Reporting a breach of integrity
The law of 8 December 2022 on reporting channels and protection for those reporting breaches of integrity in the federal public authorities and the integrated police (also known as the Whistleblower Act) entered into force on 2 January 2023. The reporting system introduced by this law has three options: the internal report, the external report and disclosure.
With regard to external reports, the law of 8 December 2022 designates Committee P as the external reporting channel responsible for receiving and following up on reports of breaches of integrity by the integrated police, the Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (OCAD/OCAM) and the General Inspectorate of the Federal and Local Police (AIG).
Such reports can be made by staff members as well as by third parties who, in a work-related context, have obtained information about breaches of integrity in any of the services mentioned above (for example, individuals performing work or providing services under a building contract).
Not all objectionable conduct constitutes a breach of integrity within the meaning of the law of 8 December 2022, which employs a specific definition of the term ‘breach of integrity’. For example, harassment, violence and unwanted sexual behaviour at work, as well as violations of discrimination laws, do not fall under the scope of the Whistleblower Act.
This specific procedure takes place in two phases. The first phase consists of the preliminary examination of admissibility. If the report is declared admissible, the investigation can begin.
Reporting persons and certain persons associated with reporting persons are protected if they meet the conditions set out in the law of 8 December 2022. As an external reporting channel, Committee P is also responsible for protecting these individuals from retaliation.
A more detailed description of the procedure as well as the form can be found on the Committee P website in Dutch or in French.