What you as a member of staff should know before making a report
UiO shall assure that your working environment at the university is safe and secure, and is responsible for implementing corrective measures in the event that censurable conditions are discovered. Whistle blowing will be handled confidentially such that you do not experience negative consequences or retaliation associated with the situation that you reported.
What is whistle blowing?
Whistle blowing is reporting censurable conditions at UiO. Of primary concern are situations that violate the law or ethical norms. Whistle blowing ultimately helps the university to improve our educational environment for everyone and should be considered if students or staff observe any of the following:
- Unethical, illegal, or punishable conditions associated with the learning and work environment, pollution, corruption, misuse of public resources or abuse of power
- Problems or deficiencies that can contribute to serious injury or loss of life
- Students or staff being bullied, harassed, or discriminated against in connected with their work or studies at UiO.
Note: Censurable conditions affecting you personally as a member of staff you should discuss with your immediate leader or his/her superiors. In such instances, the web form for whistleblowing is not to be used. Read more about UiO's procedures for handling of conflicts, sexual harassement, procedure for adverse advents.
UiO’s web form for whistle blowing is secure
The web form is encrypted and sent over a secure connection to the Internal Auditing Unit (IR). IR is responsible for the correct routing and handling of your report. Your report will not be anonymous but will be handled by staff that is bound by a confidentiality agreement so that your privacy will be maintained.
Who will know that you are blowing the whistle?
Your name will not be made known to more people than necessary to handle the case. Individuals accused of improper or illegal conduct have the right to be informed of and be given insight into the nature of the complaint, as well as having the chance to defend themselves. In most cases, this implies that the accused will be informed who reported the incident.
You can also make a report anonymously via telephone or postal correspondence. A safety or union representative or your own attorney can also pass on an anonymous report on your behalf. Be aware that anonymous complaints against staff or students very seldom lead to sanctions. Individuals accused of improper or illegal conduct have the right to be informed of and be given insight into the nature of the complaint, as well as having the chance to defend themselves.
UiO’s duty to investigate
Whether you report a case anonymously, orally or in writing via web-form, the person who receives your complaint is obliged to forward your case to the appropriate manager or department so that work can begin on researching and resolving the reported problem.
A caseworker will keep in contact with you while the case is being investigated as well as after the case has been resolved.
It can be a good idea to discuss the case you wish to report with someone you trust before you make your report, for example your safety representative or your union representative. They can be an important resource, attending meetings and supporting you while the case is being resolved.
Whistle blowing can be difficult because you need to describe what you have experienced for those who will investigate the case. You may also, in the event a court case is initiated, be asked to be a witness. Be prepared to experience resistance and denial from the person or persons accused of wrongdoing - this may make you feel uncomfortable.
Be sure to keep documentation that supports your case (e-mail, sms, letters, pictures, etc.). Write what you experienced down as soon as possible.
Claim against claim: Understand that UiO may have limited possibilities for action or implementing sanctions against a staff member if there is no evidence to support an accusation of misconduct. Your complaint may, in any case, have an effect in that it may discourage similar cases in the future.
Protection from retaliation and independent oversight
Your employer not permitted to retaliate against you after you have reported a case (for example, through ejection, by taking away or altering your responsibilities, giving you notice or limiting your carrier opportunities). UiO’s Internal Auditing Unit receives a copy of every whistle blowing case that is submitted and is responsible for ensuring that these cases are handled appropriately. If you do feel that you are experiencing negative consequences associated with your report, please contact UiO’s Internal Auditing Unit directly.
If the actions or situation is punishable under law, you will be encouraged to make a police report. UiO may also, either by its own decision or due to legal reporting obligations, report the case to the police.
Be aware that making false accusations against an individual is a criminal offence.
Contact persons who can offer advice
If you are unsure whether you should report a case, consider contacting your safety representative, your union representative, UiO's Internal Auditing Unit or The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (arbeidstilsynet.no).