The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has introduced an anonymous whistleblower platform where unethical, corrupt or fraudulent activities can be reported by staff, members of the public and other stakeholders. In a statement issued yesterday, the bank said it is committed to the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal business conduct.
“Agribank regards ethical business behaviour to be the responsibility of every person in the bank, and it’s reflected not only in our relationships with each other, but also with our customers, suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders. Agribank’s code of ethics and related corporate policies are key components of its commitment to high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of its business”, read the statement from Agribank spokesperson, Fillemon Nangonya.
The introduction of the whistleblower platform is intended to provide overall guidance for reporting concerns and/or wrongdoings, and to further encourage staff, customers and all other stakeholders to raise concerns within Agribank rather than overlooking the problem or reporting such concerns through inappropriate channels.
Through the whistleblower platforms, Agribank stakeholders or members of the public may report numerous issues including criminal offences (such as fraud, bribery, corruption, theft and receipt of facilitation payments); failure to comply with laws (i.e. non-compliance with anti-money laundering requirements); and misuse and damage to company property.
Nangonya noted that users of the bank’s whistleblowing reporting platform must act in good faith, and are therefore encouraged not to make false accusations when reporting any concerns. “Good faith is when a disclosure is made without malice or consideration of personal benefit, and the complainant has reasonable basis to believe the report to be true.
Any employee who knowingly or recklessly
makes false or misleading statements or disclosures that are not in good faith may be subjected to disciplinary action as per the disciplinary code and procedure of Agribank”, he added.
Furthermore, the public or Agribank stakeholders who report unfounded accusations to tarnish the image or brand of the bank will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Members of the public or stakeholders have
the choice to report an incident anonymously, but the identity of such a person will always be