Emergency measures to protect whistleblowers and promote reporting during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond
22 May 2020, 14:00 Paris time
The global health and economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted—in many ways—that the world needs whistleblowers. Around the world, governments, international organisations, companies and NGOs are embarking on massive emergency financing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for post-crisis recovery. Given the urgency, essential transparency and accountability measures are being shortcut or postponed. Whistleblowers are one of the only ways that misconduct will be able to be detected early and addressed. Whether it is doctors reporting important medical developments; government employees reporting fraud or embezzlement in vital healthcare procurement; company employees reporting bribery to obtain lucrative deals in medical products or equipment; or citizens reporting misconduct in the granting of key services or economic bailouts, now more than ever, people should be able to speak out without fear for their lives or livelihoods. The most advanced modern whistleblower protection laws allow whistleblowers to report directly to the public or media in cases of danger to public health or safety.
This exclusive OECD webinar looked at what urgent action governments and companies can take to ensure that people report misconduct related to COVID-19 mitigation and response measures, with the tools that they currently have.