Whistleblowing Policy

Whistleblowing Policy

AS UPB INTERNAL RULES ON WHISTLEBLOWING

1. Purpose

The Internal Rules on whistleblowing (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) have been adopted for the following purposes:

  • To establish within AS UPB (hereinafter referred to as the Company) a whistleblowing system meeting the statutory requirements;
  • To establish within the Company a procedure for reporting violations to be followed by employees, cooperation partners and other persons performing work for the Company or in the context of the management of the Company's operations;
  • To establish a set of measures for the protection of the employees who have reported any violations;
  • To ensure appropriate review of the reports and adequate response to the violations.

2. Whistleblower

A whistleblower is an individual who has reported a suspected violation potentially harmful to the public interests, believing that the information is true, and has obtained this information while performing his/her work duties or establishing a legal relationship in relation to the work duties.

Knowingly reporting untrue (false) information shall not constitute whistleblowing and may result in statutory liability.

3. Purpose of Whistleblowing

The purpose of whistleblowing is to prevent any threat to the public and to alert about any threat to the public interests, i.e., any action by the Company that may result in a threat to any part of the public or any vital public interests.

Reporting any infringement on personal interests shall not constitute whistleblowing.

4. Violations subject to Whistleblowing

Internal whistleblowing shall be initiated in case of criminal offences, administrative violations or violations of other laws or binding ethical or professional standards, in particular the following violations: omissions, neglect or abuse of power by officials, corruption, fraud, embezzlement of finances or assets of a public entity, tax evasion, endangering public health, construction safety, environmental safety, labour safety or public order, violations of human rights, violations of the public procurement procedures, violations of the competition law.

The above list of the wrongdoings is not exhaustive.

5. Whistleblowing Channel

A Whistleblower Report (hereinafter referred to as the Report) shall be submitted electronically by sending it to the e-mail address: trauksme@upb.lv.

6. Content of the Report

  • The Whistleblower shall submit the report as a free-form statement.
  • The statement shall include the following:
    • name, surname and the contact information of the Whistleblower;
    • detailed information about the violation (or suspected violation), stating separately the facts and the persons involved, as well as adding evidence, if any;
    • information about how the Whistleblower became aware of the violation (for example, while performing work duties);
    • information about whether the violation had been reported before;
    • an indication that it is a Whistleblower Report.

7. Responsibility

  • The persons responsible for the process are the Head of the Personnel Department and the Head of the Legal Department (hereinafter referred to as the Responsible Officials), who shall designate an employee of the Personnel Department and the Legal Department respectively to substitute for them during their absence.
  • The Responsible Officials shall:
    • accept and enter in the records the Whistleblower Report;
    • carry out the initial review of the Report and take a decision about the further course of action regarding the Report;
    • appropriately store and destroy the Report and the related documents;
    • give whistleblowing-related advice, if necessary.

8. Personal Data Processing, Pseudonymisation of Reports, Confidentiality

  • The Company shall process the personal data of the Whistleblower and the alleged wrongdoer with the purpose of investigating the suspected violation and ensuring proper protection of and communication with the Whistleblower.
  • The personal data of the Whistleblower and the alleged wrongdoer shall only be processed to ensure the Company’s compliance with its legal obligation regarding establishment of an internal whistleblowing system under the Whistleblowing Law.
  • Having received the Report, the Responsible Officials shall take the necessary measures for the protection of the Whistleblower under Paragraph 2, Section 11 of the Law. In the report containing the personal data of the Whistleblower all relevant personal data shall be pseudonymised, replacing them with a different identifier. The reports shall be entered in the records separately and stored safely in accordance with the Company’s Personal Data Processing Rules.
  • The Company shall keep confidential the identity of the Whistleblower and the persons mentioned in the Report (persons involved in the suspected violation). The Responsible Officials shall be prohibited from disclosing the Report-related personal data in their possession to any third parties without a valid reason or individual consent from the Whistleblower. The above information may only be disclosed to the person or organization that requires it for investigation of the Whistleblower Report or the case opened based on the Report, or for the protection of the Whistleblower or his/her relatives.
  • The person, who is the subject of the Whistleblower Report, may be notified about the Report to give him/her a chance to provide relevant explanations. But this person shall not be entitled to receive the information that may imply the identity of the Whistleblower.
  • The Company shall prevent disclosure of the information revealing the identity of the subject of the Whistleblower Report to the persons who are not involved in the investigation of the suspected violation.

9. Report Review Deadline

  • The officials responsible for the whistleblowing process no later than within 7 (seven) days after receiving the statement submitted by the Whistleblower shall review its prima facie conformity with the requirements under the Whistleblowing Law, take the decision about the statement qualifying or not qualifying as a Whistleblower Report and the further course of action, as well as notify the author of the statement about this.
  • Should the Responsible Officials upon the review of the statement discover in it any deficiencies likely to have occurred accidentally, they should contact the author of the statement within the period specified above and request additional information or an update to the statement.
  • Upon deciding that the statement qualifies as a Whistleblower Report the Responsible Officials shall inform the Company’s Management Board about the Report that has been received and, as soon as the Whistleblower Report Review Commission is established, shall hand the Report over to the commission for review on the merits.

10. Whistleblower Report Review Commission

  • The Reports received by the Company shall be reviewed by the Whistleblower Report Review Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Working Group) established on the instructions from the Management Board and comprising 3 (three) or more members.
  • The Working Group shall ensure equitable and fair review of all submitted Whistleblower Reports.
  • The Working Group shall have the right to examine all documents and/or materials related or pertaining to the circumstances indicated in the Report with the purpose of facilitating proper and comprehensive investigation of the Whistleblower Report.
  • The Whistleblower shall be notified about the progress in reviewing of the Whistleblower Report no later than within 3 (three) months as of the date the given statement was found to qualify as a Whistleblower Report. The term for the review of the Report depends on the circumstances of the suspected violation indicated in the Report.

11. Report Review Outcome

  • If the review of the Report finds a violation on part of any person or objective proof confirming the suspected violation, the Working Group shall inform the Company’s Management Board accordingly.
  • The Company shall take appropriate measures to correct the consequences of the violation or prevent a violation from occurring. Depending on the nature of the violation (potential violation), the Company shall take corrective action within the limits of its competence, as well as other measures, including the measures to improve controls.
  • If during the review of the Report suspicions arise of a violation that does not fall within the competence of the Working Group, the Company within 10 (ten) days shall forward the Report to the competent public or municipal authority, law enforcement agency or whistleblowing point of contact for further review and notify the author of the Report about this.

12. Prohibition of Retaliation

It shall be prohibited to impose disciplinary or other punishment on the Whistleblower and his/her relatives, to dismiss them from the job or the position, to demote, to transfer to a different job or position or to otherwise retaliate against them for the Whistleblowing Report submitted by the Whistleblower.

13. Duration of Personal Data Processing (Storage of the Report and Related Documents)

  • The statistical information and data of the Reports shall be stored for at least 5 (five) years after the completion of the investigation unless specified otherwise in the laws and regulations.
  • The Report found not to qualify as a Whistleblower Report and the related information shall be deleted or destroyed immediately.
  • The Report found to qualify as a Whistleblower Report and the related information shall be deleted or destroyed in 3 (three) years after the completion of the investigation unless a disciplinary procedure or a litigation has been started against the person implicated in the Report.

14. Final provisions

  • The Company shall communicate the Rules by:
    • publishing the Rules in the Company’s website www.upb.lv;
    • publishing the Rules in the Company’s internal system htpps://info.upb.lv/kvs;
    • informing the Company’s employees about the Rules upon commencing the employment legal relationship with them.
  • The Rules shall apply insofar as they are not contradictory to the laws and regulations in effect in the Republic of Latvia and shall take effect upon their approval.