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Raising a concern

Invest NI is committed to the highest possible standards of openness and accountability in the delivery of its services.

Invest NI's Raising Concerns Policy,(whistleblowing) outlines how anyone internal to or outside Invest NI can notify the organisation about danger, wrongdoing or illegality that affects others. For example, taxpayers, customers, members of the public, or their employer.

The policy includes details on the arrangements through which anyone who is not a member of staff can raise concerns about the proper conduct of public business by Invest NI or a third party, such as a service provider or an External Delivery Organisation delivering services on Invest NI’s behalf.

What types of concerns are covered?

This policy relates to concerns about suspected malpractice, risk, abuse or wrongdoing within Invest NI or associated third parties.

Types of concerns could include, but are not restricted to:

  • unlawful conduct
  • abuse of public funds
  • potential fraud

Raising a concern is very different from a complaint. When someone complains, they are saying that they have personally been poorly treated, for example, through receiving an unsatisfactory level of service, and the complainant is seeking redress or justice for themselves. The person making the complaint, therefore, has a vested interest in the outcome of the complaint and, for this reason, is expected to be able to prove their case.

How can I raise a concern?

Anyone external to Invest NI can raise a concern using the dedicated mailbox at raising.concerns@investni.com, managed confidentially by Invest NI’s Risk and Assurance Team.

Concerns raised will be treated in the strictest confidence and all information is held securely in line with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations.

How does Invest NI deal with concerns raised?

Once you have told us of your concern, we will assess what action needs to be taken.

If your concern is about possible fraud, Invest NI will deal with it by following our Fraud Policy and Fraud Response Plan.

If, after initial assessment, it is deemed that your concern falls more properly within another policy e.g. the Complaints Procedure, or that it would be best investigated by another body we will tell you.

Be assured that all concerns raised will be taken seriously and investigated appropriately. All enquiries will be undertaken in a proportionate and appropriate manner.

Information and documentation relating to your concern will be restricted in order to protect the identity of all those involved, including those against whom allegations are made.

Communication

It is important that we have as much information as possible in order to undertake enquiries. If you have raised your concern anonymously, please be aware that this will prevent us from contacting you with feedback, or to obtain further detail and so may restrict our ability to fully investigate concerns.

Receipt of your concern will be acknowledged within five working days from the date on which you submit it.

You will be provided with a contact point for the investigation.

You may be offered the opportunity to meet with a representative of Invest NI and advised whether your further participation may be needed during any investigation.

Where concerns raised lead to criminal proceedings, you may be required to give evidence in a court of law.

Where appropriate, you will be provided with feedback and advised when enquiries are concluded.  Please be aware that we may not be able to tell you about precise action we take where this would infringe a duty of confidence owed by us to someone else.

Outcome

If you are not satisfied with how your concerns have been dealt with, you can raise the matter, in the first instance, under Invest NI’s Complaints Procedure.

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