Whistleblower protection legislation and mechanisms

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Whistleblower protection legislation and mechanisms

  1. 1. Whistleblower ProtectionLegislation and Mechanisms Leah Ambler Anti-Corruption Division OECD Leah.Ambler@oecd.org
  2. 2. Overview- Defining Whistleblower Protection- Benefits to Combating Corruption- Legal Sources- Main Features of Protection Mechanisms- Private Sector Protection- Challenges to Overcome
  3. 3. Whistleblower Protection• “Protection from discriminatory or disciplinary action public and private sector employees who report in good faith and on reasonable grounds suspicions of corruption to competent authorities”• Not to be confused with: – Witness Protection
  4. 4. Use in combating corruption• Encourages reporting of misconduct, fraud and corruption;• Decreases corruption risks;• Increases detection of corruption;• Creates a more accountable workplace;• Helps authorities monitor compliance with anti-corruption laws.
  5. 5. Legal Sources• Sectoral laws, e.g. anti-corruption laws, labour law, employment law, companies and securities laws, environmental protection laws.• Specific dedicated laws, e.g. comprehensive whistleblower protection laws, public interest disclosure laws.• International anti-corruption instruments, e.g. UNCAC, Council of Europe Civil and Criminal Law Conventions on Corruption, OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
  6. 6. Features of Whistleblower ProtectionMechanismsMechanisms forProtection: – Protection against retaliation – Protection against civil and criminal liability – Anonymity and Confidentiality – Burden of Proof
  7. 7. Features of Whistleblower ProtectionMechanisms Reporting Procedures: – Prescribed channels for reporting – Hotlines – Incentives
  8. 8. Features of Whistleblower ProtectionMechanismsEnforcementMechanisms: – Oversight and Enforcement Authorities – Availability of Judicial Review – Remedies and Sanctions for Retaliation
  9. 9. Features of Whistleblower ProtectionMechanismsAwareness-raising and EvaluationMechanisms:• Promotion within places of employment;• Legal requirements for employers to keep employees informed of whistleblower mechanisms;• Periodic evaluation of effectiveness of whistleblower protection system;• Surveys
  10. 10. Private Sector Protection Mechanisms• Domestic laws with comprehensive coverage of protected persons, e.g. Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, United States.• Voluntary measures taken by private sector• Impact of introduction of comprehensive anti-bribery laws, e.g. UK Bribery Act.
  11. 11. Challenges• Insufficient knowledge of law• Fear of reprisals• Lack of meaningful implementation of the law• Confidentiality / loyalty provisions• Cultural, historical barriers
  12. 12. Overcoming Challenges• Education• Awareness-raising of rules and procedures• Ensuring effective protection is provided• Creating an organisational culture of transparency which supports whistleblowing

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