British Baseball Federation

BBF Whistleblowing volunteer policy

1.     SCOPE

The British Baseball Federation (BBF) is an all-volunteer organisation.  The BBF requires its volunteers to have good conduct and treat everyone with respect. However, occasionally it may be that one member of the Federation has concerns about a volunteer colleague’s standards of practice. They may be worried that there is a serious breach or risk of breach of to the BBF rules, policies and procedures, by their fellow volunteer willfully. For example, it may be that they have concerns about fraud, financial irregularity, sexual harassment, misuse of BBF assets, pursuit of material benefit or advantage in violation of conflicts of interest, danger of health, safety, or well-bring of other volunteers, or other issues. Everybody has a responsibility to raise those concerns so that they can be sorted out.

The BBF acknowledges that ‘raising concerns’ can be an extremely difficult and courageous thing to do. Any person who has good grounds on which to base their suspicions, even if they do not have proof, will be listened to. In most circumstances, the person wishing to raise the concerns should discuss the matter with the person in charge. If this is not possible, or the person is thought to be involved or colluding in some way, the BBF Designated Officer may be contacted. The BBF Designated Officer will be responsible for ensuring the concerns are looked into or passed to the most appropriate person. Depending on the nature of the concern raised, a response regarding the action taken should be supplied to the person raising it as soon as possible. It might not always be appropriate to reveal the full extent of the investigation where this relates to personal issues involving a third party.

All BBF volunteers have a responsibility to maintain high standards. This policy aims to ensure that serious concerns are properly raised and addressed within the BBF and are recognised as a key tool in enabling the delivery of good practice. 

Volunteers who do not report anything illegal will be seen as colluding with unacceptable practice. Such collusion could result in the volunteer been asked to leave and the information been forwarded to the appropriate persons. If a volunteer makes a false accusation, which is later identified as malicious (racist, homophobic, cyberbullying, collecting or sharing confidential BBF or its affiliates data with third parties without DPO express consent forms an illegal breach of GDPR laws, etc.) then the matter may also result in the volunteer been asked to leave the BBF and/or its affiliate. Any Volunteer whistleblowing claim will remain confidential, unless the act crosses over to a possible criminal action (e.g., hate crime, financial fraud, cyberbullying, GDPR breaches). If so, then the BBF reserves the right to inform the Whistleblower the claim may be forward to the police or authorities (ICO) for they to follow-up considering the seriousness of the matter. 

2.     APPLICABLE

This policy is applicable to all BBF assigned volunteers (coaches, managers, officials, National Team, etc). 

3. DEFINITIONS

a) Volunteer: Person assigned to any tasks in or by the BBF and/or its affiliates (who is not a paid person). 

b) Whistleblower: Assigned BBF volunteer making the claim. 

4. PROCEDURE

The BBF is committed to review, investigate and decide on the validity of any whistleblowing claim. The following list of policy elements in not exhaustive. 

4.1 BBF volunteers should endeavour to determine less critical issues casually before they elevate to a whistleblowing grievance.

4.2 Except in the most serious matters a whistleblowing grievance can only be made within 30 calendar days of the actual event giving rise to the grievance. 

4.3 In the event that the Whistleblower (BBF volunteer) neglects to observe and comply with the time limitations set up for any step of the grievance resolution procedures, the grievance may be considered agreeably settled. 

4.4 The volunteer who files the grievance should in the first instance file an online claim link.  After filing, BBF Board member will be assigned accordingly to review, collect, interview the person filing the grievance, and decide within 30 calendar days of the report. If, however, more time is required the BBF representative will advise the person making the grievance. IMPORTANT: All grievances’ and decisions of the BBF and its affiliates are to remain confidential by both parties, unless the law, a legal court or the police request or require otherwise.    

 If you have any questions or would like to appeal your complaint please contact the BBF directly by emailing info@britishbaseball.org Subject: Whistleblowing 

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