Diocese of Portland launches third-party reporting system
PORTLAND, Maine — The Diocese of Portland has launched a new third-party reporting system that will enable all diocesan employees, volunteers and parishioners to make reports, anonymously or not, whenever they have evidence of activity which violates the standards of ethical conduct described in the diocese’s Code of Ethics (www.portlanddiocese.org/human-resources/code-of-ethics).
Examples of this activity include fraud, misconduct, safety violations, harassment, or substance abuse occurring at a Catholic parish, Catholic school, or at the diocesan level.
“Several months ago, after hearing from people around the state, the diocese started the process of establishing this system for individuals to express their concerns in an easily accessible way,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley. “The system is organized to ensure that these reports will be handled in a timely and thorough manner.”
The system will be operated by Red Flag Reporting. Based in Akron, Ohio, Red Flag maintains ethics, safety, and fraud hotlines for organizations in over 50 countries.
Reports can be made by simply visiting www.redflagreporting.com and clicking on “File a Report,” or by calling 1-877-647-3335, a 24/7 hotline that is available in English and Spanish. Either process will require the Diocese of Portland’s client code which is: RCDPortland. Posters promoting the system will be posted in each parish and school.
Once a report is made, Red Flag ensures accountability at the diocesan level by overseeing the handling of each complaint. Whistleblower protection is also guaranteed to anyone making a report.
“To ensure transparency and the success of this initiative, the Church needs the committed involvement of the laity. In partnering with Red Flag Reporting, the diocese is offering stronger protections against problematic activity,” said the bishop. “It is gratifying to report that the protocols already implemented in the Diocese of Portland regarding the safety of children, through the vigilance of both clergy and laity, have helped to make our Church a safer place for all.
“Since many of the procedures began in 2002, there have been no substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric in the Diocese of Portland. We have similar hope for this new system of accountability,” he added.
The Red Flag Reporting system is not intended for anyone with information about the sexual abuse of a minor. In those cases, please contact civil authorities as well as Michael Magalski, Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.