An example of high profile whistle-blowing

Ernst & Young have a link on the front page of their website which takes you to a page about the "EY/Ethics Hotline".

This provides a confidential website and phone number where you can report anything relating to Ernst & Young that may be "unethical, illegal, in violation of professional standards, or otherwise inconsistent with the Ernst & Young Global Code of Conduct."

The web report generated if you enter details on the website goes through EthicsPoint - an independent third party host.

I think this is pretty impressive - it shows a real commitment to making it easy for people to let you know when something is going off the rails. The fact that it is linked from the company's home page, rather than simply buried in the employee handbook, extends the promise of accountability to the broadest audience.

I would love to say that this is today's exception that will become tomorrow's norm.

Sadly, I suspect that it will remain the exception for quite a long time.

By the way, I should give credit to David Bowen and Keith Craggs, whose excellent newsletter on web good practice (in general, but they often include ethics / CSR related material) alerted me to the fact that E&Y had started doing this. See http://www.bowencraggs.com to sign up.

Posted on: 10 Feb 2011

Tags: CSR whistle-blowing Ernst & Young BowenCraggs corporate social responsibility Mallen Baker

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