The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted to prevent Enron-type acts of fraudulent accounting practices and misrepresentation of financial information at publicly traded companies. Most of the Act deals with financial auditing and accounting practices, but a particular section, 301, deals with establishing a means for the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
MAP provides call center services in a variety of formats (via phone, email, etc). One of the services they offer is acting as a independent third party who fields so-called whistleblower calls for companies wishing to comply with section 301. However, handling such requests via a telephone hotline has certain inherent disadvantages:
MAP Communications was looking for a web-based tool that was password protected, that would still allow anonymous submission of complaints in writing, and would protect anonymity when investigators contact the complainant for follow-up.
Media Net Link created a customized version of AthenaRMS (Request Management System). This version, referred to as ReportAnIssue.com, allows a subscribing company's employee to create an anonymous account, log into the ReportAnIssue system, and enter the details of the allegation. The complainant can then choose to reveal his/her identity to the third party investigator, or can remain anonymous as long as he/she chooses. An investigator can follow up to get more information with the complainant, provide comments that are visible only to other investigators and the issuer, or provide internal notes only seen by investigators.
For more information about ReportAnIssue.com, visit the website, http://reportanissue.com.
MAP Communications has successfully installed their custom version of Athena at companies large and small. ReportAnIssue now tracks all Sarbanes-Oxley allegations for a number of publicly traded companies. All submissions remain confidential, yet companies are able to follow up on allegations, record information about investigations of allegations, and see the status or resolution on all allegations for their company, via ReportAnIssue.
It is not the type of use that Athena was originally designed for, but it demonstrates its flexibility.
Other clients have used Athena for contact management, project management, and telephone surveys.
"The Athena product was quickly customized for tracking so-called whistleblower calls anonymously and accurately"