Whistleblowers scheme

Article 1. Definitions

In these regulations, the following terms will have the following meanings:

  1. Staff member: a person working for, previously working for or associated with PKF Wallast;
  2. Employer: the partnership PKF Wallast;
  3. Board: the Management Board of PKF Wallast;
  4. Compliance Officer: an expert staff member of PKF Wallast who oversees compliance with laws and regulations, the quality policy and the internal quality control and integrity monitoring system on behalf of the Management Board;
  5. Assurance Controller: a competent registered accountant who has been designated by the Management Board to advise on independence issues and to oversee compliance with the regulations in the area of independence and quality monitoring in respect of assurance engagements;
  6. Third party: a party outside PKF Wallast that has come into contact with PKF Wallast because of its work;
  7. NVKS: Further Regulations on Quality Systems [Nadere voorschriften kwaliteitssystemen];
  8. Bta: Audit Firms (Supervision) Decree [Besluit toezicht accountantsorganisaties];
  9. VAO: Accounting Bodies Regulation [Verordening accountantsorganisaties];
  10. Notifier: the staff member or third party that has reported a suspicion of abuse under these regulations;
  11. Advice Department of the Whistleblowers Authority: the advice department of the Authority referred to in Article 3a(2) of the Whistleblowers Authority Act [Wet Huis voor Klokkenluiders].

Article 2. Purpose

The purpose of these regulations is to document a procedure for handling notifications from PKF Wallast staff members and third parties in elaboration of the whistleblowers’ regulations laid down in the Whistleblowers Authority Act, Article 25 Bta, Article 27 VAO and Articles 5(1)(a)(4) and 9(3) NVKS.

Article 3. Scope

These regulations apply to the handling of notifications of suspected abuses. A suspected abuse is involved if a staff member or third party suspects that an abuse exists within the organisation at which they work or used to work, or within another organisation with which they came into contact because of their work, insofar as:

  • the suspicion is based on reasonable grounds, resulting from the knowledge which the staff member or third party gained at the employer or resulting from the knowledge which the staff member or third party obtained because of their work at another company or organisation; and
  • the public interest is jeopardised by:
    • the (imminent) breach of a statutory regulation, including an (imminent) criminal offence;
    • an (imminent) danger to public health;
    • an (imminent) danger to the safety of persons;
    • an (imminent) danger to the environment;
    • an (imminent) danger to the proper operation of the organisation as a result of inappropriate acts or omissions;
    • an (imminent) breach of rules other than statutory regulations;
    • (a threat of) the deliberate suppression, destruction or manipulation of information on the facts referred to above.

Article 4. Information, advice and support for the staff member

  1. A staff member or third party may consult with the Compliance Officer in confidence about a suspicion of abuse.
  2. With due observance of Paragraph 1, the staff member or third party may also ask the Advice Department of the Whistleblowers Authority for information, advice and support regarding the suspicion of abuse.

Article 5. Internal notification

  1. A staff member or third party with a suspicion of abuse at the employer’s organisation can notify the Board by sending an email to bestuur@pkfwallast.nl. The staff member or third party can submit this notification to the Chairman of the Board if they have a reasonable suspicion that a member of the Board is involved in the suspected abuse, or to another Board member if they have a reasonable suspicion that the Chairman of the Board is involved in the suspected abuse.
  2. Alternatively, the staff member or third party can report the suspicion of abuse at the employer’s organisation to the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer will forward the notification to the Board in consultation with the staff member or third party.
  3. If the notification of suspected abuse is made verbally, the Board will see to it that this notification is recorded in writing, and submit this record to the notifier for approval and signature.
  4. The Board will handle the notification confidentially and will not disclose the notifier’s identity without the notifier’s express written consent.
  5. The Board will conduct an investigation into the suspicion of abuse, unless:
    1. the suspicion is not based on reasonable grounds;
    2. it is clear in advance that the matter reported does not concern a suspected abuse.
  6. If the Board decides not to conduct an investigation, it will inform the notifier of this in writing within two weeks of the notification. On this occasion, the Board will indicate why it takes the view that the suspicion is not based on reasonable grounds, or that it is clear in advance that the matter reported does not concern a suspicion of abuse.
  7. If the notification relates (in part) to an assurance engagement, the Board will consult with the Assurance Controller.
  8. Where relevant, the Board (and, if applicable, the Assurance Controller) can grant the staff member(s) involved a hearing.
  9. Within eight weeks of the notification, the Board will inform the notifier in writing of its substantive viewpoint in respect of the reported suspicion of abuse.
  10. If it becomes clear that the viewpoint cannot be communicated within the specified period, the Board will inform the notifier of this in writing and indicate within what period the notifier will receive the viewpoint.

Article 6. External notification

  1. After submitting an internal notification of suspected abuse, the notifier can submit an external notification to one of the external authorities referred to in Paragraph 3 of this provision, if:
    1. the notifier does not agree to the viewpoint referred to in Article 5 paragraph 9
       and believes that the suspicion was wrongly put aside;
    2. the notifier has not received a viewpoint within the period referred to in Article 5 paragraph 9.
  2. The notifier can submit an external notification of a suspicion of abuse immediately if they cannot reasonably be expected to first submit an internal notification. This will be so in any case if this ensues from any statutory regulation or if there exists:
    1. acute danger, whereby a substantial and urgent public interest necessitates an immediate external notification;
    2. a reasonable suspicion that the employer’s Board is involved in the suspected abuse;
    3. a situation in which the notifier can reasonably fear reprisals as a result of submitting an internal notification;
    4. a clearly identifiable threat of suppression or destruction of evidence;
    5. an earlier notification of the same abuse, submitted in accordance with the procedure, which did not remove the abuse;
    6. a duty to submit an immediate external notification.
  3. The notifier can submit the external notification to the external authority which is the most suitable for this purpose in the notifier’s reasonable opinion. An external authority is understood to mean in any case:
    1. an authority charged with the detection of criminal offences;
    2. an authority charged with the supervision of compliance with the provisions laid down in or pursuant to any statutory regulation;
    3. another competent authority that can be notified of the suspicion of abuse, such as the Investigation Department of the Whistleblowers Authority.
  4. If, in the notifier’s reasonable opinion, the public interest outweighs the employer’s interest in secrecy, the notifier can also submit the external notification to an external third party which, in their reasonable opinion, may be deemed capable of directly or indirectly removing the suspected abuse, or arranging for this to be done.

Article 7. Legal protection

The persons working at or associated with PKF Wallast or persons outside PKF Wallast that came into contact with PKF Wallast because of their work who submitted a notification in compliance with the provisions of these regulations, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, will not be prejudiced in any way as a result of submitting the notification.

Amsterdam

Beechavenue 78-80
1119 PW Schiphol-Rijk

Postal adress
Postbus 74681
1070 BR Amsterdam

020 653 18 12

Amsterdam@pkfwallast.nl

Rotterdam

Schaardijk 372
2909 LA Capelle aan den IJssel

Postal adress
Postbus 84030
3009 CA Rotterdam

010 450 40 20

Rotterdam@pkfwallast.nl

Delft

Delftechpark 40
2628 XH Delft

Postal adress
Postbus 332
2600 AH Delft

015 261 31 21

Delft@pkfwallast.nl

Woerden

Pompmolenlaan 9
3447 GK Woerden

Postal adress
Postbus 533
3440 AM Woerden

0348 416 262

Woerden@pkfwallast.nl

Alphen aan den Rijn

Europaplein 10F
2408 GX Alphen aan den Rijn

Postal adress
Postbus 533
3440 AM Woerden

0172 748 218

AlphenaandenRijn@pkfwallast.nl

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