In implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/1937, Legislative Decree no. 24 of 10 March 2023 was issued (hereinafter also “Whistleblowing Decree”) concerning “the protection of people who report violations of Union law and containing provisions regarding the protection of people who report violations of national regulatory provisions”.
1.0 WHO CAN SUBMIT OFFENCE REPORTS (so-called whistleblower).
B METERS S.R.L., operates in compliance with the law and its principles of honesty, respect and integrity and encourages people to report potential violations in an honest and transparent way and does not tolerate retaliation, threats or discriminatory acts towards those who carry out, in good faith and with civic sense, a report. The whistleblower is the person who discloses or reports to the judicial or accounting authority, violations of national or European Union regulatory provisions which harm the public interest or the integrity of the public administration or private body, of which it became known in a public or private working context
People who work in the working context of B METERS S.R.L. are entitled to report as:
- employed workers, trainees, volunteesr, self-employed workers, collaborators, freelancers, consultants, partners, customers, suppliers, and in general any third party in possession of information regarding the aforementioned conduct.
2.0 WHEN CAN THE REPORT BE MADE.
The report can be forwarded:
- when the legal relationship is ongoing;
- when the legal relationship has not yet begun, if the information on the violations was acquired during the selection process or in other pre-contractual phases;
- during the probationary period;
- after the dissolution of the legal relationship if the information on the violations was acquired before the dissolution of the relationship itself (pensioners).
3.0 WHAT CAN BE REPORTED.
The following reports indicated in the following table can be made:
|Number of employees
|With Organizational and Management Model Legislative Decree. n.231/01
|Subject of the report
|with 50 or more
|Offences committed in violation of EU legislation indicated in Annex 1 to Legislative Decree no. 24/2023 and all the national provisions that implement it
In particular, conduct, i.e. behaviour, acts or omissions, carried out in violation of:
- European regulatory provisions (a. offences that fall within the scope of application of European Union acts relating to the following sectors: public procurement; financial services, products and markets and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; product safety and conformity; transport safety; environmental protection; radio protection and nuclear safety; food and feed safety and animal health and welfare; public health; consumer protection; protection of privacy and protection of personal data and network and computer security information systems; b. actions or omissions that harm the financial interests of the Union: c. actions or omissions concerning the internal market (for example: violations regarding competition and state aid); d. actions or behaviours that undermine the object or purpose of the provisions set out in Union acts; e
- national regulatory transposition provisions;
the report may also concern
- information relating to conduct aimed at concealing the violations indicated above;
- illicit activities not yet carried out but which the whistleblower reasonably believes that may occur in the presence of precise, consistent and concrete elements;
- well-founded suspicions that harm the public interest or the integrity of the body, provided that the reports are based on concrete elements.
The provisions of the aforementioned decree do NOT apply “to disputes, claims or requests linked to a personal interest of the whistleblower which relate exclusively to their individual working relationships, or inherent to their working relationships with hierarchically superior figures”.
4.0 HOW TO REPORT – COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Reports must be transmitted through specifically established channels.
- internal (within the work context);
- external (ANAC);
- public dissemination (through the press, electronic means or means of dissemination capable of reaching a large number of people);
- report to the judicial or accounting authority.
The choice of the reporting channel is not left to the discretion of the whistleblower because the use of the internal channel is favoured as a priority and, only when certain conditions better specified below are met, it will be possible to make an external report.
4.1 INTERNAL CHANNELS.
The Company has set up multiple internal channels that allow it to submit detailed reports of conduct, i.e. behaviours, actions or omissions as described in the previous paragraph, based on precise and consistent factual elements, of which they have become aware due to the functions performed and/or roles held.
B METERS S.R.L. has implemented the following internal channels, channels that guarantee the confidentiality of the identity of the Whistelblower in the management and processing of the report:
- in writing via IT platform;
- orally via voicemail always accessible via the same IT platform.
The IT channel activated by B METERS S.R.L., accessible from any browser, is available at the following link:
The Whistleblower may declare their personal details (explicit method) or proceed with a report anonymously.
In the case of explicit reports, the protection of the Whistleblower’s confidentiality is guaranteed in compliance with the law.
By registering the report via the portal, the Whistleblower will obtain a
link that contains a token
which they will have to use to interact with the Report Manager and to be constantly informed on the processing status of the report sent; it must therefore be carefully preserved.
Anonymous reports are taken into consideration only if adequately substantiated with all the information elements useful for verifying them, regardless of the knowledge of the whistleblower.
4.2. REPORTING AND ITS MANAGEMENT
The reception and management of Reports are entrusted to a professional external to the company, independent and competent in the management of channels and reports (hereinafter, “Manager”).
This individual was identified as Dr. Federico Barcherini.
The Report Manager receives a formal assignment which also includes the appointment as External Data Processor in compliance with articles. 28 Reg. EU 679/2016 (also “GDPR”). The act of appointment provides specific instructions for the correct processing of the personal data referred to in the report, of which B METERS S.R.L. is the Data Controller in compliance with art. 4 par. 1 no. 7) GDPR.
4.2.1. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE REPORTING
|Characteristics of the reports
|The following must be clear:
– the circumstances of time and place in which the reported event occurred;
– the description of the fact;
– personal details or other elements that allow the identification of the person to whom the reported facts can be attributed.
It is also useful to attach documents that can provide elements of substantiation of the facts being reported, as well as the indication of other subjects potentially aware of the facts.
Where what is reported is not adequately detailed, whoever manages the reports can request additional information from the Whistleblower via the channel dedicated to this purpose.
The Reports cannot clearly concern unfounded news, information that is already totally in the public domain, as well as information acquired only on the basis of unreliable indiscretions or rumors (so-called rumours).
4.2.2. SPECIAL CASES
Anonymous Reports, i.e. those from which it is not possible to derive the identity of the Whistleblower, are taken into consideration by the Manager, provided that they are detailed and precise and that they allow the collection of objective evidence through the preliminary investigation carried out by the Manager.
Such Reports will be considered as Ordinary Reports and the guarantees and protections provided for the so-called Whistleblowing reports will not apply, unless the Whistleblower is subsequently identified and suffers retaliation.
In any case, the use of nominative reports is encouraged, remembering that the management methods have been designed to guarantee maximum confidentiality of the Whistleblower, in full compliance with current legislation.
4.2.3. WHO MANAGES THE REPORTING AND HOW THE REPORTING MANAGEMENT PROCESS WORKS
The reports are handled by the Reports Manager identified in the person of Dr. Federico Barcherini, formally appointed by B METERS S.R.L. of the management of reports received in their capacity as External Manager of the Processing of Personal Data in compliance with art. 28 of the Reg. EU no. 679/2016 (hereinafter also referred to as GDPR).
Upon receiving a report, the Report Manager:
- issues an acknowledgment of receipt to the Whistleblower within 7 days;
- carries out a necessary preliminary analysis in order to assess the existence of the necessary requirements required to start the internal investigation and, if they exist, starts the internal investigation;
- if the conditions do not exist, the report is archived, with justification of the reasons;
- provides feedback to the report, giving an account of any measures adopted or intended to be adopted, within three months from the date of issue of the acknowledgment of receipt.
4.3. THE OTHER CHANNELS
- within the work context, the mandatory activation of the internal reporting channel is not foreseen or this, even if mandatory, is not active or, even if activated, does not comply with what is required by law;
- the whistleblower has already made an internal report and the latter has not been followed up on;
- the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that, if they made an internal report, it would not be followed up effectively or that the same report could lead to a risk of retaliation;
- the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that the violation may constitute an imminent or obvious danger to the public interest;
The external reporting channel is activated at the ANAC, which publishes on its website, in a dedicated and easily accessible section, the information necessary for sending the report https://www.anticorruzione.it/-/whistleblowing.
Whistleblowers can directly make a PUBLIC DISCLOSURE when:
- the whistleblower has previously made an internal and external report or has directly made an external report and no response has been given within the established deadlines regarding the measures envisaged or implemented to follow up on the reports;
- the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that the violation may constitute an imminent or obvious danger to the public interest;
- the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that the external report may involve the risk of retaliation or may not be effectively followed up due to the specific circumstances of the specific case, such as those in which evidence may be hidden or destroyed or in which there is well-founded fear that the person receiving the report may be colluding with the perpetrator of the violation or involved in the violation itself.
5. THE PROTECTION SYSTEM
GOOD FAITH OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER
The Whistleblowing Decree valorises the good faith of the whistleblower at the time of the report; in this perspective, it provides that the whistleblower will benefit from protections only if, at the time of the report, they had reasonable grounds to believe that the information on the violations reported, disclosed publicly or reported, is true. However, in the event of unfounded and/or reports made in bad faith, the Company reserves the right to act to defend its interests and protect the injured parties.
5.1 CONFIDENTIALITY OBLIGATIONS REGARDING THE IDENTITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER, THE FACILITATOR, THE PERSONS INVOLVED AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE REPORT.
The unauthorised disclosure of the identity of the Whistleblower or of information on the basis of which it can be deduced is considered a violation of the provisions of Legislative Decree 24/2023.
The identity of the Whistleblower cannot be revealed to people other than those authorised to receive or follow up on the reports. The prohibition on revealing the identity of the whistleblower refers not only to the name of the whistleblower but also to all the elements of the report from which the identification of the whistleblower can be deduced, even indirectly.
The identity of any facilitator, i.e. the natural person who assists the whistleblower in the reporting process, operating within the same working context, is also protected.
Furthermore, the identity of the people involved (Reported) and of the people mentioned in the report is protected until the conclusion of the proceedings initiated due to the report, in compliance with the same guarantees provided in favour of the whistleblower.
All those who receive or are involved in the management of reports are required to protect the confidentiality of such information.
5.2 NON-RETALIATION POLICY
The Company does not allow and does not tolerate any form of retaliation and/or behaviour, action or omission, even if only attempted or threatened, which causes or may cause, directly or indirectly, unfair damage to the Whistleblower/Complainant for reasons directly or indirectly related to the complaint/report.
Furthermore, the employee is entitled to request a transfer to another office and, where reasonably possible, these requests will be met.
Protection is limited to cases in which the whistleblower and the person being reported are both employees of the same company.
5.3 LOSS OF PROTECTIONS.
When the criminal liability of the Whistleblower for the crimes of slander or defamation or in any case for the same crimes committed with the report to the judicial or accounting authority or their civil liability, for the same reason, is ascertained, even with a first degree sentence, in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence, protections are not guaranteed and a disciplinary sanction is imposed on the Whistleblower.
6.0 THE SANCTIONING SYSTEM
B METERS S.R.L. provides for sanctions against the Whistleblower in the event of abuse of the reporting tool, against the Reported Persons in the event of ascertainment of the reported offences, against the Manager in the event of failure to comply with this procedure, as well as against those who violate the protection of the confidentiality of the Whistleblower and the prohibitions on retaliation placed to protect the Whistleblower.
7.0 PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE GDPR (Reg. EU no. 679/2016)
Each report may contain so called personal data, or information directly or indirectly attributable to a natural person.
The Company, as Data Controller, ensures that the aforementioned processing activities are carried out in compliance with the provisions of the EU Reg. 679/2016 (also “GDPR”) and Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 as amended by Legislative Decree 101/2018.
- Privacy_Whistleblowing information available at the following link
This procedure will come into force on 17/12/2023.
This procedure is disseminated as widely as possible and is made available on the company intranet and on its website.
The operating instructions are sent to each member of the Company’s personnel, together with the privacy information, by the Human Resources Manager.
In the case of new hires, the Human Resources Manager informs the candidate of the existence of the operational instructions for so-called reports. Whistleblowing available on the home page of the company website by clicking on the link called “Whistleblowing”.
However, this procedure remains subject to periodic review.