FIFA-Style Whistleblowing System Proposed for Formula One

FIFA-Style Whistleblowing System Proposed for Formula OneFIFA-Style Whistleblowing System Proposed for Formula One

Formula One’s governing body has been advised to introduce a whistleblowing system to prevent corruption following an investigation by the consultancy firm Deloitte.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has been slow off the mark in this respect compared to some other sports governing bodies. FIFA introduced a whistleblowing hotline in 2013 and two years later so did the International Olympic Committee. Documents show that last year Deloitte recommended that the FIA follow suit.

Deloitte was called in by the FIA to carry out an investigation and its report concluded “that the threat of corruption was diminished, but noted that residual risks remain,” Independent reported.

Deloitte made a number of recommendations including “the creation of a Compliance Officer, the implementation of a whistleblowing system, the strengthening of the monitoring of the use of grants awarded by the FIA, the improvement in the monitoring of the independence of certain FIA bodies and of the absence of conflicts of interest.”

The report states that Deloitte’s recommendations led to the FIA’s regulations being amended in December and further changes are being made.

“The FIA is in the process of implementing the recommendations of Deloitte,” says a spokesperson. “The FIA will continue to lead the way in ensuring compliance as it strives to put in place best practices. This includes implementing recommendations made by Deloitte following its compliance analysis that was carried out in 2016, at the request of the FIA, to assist it in reaching its compliance goals. This also included the appointment of a new compliance officer to lead oversight and who has recently joined the FIA.”

The FIA raced into a storm earlier this year when Damian Collins, chairman of the government’s sport select committee, asked the Serious Fraud Office to review payments it received under F1’s governance contract. A pre-investigation is currently under-way and the director of the SFO responded to Collins promising “a thorough examination of the facts.”

Both the FIA and F1 have denied that the contract is corrupt but it isn’t the only hurdle they face.

Last month Collins also referred the FIA to the treasury to investigate whether it broke sanctions by giving grants to its member club in Syria. It arranges races which are sponsored by President Assad’s Ministry of Tourism and are used as promotion by his Tourism Minister Bishr Yazigi.

The FIA denies any wrongdoing and its spokesperson said “the current sanctions in place against Syria have been closely examined and the FIA does not believe that in paying these grants to the Syrian Automobile Club, any sanctions have been broken.


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