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Guidelines for whistleblowing at SINTEF

Published April 1, 2010

  1. Whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous will do so.
  2. The person or persons who are the subject of the whistleblowing will be given an opportunity to present their version of the case as soon as possible.
  3. The person or persons who are the subject of the whistleblowing will be able to present their version to the relevant fora in SINTEF.
  4. The whistleblower will be given clear information about what will happen, feedback during the hearing and will be notified of the results of the hearing.
  5. If the hearing requires the whistleblower to come forward, the latter may choose to do so, or to withdraw the disclosure.
  6. If the whistleblowing is in relation to illegal conduct, this is of public concern and the case will necessarily have to be pursued. Anonymity will still be ensured as far as possible.


Information about guidelines for whistleblowing at SINTEF

SINTEF’s basic values are honesty, courage, generosity and solidarity. In line with these, we want to have an open corporate culture, where no one is afraid to ask questions or raise concerns. In order to make this possible, we have made our ethical guidelines clear and have established an Ethics Council and Ethics Representative.

SINTEF expects its employees to raise questions and concerns on all major issues with their immediate superior or colleagues. If you feel that it is not possible to bring up your problem with your immediate supervisor, you are expected to go directly either to the Ethics Council or the Ethics Representative.

SINTEF wants to be able to handle all ethics-related doubts and beliefs internally, and as far as possible to keep them there. We think that our system should be capable of handling these kinds of questions in a way that can satisfy everyone involved, without making SINTEF's outlook and corporate culture the subject of media attention. This is not because we want to hide anything, or because the issues will not stand up to public scrutiny, but because it is neither necessary nor interesting for internal matters to be discussed in public. Nor, as a rule, is it particularly constructive.

SINTEF has chosen not to set up a facility for exclusively anonymous whistleblowing, but instead to provide a channel for whistleblowing with the right to full anonymity. We believe that this will reduce the risk that the whistleblowing facility will be abused, and will make it easier to follow up on whistleblowing issues. (See section 6 in the guidelines)

The most important thing in this context is to ensure that the threshold for internal whistleblowing is extremely low. If you have just the smallest doubt, you should speak up about it – internally. After that, it is up to the management, line management, the Ethics Council or Ethics Representative to ensure that your enquiry is treated properly.

SINTEF expects everyone, whether they are managers or not, who receives an expression of concern or information about a wrongdoing to do so openly and seriously, and to treat the person who has come forward properly and with respect. Because we feel that this system should be capable of taking care of everyone's needs, we also expect the threshold for external whistleblowing to be extremely high. We do not expect it to happen unless all internal channels have been tried and the system has failed.

At the suggestion of the Ethics Council, the Group’s management has established some fundamental principles covering how we should handle whistleblowing.