Whistleblowers’ Rights and Obligations
The Ethics and Good Governance Mailbox’s Regulatory Rules (general regulatory provision approved on 6 October 2016 and published in the Official Barcelona Province Gazette (BOPB) on 16 January 2017) establish the principles and guarantees for protecting whistleblowers in the area of the municipal Administration. The rules also set out the rights of the individual affected by the reported information.
- A secure communication channel that guarantees anonymity and confidentiality of communications.
- Confidentiality in the Mailbox’s management is guaranteed.
- Effective protection of their privacy and anonymity, without any possibility of their identity being directly or indirectly revealed (the sole exception being a judicial requirement acting in a jurisdictional role or from the public prosecutor’s office using its investigatory powers). This right also extends to possible witnesses taking part in the verification of the reported facts.
- Effective protection of their occupational integrity, without the possibility of being subject to reprisals, discrimination or any other professional consequence involving harassment or any other negative effect on account of the communication they have made.
- Individuals reporting forms of behaviour will have their rights protected without the possibility of their personal or professional lives being subject to harmful consequences.
- To verify the reported facts, provided they meet the requirements set out in Article 12 of this general provision.
- The municipal authority will ensure these rights, in particular, are enforced.
- Maximum discretion in the tasks for verifying the facts and, in general, in the Ethics and Good Governance Mailbox's entire management.
- Being immediately informed of the communication presented, except for justified reasons in accordance with the principle of proportionality, where there is a need to keep it secret for the sake of verifying the facts.
- No recommendations should be made or conclusions issued which contain names directly or indirectly while they have not had a real opportunity to find out about the reported facts and have their opinion put on the record.
- No one should be informed or data handed over until verification of the facts confirms the credibility or certainty of the existence of the behaviour reported.
In cases where the forms of behaviour (actions or omissions) communicated or reported fall within the scope of application of (subject and staff) of Act 2/2023, of 20 February, governing the protection of whistleblowers and the fight against corruption (Articles 2 and 3, respectively) the scope of protection granted under that Act may likewise apply to the whistleblower.