Whistleblower Portal

The HZDR’s Board of Directors and the HZDR’s General Works Council agree that compliance with the applicable law as well as with the pertinent internal and external rules and regulations constitutes the foundation for responsible conduct on part of the HZDR. The HZDR trusts its employees and expects that they conduct their actions for and on behalf of the HZDR in such a way that these actions conform at any and all time to the respective rules and regulations as well as the applicable law.

In order to safeguard and assure proper and legally correct conduct and behavior, it is necessary for the protection of the HZDR and all of its employees to react and respond to any such improper and/or illegal conduct and behavior. However, this requires the appropriate knowledge of the respective issues.

This electronic whistleblower portal permits you to anonymously report those behavioral patterns and/or cases of conduct which fall under the final catalog of topics as stated in the General Internal Agreement. This electronic whistleblower portal does not serve the purpose of replacing any communication channels that already exist at the HZDR; instead, it merely represents an additional means of submitting anonymous information.

For any and all persons who provide information, the basic principle applies that this information may entail investigations; which means that the requisite information is to be communicated only if and when there is concrete and comprehensible evidence and that such information is to be handled and treated in a responsible manner.

How should information be submitted?

If you wish to report an instance of non-compliance, then please press the button “Report Incident”. Thereafter, a password and a heading (keywords) are to be entered. This is followed by “Start Procedure”. On the next page, you will get the transaction number. Please remember the password and the transaction number; otherwise, further communication shall not be possible anymore. Subsequent thereto, you can report the instance of non-compliance.

In order to specifically protect your anonymity and the transaction, it is not possible for you to communicate directly with the ombudsperson. To be able to maintain continuous contact to the ombudsperson, please log in to the portal at regular intervals and check the current status of the case.

Please note that if and when the reported issue does not comply with the binding catalog of topics as laid down in the GIA (§ 4), your information will not be processed any further and the respective transaction will be blocked and the appropriate data will be deleted pursuant to the applicable data protection law.

Which information can be submitted via the whistleblower portal?

The sole objective of the whistleblower system is the receipt and processing of information on any and all suspected cases of corruption, other acts of white-collar crime, and/or similar violations of a serious nature that may harm and/or damage the HZDR.

A  Criminal offence (such as, for example, larceny theft, embezzlement and misappropriation, betrayal and divulging of secrets, etc.); in particular, penal acts of bribery and corruption in accordance with the German Criminal Code (StGB):

  • Accepting undue advantages pursuant to § 331 StGB
  • Granting undue advantages pursuant to § 333 StGB
  • Receiving bribes pursuant to § 332 StGB
  • Offering bribes pursuant to § 334 StGB
  • Anticompetitive arrangements with bids and tenders pursuant to § 298 StGB
  • Receiving and offering bribes in business transactions pursuant to § 299 StGB

B  Violation of ordinances and directives/administrative provisions of the Federal Government and the Federal State or violations of such external rules and regulations as, for example:

  • Infringements of the secondary employment law (in particular, separation between official and private duties, prohibition to split an order into an official and a private part)
  • Illegal procurement, expenditure, and accounting of basic financing and third-party funds (for example, in conjunction with illegal infringements of statutory budgetary provisions or grant notices)

C  Violation of internal provisions issued by the HZDR, in particular:

  • Violation of the Guideline on Corruption Prevention
  • Violation of the Signature Rules
  • Violation of the Procurement Rules

Any and all violations of the obligations under the employment law as well as any and all violations of the HZDR’s regulations which are not covered by the catalog of topics are to be communicated and clarified primarily by using the official channels. The whistleblower system is explicitly not available for any general complaints.

When is information to be submitted?

It is important that you yourself have to be aware prior to using the whistleblower portal that investigations may be launched on the account of your report. You should, therefore, provide any and all information to the best of your knowledge. Please note that the deliberate communication of any false and/or incorrect facts may result in undesired consequences. That is why you should ask yourself the following question: Is my suspicion based on concrete and comprehensible evidence? Only if and when you are able to answer this question with “yes” should you report the case.

What happens to the information after it has been submitted?

After having received any whistleblower information, the ombudsperson will examine whether there is any concrete and comprehensible evidence that might indicate non-compliance and whether any further investigations need to be conducted. Where appropriate, it may be necessary to check back with the (anonymous) informant and/or to request additional documents.

Should the plausibility check reveal that the accusations are completely and entirely unfounded and that these accusations are only general suspicions against one or more persons, then the respective information shall neither be recorded nor pursued any further.

If the ombudsperson concludes that there is sufficiently concrete and comprehensible evidence to substantiate and underpin the information and that this information is to be followed up on, then the requisite information will be handed over to the Administrative Director. The Administrative Director will then decide in line with the proportionality principle whether any further investigations are to be conducted and who is to be officially authorized to conduct these investigations.

The authorized person assigned by the Administrative Director will then examine and investigate the received information. The result of these undertakings will be forwarded to the Administrative Director.

The Administrative Director will decide upon any measures to be taken under employment law or on any disciplinary measures and, depending on the gravity of the respective violation and/or infringement, where appropriate, upon any measures to be taken under civil/criminal law.

How will I get any feedback?

Once the investigation of your information will have been completed, the ombudsperson will inform you of the outcome of the case in the whistleblower portal. Pursuant to the applicable data protection law, though, we shall neither reveal to you any details of the results arising from the investigation nor of any further measures that might be undertaken.

However, such communication via the whistleblower portal will only be possible if and when you log in to the whistleblower portal at regular intervals. Otherwise, you will not get any feedback due to the lack of the appropriate communication channel.

Click here to enter the electronic whistleblower portal

Please note: The use of this link shall not be recorded (on the HZDR servers).