Whistleblowing

Below follows a summary of the requirements of whistleblowing as it relates to Actuaries as stipulated by the Actuaries Institute of Australia.

Broadly defined as ‘speaking out’ about perceived wrongdoing in an organisation.Supervisory whistleblowing involves reporting infringements to a regulator. Actuaries have a duty to report infringements under certain circumstances. Actuaries are regarded as trusted advisors and privy to internal commercial dealings. In many cases infringements can be resolved internally without the need to report. If not resolved then there are various processes that need to be followed.

Key Demands of Actuaries

  • active concern for policy holders and beneficiaries
  • alertness to red flags
  • confront or report to regulator

Legal Duties

  • Duty vs Discretion
    • Duty
      • APRA notice to disclose
      • Solvency
      • Policyholders’ interests
      • non-compliance
    • Must have reasonable grounds for belief
    • Two key exceptions
      • Informed of matter by a director or senior manager
      • Informed by either that matter has been disclosed to APRA
    • Discretion
      • No legal obligation to whistleblow
      • Believe it is important to disclose some information to APRA
      • No legislated timeframe for reporting discretion

Legal Protections

  • Qualifying disclosures
    • Made by someone supplying services to entity
    • Must be made to person or body stipulated in legislation
    • Name must be disclosed prior to disclosure
    • Information contains misconduct or improper state of affairs
    • Information may assist functions of legislated body
    • Made in good faith without negligence
  • Protections
    • Privileges
      • privilege against self-incrimination
        • right to refuse to answer a question that would incriminate the member
      • qualified privilege
        • allows free communication without being at risk to a defamation action
    • Compensation
    • Confidentiality
    • Threats to whistleblowers
    • Indemnity
    • Non-termination of contract

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