ICAI whistleblowing policy

Our standards and responsibility

This policy is concerned with members of the public raising concerns to ICAI for further investigation. Concerns relevant to ICAI’s work could be: information related to UK spending of official development assistance; UK government departments’ development related work or any complaint relating to the exercise of ICAI’s functions.

The aim of this policy is to provide guidance for anyone considering raising a concern to ICAI and to describe ICAI’s procedure for handling such information from members of the public.

ICAI’s whistleblowing policy is in line with the government whistleblowing guidance, the Data Protection Act and the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

Raising a concern with ICAI

ICAI’s role, defined through our mandate, is to scrutinise UK aid spending for international development. We undertake independent reviews of UK aid spending and its contribution development results. Our reviews cover a broad cross-section of programmes and issues affecting the delivery of aid. We focus our work on the most relevant challenges facing UK aid and issues of interest to Parliament and the public.

We will aim to respond promptly to any concerns raised and offer to discuss details of the concern with the complainant. However, our means and capacity to directly investigate concerns raised by the public is limited and not part of our formal mandate. We will therefore, with the complainant’s permission, refer the case to the department concerned* and/or the National Audit Office (NAO). unless the complaint relates to the exercise of ICAI’s functions. We may also consult the list of prescribed persons.

Where ICAI share information in accordance with the above paragraph, we will do so in accordance with the DATA Protection Act, and will not share information about a complainant’s identity without consent. Complainants should be aware that any request for anonymity may inhibit or prevent proper investigation of a complaint.

We will ensure appropriate safeguards are in place where any confidential or sensitive information is shared.

* For example, issues relating to fraud or corrupt practices where FCDO are involved can be raised with their Internal Audit Department’s fraud and safeguarding investigation team: Complaints procedure – Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)