Credit Institute Of Canada Whistleblower Policy
The CIC’s Code of Conduct (hereinafter referred to as the Code) requires directors, other volunteers, and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. Employees and representatives of the organization must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Each director, volunteer, and employee of the CIC has an obligation to report in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy (a) questionable or improper accounting or auditing matters, and (b) violations and suspected violations of the CIC’s Code (hereinafter collectively referred to as Concerns).
Authority Of Audit Committee
All reported Concerns will be forwarded to the Audit Committee in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The Audit Committee shall be responsible for investigating, and making appropriate recommendations to the Board of Directors, with respect to all reported Concerns.
This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable directors, volunteers, and employees to raise Concerns within the Organization for investigation and appropriate action. With this goal in mind, no director, volunteer, or employee who, in good faith, reports a Concern shall be subject to retaliation or, in the case of an employee, adverse employment consequences. Moreover, a volunteer or employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a Concern in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from the volunteer position or termination of employment.
Reporting Concerns Employees
Employees should first discuss their Concern with their immediate supervisor. If, after speaking with his or her supervisor, the individual continues to have reasonable grounds to believe the Concern is valid, the individual should report the Concern to the General Manager and or the Chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, if the individual is uncomfortable speaking with his or her supervisor, or the supervisor is a subject of the Concern, the individual should report his or her Concern directly to the General Manager and or the Chair of the Audit Committee.
If the Concern was reported verbally to the General Manager, the reporting individual, with assistance from the General Manager, shall reduce the Concern to writing. The General Manager is required to promptly report the Concern to the Chair of Audit Committee, which has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all Concerns. If the General Manager, for any reason, does not promptly forward the Concern to the Audit Committee, the reporting individual should directly report the Concern to the Chair of the Audit Committee. Contact information for the Chair of the Audit Committee may be obtained through the General Manager or the President and Dean of the CIC. Concerns may be also be submitted anonymously. Such anonymous Concerns should be in writing and sent directly to the Chair of the Audit Committee.
Directors And Other Volunteers
Directors and other volunteers should submit Concerns in writing directly to the Chair of the Audit Committee. Contact information for the Chair of the Audit Committee may be obtained from the General Manager or the President and Dean of the CIC.
Handling Of Reported Violations
The Audit Committee shall address all reported Concerns. The Chair of the Audit Committee shall immediately notify the Audit Committee, the President, the General Manager, and the Controller of any such report. The Chair of the Audit Committee will notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the Concern within five business days, if possible. It will not be possible to acknowledge receipt of anonymously submitted Concerns.
All reports will be promptly investigated by the Audit Committee, and appropriate corrective action will be recommended to the Board of Directors, if warranted by the investigation. In addition, action taken must include a conclusion and/or follow-up with the complainant for complete closure of the Concern.
The Audit Committee has the authority to retain outside legal counsel, accountants, private investigators, or any other resource deemed necessary to conduct a full and complete investigation of the allegations.
Acting In Good Faith
Anyone reporting a Concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates an improper accounting or auditing practice, or a violation of the Codes. The act of making allegations that prove to be unsubstantiated, and that prove to have been made maliciously, recklessly, or with the foreknowledge that the allegations are false, will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and may result in discipline, up to and including dismissal from the volunteer position or termination of employment. Such conduct may also give rise to other actions, including civil lawsuits.
Reports of Concerns, and investigation pertaining thereto, shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
Disclosure of reports of Concerns to individuals not involved in the investigation will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Such conduct may also give rise to other actions, including civil lawsuits.
Credit Institute Of Canada Fraud Policy Statement
Prepared By: Audit Committee
Effective Date: January 25, 2007
Management is responsible for detecting defalcation, misappropriation, and other irregularities. Each member of the management team should be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility and be alert for any indication of irregularity.
Any irregularity detected or suspected must be reported immediately to the General Manager, and/or the Audit Committee Chairperson, who coordinates all investigations and consults with our Lawyer when required.
Scope Of Policy
The conditions of this policy apply to any irregularity, or suspected irregularity, involving employees but also members, vendors, contractors and outside agencies doing business with employees of such agencies, and unknown parties.
Any investigative activity will be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position/title, or relationship.
Actions Constituting Fraud
The terms defalcation, misappropriation, and other fiscal irregularities refer to, but are not limited to:
- Any dishonest or fraudulent act
- Forgery or alteration of any document or account belonging to a member
- Forgery or alteration of a cheque, bank draft, or any other financial document
- Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, or other assets
- Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
- Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of securities activities
- Disclosing to other persons the securities activities engaged in, or contemplated by the company
- Accepting or seeking anything of [material] value from vendors or persons providing services/materials to the company [exception: perishable gift less than ($50) in value intended for a group of employees, such as, candy, flowers]
- Destruction or disappearance of records, furniture, fixtures, or equipment
Identification or allegations of personal improprieties or irregularities whether moral, ethical, or behavioral, should be resolved by General Manager rather than the Audit Committee.
Contact the Audit Committee Chairperson for guidance if you have any questions of whether an action constitutes fraud.
The Audit Committee has the primary responsibility for investigations. If an investigation reveals that fraudulent activities have occurred, the Audit Committee Chairperson will issue reports to the proper executives and, if appropriate, to the Board of Directors through its Audit Committee.
Decisions to prosecute or turn matters over to appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for independent investigation will be made in conjunction with legal counsel and the Executive of the Credit Institute of Canada, as will final decisions on disposition of cases.
The Audit Committee Chairperson will accept relevant information on a confidential basis from an employee who suspects dishonest or fraudulent activity. Employees should contact the Audit Committee Chairperson immediately, and should not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews/interrogations related to suspected frauds (see Reporting Procedure section below).
The results of investigations conducted by the Audit Committee will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those persons associated with the company who have a legitimate need to know in order to perform their duties and responsibilities. This is important in order to avoid damaging the reputations of persons suspected, but subsequently found innocent of wrongful conduct, and to protect the company from potential civil liability.
Authorization For Investigating Suspected Fraud
In those instances in which the Audit Committee Chairperson believes it to be in the best interests, members of the Audit Committee have the authority and duty, after consulting with appropriate executives, to:
- Take control of, and/or gain full access to, all company premises, whether owned or rented.
- Examine, copy, and/or remove all or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities on the premises without prior knowledge or consent of any individual who may use or have custody of any such items or facilities.
Great care must be taken in the investigation of suspected improprieties or irregularities to avoid mistaken accusations or alerting suspected individuals that an investigation is under way. An employee who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity should contact the Audit Committee Chairperson immediately. All inquiries from the suspected individual and his or her attorney or representative should be directed to the Audit Committee Chairperson for our Legal Counsel. Proper response to such an inquiry is: “I am not at liberty to discuss this matter.” Under no circumstances should any reference be made to “what you did”, “the crime”, “the fraud”, “the forgery”, “the misappropriation”, or any other specific reference.
The reporting individual must adhere to the following restrictions:
- Do not contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution.
- Do not discuss the case, facts, suspicions, or allegations with anyone outside unless specifically asked to do so by our Legal Counsel.
- Do not discuss the case with anyone inside other than the Audit Committee Chairperson, our Legal Counsel.
If an investigation results in a recommendation to terminate an individual, the recommendation will be reviewed for approval by the General Manager, and/or the President & Dean of the Credit Institute of Canada, and, if necessary, by outside counsel before any such action is taken.
The Audit Committee is responsible for the administration, interpretation, and application of this policy.
Credit Institute Of Canada Fraud Response Policy
Prepared By: Audit Committee
Effective Date: January 26th, 2007
- 1.1 The Credit Institute of Canada is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability in all its affairs. It is determined to maintain a culture of honesty and opposition to fraud and corruption.
- 1.2 In line with that commitment, the Credit Institute of Canada’s Anti-Fraud Policy outlines the principles we are committed to in relation to preventing, reporting and managing fraud and corruption.
- 1.3 This Fraud Response Policy reinforces the Credit Institute of Canada’s approach by setting out the ways in which employees or members of the public can voice their concerns about suspected fraud or corruption. It also outlines how the Credit Institute of Canada will deal with such complaints.
- 2.1 This plan is to be implemented where suspicions of fraud or corruption have been raised.
Fraud is defined as:
"The intentional distortion of financial statements or other records by persons internal or external to the company which is carried out to conceal the misappropriation of assets or otherwise for gain".
Corruption is defined as:
"The offering, giving, soliciting or acceptance of an inducement or reward, which may influence the action of any person".
- 2.2 Fraudulent or corrupt acts may include:
Systems Issues - Where a process/system exists which is prone to abuse by either employees or public.
Monetary Issues - Where individuals or companies have fraudulently obtained money from the Credit Institute of Canada.
Equipment Issues - Where the Credit Institute of Canada’s equipment is used for inappropriate personal use.
Resource Issues - Where there is a misuse of resources, (e.g. theft of materials)
Other Issues - Activities undertaken by officers of the Credit Institute of Canada which may be: unlawful; against the Credit Institute of Canada’s policies, falls below established standards or practices; or amounts to improper conduct.
- 2.3 This is not an exhaustive list. If you are in any doubt about the seriousness of your concern, advice and guidance can be obtained from the General Manager or the Audit Committee Chair.
- 3.1 Harassment or Victimization – The Credit Institute of Canada recognizes that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make, not least because of the fear of reprisal from those responsible for the malpractice. The Credit Institute of Canada will not tolerate harassment or victimization and will take action to protect those who raise a concern in good faith.
- 3.2 Confidentiality – The Credit Institute of Canada will do its best to protect an individual’s identity when he or she raises a concern and does not want their name to be disclosed. It must be appreciated, however, that the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and a statement by the individual may be required as part of the evidence.
- 3.3 Anonymous Allegations – This policy encourages individuals to put their names to allegations. Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful, but they will be considered at the discretion of the Credit Institute of Canada. In exercising this discretion, the factors to be taken into account would include: the seriousness of the issues raised; the credibility of the concern; and the likelihood of confirming the allegation from reliable sources.
- 3.4 Untrue Allegations – If an allegation is made in good faith, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against the originator. If, however, individuals make malicious or vexatious allegations, action may be considered against the individual making the allegation.
- Employee Actions
- 4.1 Employees are often the first to realize that there is something seriously wrong within the Company. However, they may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the Credit Institute of Canada. They may also fear harassment or victimization. In these circumstances, it may be easier to ignore the concern rather than report what may just be a suspicion.
- 4.2 The Credit Institute of Canada’s Whistle-blowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable staff to raise serious concerns within the Credit Institute of Canada rather than overlooking a problem or blowing the whistle to the media or other external bodies.
- 4.3 A full copy of the Whistle-blowing Policy can be obtained from the General Manager, the Audit Committee Chair or any staff of the CIC.
- 4.4 In essence, employees should approach their supervisor or the Audit Committee Chair. If the claim is substantiated, the President & Dean, and the Audit Committee Chair will be notified and consulted. The nature of the complaint will determine the Credit Institute of Canada’s course of action.
- 4.5 The Audit Committee Chair can be contacted by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Public Actions
- 5.1 The Credit Institute of Canada encourages members of the public who suspect fraud and corruption to contact the General Manager or the Audit Committee Chair.
- 5.2 The Audit Committee operates independently of all other Company processes and departments, and works to establish procedures with the following aims:
- To develop an anti-fraud culture.
- To deter, prevent, detect and investigate fraud and corruption.
- To see appropriate actions against those who commit or seek to commit some sort of fraud or corruption.
- To obtain compensation in respect of any losses to the Credit Institute of Canada.
- 5.3 The possible courses of action taken by the Credit Institute of Canada are outlined below.
- 5.4 The Audit Committee Chair can be contacted by email at email@example.com
- How will allegations of fraud or corruption be dealt with by the Credit Institute of Canada?
- 6.1 For issues raised by employees or members of the public, the action taken by the Credit Institute of Canada will depend on the nature of the concern. The matters raised may:
- Be investigated internally
- Be referred to the Police
- 6.2 Within 5 working days of a concern being received, the Audit Committee Chair or designated officer will write to the complainant
- Acknowledging that the concern has been received;
- Indicating how it proposes to deal with the matter;
- Giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response;
- Telling them whether any initial enquiries have been made; and
- Telling them whether any further investigations will take place, and if not, why not.
- 6.3 Where the loss is substantial, legal advice will be obtained without delay. Legal advice should also be obtained about prospects for recovering losses, where the perpetrator refuses repayment. The Credit Institute of Canada would normally expect to recover costs in addition to losses.
The Credit Institute of Canada accepts that those people who reported the alleged fraud or corruption need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, they will receive information about the outcomes of any investigation.
- 7.1 This plan will be reviewed at least annually, or after each use. Any need for change will be reported to the Audit Committee for approval.