The risk of corruption is significantly heightened in environments where the reporting of wrongdoing is not supported or protected. Public and private sector employees have access to up-to-date information concerning their workplaces’ practices, and are usually the first to recognise wrongdoings. However, those who report wrongdoings may be subject to retaliation, such as intimidation, harassment, dismissal or violence by their fellow colleagues or superiors. In many countries, whistleblowing is even associated with treachery or spying.
Whistleblower protection is therefore essential to encourage the reporting of misconduct, fraud and corruption. Providing effective protection for whistleblowers supports an open organisational culture where employees are not only aware of how to report but also have confidence in the reporting procedures. It also helps businesses prevent and detect bribery in commercial transactions. The protection of both public and private sector whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting in good faith suspected acts of corruption and other wrongdoing is therefore integral to efforts to combat corruption, safeguard integrity, enhance accountability, and support a clean business environment.
These questions are addressed to policy makers who are interested in encouraging and protecting whistleblowers.
1. Is there comprehensive and clear legislation in place to protect from retaliation, discriminatory or disciplinary action, employees who disclose in good faith and on reasonable grounds, suspected acts of wrongdoing or corruption to competent authorities?
2. Are there effective institutional frameworks and clear procedures and channels in place for facilitating the reporting of wrongdoing and corruption?
3. Are protected disclosures and persons afforded protection clearly defined?
4. Are retaliatory actions clearly defined and the protection afforded robust and comprehensive?
5. Are remedies and sanctions for retaliation clearly outlined?
6. Is awareness-raising regularly undertaken to encourage the reporting of wrongdoing and corruption and to disseminate existing information on the protection of whistleblowers?
7. Is the effectiveness in practice of the whistleblower protection framework periodically evaluated and reviewed?
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