Metsähallitus’ whistleblowing channel and reporting instructions
To ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct, we offer a whistleblowing channel which is open for anyone to inform us of any abuses. It is vital for us to be able to intervene in any shortcomings and improve our activities.
The whistleblowing channel can be used to report any suspected abuses related to Metsähallitus’ activities.
Please note that you can give us ordinary feedback by using the channels intended for this purpose.
In the Metsähallitus whistleblowing channel, anyone can report abuses or suspected abuses related to Metsähallitus operations. You can report events, acts or practices that you know or suspect are in violation of national or EU legislation, the Metsähallitus Code of Conduct or other norms or guidelines binding upon Metsähallitus.
It is important for us to have the opportunity to address any shortcomings, develop our operations, and ensure that they comply with our Code of Conduct and are responsible and ethical.
You can include your name in your report or submit it anonymously. To ensure anonymity, the whistleblowing channel is administrated by an external partner. The whistleblowing procedure is encrypted and password protected. All reports will be handled in confidence.
Metsähallitus complies with the Whistleblower Protection Act (Act on the Protection of Persons Reporting Infringements of European Union and National Law 1171/2022, in Finnish).
Please note that you can provide ordinary customer feedback using our feedback channels:
When and how should a report be made?
If you notice or suspect a violation of national or EU legislation, the Metsähallitus Code of Conduct or other norms or guidelines binding upon Metsähallitus, report the matter immediately.
Submit the report in the Metsähallitus whistleblowing channel at: https://report.whistleb.com/metsahallitus. In the whistleblowing channel, the person making a report can, if they so desire, discuss the matter anonymously with the persons processing it.
Administration of the whistleblowing channel
The whistleblowing channel is administered by WhistleB (Navex), an external, impartial service provider. Neither Metsähallitus nor WhistleB will be able to identify the source of the report unless you include your contact details in it. WhistleB will not save metadata associated with the reports, nor can they identify your IP address.
Processing of reports
All reports will be handled confidentially and impartially. Reports are only processed by Metsähallitus risk management, legal affairs and personnel representatives appointed for this task. In addition, Metsähallitus may use Metsähallitus experts required to verify the accuracy of an individual report and take any further measures arising from the report.
Only those processing the reports can access them through our whistleblowing channel. Each processor is bound by a confidentiality obligation under section 32 of the Whistleblower Protection Act, which guarantees the confidentiality of the processing. In addition, processors submit a compilation of the reports received to Metsähallitus’ top management.
Persons affected by or connected to the suspected misconduct are not involved in the processing of the report.
Receipt of the report and verification of its accuracy
The person submitting the report will receive an acknowledgement of its receipt. The processors will make every effort to verify the accuracy of the report within three months of its submission. If this verification is not completed within three months or any actions dealing with the violation are still pending, the processors will inform the whistleblower accordingly.
Processors can request additional information from the whistleblower using the message function of the whistleblowing channel to determine the accuracy of the notification. However, the whistleblower is not obligated to provide further information.
Measures for dealing with violations
If the report is verified as being accurate, the processors will take the necessary measures to deal with the violation. Processors shall inform the whistleblower of the measures taken or planned within three months of receiving the report. The necessity of measures is assessed on the basis of objective criteria, taking into account the specific aspects of each individual case.
If Metsähallitus decides to launch, for example, an internal investigation as a result of the report, the whistleblower will be informed of the investigation and its outcomes where possible.
If the report only concerns the personal rights of the whistleblower, they will be instructed, where possible, to use other channels and procedures.
Concluding the processing of a matter
It may be necessary to stop investigating a given matter if:
- the reported violation has not been adequately investigated;
- the violation itself is, in objective terms, minor in nature; or
- the measure in question may have already been concluded, and no specific measures would have been necessary to address it.
The whistleblower will be informed of the conclusion of the investigation and provided with an explanation for doing so.
Consequences for the whistleblower
No whistleblower expressing suspicions or observations in good faith will be subject to retaliatory measures or other negative consequences. The whistleblower must have a justified reason to believe that the information concerning the violation is accurate at the time of reporting.
Abuse of the whistleblowing channel, i.e. deliberately reporting false information, is a serious violation that may have further consequences, such as a fine under the Whistleblower Protection Act or criminal liability under the Criminal Code.
Confidentiality of identity and provision of information
Anonymous whistleblowers cannot be identified, nor will any attempt be made to do so. WhistleB will not save metadata associated with the reports, nor can they identify the whistle blower’s IP address.
If desired, the notification can be made by name. The whistleblower’s name will only be known to those processing the report.
In addition, the processors may provide information on the identity of the whistleblower, the subject of the report and other persons mentioned in the report to the competent authority, the pre-trial investigation authorities and the prosecutor as well as in court proceedings or extrajudicial legal or administrative proceedings as specified in section 33 of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Under section 33 of the Whistleblower Protection Act, the report subject also has the right to disclose the identity of the whistleblower as well as receive information from the authorities on the identity of the whistleblower if this is necessary for the preparation, presentation or defence of a legal claim in a judicial procedure.
Protection of personal data
The rights of persons to whom reports apply are protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act and data protection legislation.
All personal data contained in the reports will be deleted once they are no longer needed for investigation and implementation purposes and, in general, within one month (30 days) after the conclusion of the investigation. The documents will be anonymised, and name and address data as well as any other information that may allow the identification of the person in question either directly or through other data will be deleted.