Reporting corruption or other irregularities
SCA aims to counteract corruption at all levels and in all forms. This is to be achieved primarily by establishing clear procedures and regulations and by maintaining good levels of control and transparency.
No organization is immune to corruption and other irregularities, but SCA is at particular risk as Afghanistan is one of the world's most corruption-prone countries. Corruption pervades public and private structures, with strong links to the criminal economy, and exerts a serious impact on our target groups' everyday lives. In the end, corruption means that human rights are disregarded.
Both donors and recipients in rural Afghanistan, as well as authorities, often state that SCA operations are efficient and that the organization is vigilant against corruption. This can only be maintained through a combination of efficiency at work, strong defense of our target groups' rights, and zero tolerance of corruption. You will find the SCA Anti-corruption Policy here. (Link)
All employees are required to report suspected irregularities, and here members, target groups, partners and the general public play an important role. Anyone can report suspected irregularities through the SCA whistleblower e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
All irregularities reported will be investigated by the SCA Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC). ACC consists of the Secretary General, the Country Directors of Afghanistan and Sweden, and the Head of Internal Audit.
Reports of suspected corruption can be made in several ways:
Through the message field above.
- An e-mail can be sent to email@example.com. The message may be written in Swedish or English.
- Employees at the SCA office in Kabul or in regional management offices can submit a written report via the designated complaints boxes.
- Any staff member can talk to their manager, director or SCA country director and inform them of suspected irregularities. It does not require approval from the line manager of the staff member who want to complain to higher authority within SCA. In this case, the one who received verbal complaints regarding corruption has to write down the complaint and send it to the SCA Anti-Corruption Committee via one of the first 3 mechanism.
- Telephone hotline: 0093 705 031 742 (SCA Internal Audit). One can send SMS or voice messages which will be recorded.
Please consider when reporting suspected corruption or other irregularities
Please provide SCA with sufficient and relevant data to enable investigation.
The report must include a description of the incident. If it is not self-evident, you should also explain why the incident constitutes an irregularity.
Time and date information, as well as the names of anyone involved facilitates follow-up. Any documentation to be attached if possible.
You may remain anonymous, but please consider that if we cannot contact you while investigating it is less likely that the investigation will render a result. Therefore, we would appreciate if you state your name and contact details. SCA aims to fully protect whistleblowers from negative consequences. If contact information is enclosed, SCA will send an acknowledgment of receipt of the report.
What happens after suspected corruption or other irregularities have been reported?
All processes related to SCA anti-corruption are owned by the Secretary General. Country Directors in Sweden and Afghanistan decide on actions, including disciplinary measures. The Anti-Corruption Committee gathers regularly, monitoring investigations and results in each case. SCA assesses and investigates each case as soon as possible. Due to the often-difficult circumstances, risks and the importance of not sharing information, some investigations can be extensive in time. It is also possible that one report is merged into a more complex investigation. Country Directors are however always responsible to return to the reporting individual and inform on whether the issue is investigated or not and what the result was.
All irregularities are regularly reported to the Board and to Donors. In cases involving partner organizations, SCA should take required action to ensure that the partner organization undertakes the appropriate actions.
Whenever a report has been submitted to SCA it is handled as follows:
1) Registering: All reports are sent directly to the Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) and logged for follow-up by the Internal Audit Unit.
2) Assessment: The Country Director / Afghanistan or Sweden assesses the complaint in three aspects:
a) Does the notification contain sufficient information to enable the case to be investigated? Examples of when this is not the case is whenever provided information is vague, or decisive information is missing, eg where the irregularity has occurred. If a notification is not considered possible to proceed with, it will still be saved for at least 12 months if further information should come forward.
b) Is there a larger context to consider? A particular suspicion may seem insignificant, but it is essential to clarify whether it is part of a series of reports relating to a certain phenomenon, group of people or office.
c) What or what types of irregularity does the information relate to? It is crucial to clarify whether the information indicates a violation of, for example, Code of Conduct or if it is a violation of program implementation regulations, irregularities in personnel issues or recruitment, or procurement. It can also be a combination of one or more categories. For each category there are defined actions.
3) Investigation: If the preliminary assessment above indicates that irregularities of any kind exist, the country manager in each country decides on investigation. The investigation is carried out by the internal audit unit or by a specially appointed committee. SCA informs donors about what has been reported and that the investigation is ongoing.
4) Two reports are produced and forwarded to the CD; one about the case itself and one on what improvements are required within the SCA system, including an action plan for implementation. The reports form the basis of the Country Manager's further action.
In all cases of confirmed fraud or corruption SCA will always:
- With determination attempt to regain any lost assets.
- Take any appropriate internal disciplinary action.
- Strengthen routines and internal controls in order to avoid repetition.
- Inform the SCA Board on the incident and the measures planned in the case.
- Inform donors concerned on the incident and the measures planned in the case
Protection of whistleblowers
SCA is responsible to protect anyone reporting their suspicions by never disclosing their identity and take action to prevent reprisals whenever needed. Information is treated confidentially. If information should leak this will be considered as obstruction of investigation and will become a matter of investigation and disciplinary measures.
Submitting without acting in good faith, but rather with intent to harm another person will become a matter of investigation and disciplinary measures.