To strengthen grant governance processes and practices, A*STAR has a Whistleblowing Framework for individuals to raise any concerns, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, on possible improprieties that involve A*STAR’s employees, and/or Grantees funded directly by A*STAR.
All disclosures should be made in good faith, without malice, and when the whistleblower has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an incident of wrongful practice has occurred. A*STAR will not tolerate discrimination, retaliation or harassment of any kind against a whistleblower who submits a complaint or report in good faith.
Types of Improprieties
Possible improprieties include but are not limited to the following:
- FraudThis generally relates to the use of deception or misrepresentation to obtain an unjust advantage. It can also involve cheating, kickbacks, forgery or theft. Corrupt conduct is deliberate or intentional wrongdoing, not negligent or a mistake. It can take many forms, including seeking, obtaining, offering secret commissions, bribery, theft, embezzlement, forgery, falsification or fraudulent alteration of documents and submission of fictitious documents.
- Questionable PracticesBroadly, this refers to deliberate breach or circumvention of internal policies, such as Government Instruction Manuals (IMs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and internal staff policies. This involves all forms of research misconduct, including misuse of research funding, misrepresentation of eligibility, manipulation of the research process or willfully misrepresenting its outcomes, plagiarism and other wrongdoings such as violation of regulations and failure to comply with applicable ethical codes, misuse of human research subjects, conflict of interest, etc.
- Reporting ChannelsReports and queries related to the complaints may be made through by emailing us at A-STAR_whistleblowing@a-star.edu.sg
Information to be provided
In making a report, please provide the following information, where possible:
- Name(s) of person(s)/institution/company(ies) involved;
- Name of Funding Initiative and/or Project [including Project ID], where applicable;
- Date, time and location of the incident;
- Frequency of occurrence of the incident;
- Value of any money or assets involved;
- Supporting documents, evidence (eg. photos, videos, documents), if any;
- Whether this has been reported to other parties through any other channels/procedures? If reports were made to other parties, to whom have you made the report;
- Any other information that may substantiate the concern.
We encourage whistleblowers to leave their names so that we can communicate with them in case further information or clarification is required. While A*STAR recognises that information from an anonymous source is just as important to act upon, an anonymous whistleblower should be aware that our ability to follow up with the alleged incident may be limited if we are unable to contact the informant with any follow-up questions.
To the extent feasible and permissible under the law, A*STAR will make every effort not to reveal the identity of the whistleblower.
Please contact us at A-STAR_whistleblowing@a-star.edu.sg