Guidance

The SSRO is now able to hear from ‘whistleblowers’ in the defence industry

The SSRO has become a ‘Prescribed Person’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and is now able to receive qualifying disclosures from whistleblowers who work for industry, the MOD and third parties.

Detail

On 1 February 2016 the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014 was amended to list the SSRO as a ‘prescribed person’ to whom protected disclosures may be made under the Employment Rights Act 1996. As a result, the SSRO can consider and act on ‘qualifying disclosures’ in line with the requirements of the Employment Rights Act.

A ‘qualifying disclosure’ is a report by a worker of malpractice or wrongdoing such as a criminal offence, failure to comply with legal obligations, or deliberately concealing information. The worker must reasonably believe that the disclosure tends to show one or more aspect of malpractice or wrongdoing and that the disclosure is in the public interest. The whistleblower does not have to possess substantive evidence as long as they reasonably believe their concern to be true.

The qualifying disclosure will be protected if the requirements set out in the SSRO’s Whistleblowing Policy are met. The whistleblower has the right not be subjected to any detriment by their employer (or by another worker or agent of the employer) because of the fact that they have made a protected disclosure. The SSRO also has a duty to respect the whistleblower’s preferences regarding confidentiality and anonymity.

The process for raising such concerns, and the steps the SSRO will take to ensure the whistleblower is protected and that concerns are addressed, is set out in the SSRO’s Whistleblowing Policy. To raise a concern of malpractice or wrongdoing in single source defence procurement, you should contact the SSRO at the details below:

Public Interest Disclosure Act enquiries

SSRO
Finlaison House
15–17 Furnival Street
London
EC4A 1AB