Complaints boss to probe whistleblower protection

| 09/04/2013

whistle-blower (247x300).jpg(CNS): How well whistleblowers are protected will form the subject of the complaints commissioner’s next 'own motion' report. Nicola Williams said she has launched an investigation to find out if there are adequate protections and protective measures in place for those who report wrongdoing, often called 'whistleblowers', in government. She said she is hoping for the cooperation of all of the relevant public sector entities as she examines the protection both across the civil service and up and down through the ranks of government. Williams said notice of the investigation was served on the deputy governor and the attorney general last Thursday.

“At its simplest, a Whistleblower, or Reporter of Wrongdoing, is a person who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it,” said Williams. “This should and must be viewed in a constructive and positive way, and should be encouraged.”

The civil service complaints boss said she had determined under the Complaints Commissioner Law in accordance with her powers that there are reasons of special importance which has triggered the own motion report. However, she has not indicated what those reasons are.

In the wake of a number of leaks of government documents during the previous UDP administration, the former premier had been critical of people who were leaking documents and had asked for investigations.

“This is an issue which I have determined, in accordance with my powers under the Complaints Commissioner Law (2006 Revision), Section 11(1), that there are reasons of special importance which makes this Own Motion investigation by my Office desirable in the public interest,” she said. “Whether employed by government or not, what happens in government affects us all, directly or indirectly, so if a Whistleblower is punished for doing the right thing, government maladministration will continue unchecked.”

Williams added that as government has publicly stated a commitment to good governance, she expected that the office’s investigators would receive full co-operation.

The report is expected by the end of the year and anyone with information relevant to the investigation may call the Office of the Complaints Commissioner at 943-2220.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Remember when Charles Clifford blew the whistle on the former premeir? And remember what followed? And investigation of the whistleblower is what!. Go figure that!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bravo Ms. Williams, keep up the good work. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I only wish our Complaints Commissioner received greater media coverage.

    She very much deserves it!

  4. Outraged says:

    Although protection would be nice, one would think that once someone has been labeled as a "whistleblower" that the wrongdoings would also be stopped, laws enforced, consequences for violators, and remedies and relief for the victim and/or "whistleblower."

    It is appalling and outrageous to learn of the efforts and additional violations that take place once the wrongdoings have been reported by the "whistleblowers" to continue the cover-ups and prevent enforcement. The corruption is a vicious cycle.

    If nothing is done to stop the wrongdoings, there is no enforcement of laws, and there are no consequences…future wrongdoings will not be reported…and there will be no need for protection.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It will be a short probe.  "There are no protections whatsoever, other than perhaps a swift taxi to the airport for any expats that do it"

    • Anonymous says:

      correct 11.24….and even then hope the person you blew whistle on was not immigration, customs or airport employee or that they have no relatives in such jobs…

      • Anonymous says:

        Is there any left to blow the whistle on?

        My understanding is that a lot are already on bail,  under suspicion or being investigated.


    • Anonymous says:

      Often the culprit is the expat taking the next flight. Sayed anyone?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue. Thanks Ms. Williams.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This person is very impressed with her powers.

    • Anonymass says:

      This person writes like a lawyer. Quote the basis for why you can do what you're doing. Especially if people mightn't want you doing it.