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 – anything that is inconsistent with the responsible and ethical principles set out in our Code of Conduct.
You can sign your report with your name or send it anonymously. To ensure anonymity, the whistleblowing channel is administrated by an external partner: WhistleB, Whistleblowing Centre. The whistleblowing procedure is encrypted and password protected. All reports are processed confidentially following Metsähallitus’ standardised procedure.
It is vital for Metsähallitus that everyone informs us about any breaches of our Code of Conduct observed or suspected by them immediately, so please report any incidents that are in breach of our responsible and ethical principles.
We foster an atmosphere of openness and a high ethical standard in everything we do. We are committed to maintaining an organisation culture where everyone can report their suspicions of activities breaching our Code of Conduct without a risk of later being victimised, discriminated against or being treated less favourably. No-one who reports their suspicions in good faith and participates in investigating potential breaches of our Code of Conduct will incur negative consequences for it.
The purpose of the reporting instructions is to encourage people to report any breaches of the Code of Conduct and to ensure that the investigation process is managed appropriately.
2. When should a report be made?
If you observe or suspect any breaches of the Code of Conduct, you should report them immediately. The reports should be made sincerely and with integrity.
3. How should a report be made?
Use Metsähallitus’ whistleblowing channel at: https://report.whistleb.com/en/metsahallitus
The whistleblowing channel is administrated by WhistleB which, as a neutral service provider, ensures that the reports are processed anonymously. Neither Metsähallitus nor WhistleB will be able to identify the whistle blower unless you include your contact details in the report. WhistleB will not save metadata associated with the reports, nor can they identify the whistle blower's IP address. Through the reporting service, an anonymous whistle blower and those processing the report can talk to each other.
4. Procedure for processing reports
All reports will be processed confidentially following Metsähallitus’ standardised procedure by persons to whom this duty has been assigned (representatives of Metsähallitus’ Risk Management, Legal Affairs and HR functions). If necessary, other experts may also participate in the investigation to ensure that the report is processed appropriately.
Only the staff members processing reports can access them through our whistleblowing channel. Each official processing reports is subject to the duty of non-disclosure, which guarantees confidential processing of reports. While a report is being processed, the officials may turn to other persons for information and expertise. This is also done confidentially. In addition, the officials submit a compilation of the reports received to Metsähallitus’ top management.
Reception of reports
All reports are taken seriously. Once a report has been received, the officials make a decision to either accept or reject it. If the report is accepted, the appropriate steps to investigate it will be taken.
The officials may reject a report if it is obvious that:
- the incident is not included in the matters that should be reported following these instructions
- the report is false or malicious
- sufficient information for investigating the matter further is not available; or
- the issue referred to in the report has already been resolved.
If the report concerns matters that are not within the Code of Conduct’s scope of application, the officials should take appropriate action to solve the problem.
Any intrusive information of personal nature concerning such areas as health or political, sexual or religious ideas will not be investigated.
Investigation of a report
All accepted reports of suspected abuses or deviations are investigated thoroughly following these instructions. The appropriate method of investigating the matter will be determined by the officials.
- All reports will be handled in confidence.
- A person whom the suspicion concerns or who has an interest in the matter will not participate in investigating a report.
- If necessary, the officials will ask for further information using the anonymous whistleblowing channel.
- The officials processing the report or other persons participating in the investigation process will make no attempt to identify the whistle blower unless this person is willing to provide their contact details.
The whistle blower's name will only be known to those processing the report. As far as this is appropriate, a whistle blower referred to in these instructions will be informed of the findings of the investigation concerning their claims, however also taking into account the privacy of the persons against whom the claims were made and other confidentiality issues.
Where the report concerns an offence, the whistle blower will be told that revealing their identity may be necessary in connection with a pre-trial investigation carried out by the authorities and a court hearing.
No-one who reports their suspicions in good faith and participates in investigating potential breaches of our Code of Conduct will incur negative consequences for it. Abuse of the whistleblowing channel, or deliberately reporting false information, is a serious violation that may have further consequences.
Privacy of a person identified in a report and their access to information
The appropriate data protection legislation will be applied to the rights of the persons whom the reports concern. The interested parties have the right to access the information on them and demand that any information that is incorrect, deficient or outdated be corrected.
All protective measures required to prevent the destroying of evidence and other acts that might harm the processing and investigation of the report will be applied to these rights.
Removal of data
All personal data contained in the reports will be removed 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 investigation 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 removed.
5. Legal basis of the reporting instructions
These instructions are based on guidelines issued by a working party on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data referred to in Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive) and on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation of May 2018.
6. Disclosure of personal data to non-EEA parties
A blanket ban on disclosures of personal data to non-EEA parties is in force unless specific measures are taken to protect the data.