UCT replaces KPMG with Whistle-Blowers Inc for ethics hotline

KPMG logo - Stock Photo
KPMG logo - Stock Photo
Image: RF123

The University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday announced that KPMG would no longer be operating the UCT Whistle-Blowing Hotline - also known as the Ethics Hotline - with effect from 1 January 2018.

The auditing firm has been in the headlines recently over work it did for the Gupta family and for its admission that work it did for SARS was flawed‚ but the university made no direct reference to this.

Royston Pillay‚ Registrar‚ said in a statement: "Over the last three years‚ UCT used KPMG to operate the hotline. This followed a decision taken by the Risk Management Committee that an independent‚ credible and established service provider was required to ensure and guarantee anonymity and confidentiality for staff‚ students‚ service providers and other interested parties to make management aware of any act of alleged wrongdoing or unethical conduct which might not be picked up through the normal course of business. Following the end of a three-year contract with KPMG‚ the university appointed Whistle-Blowers Inc. as the preferred service provider on a renewable annual contract beginning in 2018."

Whistle-Blowers Inc. is one of four service providers accredited by the Ethics Institute of South Africa. It offers a subscribing client "a highly trained‚ multi-lingual call centre‚ which enables any party to report any irregular activities within an organisation"‚ the university statement said.

Reports to the hotline may include any incidents of wrong-doing‚ including allegations of criminal offences‚ theft‚ fraud‚ unethical behaviour or misconduct‚ health and safety violations‚ irregular awarding of tenders‚ damage to the environment‚ financial statement fraud‚ student financial aid fraud‚ dishonesty‚ misuse of property and assets‚ misuse of donor grants and corruption. This extends to ethics in the academic and research areas‚ including examinations.

The hotline number is 0800 650 000.

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