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Findings indicate organizations are doing a better job of managing the ever-increasing volume of reports they are now receiving.

PORTLAND, Ore., March 22, 2017 – Leading ethics and compliance software and services company NAVEX Global® today announced the release of its 2017 Ethics & Compliance Hotline and Incident Management Benchmark Report. For the first time since 2010, the report found that case closure times declined from the previous year – while the overall reporting rate increased again to a new high level. Since 2010, report volumes have increased by 56 percent.

The benchmark report analyzes more than 927,338 reports representing 38.5 million employees at more than 2,382 organizations. In 2016, the median case closure time fell by nearly 10 percent to 42 days, down from 46 days in 2015, which suggests that organizations are applying additional resources to address incident reports. The data also found a median rate of 1.4 reports per 100 employees, up from 1.3 reports per 100 employees last year.

“The consistent and steady increase in the reporting rate over the past seven years indicates that the higher level is the new norm and that organizations need to be prepared to address the increased volume,” said Carrie Penman, Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President, Advisory Services, NAVEX Global. “And our findings this year indicate that better preparation may indeed be happening with the improving case closure time at the same time that reporting levels continue to increase.”

This year’s report also was the first time NAVEX Global has analyzed information by geography for some key statistics. These included anonymous reports, report origination and substantiation rates. Notably, the percentage of anonymous reports and the percentage of substantiated reports were higher in Europe than in any other geographic area.

“The distinctions by region are important and will be interesting to watch as we continue to gather the data in the coming years,” Penman said. “However, the geographic differences underscore something we’ve been advising our customers for years – that different countries and regions require varying and adaptive approaches to ethics and compliance and more specifically to discussions about reporting potential wrongdoing. For organizations working in multiple jurisdictions, this should be an important consideration.”

Other top findings in this year’s report include:

  • The substantiation rate of reports received via “All Other Methods” – which covers reporting through avenues such as open door reports, manager submissions, letters and direct email – was significantly higher than reports received via hotline and web only, highlighting the importance of documenting reports received from all sources to gain a more holistic view of potential trends occurring across the organization.
  • Despite all of the regulatory and media attention focused on protecting employees against retaliation, internal reports of retaliation were still less than 1 percent of all reports in our database, while the substantiation rate of these reports remained steady for the third year in a row at 26 percent.
  • Also new this year is some data based on organizational size. The median report volume by organizational size ranges from 0.9 to 1.6 reports per 100 employees, indicating that reporting systems are valuable for organizations of all sizes.
  • For the past eight years, there has been a slow but steady decrease in the rate of anonymous reports with the peak rate in 2009 of 65 percent. In 2016, the rate of anonymous reporting was 58 percent.

The Ethics & Compliance Hotline and Incident Management Benchmark Report provides the 2016 combined data for all industries in the NAVEX Global database, a description and instructions on how to calculate each of the benchmarks outlined above, among other key findings and recommendations that ethics and compliance leaders can use to gauge their programs and organizational culture.

To download NAVEX Global’s 2017 Ethics and Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report, please click here.

About NAVEX Global
NAVEX Global’s comprehensive suite of ethics and compliance software, content and services helps organisations protect their people, reputation and bottom line. Trusted by more than 12,500 clients, our solutions are informed by the largest ethics and compliance community in the world. For more information, visit

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