In Chile, regulations on these matters can be found in different norms, which reflect the interest for more people to get involved in reporting unethical or illicit conduct.
This June 23 is World Whistleblower Day. The purpose of this commemoration is to make visible the importance and value of people who, in the context of business activity, report situations contrary to the law or ethics, an issue that – at times like these – is crucial to develop sustainable businesses that are aware of the positive impact they have on society.
In this regard, various international laws and regulations have expressly contemplated the figure of the whistleblower, seeking to provide guarantees to encourage whistleblowing, both within companies and directly to government agencies.
Thus, for example, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) provides for the prohibition of retaliation against whistleblowers and the possibility of anonymous whistleblowing. Likewise, it has considered the establishment of positive incentives for whistleblowing, being able -in certain cases- to obtain monetary rewards when the information provided is useful to take actions before the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States.
In Chile, the regulation on these matters can be found in different rules, which reflect the interest for more people to get involved in denouncing unethical or illicit conducts.
Law N°21.314, which establishes new transparency requirements and reinforces the responsibilities of market agents, among other matters, contemplates the figure of the anonymous whistleblower, establishing measures to protect the identity of the whistleblower and economic benefits, as well as the prohibition for the company where he/she works to retaliate against him/her, thus facilitating the prosecutorial activity of the Financial Market Commission.
On the other hand, Law N°20.393, which establishes the criminal liability of the legal person, establishes among the indispensable elements of a Crime Prevention Model, the existence of reporting procedures, which has been maintained and reinforced by the next Law on Economic Crimes, by establishing that the prevention systems must necessarily consider safe reporting channels.
Thus, it is evident the relevance of the whistleblower’s role in crime prevention since, through his actions, it is possible to identify unlawful or unethical conduct early, which will allow companies to minimize the possible damages generated, whether economic, financial, legal or reputational.
In this way, companies will more effectively identify possible offenses that, if reported in a timely manner, will allow them to access benefits related to the exercise of leniency, in the case of antitrust offenses, or the establishment of mitigating factors in the case of offenses covered by the law on corporate criminal liability.
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