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How should the institution respond when a systemic problem begins to emerge?
Neutral, objective and timely consideration of the matter is the best way to avoid disputes. This means fostering a culture in which managers and heads of department do not feel under threat and are able to separate the particulars of a dispute from the broader questions it raises for the institution.
Admitting a mistake early on and putting it right is the best way to ensure that it does not become ‘systemic’, that is an indicator of mismanagement or maladministration in the institution
Welcoming Public Interest Disclosures and the raising of concerns
- Do students and staff report that they feel there is a climate of fairness in the institution and they can safely raise a concern?
- Do you actively encourage a culture of raising concerns (perhaps as `suggestions for improvement’) and raising them early?
- A concern may be raised formally under your Public Interest Disclosure Code or it may be raised informally. Are your systems receptive to informal expressions of disquiet?
- Are you open to listening to concerns which may not fall formally under the provisions of your Public Interest Disclosure code?
- How do you ensure staff and students know about your Public Interest Disclosure code and where to find it?
Have you reviewed your Public Interest Disclosure code lately?
Have you considered whether your Public Interest Disclosure code should be expanded to include:
- concerns which could be raised with HEFCE under the Financial Memorandum (including mismanagement and maladministration
- concerns which could be raised with the QAA under its Causes for Concern procedure?
Possible consequences of reprisal
The Times, Saturday October 2, 2010
University whistleblower wins £6,000 compensation
A ‘business development manager at the university’ had ‘been removed from working on a recovery plan for the university because she leaked details of its financial problems…..Bristol Employment Tribunal …found that D. Kevin Richardson, who was implicated by Mrs. Merrigan’s disclosures, influenced the university to take action against her. It rules that she had suffered at the hands of the university after disclosing information about its financial difficulties.