MECHINNO

WHISTLEBLOWING

- WHISTLEBLOWING

Whistleblowing: What is it?

On this page, in addition to the measures already adopted by the company in its Model 231 and related Code of Ethics, in accordance with the Law of November 30, 2017, No. 179, “Provisions for the protection of authors of reports of crimes or irregularities of which they have become aware in the context of a public or private employment relationship” the measures adopted under Legislative Decree March 10, 2023, No. 24, “Implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 23, 2019, on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law and laying down provisions on the protection of persons who report violations of national legislative provisions” are reported, providing information in accordance with and for the purposes of art. 5 letter e) of Legislative Decree No. 24/2023.

Legislative Decree No. 24/2023 regulates the protection of individuals reporting violations of European Union or national legal provisions that harm public interest or the integrity of public administration or private entities, of which they have become aware in a public or private work context.

Who Can Make a Report:

  • executives, members of corporate governance, control, supervision, or representation bodies
  • employees of Mechinno S.r.l.
  • interns and trainees, even if unpaid
  • freelancers, professionals, and consultants working for Mechinno S.r.l.
  • the facilitator, i.e., the person who assists the whistleblower in the reporting process.

Subject of the report

Reports may concern violations of EU law or national law, already committed or not yet committed, when there are concrete elements to believe they will be committed. These violations include:

  1. administrative, accounting, civil, or criminal offenses not explicitly mentioned in Legislative Decree 24/2023 and related attachments.
  2. unlawful conduct relevant under Legislative Decree June 8, 2001, No. 231, or violations of the Model 231 adopted by the company.
  3. offenses falling within the scope of EU or national acts listed in the attachment to Legislative Decree 24/2023 or national acts implementing the acts listed in the attachment to Directive (EU) 2019/1937, relating to specific sectors.
  4. acts or omissions harming the financial interests of the Union under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  5. acts or behaviors undermining the purpose of provisions in Union acts indicated in Legislative Decree 24/2023.
  6. acts falling within the scope of the Union or national acts listed in Legislative Decree 24/2023, concerning various sectors.

Information Not Eligible for Reporting:

  • clearly unfounded information, already publicly known, or based solely on unreliable rumors.
  • disputes, claims, or requests related to the personal interest of the whistleblower or the person who filed a report with the judicial or accounting authority, exclusively concerning individual employment or public employment relationships or employment relationships with hierarchically superior figures.
  • irregularities in the management or organization of the company’s activities handled through reporting and communication channels established in Model 231 and related protocols and in the company’s Code of Ethics.
    Therefore, reports concerning labor disputes, discrimination among colleagues, interpersonal conflicts between the reporting person and another worker are excluded from the application of Legislative Decree no. 24/2023;
  • reports of violations already regulated by other directives and regulations of the European Union and implementing provisions of the Italian legal system, that already guarantee specific reporting procedures different from those governed by Legislative Decree no. 24/2023 and related attachments, such as the discipline of the banking and credit system;
  • reports of violations related to national security, as well as contracts related to aspects of national defense or security, unless these aspects fall within the relevant derivative law of the European Union;
  • classified information: affixed by individual public administrations to limit knowledge of information to protect classified information from unauthorized access for security reasons;
  • forensic professional secrecy: protection of the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients (“forensic professional secrecy”) provided for by Union law and national law.
  • medical professional secrecy: protection of the confidentiality of communications between healthcare providers and their patients, as well as the confidentiality of medical records (“medical confidentiality”) provided for by Union law and national law;
  • secrecy of deliberations of judicial bodies: the principle of secrecy is aimed at ensuring the serenity of judgment and at the same time the impartiality of the decision;
  • rules of criminal procedure: to safeguard the obligation of secrecy of investigations under art. 329 c.p.p “Obligation of secrecy,” the so-called Instructional Secrecy;
  • autonomy and independence of the judiciary: autonomy and independence on the functions and attributions of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, including the relevant procedures, for everything concerning the legal status of members of the judiciary;
  • national defense and public order and security;
  • exercise of workers’ rights: consultation with their representatives or unions, protection against conduct or illegal acts carried out in connection with such consultations, autonomy of social parties, and their right to conclude collective agreements, as well as repression of anti-union conduct under article 28 of law May 20, 1970, no. 300.

At the time of reporting, the reporting person must have a reasonable and well-founded reason to believe that the information on reported violations, publicly disclosed or reported, is true and falls within the scope of the regulations.

Under the aforementioned Legislative Decree no. 24/2023, reports with which, on complaint, retaliatory acts are committed, presumably suffered as a result of reporting the illicit act, must be forwarded exclusively to ANAC, which will carry out the necessary investigations, imposing the administrative sanction provided for by law on the responsible party, in case of the validity of the report.

How to submit a report:

Through:

  • an IT platform with the encryption software adopted by the company and accessible at the following link: https://mechinno.smartleaks.cloud/#/ or by clicking here where it will be possible to register in total confidentiality and proceed to send a text or oral message and receive the prescribed communications provided by law.
    The platform for reporting illicit acts combines the essential requirement of confidentiality and protection of the identity of the reporter with accessibility and data security.

It is also possible to make a Whistleblowing report using the methods already in use since the adoption in 2021 of Model 231 by Mechinno S.r.l. through:

  • regular mail: sending the report in a sealed envelope to the address of the registered office at Via dell’Industria 2 | 40012 Calderara di Reno (Bo) without external indication of the sender but with the indication “Attention to the O.d.V.” and with only the wording: “whistleblowing report,” with two sealed envelopes inside, one containing the report and the other the details of the reporter and their contact information to allow the subsequent communications required by law;
  • sending an email to the OdV odv231@mechinno.com address.
  • finally, using one of the channels described above, it is possible to request a meeting in person:
  • in this case, a specific report of the direct meeting is drawn up after presenting the information on the processing of personal data and the information necessary to obtain the complete text of this information. The report must specify that it is a “whistleblowing report.

Regardless of the choice among the different forms of reporting, confidentiality will be guaranteed:

  • or of the reporting person;
  • or of any facilitator;
  • or of the person involved or in any case of the subjects mentioned in the report;
  • or of the content of the report and its documentation.

Elements and features to be provided for making a whistleblowing report

  • the circumstances of time and place in which the reported incident occurred.
  • a description of the incident.
  • personal details or other elements allowing the identification of the subject to whom the reported facts should be attributed.
  • attachment of sources of evidence such as documents that can provide substantiation of the reported facts, as well as an indication of other individuals potentially aware of the facts.
  • clearly state that it is a whistleblowing report; otherwise, the report may be treated as ordinary without the protections provided for the whistleblower.
  • if the report is too generic and does not allow for proper investigation, the reporter is invited to supplement it and/or provide clarifications within 7 days from the receipt of the report. If this deadline expires without action, the report is archived.

Archiving:

For each type of report, the relevant documentation is retained for no more than five years from the date of receiving the report.

Handling of the Report

The relevant office will:

  • notify the reporting person about the receipt of the report within 7 days from the date of its receipt.
  • promptly follow up on the report and, during the investigation, maintain proper communication with the reporter, requesting, if necessary, additional information.
  • provide feedback on the report at the conclusion of the internal investigation within 3 months from the date of the notice of the report’s receipt or, in the absence of such notice, within 3 months from the expiration of the aforementioned 7-day period from the submission of the report.

Types of Protections Provided for the Reporter and Responsibilities:

The identity of the reporter cannot be disclosed without their express consent. However:

  • in the context of criminal proceedings, the identity of the reporter is covered by secrecy as provided by Article 329 of the Criminal Procedure Code “until the accused cannot have knowledge of it and, in any case, not beyond the closure of the preliminary investigations.
  • in proceedings before the Court of Auditors, the identity of the reporting person cannot be revealed until the conclusion of the investigatory phase.
  • in disciplinary proceedings, if the allegation is based, in whole or in part, on the report, and knowledge of the identity of the reporting person is essential for the defense of the accused, the report will be usable for disciplinary proceedings only with the express consent of the reporting person to reveal their identity.

In any case, the reporter is not exempt from criminal, civil, and administrative liability for behaviors, acts, or omissions not connected and/or not strictly necessary to reveal the violation. There must be a close connection between the report and the action or omission, which should always be proportional to the report.

Conditions and Requirements to Benefit from Protection from Retaliation:

  1. the information on reported violations must be truthful, considering the circumstances of the specific case and the data available at the time of the report. Reports must be made based on a reasonable belief.
  2. reports must be made through the channels, forms, and prerequisites mentioned above.
  3. there must be a close connection between the report and the adverse behavior/action/omission directly or indirectly suffered by the reporting person for them to be considered retaliation and, consequently, for the individual to benefit from protection.
  4. in the absence of compliance with these general conditions, protection cannot be guaranteed, even for individuals different from the reporter who, due to the role played in the reporting process and/or the particular relationship with the reporter, indirectly suffer retaliation.

Conditions under which protection ceases & Responsibilities:

The protection provided in case of retaliation does not apply in the event of a finding, even non-final of the first degree, against the reporter, of criminal responsibility for the crimes of defamation or libel, or in any case for the same crimes connected to the report, or civil liability for reporting intentionally false information with malice or negligence (so-called malicious reports). In cases of finding such responsibilities, the reporting person must also be subject to a disciplinary sanction.

Usefulness of the Institute and Protections Ensured to the Whistleblower by the Platform Used by Mechinno S.r.l.

The platform for reporting illicit acts combines the essential requirement of confidentiality and protection of the whistleblower’s identity with accessibility and data security concerning the reported information. Through this institute, Mechinno S.r.l. aims to provide an operational tool for overseeing ethics and legality, achieving an improvement in its organization and relationships with its stakeholders.

Handling of External Reporting:

External reporting falls under the competence of the National Anti-Corruption Authority, ANAC. Preconditions for resorting to external reporting:

  • when the internal channel, although mandatory, is not active or, even if activated, does not comply with what is provided by the decree regarding the subjects and methods of presenting internal reports, which must be able to guarantee the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity and other protected subjects.
  • when the reporting person has already made an internal report, and it has not been followed up by the designated person or office.
  • when the reporting person has reasonable grounds to believe, based on concrete circumstances and information actually available, and not on mere speculation, that if they were to make an internal report:
    –  it would not be effectively pursued.
    –  or this could pose the risk of retaliation.
  • when the reporting person has a reasonable belief that the violation may constitute an imminent or manifest danger to the public interest.

Procedures for External Reporting:

a.  through regular mail to the ANAC address.
b.  through a dedicated portal on the institutional website at the link: https://www.anticorruzione.it/-/whistleblowing
c.  contacting the telephone number with an ANAC operator.
d.  direct meeting – after presenting the information on the processing of personal data and the information necessary to obtain the complete text of this information – through an operator who enters the report into the computer platform, similarly to what is provided for oral reporting under point c) above.

For what is not explicitly mentioned here, explicit reference is made to the ANAC guidelines approved by Resolution no. 311 of July 12, 2023, which can be directly found on the website of this authority.




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