Broken promise #7

A whistleblowers’ hotline

If IPSO is committed to eradicating the sort of widespread malpractice that prompted the Leveson Inquiry Part 1, then why is its whistleblowers’ hotline limited to disclosures about breaches of the Editors’ Code?

  • The nature of the whistleblowing hotline itself is contained in IPSO’s Regulations at clause 5.8. It states that IPSO will ‘provide a confidential whistleblowing hotline for individuals who have been requested by, or on behalf of, a Regulated Entity to act contrary to the Editors’ Code.’ This, therefore, would not capture the sort of illegal activity that prompted the Leveson inquiry, eg, phone hacking, e-mail hacking, blagging, binology, or any of the dark arts.
  • Clause 3.3.6 of the Scheme Membership Agreement obliges members to protect users of the whistleblowing hotline from disciplinary action ‘provided that such use is appropriate and proportionate’.
  • The meaning and nature of ‘appropriate and proportionate’ is unspecified. Given its obvious ambiguity it chills the strength of employment protection afforded to whistleblowers significantly.

 

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