In March 2014 NCP Norway received an anonymous complaint about conditions at a subsidiary of a Norwegian company in a non–OECD country. The complainant claimed that the local management has been involved in bribery and that the parent company has not responded to a complaint via the company’s own whistleblower channel. NCP Norway was asked to investigate the matter with a view to punish the local management.
NCP Norway has rejected the case, partly because of the complainant’s hidden identity. We recognize that there may be legitimate reasons to be anonymous, but that makes it difficult for the NCP to assess whether the person has a legitimate interest in the matter. That is one of the conditions that must be met in order for a case to be considered. Anonymity also makes it impossible to conduct a meaningful dialogue between the parties. NCP Norway suggested to the complainant that he/she could be represented by a third party, but this was not accepted. Another matter that the NCP is to take into account when considering if the issue merits further consideration is if the complaint is substantiated. In this case, the complainant put forward allegations but said that NCP Norway should investigate the matter for more information. We explained that we do not have investigative authority and that we are not a judicial body. We are a non-judicial complaint mechanism set up to facilitate dialogue between the parties. The complainant was not interested in such a dialogue. The NCP has therefore rejected the complaint.
Even though, the case is rejected, NCP Norway has in its Initial assessment given some recommendations and observations to the company to identify, prevent, mitigate and manage risks associated with bribery. We have among others, referred to guidance from the OECD and Transparency International.