EOH rolls out 100% Anonymous, Secure Whistleblowing App
EOH, Africa’s Largest Technology Service Provider, has announced the development and internal launch of the ExposeIT App, a powerful whistleblowing tool that provides a secure, completely anonymous and confidential platform to employees who may be victims of, or bear witness to, wrongdoings of any kind within their organisation.
The development of the app came about after Pretoria-based fraud-prevention experts XTND came across an App called Bravely, which was designed to combat bullying at schools by allowing children to anonymously report bullying incidents to authorities. XTND saw the potential and signed an agreement with Bravely’s developers, ZappApp, to adapt the app for use in an organisational context as a tool to enable robust cases to be constructed on whistleblower evidence, without the anonymity of the whistleblower becoming compromised.
Identifying information isn’t stored anywhere on the system, meaning that even if the App is somehow hacked, whistleblower identities will not be compromised. It is not simply difficult to establish the identity of a whistleblower using the app; it’s impossible. The ExposeIT App also allows users to upload and securely send video files, photos, documents or any other form of evidence available to the whistleblower. This allows a case to be built that stands a high chance of leading to convictions or disciplinary action.
Whistleblowing is consistently recognised as the most effective measure to guard against fraudulent or unethical activity within organisations. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), in their 2018 Report to the Nations, once again identified tip-offs as the single largest contributor to the detection of cases of fraud and wrongdoing: “Tips were by far the most common means of detection at 40% of cases – more than internal audit (15%) and management review (13%) combined.”
The EOH group of companies will be the first users of the ExposeIT App. Over the last several months, much work has been done to significantly future-proof EOH and to strengthen its governance, risk and compliance framework. The app will be available as a free download to any individual for anonymous whistle blowing on any registered entity.
Stephen van Coller, CEO of EOH Holdings, said: ” My personal commitment within EOH is towards ensuring ethical leadership and strong governance throughout the group. This app is an important step towards achieving this. Whistleblowing, and entrenching a culture that encourages it and prevents retaliation against employees who come forward, is crucial to ensuring transparency and good governance at any organisation. We hope that the ExposeIT App will become a new standard in enabling the safe, anonymous exposure of wrongdoing.”
All information collected via the ExposeIT App is reviewed by an independent law firm, categorized, recorded and stored for further analysis. Evidence and investigative actions are automatically time and date stamped for compliance and reference purposes, ensuring that no complaint is neglected or ignored.
The powerful reporting dashboard alerts the appropriate administrators and quickly turns data into actionable intelligence. Built-in reminders and other workflow tools maximise resource efficiencies and case management to significantly increase the effectiveness of subsequent investigations. The app is available for use by other companies and organisations.
EOH is currently involved in a fundamental transition to a professionally managed corporate structure, simplifying its more than 270 legal entities and aligning them to the strategy of the three distinctive businesses. The new structure will prioritise transparency, ethical leadership, full disclosure, compliance with stringent standards, and active response to any inappropriate practices that might be uncovered.
Fatima Newman, EOH’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The EOH Group is committed to completing this reorganisation in a manner that creates best-in-class governance and transparency, while retaining the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that has made the Group the most successful technology business in Africa.”
The rollout of the ExposeIT App is one of several actions taken by van Coller to strengthen governance at the technology company as it makes this transition: EOH is in the process of aligning its processes with the newly introduced ISO 37001 anti-bribery management systems accreditation; a comprehensive review of EOH’s governance procedures has been undertaken by the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa; group-wide processes now require third-party due diligence on all customer, supplier, and partner on-boarding; and PWC has been appointed as internal auditors.