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Effective Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection
Mechanisms
Leah Ambler
Anti-Corruption Division, OECD
leah.ambler@oecd.o...
Overview
- Sources of Private Sector Whistleblower
Protection
- Main Features of Protection Mechanisms
- Challenges to Eff...
Whistleblower Protection
‘Member countries should ensure that : (iii) appropriate
measures are in place to protect from di...
Guidance to the Private Sector
‘internal and where possible confidential reporting by, and
protection of, directors, offic...
Sources of Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection
• Sectoral laws, e.g. anti-corruption laws, competition
laws, environme...
Features of Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms
Mechanisms for
Protection:
– Protection against
retaliation...
Features of Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms
Reporting
Procedures:
–Prescribed
channels for
reporting
–H...
Features of Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms
Enforcement
Mechanisms:
– Oversight and
Enforcement Authori...
Features of Private Sector
Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms
Awareness-raising and Evaluation
Mechanisms:
• Promotion wi...
Promoting whistleblowing
• Education
• Awareness-raising of rules
and procedures
• Ensuring effective protection
is provid...
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Effective Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms - Leah Ambler, OECD

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Presentation by Leah Ambler at the OECD Whistleblower Protection Seminar on 17th June 2014. More information available at www.oecd.org/gov/ethics/whistleblower-protection-seminar-june-2014.htm

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Effective Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms - Leah Ambler, OECD

  1. 1. Effective Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms Leah Ambler Anti-Corruption Division, OECD leah.ambler@oecd.org
  2. 2. Overview - Sources of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection - Main Features of Protection Mechanisms - Challenges to Effective Protection
  3. 3. Whistleblower Protection ‘Member countries should ensure that : (iii) appropriate measures are in place to protect from discriminatory or disciplinary action public and private sector employees who report in good faith and on reasonable grounds to the competent authorities suspected acts of bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions” (OECD 2009 Recommendation on further combating foreign bribery) •Not to be confused with witness protection, prohibition of unfair dismissal or prohibition of workplace harrassment
  4. 4. Guidance to the Private Sector ‘internal and where possible confidential reporting by, and protection of, directors, officers, employees, and, where appropriate, business partners, not willing to violate professional standards or ethics under instructions or pressure from hierarchical superiors, as well as for directors, officers, employees, and, where appropriate, business partners, willing to report breaches of the law or professional standards or ethics occurring within the company, in good faith and on reasonable grounds’ (OECD Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance)
  5. 5. Sources of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection • Sectoral laws, e.g. anti-corruption laws, competition laws, environmental protection laws. • Specific dedicated laws, e.g. comprehensive whistleblower protection laws, public interest disclosure laws. • International instruments, e.g. 2014 Council of Europe Recommendation; 1998 OECD Recommendation; 2009 OECD Anti-Bribery Recommendation. • Corporate self-regulation, e.g. in response to UK Bribery Act, ‘adequate procedures’ or US sanctioning guidelines. • Issue of conflicting laws, e.g. false accusation, secrecy, defamation.
  6. 6. Features of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms Mechanisms for Protection: – Protection against retaliation – Protection against civil and criminal liability – Anonymity and Confidentiality – Burden of Proof
  7. 7. Features of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms Reporting Procedures: –Prescribed channels for reporting –Hotlines –Incentives
  8. 8. Features of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms Enforcement Mechanisms: – Oversight and Enforcement Authorities – Availability of Judicial Review – Remedies and Sanctions for Retaliation – Feedback to the whistleblower
  9. 9. Features of Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Mechanisms Awareness-raising and Evaluation Mechanisms: • 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. Promoting whistleblowing • 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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