15IACC

Changing the Rules of the Game: What Rules for Whistleblowers? Providing Better Avenues for Reporting Corruption and Protections for those who Blow the Whistle.

8 November 17:30 – 19:30

Session Description

Whistleblowing and whistleblower protection mechanisms are essential for the effective detection and reporting of corruption. The risk of impunity for corrupt acts is heightened in environments where such reporting is not supported or protected. This applies to both the public and private sector environments: Protecting public sector whistleblowers facilitates the reporting of bribery, misuse of public funds, abuse of office, waste, fraud and other forms of corruption. Protecting private sector whistleblowers facilitates the reporting of active bribery, and other corrupt acts committed by companies.

Despite these benefits, whistleblowing and whistleblower protection mechanisms are still not widely promoted as an anti-corruption tool. This session therefore seeks to highlight the importance of whistleblowers as game-changers in the fight against corruption, and will take an integrated, multi-dimensional approach by looking at: government initiatives to establish comprehensive and robust whistleblower protection legislation; how the issue is approached in public and private sector work environments, and; innovative tools developed by NGOs empowering citizens to blow the whistle. It will also look at what international initiatives have been undertaken to promote whistle blowing and whistleblower protection, including through the work of the OECD and G20.

The expert speakers and audience participants are encouraged to not only look at what makes up a comprehensive whistleblowing framework, but to delve deeper and address some of the even more challenging issues that can change the rules of the game, such as: How do we overcome cultural and historical barriers to whistleblowing? Should financial incentives be used to encourage whistleblowing? What are the practical benefits of on-line, anonymous reporting mechanisms? Why should companies care about implementing whistleblowing systems? Should whistleblowers who report externally confidential information be protected?

Impunity can only be curbed where people feel safe enough to speak up against corruption. This requires an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach that includes citizens, public and private sector employees and employers, as well as support from international initiatives. By looking at whistleblowing and whistleblower protection mechanisms in this comprehensive way, this session aims to share best practices and experiences from both the public and private sector, which can in turn serve as models for those who are in the process of developing whistleblower protection frameworks, or as an impetus for those who have not turned their minds to this tool. It aims to connect new audiences and show how governments, companies and citizens can become game-changers when it comes to preventing and detecting corruption.

Session coordinator’s name:
Mr. Chiawen Kiew, Policy Analyst, Anti-Corruption Division, OECD And Mr. Julio Bacio Terracino, Policy Analyst, Public Sector Integrity Division, OECD.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Session Facilitator/Moderator
Ambassador Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General, will also be the MODERATOR of this session.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Experts
Raghunandan Thoniparambil
Consultant, Centre for Policy Research, India (former coordinator/spokesperson of ipaidabribe.com)
Topic: Blowing the Whistle on Corruption in India: Innovative Mechanisms to Promote Citizen Empowerment and Involvement.

Francesca West, Policy Director
Public Concern at Work, United Kingdom
Topic: Blowing the Whistle in the Private Sector: Challenges Faced and Ways to Overcome Them.

Barbara Fredericks, Assistant General Counsel for Administration
United States Department of Commerce
Topic: Comprehensive Whistleblower Protection Laws: Successes and Challenges in the United States.

Anja Osterhaus, Acting Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and EU Projects Coordinator [TBC pending SPF funding]
Transparency International
Topic: The Role of Civil Society Organisations in Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

Note-takers:
Chiawen Kiew
Anti-Corruption Division, OECD

Julio Bacio Terracino
Public Sector Integrity Division, OECD

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