SOURCE: Ethical Advocate

December 18, 2007 10:04 ET

Whistleblower Hotline Systems Provider Ethical Advocate Receives Industry-First FISMA Certification

CHAPEL HILL, NC--(Marketwire - December 18, 2007) - Ethical Advocate, a leading provider of confidential and anonymous incident reporting systems, often called Whistleblower systems, today announced that its EthicsVault reporting application has been certified as the first and only Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliant third-party hotline. Compliance with FISMA is mandated by law to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and systems that support the operations and assets of government agencies. Agencies failing to meet FISMA requirements face withholding of federal funds and withdrawal of contractor eligibility status.

FISMA requires federal agencies to develop, document, and implement agency-wide information security programs. All U.S. government federal agencies and qualifying organizations contracted on behalf of U.S. government agencies must conform to FISMA's mandatory processes.

FISMA certification addresses access control, physical and environmental protection, incident response and authentication. There are 158 FISMA control requirements, each with many corresponding specific obligations. "As the only FISMA-certified reporting system, this is the most complete and secure approach for whistleblower hotlines and systems in the government sector," said Janet Hankins, EthicsVault system manager. "With our systems housed at one of the most secure hosting facilities in the United States with guaranteed 99.99% uptime availability, EthicsVault delivers the required availability, security and integrity required to ensure confidential reporting."

The EthicsVault hotline supports the reporting of federal procurement fraud and meets the Department of Justice (DOJ) National Procurement Fraud Task Force recommendations that qualified government contractors be required to operate compliance programs with reporting mechanisms such as hotlines. These recommendations stipulate that contracts be denied to organizations without compliance programs.

Studies indicate that people are far more likely to use external hotline services such as EthicsVault to report issues due to guaranteed anonymity and diminished fear of repercussions. EthicsVault's unparalleled FISMA certified hotline makes this application the foremost choice for government agencies and contractors.

About Ethical Advocate

Ethical Advocate (EA) provides anonymous incident reporting systems to more than one million users in all sectors, including corporate, government and educational institutions. EA incident reporting supports FISMA, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and many other regulatory and reporting requirements. Persons desiring to report incidents, indiscretions, or suggestions can do so securely, 24/7/365, multilingual, via the Internet and phone. For more information, visit www.ethicaladvocate.com or call (888) ETHICS6.

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