount of data be reduced without important information not being recorded or being deleted too early? According to Ms Fábián anonymization of records or aggregation of data may be possible solutions. Her final recommendation: to document the own reporting system and related processes in detail in order to make informed decisions. The event closed with networking over drinks and snacks.

Zurich, 15 September 2016
More than 30 ECS members and guests listened to the presentation by Mr Eric-Serge Jeannet, Vice-Director at the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO), who presented the mandate given to the SFAO and its role as the manager of the Swiss Confederation’s whistleblowing site. Mr Jeannet presented the SFAO’s five-year experience with whistleblowing reports and presented in general terms some major cases of misconduct that were successfully investigated. Mr Jeannet explained the types and nature of incoming reports (about 60 a year) as well as the handling of reports. He also provided the audience with an interesting insight into the plans to further develop and strengthen its reporting mechanism. The event closed with a stimulating debate on the strengths and the weaknesses of the reporting mechanisms at the Federal Government and possibilities to better coordinate and professionalise the reporting mechanism(s) at federal level, including the pending legislative protection of whistleblowers. The event closed with a networking apéro.

Basel, 7 July 2016
ECS releases Guidelines on speak-up procedures

Basel, 3 September 2015
New Project ECS WG Whistleblowing

Basel, 30 April 2015
ECS releases Whitepaper on Whistleblower Legislation in Switzerland

Basel, 30. April 2015
Download ECS Whitepaper


Dr. Daniel L. BührVice Chair ECS, Co-Chair Working Groups CMS/ISO, Whistleblowing and Investigations