Melissa Anderson, April 1, 2016
Compliance departments are taking longer to close whistle-blower reports, according to a new study by governance, risk and compliance firm Navex Global. While report closures could be delayed for a variety of reasons, a long response time could drive whistle-blowers to bring their reports to regulators such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Securities Exchange Commission, experts warn.
The SEC received almost 4,000 whistle-blower tips in fiscal year 2015, and paid out more than $37 million to whistle-blowers under its Dodd-Frank authority. Boards should ensure compliance departments are appropriately resourced and fully staffed to handle whistle-blower reports at a time when employees’ awareness of whistle-blower resources seems to have increased along with regulatory pressures.
Case closure time increased to 46 days on average in 2015, up from 39 days in 2014. The increased wait time is being caused by a strain on resources in compliance departments, Navex believes. Report volume has increased by 44% since 2010.
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