New Whistleblowing Act
Under the Whistleblowing Act (2021:890), Dalarna University is obliged to establish an internal reporting channel (a whistleblowing function). The reporting function enables individuals engaged at the University to report suspected wrongdoings of general interest, such as corruption or legal acts that violate environmental protection or public procurement regulations.
Making a report
The whistleblowing function is available to individuals who are engaged in some way at Dalarna University. This means that the possibility of whistleblowing extends to a wider group of people than under previous regulations: for example, volunteers, trainees and employees, and students within a work-related context.
The term ‘general interest’
A whistleblowing report may concern wrongdoings that pose an imminent or clear danger to life, health or safety or a risk of extensive environmental damage, or some other matter that there is legitimate reason to report to the authority: for example, financial irregularities.
Whistleblowing is not intended as a remedy for wrongdoings associated with an individual’s own employment situation.
Prohibition against punishing a person who reports wrongdoings
A person who has reported an employer for serious wrongdoings must not be subjected to reprisals. This prohibition also applies to anyone who has complained about discrimination or reported an infringement of the Discrimination Act. Examples of reprisals by an employer include ordering an employee to work unreasonable overtime or giving a whistleblower a heavier workload or working duties for which they are overqualified. Anyone who is subjected to reprisals can complain to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen).
Public access to official documents and secrecy in the whistleblowing function
When a report or complaint is received by Dalarna University, it is registered and given a reference number. As Dalarna University is a public authority, your report or complaint may become an official document and as such, anyone has the right to request access to it.
For complete anonymity, you need to make your report verbally or submit it by letter.
However, a whistleblowing report or complaint may be classified as confidential. The University therefore always carries out a confidentiality assessment that may result in a decision not to disclose information that is covered by secrecy regulations. A decision not to disclose official documents can be appealed to in a court of law.
With effect from 17 December 2021, a new provision in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (SFS 2009:400, Chapter 17, Section 3b) is intended to protect the identity of whistleblowers in the public sector. Secrecy applies to information that could reveal the identity of the person making the report in a follow-up case. The term ‘follow-up case’ refers to, for example, information revealed in a report about wrongdoings received via a whistleblowing function and information consisting of feedback to the person making the report.