University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Opinion

University of Copenhagen whistleblower scheme is unknown to many staff

A new scheme gives employees the opportunity to report criminal offences confidentially and anonymously. But why has the rector’s office not done more to communicate about the whistleblower scheme, and to educate managers and staff representatives so that they can offer guidance about it?

As chairpersons of the HK group at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) we were informed at a board meeting that a whistleblowing scheme had been set up at UCPH. We had heard nothing about this, and we wondered why it had been sneaked in.

We were told that it would be published as a news item on KUnet on 16 December 2021. This had us organising a small scale, non-scientific study among our colleagues. We asked them whether they had heard about the scheme, and the result was as expected – no one had heard of it.

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This has us asking the following question: Can this really be the case that publication as a news item on KUnet is sufficient information for employees at UCPH? It seems a bit like senior management and the government officials who have drawn up the scheme can now tick it off in the box and say that the case has now been dealt with, as approved in the appropriate forums at UCPH, and can now be accessed via the big KUnet news space. That’s taken care of.

But it’s just not good enough. Initiatives like this need more and better communication than just a news item on KUnet. We think it’s important that everyone is familiar with the whistleblower scheme and its consequences. What happens specifically? And what do you set in motion when you start a case?

Staff reps and managers don’t know enough about it

We have also looked into whether staff representatives and managers have been trained in giving counsel on the scheme. This has not happened, we have been informed – and despite strong recommendations from the employee representatives in the General Collaboration Committee. We believe that it is important that managers and employees know the difference between the different schemes if a need arises to complain about, and report, irregularities, harassment, cheating and deception.

This brings us to another question: Does the complete lack of communication about this scheme express a wish from management that the scheme should slowly just sink into oblivion? Or why else is it that UCPH does not make sure that 1) employees are informed that the opportunity exists and 2) managers and staff representatives are trained to counsel people on the scheme?

This is not the first time that we, as the chairmanship of this section, have put an open question to management in the form of an opinion piece on the University Post. We have unfortunately not received any responses. We would like management to respond this time.

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