What you should know before making a report

UiO shall assure that your learning environment at the university is safe and secure, and is responsible for implementing corrective measures in the event that problems are discovered. The most serious cases – categorized as Whistle blowing at UiO – 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.

As a student, you can also report situations that you have experienced yourself.

UiO’s web form for whistle blowing

The web form is encrypted and sent over a secure connection to your local Speak Up Office. The staff at your faculty’s Speak Up Office 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 have complained?

Your identity will not be known to any more people than are necessary to resolve your case. The person who is the subject of a complaint has the right to know about, see the details of, and comment on the complaint. That is to say that in most cases, a person accused of wrongdoing will know the identity of the person who has accused them.

Verbal reporting

You can make a report by telephone or in person to the Speak-up office at your faculty.

Anonymous reporting

It is possible to make an anonymous complaint via telephone or letter to the Speak-up office at your faculty. The Studentombud or your attorney can also make an anonymous report on your behalf. Be aware that anonymous complaints against staff or fellow students rarely lead to sanctions. In most cases, UiO needs to know your identity to follow your complaint.

UiO’s duty to investigate

Whether you report a case anonymously or 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.

Support

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 (for example, your local Student Ombud or a SiO Student Advisor, before you make your report. They can be an important resource, attending meetings and supporting you while the case is 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.

Documentation

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

Staff members are not permitted to retaliate against you after you have reported a case (for example, by giving you a poor grade 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.

Police reporting

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.

False Accusation

Be aware that making false accusations against an individual is a criminal offence.

If you are unsure whether you should report a case, consider contacting the student ombud Studentombudet or one of SiO Counselling's student advisors.


Read more what happens after you report is submitted

Published Sep. 13, 2013 12:20 PM - Last modified Jan. 19, 2016 3:31 PM