Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

An examination and initial assessment of the achievements of whistleblower agencies in the states and territories of Australia.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "An examination and initial assessment of the achievements of whistleblower agencies in the states and territories of Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 An examination and initial assessment of the achievements of whistleblower agencies in the states and territories of Australia

2 Sources of information 1. A comparison of the legislation in each of the states and territories 2. A survey of Whistleblowers Australia in Q, NSW, ACT Vic, and SA, 3. Relevant literature incl. a survey conducted by the NSW Ombudsman

3 Objectives of the legislation In most jurisdictions, is to protect whistleblowers, to protect whistleblowers, to facilitate whistleblowing, to facilitate whistleblowing, to ensure accusations are investigated to ensure accusations are investigated, and problems corrected [can be applied universally, as organisational objectives]

4 PROTECTIONS UNDER STATE &TERRITORY LEGISLATION 1. Confidentiality for whistleblower… 2. Prohibition against reprisals.. 3. Injunctions against reprisals 4. Proceedings for damages… 5. Right to relocate. 6. Indemnity against civil & criminal proceedings … 7. Absolute privilege against defamation… 8. Anonymous disclosures allowed…. 9. Protection if released to media. NO JURISDICTION HAS ALL NINE

5 Do the protections work? No one has yet been prosecuted under these laws No one has yet been prosecuted under these laws Disciplinary sanctions seldom used (NSW Ombudsman) Disciplinary sanctions seldom used (NSW Ombudsman) Only in NSW have criminal proceedings been taken _ three, all unsuccessful Only in NSW have criminal proceedings been taken _ three, all unsuccessful No injunctions taken out. No injunctions taken out. WBA survey: WBA survey: most w’blowers still persecuted; w’blower offices largely ineffective

6 The reasons 1. No commonly agreed legislation, 2. No clear responsible body, 3. Problem left to the whistleblower. He/she has to take out the injunction themselves, take out the injunction themselves, initiate own action for damages, initiate own action for damages, initiate own prosecutions, initiate own prosecutions, meet huge evidentiary requirements, often surreptitiously, meet huge evidentiary requirements, often surreptitiously, without media coverage & protection (except NSW), & without media coverage & protection (except NSW), & do this in an unequal power relationship. do this in an unequal power relationship.

7 Whistleblowers Australia Survey SUMMARY OF RESPONSES: How frequent are reprisals?: Whistleblower reprisals ‘in most cases’ How frequent are reprisals?: Whistleblower reprisals ‘in most cases’ 1. Frequency of prosecutions for illegal activities?: ‘Rare’. 2. Prosecutions for reprisals? Most replies: ‘no prosecutions have been made’.

8 WBA Survey (Cont’d) [ National president +senior members in five jurisdictions: Q, NSW, ACT, Vic, & SA.] Role of whistleblower agency? Varying responses… Role of whistleblower agency? Varying responses… A separate agency needed, A separate agency needed, Separate whistleblower administration by current agencies, Separate whistleblower administration by current agencies, Be first point of contact, Be first point of contact, Oversight the department handling a complaint, Oversight the department handling a complaint, Be proactive : Be proactive : initiate proceedings for damages, initiate proceedings for damages, seek relocations were needed, seek relocations were needed, help defend whistleblowers. help defend whistleblowers.

9 WBA Survey (Cont’d) Training & consultation? Training & consultation? Should provide ‘assistance to both sides’. Should provide ‘assistance to both sides’. Anonymous disclosures? Anonymous disclosures? ‘ Should be allowed ’ ‘ Should be allowed ’ Are they effective? Are they effective? Yes, but needs to capture media attention Yes, but needs to capture media attention Is there power inequality in whistleblowing? Is there power inequality in whistleblowing? Yes, ‘in most cases’. Yes, ‘in most cases’.

10 WBA Survey (Cont’d) Objective of most legislation is to facilitate the making of disclosures to facilitate the making of disclosures Generally not met.. that disclosures should be investigated and treated appropriately Responses uncertain, generally not positive. that disclosures should be investigated and treated appropriately Responses uncertain, generally not positive.

11 What is needed? - WBA Average whistleblower needs help: Average whistleblower needs help: (a) using the legislation (a) using the legislation (b) gathering and presenting their evidence (b) gathering and presenting their evidence (c) defending themselves against retribution, (c) defending themselves against retribution, (d) emotional support. (d) emotional support.+ uniformity on legislation, Australia wide, Australia wide,

12 Where to go? Measure present practices & extent of success, Measure present practices & extent of success, Judge where changes are needed in management practices, Judge where changes are needed in management practices, to meet objectives to meet objectives And don’t forget the False Claims Act ‘the single most effective whistleblower law in the U.S’


Download ppt "An examination and initial assessment of the achievements of whistleblower agencies in the states and territories of Australia."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google