By Aineias Spiliotis LL.B
Reporting Receiving & Monitorin Officer (RRMO) RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provide appropriate information on the reporting capability within the entity and communicate the information in a prominent place within the entity,
- receives reports on violations falling under the Law
- acknowledges receipt of the report to the reporting party within seven (7) business days of receipt,
- takes the necessary steps for the competent bodies of the entity to deal with the report or closes the procedure and notifies the decision to the petitioner who, if he/she considers that it has not been effectively dealt with, may resubmit it to the N.T.A.
- shall ensure the protection of the confidentiality of the identity of the reporting party and of any third party named in the report by preventing access to it by unauthorised persons,
- monitor reports and maintain communication with the petitioner and, if necessary, request further information from the petitioner,
- provide information to the petitioner on actions taken within a reasonable period of time, which shall not exceed three (3) months from the acknowledgement of receipt, or if no acknowledgement has been sent to the petitioner, three (3) months from the expiration of seven (7) working days from the submission of the report,
- provides clear and easily accessible information on the procedures under which reports may be submitted to the N.T.A. and, where applicable, to public entities or institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union,
- shall design and coordinate training activities on ethics and integrity,
- participate in the development of internal policies to enhance integrity and transparency in the entity.
However, it must always be ensured that, if the RRMO performs other tasks, its independence is not affected in the performance of its duties as a RRMO and that it is not led into a conflict of interest in relation to its duties.
The National Transparency Authority is, unlike the RRMO, an external reporting channel and is responsible for receiving, managing, and following up on reports submitted directly to it concerning violations falling within the scope of the Law. Importantly, the N.T.A., as an external reporting channel and its responsibilities, does not interrupt the operation of existing reporting systems of independent and supervisory authorities or other public bodies.
The processing of personal data that takes place in the context of the present is carried out to fulfil the obligation to establish reporting channels and to take the necessary measures to monitor them. It is thus permissible to transmit to the competent supervisory and investigative authorities the information contained in the reports, which may be used as evidence in administrative, civil and criminal investigations and proceedings, after the controller has taken the appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure that, when the reports are submitted and followed up, the personal data necessary and appropriate to achieve the purposes of the Act are collected.
The records for each report shall be stored for a reasonable and necessary period and if the report is submitted by telephone, the recording of the conversation is allowed if the reporter has consented.
A person who makes a public disclosure regarding violations falling within the scope of the Act is entitled to protection if one of the conditions is met:
(a) the person first made a report internally to the entity and externally to the N.T.A., or directly externally to the N.T.A., but no appropriate action was taken in response to the report within a reasonable time (3-6 months from the report)
(b) the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the breach may constitute a risk to the public interest, or where there is an emergency situation or a risk of irreversible harm, or, in the case of a report to the N.T.A., there is a risk of retaliation, or there is little prospect of the infringement being effectively addressed, because of the particular circumstances of the case, such as where evidence may be concealed or destroyed or where any authority or body may be in collusion with the perpetrator of the infringement or involved in the infringement.
RETALIATION AND PROHIBITIONS
Any form of retaliation against reporting persons is prohibited. For example, dismissal, demotion, removal from office, marginalisation, discrimination, non-renewal of a contract, etc. are prohibited. Indeed, persons who make a report are entitled to free legal advice on how to deal with retaliation.