Blow the whistle on suspected impropriety or crime
LiU has zero tolerance for impropriety or crime in its operations. The purpose of whistleblowing is to discover serious irregularities in the workplace, leading to investigation and mitigation. If you suspect, observe or obtain information about any serious impropriety or crime – blow the whistle without hesitating!
When should I blow the whistle?
You must blow the whistle (make a report) immediately you suspect, observe or obtain information that any form of impropriety or criminal activity against the university has been carried out or is ongoing.
What is impropriety?
Impropriety describes conscious actions, carried out by one or several employees, that can cause significant loss or damage for the university, which may be, for example, financial loss or damage to its reputation. It may be theft, damage, fraud, embezzlement, disloyalty to principal, forgery of document, unlawful threat, unauthorised access to or modification of data, breach of duty, taking a bribe, failure to follow procurement regulations, failure to follow routines for authorising payment, or failure to register incidental employment.
Some actions may be illegal or violate internal procedures without necessarily being consciously carried out. Others may not lead to significant loss of damage for LiU. Such actions are not considered to be impropriety, and thus are the subject of separate treatment.
What constitutes a crime?
A crime is an action described in the Swedish Criminal Code carried out by a student, an unknown person or an external person, directed against the university. It may be theft, damage, fraud, unlawful threat, threat to a public servant, unauthorised access to or modification of data, of the giving of a bribe. LiU students are considered to be external people in this context.
How can I blow the whistle?
The initial step is to blow the whistle (make a report) to your immediate manager, who will in turn pass the report on to:
- the chief legal adviser, if an employee is suspected of impropriety
- the chief security officer, if a student, an unknown person or an external person is suspected of crime. If ongoing crime is observed, the emergency number 112 must be immediately called. Such crime is not to be recorded through the LiU internal organisation.
It is also possible to contact the persons above directly, which may be particularly relevant if your suspicion relates to, for example, a manager.
An anonymous report or reveal my identity?
You may make an anonymous report, in any way that you prefer (e g by phone or mail), or you can choose to reveal your identity. It may be more difficult to follow up an anonymous report. An investigation can be based on anonymous information, but such an investigation is more difficult to carry out.
It is important to be aware that you always have the right to work under a freedom to supply information, and to report in your own name suspected impropriety or criminal acts to regulatory authorities (e g UKÄ Swedish Higher Education Authority) and/or law enforcement agencies (e g the Swedish Police).
What happens after I have blown the whistle?
If the initial assessment shows that there is reasonable suspicion that something untoward is going on at the workplace, in the form of impropriety or crime, an inquiry will be set up. The term “reasonable suspicion” means that there are circumstances to suggest, with a certain degree of reliability, that the designated person is guilty, and that a certain amount of evidence for this is available when the report is made, i.e. firm grounds for this conclusion.
If an employee has acted improperly, the following (broadly) will happen
The case will be thoroughly investigated, and this will be done promptly. The chief legal adviser will appoint a person to be responsible for the investigation and create an investigation group. When the investigation has been completed, the chief legal adviser will determine whether measures (one or several) should be taken. It may be, for example, that a report is filed with the police, that measures related to employment law are undertaken, and/or that deficiencies in policy documents and procedures are corrected. The chief legal adviser will keep all parties informed of progress during the process.
If a student, an unknown person or an external person has committed a crime, the following (broadly) will happen
The chief security officer will appoint a person to be responsible for the investigation. A person will carry out a rapid investigation of the case in order to determine whether a report is to be made to the police or not. Deciding which measures are appropriate depends on the value that the act concerns, and how serious it is. The chief security officer will keep all parties informed of progress during the process.
Impropriety and crime that fall under special guidelines and procedures, and are thus not managed according to whistleblower procedures
- misconduct in research and other deviations from good research practice
- cases of disciplinary measures relating to students and doctoral students
- cases of discrimination and harassment
- cases according to the Work Environment Act
- cases relating to breach of employment contracts that do not include impropriety.
Details of the whistleblower procedures
More details of the process for whistleblowing are given in the “Beslut om riktlinjer vid hantering av misstänkta oegentligheter och brott” (Swedish pdf)
Questions about the procedures?
- Employees should contact their immediate manager and/or HR partner for any general information about whistleblower procedures
- Students should contact the chief security officer, who will consult the relevant director of administration if necessary
Last updated: 2021-04-01