The board /cabinet members each receive a copy of an anonymous letter alleging that the senior manager leading the negotiations to outsource services to a large private company has a previous history with this company and a friendship with a senior executive in the company. It is suggested that this might explain his well document enthusiasm for outsourcing and the reason he promoted this particular company. The detail within the letter makes it obvious that the author is a well informed member of the finance department. The chief executive is furious that a member of staff has sort to undermine sensitive negotiations by seeking to tarnish the reputation of one of his senior management team with what he considers malicious and unfounded allegations. Rather than look into these allegations he demands a thorough investigation to find the whistle blower. When the initial investigation does not identify the author he instructs IT to go into the email accounts of every person in the finance department to find incriminating evidence. When the story is picked up by the local press the leader of the council suspecting that the whistle blower may not be the only disloyal member of staff instructs IT to monitor the emails of all senior managers for references to the outsourcing negotiations.
Sounds like paranoia, but many organisations expend more time and energy trying to identify the whistle blower than they do looking into the allegations.
Blair McPherson former local authority director www.blairmcpherson.co.uk