Committing to Effective Whistleblower Protection

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Whistleblower protection is essential for safeguarding the public interest, for promoting a culture of accountability and integrity in both public and private institutions, and for encouraging the reporting of misconduct, fraud and corruption wherever it occurs. While many countries are increasingly developing legal frameworks to protect whistleblowers, more can be done to mainstream integrity and promote open organisational cultures. This report analyses whistleblower protection frameworks in OECD countries, identifies areas for reform and proposes next steps to strengthen effective and comprehensive whistleblower protection laws in both the public and private sectors.



Public sector whistleblower protection in practice: to disclose, or not to disclose

Whistleblower protection systems protect the identity of whistleblowers through measures of confidentiality, however, sometimes these protections can fail, or the identity of the whistleblower can be deduced. As a result, retaliatory and discriminatory actions may ensue. The majority of OECD countries provides protection from a broad range of reprisals and often apply disciplinary action as a sanction and reinstatement as a remedy for retaliation. This chapter analyses the mechanisms that have been implemented in OECD countries to protect whistleblowers from reprisal after having made a protected disclosure, including the reverse burden of proof, sanctions and penalties, the role of administrative appeals bodies, and available remedies.


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