Corporate Governance

Whistle - blowing Policy


1.        Approval & Adoption

This policy has been reviewed and endorsed by the Audit & Risk Committee and is issued with the approval of the FDO Board of Directors. The Board and the Committee wish to make clear that any improper, unethical, and inappropriate behavior within FDO is unacceptable and that this statement is endorsed and supported at the highest level within the Group.

The Whistle blowing policy does not form part of the contract of employment document of FDO staff.

The policy is effective as of the date the Board of Directors approved the policy.  The Board approved the Whistle blowing policy on 31 October 2023.

2.       Policy Statement

The Whistleblowing policy has been established to ensure that all potential or possible cases of suspected wrongdoing are reported and managed in a timely and appropriate manner.

The Group employees are committed to operating lawfully, ethically and with integrity. It is the responsibility of each and every employee of FDO to ensure that they fulfil this commitment in their day-to-day duties. From time to time, however employees may come across something which they are of the view is improper, unethical, or totally against FDO business norms, the employee’s moral and legal duty is to take appropriate measures to share details of such matters with appropriate personnel and for the senior management or higher authority within FDO to attempt to remedy the said occurrence.

It is sometimes difficult to know who to speak to and how best to communicate this concern. Employees can be reluctant to act when they see something suspicious, yet this may harm FDO as an organization or its employees.

To address the above, and as part of this commitment, FDO has in place an avenue for disclosure of any improper conduct or wrongful act. This policy is applicable to all entities within the Group.

3.      Objectives of the Policy

Provide a proper mechanism and minimum standards to be adhered to by entities across the Group in dealing with disclosure of questionable actions or wrongdoings by any personnel in the Group and the Group’s Business Partners.

The Key purpose of this policy is therefore summarized as follows:

    • To ensure that all employees feel supported in speaking up in confidence and reporting matters they suspect may involve anything improper, unethical, or inappropriate;
    • Encourage to identify and challenge all improper, unethical, or inappropriate behavior at all levels of FDO;
    • Provide clear procedures for reporting such matters;
    • Manage all disclosures in a timely, consistent, and professional manner; and
    • Provide assurance that all disclosures will be taken seriously, treated as confidential and managed without fear of retaliation.

4.     Scope of the Policy

This Policy applies to employees, former employees, candidates, and parties with whom FDO has a business relationship (such as contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers).

5.    Key Principles

The key principles of the Group Whistleblowing Policy are:

Principle 1The Group has zero tolerance on any form of fraudulent misconducts, corrupted acts or major business and human rights violations, in line with the Codes (all ethics-related codes within the Group) and the Group’s shared Values.
Principle 2The Boards and the Senior Management must give full commitment in leading the Group and its Personnel towards a culture of integrity, openness, compliance, and disclosure.
Principle 3

The Group must provide assurance and protection to the whistle blowers who report discreetly in bona fide (good faith) on unethical behaviors and business misconducts within the organization or of its Business Partners.

Any individual who in good faith reports any unlawful or inappropriate activity or who assists in the investigation of a reported violation will be protected by FDO and the subsidiaries from any adverse action. Retaliation in any form against these individuals will not be tolerated. Any act of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be disciplined appropriately

Principle 4The whistle blower must provide basic information on the alleged unethical behaviors and business misconducts, including his/her own personal information, to be qualified as the Group’s registered or formal whistleblowing reports.
Principle 5All whistle blowers must escalate the alleged unethical behaviors and business misconducts through the approved formal channels and avenues as provided by the Group.
Principle 6The Group retains the prerogative in all instances to determine when circumstances warrant an investigation – after due deliberation and evaluation processes – and the appropriate investigative process to be employed in line with the relevant policies, laws and regulations.
Principle 7The Group must have clear investigation procedures and process to handle investigation of the whistleblowing cases.
Principle 8The Group must have proper record-keeping on all the reported cases of whistleblowing and maintain a high degree of confidentiality on such reports.
Principle 9The Group must be transparent on disclosure of reported whistleblowing cases and the outcome of cases being investigated, in line with good governance practice.
Principle 10The Group must periodically conduct awareness and communicate to its Personnel and Business Partners on the availability of formal channels and avenues for whistleblowing.
Principle 11

FDO will treat all communications under this Code in a confidential manner, except to the extent necessary:

  • To conduct a complete and fair investigation by management, or
  • For reviews of corporate operations by the Senior Executive Management, Audit Committee, Legal Department / Consultant, and the Company’s externally appointed auditors.


This policy is designed to deal with concerns raised in relation to specific issues which are in the interest of FDO and may have adverse legal, reputational and/or financial impact to FDO. Only genuine concerns should be reported although actual evidence of potential wrongdoing is not necessary.

The Policy & Guidelines are intended to cover serious violations that could have an adverse impact on the Group. The following list is for illustrative purposes only and is not exhaustive:

    • Any creation of misleading, dissemination of misleading and/or false financial records;
    • Fraud, unlawful civil or criminal act that may harm the reputation of the Group or expose its management or shareholders to civil or criminal sanctions;
    • Any breach of the Group’s Codes including Code of Ethics and Conduct for Employees, violation of laws, rules and regulations governing the business and operations of the Group.
    • Accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters
    • Money laundering or terrorist financing or financing clients who violate human rights.
    • Any act of dishonesty, corrupt, abuse of power or authority for personal financial gain, any unauthorized or ulterior purpose;
    • Breach of client confidentiality or privacy
    • Theft
    • Bribery or corruption; and
    • Any unethical or questionable acts that pose or lead to health and safety risks, sexual or physical abuse, retaliation or retribution against the whistle blower and other similar acts.
    • Any act that may subject a staff member to unfair treatment, awkward circumstances, threatening, bullying and/or harassment by another staff member, manager, line-manger and/or customer.

For the avoidance of doubt, Reportable Conduct does not include personal work-related grievances. A personal work-related grievance is a grievance about any matter in relation to a staff member’s current or former employment, having implications (or tending to have implications) for that person personally and that do not have broader implications for the Company.

Examples of personal work-related grievances are as follows:

    • An interpersonal conflict between the staff member and another employee;
    • A decision relating to the engagement, transfer or promotion of the staff member;
    • A decision relating to the terms and conditions of engagement of the staff member;
    • A decision to suspend or terminate the engagement of the staff member, or otherwise to discipline the staff member.

Personal work-related grievances should be reported to your manager or in accordance with the Group’s Grievance Policy.


We understand that disclosures made under this policy may involve highly confidential and sensitive matters. The anonymity of the Whistle Blower reporting to the Whistle Blowing Whistle Blowing email shall be always maintained.

It is preferable that the identity of the Whistle Blower is provided in formal Whistle Blowing Channels. The employee may prefer to make an anonymous disclosure. An investigation may be impeded or misled if further information is not available from the Whistle Blower. The intention of the Whistle Blower also cannot be ascertained.

Concerns expressed anonymously will be investigated, but consideration will be given to:

      • The seriousness of the issue raised;
      • The credibility of the concern;
      • The likelihood of confirming the allegation from reputable sources.

The ARC reserves the right to disregard the anonymous complaints after recommendation from Group Head – Internal Audit.


FDO undertakes that no one who reports any concern or wrongdoing under this policy in good faith will be subjected to any detriment for coming forward, regardless of whether or not the matter is ultimately substantiated.

In the event that a whistle blower believes that they are being victimized or subjected to a detriment (whether financially, career based or socially) by any person within FDO as a result of reporting a concern or wrongdoing or in assisting FDO management in any investigation under this policy, they must inform the People & Technology Chief or the Chairman of the Committee immediately. Such a party will take appropriate action to protect the relevant individuals from any reprisals.


Every Whistle-Blower is expected to read and understand this policy and abide by it.

It is recommended that any individual who wishes to report, do so after gathering adequate facts/data to substantiate the complaint and not complain merely on hearsay or rumor. This also means that no action should be taken against the whistleblower, if the complaint was made in good faith, but no misconduct was confirmed on subsequent investigation.

However, disciplinary action may be taken against the whistle-blower, if he/she makes false allegations that are malicious or simply to cause anger, irritation, or distress. Such disciplinary actions will be made in line with Oman Labor Law on this regard and Group’s internal guidelines, if the law is silent on this matter.


Concerns, disclosures or potential/actual fraud activities should be reported through the Group’s Whistle blow Hotline .

Either of the parties below can be emailed, in case the hotline is not a preferred option;

    • Group’s whistle blowing officer through email
    • Respective company CEO
    • GCEO

In addition to emails, rising whistle blow concerns can be done verbally or through WhatsApp to either of the above.

If the whistle-blower is of the view that the concern cannot be shared with the management or the concern relating to the executive management, the whistle blower can write a letter providing reasonable information to the following post address:

    • Chairman of Board of Directors
    • Fisheries Development Oman;
    • PO Box 2275
    • PC 130
    • Muscat

The Group’s whistle blowing officer will discuss the matter, according to the significance, with Chairman of Audit & Risk Committee and Executive Management who will decide either to investigate or reject the matter.

Individual employee grievances and complaints regarding terms and conditions of employment will continue to be reviewed under the applicable People & Culture policies. In all instances, FDO and its subsidiaries retain the right to determine when circumstances warrant an investigation and, in conformity with this code and applicable laws and regulations, the appropriate investigative process is to be used.


This policy can be used by any employee, group of employees or contractors working within FDO.  In addition, stakeholders and other third parties such as agents, or any other interested business partners may also use this policy to report suspected wrongdoing.


Employees can raise their concerns orally or in writing (by email or letter). Although the employee is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation, the employee should provide enough information to demonstrate that there are sufficient grounds for potential action by the group.

Where possible, employees/whistleblower should include the following information:

    1. An outline of the known or suspected wrongdoing;
    2. Details, to the best of your knowledge, about when, where and how it occurred;
    3. A list of the names of those suspected of being involved (both within FDO or externally);
    4. A list of those who may have the relevant information or files;
    5. Details of how you came to know about the suspected activities;
    6. What, if any, do you estimate to the value of the loss to FDO or other parties;
    7. What, if any, breaches of internal controls, policy, procedures or other requirements you believe took place;
    8. Any specific recommendations you have for actions, if any;
    9. The names of anyone who you have discussed or reported this concern to;
    10. Your name (if you wish) and contact details. Please note –these will be kept confidential as far as is reasonably practicable; and
    11. The date and time of making the report.

This matter will be investigated by specialized experienced individuals who will provide their independent report on this incident.


The person you contact will acknowledge receipt of your concern within three working days and will discuss the next steps with you.

Please be assured that these matters will always be kept confidential and where possible, the details of the person or persons reporting the incident will be removed at all times from documents or notes prepared in connection with such meetings.


Initial inquiries will be made to determine whether an investigation is appropriate, and the form that it should take. Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation.

If the information provided is inaccurate, the Group / Company will then ignore the reported incident. The Group / Company, however, preserves its full rights to investigate the source of information reported if the Group / Company feels that there was no good faith behind the report and shall then take necessary actions.


An investigation will be conducted as fast and sensitively as possible in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations. If appropriate, you will be regularly informed on the progress of the investigation and any action to be taken. The purpose of this investigation is:

    • To establish if any wrongdoing has occurred, and if so to what extent; and
    • To minimize the risk of further wrongdoing, to prevent any further loss of assets, damage to reputation and to protect all sources of evidence.

The confidentiality of the person reporting the suspected wrongdoing will be maintained throughout the investigation process.

The investigation process may be managed internally or externally depending on the nature of the incident. Any person found to be involved in any wrongdoing may be subject to FDO internal disciplinary procedures, in case of an FDO employee, or may have their contract terminated, in case of a contractor/ consultant, agent or any third party with whom FDO is/was dealing.

If FDO management is of the view that criminal activity has taken place, this matter may be reported to the relevant government authority and appropriate legal action taken. If the whistle blower is not satisfied with the investigation or its conclusions, he/she may write directly to the Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee. Where this is not appropriate, the person should write to the Chairman of the Board of Directors detailing the entire concern.


If during the course of the investigation it is discovered that the matter has not been reported in good faith (e.g., as part of a victimization campaign or based on purposely false or misleading information known to the relevant person), this could be subject to investigation and disciplinary procedures.


All actual or suspected incidents of fraud must be reported without delay to the authorities stated in “How should I raise my concerns” section.  The Group Head – Internal Audit, who will notify the GCEO and Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee.  The GCEO will, if required, notify the authorities of the fraud and may consult legal counsel in this case.

In cases involving suspected fraud, the Group Head – Internal Audit will normally lead or have oversight of the initial fact-finding investigation to determine the evidence available or if any specialist advice is required. The Group Head – Internal Audit shall have the responsibility to report the fraud to the Chairman of Committee. The Group Head – Internal Audit may work together with the other business heads to investigate the fraud depending on the need of the case.

    • A confidential report will be prepared covering:
    • Quantification of losses (or best estimates of the losses on the known facts);
    • Strategy for recovery of losses, if possible;
    • A summary of the resources to complete the work;
    • Actions taken to prevent and detect similar incidents; and Recommendations on system design or adoption of processes to reduce the risk of recurrence.

GCEO and the Chairman of Audit & Risk Committee will then decide if further investigation is necessary. The purpose of further investigation work will be to prevent further losses to FDO. The incident will be logged into an incident file maintained by the Internal Audit Department. The report, together with any supporting evidence shall be kept for future reviews or audits. The Group Head – Internal Audit shall, circulate the report to the Committee for its consideration about the nature of the incident, how the fraud was perpetrated, the measures taken to prevent a recurrence and any actions required to strengthen systems, processes, and responses to fraud.

The recommendations in the report will be subject to regular follow-up and the status of the follow-up will be shared with the Committee in future meetings in order to confirm that all actions included in the report have been implemented. The Internal Audit function reserves the right to audit the implementation steps.


The information contained in this document is provided for information only and does not constitute legal advice.

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