Annual whistleblowing and prescribed person report 2022-23

This report provides detail of all Whistleblowing disclosures received by NRW during the 2022-23 financial year and any associated actions or recommendations.

NRW is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity, and accountability. There is an expectation that all those who work for NRW who have serious concerns about any aspect of NRW’s work is able to come forward and voice those concerns. NRW is committed to taking whatever action is necessary to address any wrongdoing which is uncovered.

Whistleblowing reports

During the year there were 20 potential whistleblowing cases reported via the whistleblowing mechanisms. All were considered in line with NRW’s whistleblowing policies and procedures. Of these 20 reports, 7 were reviewed and handled formally as whistleblowing cases, 9 related to matters outside of NRW and 4 were not considered as whistleblowing, as defined by NRWs Whistleblowing Policy, so were referred back to the business for internal handling.

The following 7 whistleblowing cases were reported via NRW’s Whistleblowing procedures 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023:

Report Reference

Nature of Report / Area of Business

Whistleblowing upheld or investigated

Action taken


Procurement and contract awarding

Case not upheld



Theft by NRW Customer

Case not upheld



Inappropriate sharing of commercially sensitive information

Case not upheld



NRW’s waste management and Net Zero reporting

Case not upheld

Recommendations made for improvements


Unfair people processes applied

Case not upheld



Operational Health & Safety Concerns


Pending completion of the investigation


Fraudulent manipulation of data and management misreporting

Case not upheld

Independent investigation carried out by the Welsh Government Counter Fraud & Assurance Team

NRW as a Prescribed Person for whistleblowing

NRW became a became a ‘Prescribed Person’ in 2020 following an approach from the Welsh Government (WG). The Prescribed Persons Order 2014 sets out a list of 60 organisations that any member of the public may approach to report suspected or known wrongdoing (whistleblowing). The organisations and individuals on the list have usually been designated as a prescribed person because they have an authoritative or oversight relationship with their sector, often as a regulatory body. The Order is amended, by the UK Government, each year, to ensure that the list remains up to date.

The following 9 cases of a Prescribed Person Whistleblowing Report have been received from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, although it is acknowledged other concerns may have been raised outside of the formal whistleblowing process:

Report Reference

Organisation / Matter / Body reported


Council corruption in planning decision


Burning of waste


Pollution of a water course


Sewage & pollution


Tree Felling


Environmental crime of dumping on a farm


Illegal clearing of trees


Recycling Plant odours


Overloading of sewer systems


In report WB011 the whistle blowing case was not upheld and no action was taken.

All of the remaining cases were referred to the incident handling teams within NRW and handled under normal complaints processes. None of the cases were of the magnitude or severity to require a formal whistleblowing investigation.

NRW also receives reports that could be deemed as Prescribed Person Reporting via the Wales Incident Reporting System which are handled by the regulatory and enforcement teams.

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