Following on from the valid wording of Act No. 171/2023 Sb. on the protection of whistleblowers (as amended), CertiCon a.s. is bound, inter alia, with effect from 1 August 2023, by obligations associated with establishing an internal whistleblowing system and with the protection of whistleblowers.
Beginning 1 August 2023, an internal whistleblowing system (hereinafter referred to as “IWS”) shall be in place at CertiCon a.s. through which employees have the opportunity to report possible illegal activity having the signs of a crime, offences on which the law imposes fines whose upper limit is a minimum of CZK 100,000, violation of the Act, or violation of other legal regulations or European Union regulations in the areas set out in Section 2(1)(d) of the Act.
A whistleblower is a natural person (individual) who carries out work or similar activity for CertiCon a.s. to the extent laid down in Section 2(3) of the Act. CertiCon does not allow whistleblowing by other persons.
Whistleblowing may be done in one of the following ways:
- By e-mail to a secured e-mail inbox: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In writing, by sending a letter to the following address: CertiCon a.s., Evropská 2758/11, 160 00 Praha 6. The envelope must be clearly marked “VOS, NEOTVÍRAT, POUZE DO RUKOU PŘÍSLUŠNÉ OSOBY” (IWS, DO NOT OPEN, FOR THE SOLE ATTENTION OF THE COMPETENT PERSON).
- By telephone, by calling +420 224 904 160. An audio recording is made of verbal whistleblowing, although the whistleblower may refuse this, in which case a written record of whistleblowing is taken instead of the audio recording in cooperation with the whistleblower.
- In person at the office of the competent person at Evropská 2758/11, 160 00 Praha 6, subject to prior written or telephone agreement with the competent person. An audio recording is made of verbal whistleblowing, although the whistleblower may refuse this, in which case a written record of whistleblowing is taken instead of the audio recording in cooperation with the whistleblower.
The preferred times for verbal whistleblowing [methods 3 and 4] are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., if they are working days.
CertiCon cannot guarantee protection of the identity of the whistleblower and of the information presented in whistleblowing in accordance with the Act in cases in which the whistleblower blows the whistle using channels of communication other than those specified here.
The competent person entrusted with receiving and verifying whistleblowing delivered to IWS, or made in person, is: doc. Ing. Jiří Lažanský, CSc., Chairman of the Supervisory Board at CertiCon a.s.
The competent person is responsible to receiving and evaluating whistleblowing, and proposes measures to CertiCon to rectify any illegal situation identified. The competent person informs the whistleblower of having received whistleblowing within 7 days, and of the manner in which their whistleblowing is to be dealt with within 30 days. This time limit may be extended by up to 30 days, a maximum of twice, in complicated cases.
All materials which are compiled in connection with whistleblowing are kept on record for a period of five years.
The competent person is responsible for maintaining confidentiality with regard to the facts of which they have learned in connection with whistleblowing and for maintaining confidentiality with regard to the identity of the whistleblower.
CertiCon undertakes not to take any “reprisals”, as defined in Section 4 of the Act, against the whistleblower.
Whistleblowing must contain information about the first name, surname, and date of birth or other data from which it is possible to deduce the identity of the whistleblower. This does not stand in the case that the identity of the whistleblower is known to the competent person.
Anonymous whistleblowing shall not be deemed whistleblowing and shall not be considered by the competent person.
Whistleblowing may also be done through an external whistleblowing system, namely by whistleblowing to the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic (the method of whistleblowing is presented at the Ministry’s website – www.justice.cz).
Knowingly false whistleblowing may be penalised as an offence with a fine of up to CZK 50,000.