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TOWARDS COMPREHENSIVE
PUBLIC & PRIVATE SECTOR
WHISTLEBLOWER
PROTECTION
Leah Ambler, OECD Anti-Corruption Division
Conferen...
International whistleblower protection
standards
• 1998 & 2003 OECD Public Service
Recommendations
• UNCAC Article 33
• 20...
Definition
“legal protection from discriminatory or
disciplinary action, of employees who
disclose to the competent author...
Whistleblower protection legislation in
OECD countries
• Dedicated whistleblower protection laws
(e.g. Canada, Japan, Kore...
Entry into force of dedicated whistleblower
protection Laws: A timeline
7.5. Introduction of lobbying regulation, 1940-14
...
Challenges in providing protection to
reporting persons
• Need for protected reporting in the public AND private
sector, i...
The good faith criteria and anonymous
reporting in the public sector
13.33333333
180
measuresin place to preclude individu...
Issues specific to legislating for private
sector whistleblower protection
• Only 14 of 41 Parties to the OECD Anti-Briber...
Private sector whistleblower
protection in practice
86%
13%
1%
Yes
No
I don't know
Most surveyed organisations had a
mecha...
Next steps
• Promote full implementation of international
standards on public and private sector
whistleblower protection ...
Further information
www.oecd.org/corruption
www.oecd.org/corruption/
whistleblower-protection.htm
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Towards comprehensive public & private sector whistleblower protection

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This presentation on public and private initiatives in whistleblower protection was made by Leah Ambler of the OECD Anti-Bribery Division at the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in St Petersburg on 2-6 November 2015. Find out more atwww.oecd.org/corruption/whistleblower-protection.htm

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Towards comprehensive public & private sector whistleblower protection

  1. 1. TOWARDS COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC & PRIVATE SECTOR WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION Leah Ambler, OECD Anti-Corruption Division Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, St Petersburg, 2-6 November 2015 The views expressed in this presentation do not necessarily represent the views of member countries of the OECD or OECD Working Group on Bribery
  2. 2. International whistleblower protection standards • 1998 & 2003 OECD Public Service Recommendations • UNCAC Article 33 • 2009 OECD Anti-Bribery Recommendation • 2010 OECD Good Practice Guidance • 2011 OECD MNE Guidelines • 2014 CoE Recommendation on the protection of whistleblowers • 2015 G20/OECD Principles for Corporate Governance
  3. 3. Definition “legal protection from discriminatory or disciplinary action, of employees who disclose to the competent authorities in good faith and on reasonable grounds wrongdoing of whatever kind in the context of their workplace” • Distinction between whistleblower protection and witness protection
  4. 4. Whistleblower protection legislation in OECD countries • Dedicated whistleblower protection laws (e.g. Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, UK) • Anti-corruption laws (e.g. Estonia, Slovenia, Italy) • Public service laws (e.g. Austria, Chile, Iceland, Portugal, Switzerland) • Labour laws (e.g. France, Luxembourg, Norway) • Criminal codes (e.g. Canada, Mexico) • Sector specific (e.g. US (SOX Act), Australia (Banking Act))
  5. 5. Entry into force of dedicated whistleblower protection Laws: A timeline 7.5. Introduction of lobbying regulation, 1940-14 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 AUS BEL HUN IRE USA ISR UK NZL JPN CAN NLD KOR SVK • More OECD countries have put in place dedicated whistleblower protection laws in the past five years than in the previous 25.
  6. 6. Challenges in providing protection to reporting persons • Need for protected reporting in the public AND private sector, including SOEs • Scope of protection: – Definition of protected persons (consultants, contractors, trainees, temporary employees, former employees, potential employees, volunteers); – Definition of discriminatory or retaliatory action; – Internal vs external reporting; – Subject matter of reports (general wrongdoing vs corruption); – Anonymous vs confidential reporting; – “Good faith” and “reasonable grounds” criteria; – Incentives for whistleblowers and penalties for retaliators
  7. 7. The good faith criteria and anonymous reporting in the public sector 13.33333333 180 measuresin place to preclude individuals fromreporting allegations in bad faith No: 15% Yes: 85% The majority of OECD respondents preclude bad faith reporting in the public sector Can whistleblowersprotect their identity through anonymous reporting? Yes:59% No:41% Anonymous reporting is available in the Public Sector in just over half of surveyed OECD countries
  8. 8. Issues specific to legislating for private sector whistleblower protection • Only 14 of 41 Parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention have effective private sector protection; • Private sector whistleblowers report internally first; • Territorial application (e.g. foreign-based employees, employees of foreign subsidiaries); • Reporting hotline vs guarantees of protected reporting and prevention against retaliation; • Ensuring anonymity/confidentiality in ensuing criminal procedures and in small countries; • The collision of data protection and whistleblower protection laws.
  9. 9. Private sector whistleblower protection in practice 86% 13% 1% Yes No I don't know Most surveyed organisations had a mechanism to report suspected instances of serious corporate misconduct BUT … 61% 21% 18% Yes No I don't know More than 1/3 of organisations with a reporting mechanism did not have, or did not know of, a written policy of protecting those who report from reprisals
  10. 10. Next steps • Promote full implementation of international standards on public and private sector whistleblower protection and provide guidance on rights and obligations when reporting wrongdoing • Encourage countries to develop data, benchmarks and indicators on effectiveness of whistleblower protection frameworks • Encourage protected reporting mechanisms and prevention of retaliation in companies’ internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes
  11. 11. Further information www.oecd.org/corruption www.oecd.org/corruption/ whistleblower-protection.htm

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