Fraud Line: The pioneers of whistleblowing in Greece
In the modern, competitive and constantly changing environment, the value of a business is not only estimated by its financial performance, but mainly by the trust shown by customers, investors and employees themselves.
An important parameter for strengthening the integrity culture is whistleblowing, the existence of secure reporting channels for uncovering illegal or immoral behaviors or practices within the company or organization, as well as the effective protection of the employee who is sensitized and makes a report.
Whistleblowing contributes to the reduction of financial losses, the strengthening of the corporate culture and the protection of the organization’s reputation through the prevention and detection of incidents related to – and not only – fraud and financial crime.
It is also about abuse of power, intimidation, sexual harassment, discrimination and racism, violation of environmental legislation and others. Apart from good practice, Whistleblowing will be a legal obligation by the end of 2021, as the European Directive 1937/2019 will be incorporated into national law.
The founders of Fraud Line, having experienced themselves the unpleasant effects of such phenomena and observing the consequences for companies and employees, realized the need and developed a set of integrated services for whistleblowing and corporate integrity. Their effort began with the business acceleration program of the Municipality of Athens INNOVATHENS, where the MVP of the service was created.
He then participated in the egg – enter grow go business incubation program, where Fraud Line acquired legal personality. Today it is a member of the Association of Information Technology & Communications Enterprises (SEPE) and a member of the National Register of Startups Elevate Greece.
Fraud Line adopted a holistic approach to whistleblowing services offered, which consist of three axes: First, the policy and reporting management process is developed according to the needs and requirements of each organization.
The scope, types of misconduct, reporting channels, protection and rights of employees are identified, and the framework for the assignment, planning and conduct of the investigation as well as corrective actions are defined.
Secondly, an electronic platform for anonymous/confidential reports is established, which meets high levels of security and privacy and supports an open channel of communication with whistleblower in the form of asynchronous communication between the administrator of the petition and the petitioner, maintaining anonymity through a unique code.
In addition, the platform acts as a case management system enhancing transparency and accountability when monitoring the report. Thirdly, interactive electronic training of employees is carried out in order to raise awareness and deconstruct some distorted perceptions about Whistleblowing and to understand what action should the petitioners take if something is brought to their attention.
Fraud Line has implemented projects for the following companies: Ellaktor Group, Lamda Development, Kaizen Gaming/Stoiximan, Attiki Diadromes, AXA Insurance, NCSR Demokritos, General Secretariat of Sports. It recently signed a contract with the Hellenic Holding and Property Company for the implementation of a reporting platform for the Group’s 13 subsidiaries, including ELTA, HELEXPO/TIF, ETAD, HRADFS, GAIAOSE, OASA, STASY and the 5G Holdings.
Fraud Line implements the project “play Honestly” in the context of the action RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE with the co-financing of the European Union and national resources through EPAnEK as well as private funds. The aim of the project is to create a unified whistleblowing and serious game service that raises awareness and empowers young athletes and other stakeholders to report incidents such as doping, manipulation of sports competitions, sexual harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination/racism and others.
It has also implemented a nationwide reporting platform for the prevention and detection of incidents of manipulation of sports competitions in cooperation with the General Secretariat of Sports within the framework of the National Platform of Sports Integrity (E.P.ATHL.A). The platform has been included in the Digital Transformation Paper 2020-2025.
The combination of legal, technological and educational skills of the team gives Fraud Line a comparative advantage, as it can implement a comprehensive whistleblowing project in a short period of time covering both the technological infrastructure, education, and the regulatory compliance part.
Christina Papazisimou has worked as a legal advisor to listed companies for many years, has specialized in regulatory compliance and has participated as an expert in projects of the Council of Europe and Expertise France for the Greek State. Vassilis Stamatopoulos is Dr. electrical and computer engineer. She has educational experience in higher education institutions. He is a regular member of the Ethics and Ethics Committee of Research at the National NCSR “Demokritos”
“We are not trying to discover the wheel. We seek international best practices, adapt them to the Greek reality and combine them with our own innovative elements and technological tools with a customer-centric approach. Our goal is to give a comparative advantage to our clients through the implementation of whistleblowing mechanisms and the enhancement of integrity in the business and work culture.”, states Christina Papazisimou.