WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY & PROCEDURES
Whistleblowing is an important aspect of an accountability and transparency mechanism
to enable staff and/or business associates of FFM Berhad (“the Company") and its
subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “the Group”) and members of the public to voice
concerns in a responsible and effective manner. It is a fundamental term of every contract
of employment that an employee will faithfully serve his or her employer and not
disclose confidential information about the employer’s affairs.
Nevertheless, where an individual discovers information which they believe shows serious
malpractice or wrongdoing within the organization, then this information should be
disclosed internally without fear of discrimination or harassment.
B. The Whistleblower Protection Act 2010
“An Act to combat corruption and other wrong doings by encouraging and facilitating disclosures of improper conduct in the public and private sector, to protect persons making those disclosures from detrimental action, to provide for the matters disclosed to be investigated and dealt with and to provide for other matters connected therewith.”
Essentially this Act gives legal protection to employees against being dismissed or penalised by their employers as a result of disclosing serious concerns. The provisions of the Act are to ensure that no employees should feel at a disadvantage in raising legitimate concerns.
It should also be emphasised that this policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to question financial or business decisions taken by the Company nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under harassment, complaint, disciplinary or any other procedures. Once the "whistleblowing” procedures are in place, it is reasonable to expect employees to use them rather than air their complaints outside the Company.
C. Scope of Policy
This policy applies to any one who makes a report of any malpractice or impropriety to
the Company (“hereinafter referred to as “Whistleblower”) including:
- all personnel in the Group, which refers to directors (both executive and non-executive), employees (including permanent, part-time and contract employees);
- all business associates which are external parties such as customers, suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders who may have a business relationship with the Group; and
- Members of the public.
This policy is designed to:
- Support our values;
- Ensure Whistleblower raise concerns without fear of retribution, and
- Provide a transparent and confidential process for dealing with concerns
This policy covers not only possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting, but also include the following:
- Financial malpractice or impropriety or fraud
- Failure to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation
- Health and safety, or the environment
- Criminal activity
- Bribery and corruption acts
- Improper conduct or unethical behaviour
- Serious conflict of interest without disclosure
- Any other serious improper matters which may cause financial or non-financial loss to the Group or damage to the Group’s reputation
- Concealment of any of the above.
- All genuine concerns raised will be treated fairly.
- Harassment or victimisation of any Whistleblower raising a genuine concern will not be tolerated.
- The identity of the Whistleblower making the disclosure will be kept confidential unless he/she agrees otherwise, or the circumstances demand otherwise.
- Will ensure that the Whistleblower concerned is aware of who is handling the matter.
- Will ensure that no one will be at risk of suffering any retribution as a result of raising a concern, even if the Whistleblower is mistaken. However, this assurance will not be extended to someone who maliciously raises a matter that is known to be untrue.
This policy is designed to offer protection to those Whistleblowers who disclose such concerns provided the disclosure is made:
- in good faith; and
- in the reasonable belief of the individual making the disclosure that it tends to show malpractice or impropriety and if they make the disclosure to an appropriate person (see below).
The Company will treat all such disclosures in a confidential manner. The identity of the individual making the allegation may be kept confidential so long as it does not hinder or frustrate any investigation. However, the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and the individual making the disclosure may need to provide a statement as part of the process or evidence required.
In the event the Company is faced with a circumstance where the identity is to be revealed, the Company will endeavour to discuss this with the Whistleblower first.
Should the Whistleblower choose to disclose his/ her identity either internally or externally/publicly, the Company is no longer obligated to maintain the confidentiality of the Whistleblower.
iii. Anonymous Allegations
This policy encourages individuals to put their name to any disclosures they make. However, Whistleblowers may remain anonymous, if they choose to do so. Anonymous Whistleblowers are encouraged to provide an email address or other contact information to facilitate proper investigation.
Whistleblowers are advised to provide sufficient information to enable the Company to conduct investigation. Additionally, the factors to be taken into account will include:
- The seriousness of the issue or concern raised
- The credibility of the concern
- The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.
iv. Untrue Allegations
If a Whistleblower makes an allegation in good faith, which is not confirmed by subsequent investigation, no action will be taken against that individual. In making a disclosure the Whistleblower should exercise due care to ensure the accuracy of the information. If, however, the Whistleblower makes malicious or vexatious allegations, and particularly if he or she is an employee and persists with making them, disciplinary action may be taken against that employee.
F. How to Raise a Concern or Provide Information
Whom to report to:
- Option One : Report to your immediate supervisor.
- Option Two : If the concern involves your immediate supervisor, manager or Head of Department, or for any reason you would prefer them not to be told, you may report to any of the following designated officers:
|Chairman of the Audit Committee PPB Group Berhad
|Head of Internal Audit PPB Group Berhad
|Chief Executive Officer
|Chief Financial Officer
|Head of Risk & Governance
|Head of Human Resources
How to make the report:
- Concerns or information are preferably raised or provided in writing (letter or email). Ideally, the Company recommends any report to be detailed in setting out the background and history of events and the reasons for your concern by completing the Whistleblower Report Form (You may click on “Download Form” button below to obtain a copy of the form). The completed form can be emailed to any of the designated officers’ email as stated above.
- Alternatively, you may send your duly completed Whistleblower Report Form by mail to the following address:
The Audit Committee Chairman c/o Head of Internal Audit
PPB Group Berhad
12th Floor UBN Tower
10 Jalan P Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
- If you are not comfortable about writing in, you may telephone or meet the appropriate officer in confidence, at a time and location to be determined together.
G. Investigating Procedure
The investigation process will be as follows:
- Depending on the type/ nature of the reported case/ complaint, the Audit Committee of PPB Group Berhad holds the highest authority to form an investigating panel which may consist of the relevant business division/ personnel best-placed to address the reported issue.
- Full details and clarifications of the complaint should be obtained.
- The investigating panel should inform the subject(s) against whom the complaint is made as soon as is practically possible. The subject(s) will be informed of their right to be accompanied by a trade union or other representative (where applicable) at any future interview or hearing held under the provision of these procedures.
- If appropriate, the investigating panel should consult with the relevant General Manager/ Chief Executive/ Managing Director/ Chairman and consider the involvement of the Company’s internal auditors and/or the police at this stage.
- The allegations should be fully investigated by the investigating panel with the assistance where appropriate, of other individuals/ bodies.
- A finding concerning the complaint and validity of the complaint will be made by the investigating panel. This finding will be detailed in a written report containing the findings of the investigations and conclusion of the finding. The report will be passed to the relevant General Manager/ Chief Executive / Managing Director/ Chairman as appropriate.
- The relevant General Manager/ Chief Executive / Managing Director/ Chairman will decide what action to take. If the complaint is found to be valid, disciplinary or other appropriate Company procedures will be invoked.
- The Whistleblower should be kept informed of the progress of the investigation, if appropriate, and of the final outcome.
- If appropriate, a copy of the findings will be passed to the Company’s internal auditors to enable a review of the procedures.
If the Whistleblower is not satisfied that their concern is being properly dealt with by the Company’s investigating panel, he/she has the right to raise it in confidence with the Audit Committee of PPB Group Berhad or one of the designated persons described above.
What happens after the investigation is completed?
- The findings of the investigation(s) will be communicated to the Audit Committee of PPB Group Berhad for any necessary action.
- The investigating panel will communicate the conclusion of all findings to the Whistleblower as a matter of policy, for closure.
H. Safe-keeping of Records
- All concerns received in writing via the above-said channels together with the relevant investigation documents and reports are to be compiled by Human Resources Department and forwarded to PPB Group Berhad Internal Audit Department and will be retained by the Company for a minimum period of 7 years.
I. Oversight and Ownership of Policy
- The Board of the Company has overall responsibility for this Policy and shall oversee the implementation of this Policy.
- The Board has delegated the responsibility for the administration and implementation of the Policy to the Risk Management & Integrity Department and Human Resources Department.
- The use and effectiveness of the Whistleblowing Policy & Procedures shall be regularly monitored and reviewed by the Risk Management & Integrity Department, who is the owner of this document and shall be responsible for incorporating any amendments and updates into this document, obtaining the approval of the Chief Executive Officer for such amendments and updates and disseminating the same to the relevant parties.
- The Group will review this policy at least once every 3 years to assess its effectiveness.